ICFE eNEWS #14-01 - January 14th 2014
"Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Finances in 2014"
San Diego, CA. - All most people need to do is to take five common
sense steps to improve their finances in order to avoid costly mistakes
and even greater debt accumulation. Because more Americans are paying
off short term credit card debt than ever before, developing new
money management skills is an essential part of the process of debt
Developing financial self-discipline is the consumers' best defense,
even in a soft economy, to avoid compounding past mistakes and improving
one's personal finances in 2014. Here are five steps to take:
- Keep your financial know-how current in order to be in a
position to make intelligent spending and other financial decisions.
Being aware of changes in the tax laws, investment returns,
etc. helps one avoid becoming overconfident and unprepared.
- Project your income and expenses for the next twelve months
and then track the variances. Developing a spending-plan, a/k/a
budget, promotes better spending decisions. Spend money thinking
of your future as well as your present. You have an obligation
to be as good to the person you are going to be in 20, 30 or
40 years from now as you are to yourself today.
- When investing, focus on the relationship between the risk
and the projected return of your investments. Many investors
overlook the possibility of not getting their basic investment
back because they are focusing on early, high-end returns. Have
a plan and a purpose for your investing. Focus on making good
decisions rather than beating out a real or an imagined opponent
in the stock market or in real estate.
- Maintain well organized records for income tax and general
financial planning purposes. This is often as easy as having
twelve envelopes, one for each month, and placing all pertinent
financial statements, receipts etc. into an envelope monthly
and then placing the monthly envelopes in a larger, yearly envelope.
- Manage your money so expenses stay below income. Everyday
spending decisions, especially credit based one, will have a
far greater negative effect on one's financial future than any
investment decision one is likely to ever make. Household and
grocery items take up about 30 cents of every take-home dollar.
Using coupons and taking advantage of rebates is a way to make
and immediate, positive impact on your finances.
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Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer
Financial Education (ICFE)
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.