San Diego, CA - "Many people
welcome in the new year with a burst of new found energy
to do things differently. A lot of this gets focused on
personal finances. Resolutions are aplenty, however they
often come with what some folks would call the 'but
firsts.' You want to save some money,
'but first' pay off credit cards. The 'but firsts' become
disincentives to change anything at all.
ICFE has five resolution solutions for 2005. There are no
'but firsts.' All may be activated and
energized the moment they are read. All are simple, proven
and effective ways to do things differently with personal
finances. They are called resolution solutions because
they will help those who use them keep more of their
income or the money they make and do more with what they
1) Resolve to become a comparison spender. There
are two forms of overspending. There is the borrow and
spend crowd, however they come in second to the biggest
group of over-spenders in America, because an estimated
60-65 percent of all consumers pay too much for things.
Comparison spending will put a quick stop to that
financially detrimental practice.
Example: A popular gift item for Christmas 2004 was the
hand-held kitchen appliances called
'Gizmos' from Black and Decker. When first advertised,
they were at retail $29.95. Within a week
they were being advertised in a major drug store chain
flyer for $24.95. The best buy, however
was for $19.88 at two other discount retailers. Comparison
spending on this item saves $10.
2) Resolve to become a regular saver. 'When it
comes to saving money, most people will simply stop at
nothing.' In other words they never seem to get started.
That's the way it often is for other new year resolutions
too. A regular saver is one who saves a portion of all
income received. Becoming a regular saver is quick,
simple, something most people can and should do everyday.
Start right now by taking a dollar bill and all of your
pocket change and set it aside. Do this every day, even on
the weekends. It will average $50 a month. An extra
incentive to save a little more is to take all the folding
money with your initials on the serial number, and save
those $1, $5, $10,
$20, $50 and $100 bills.
3) Resolve to extend the value of your income. Get
more bang for your bucks no matter if they are
invested, being spent on entertainment or real estate or
yourself. Part of becoming a regular saver is looking for
ways to save money in every part of your life.
Example: 30 cents of every take-home dollar is spent on
household and grocery items. The best and most immediate
way to extend the value of household and grocery spending
dollar is to employ the use of coupons, rebates and
special sales. Now many folks will bellyache they don't
have time to clip coupons. Time is money so, if it takes
15 minutes to clip coupons out of the Sunday paper and
grocery flyers in the mailbox and you save ten percent or
$10 on a hundred dollar tab, that is equal to $40 per
4) Resolve to increase your net worth. Increasing
net worth is done by accumulating money and
other assets (as opposed to piling up the debts). Also, by
having assets grow and appreciate in value and paying down
indebtedness. Consumers are building up or tearing down
their net worth with every financial decision and things
they do. So for 2005, keep building your net worth up and
stay off the deconstruction crew.
5) Resolve to get your free credit files. One of
the best gifts to consumers in 2004 from Congress was the
ability to get free credit reports annually from the three
major credit reporting agencies. By September 2005 all US
residents will be eligible. Click on
www.annualcreditreport.com, call 877-322-8228, or
complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it
to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281,
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. The form may be printed
www.ftc.gov/credit. If you need help figuring out what
all the stuff on the credit report means, contact an ICFE
Certified Credit Report Reviewer.
Have a safe and prosperous 2005.
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation). The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org). CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed. In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.
The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org. Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G, a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.