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New ways to apply advice from mom

Mom's advice 

By Tanisha Warner, Communications Manager

With moms, every moment can easily turn into a “teachable” moment. From day one, mothers begin the process of transferring their wisdom and values to their children.

A recent study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) found that 44 percent of consumers named parents as their primary teachers of financial habits — the basics of spending and saving are learned at home long before they’re taught at school.

As Mother’s Day approaches, apply some of mom’s conventional wisdom to your financial situation — coupled with tips from the financial experts here at MMI.

"Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Think about how you spend your money, and don’t go beyond your means. Reserve any money left over at the end of the month for savings — you never know when an unexpected expense may arise.

“Do as I say, not as I do.” If you were not taught good financial habits growing up, start now. Good habits you learn now can be passed down to your children, starting a new generation of financial responsibility.

“Do I look like I am made of money?” Studies show that nearly 80 percent of women consider themselves the primary spender in their household, but don’t let this be the only thing your children see you do. Make an effort to discuss saving, long-term goal planning and budgeting with children so they learn there’s more to money than bills and shopping.

“If I catch you doing that one more time …" We’re all guilty of using that “for emergencies only” credit card on a selfish splurge, but have we ever looked to see how much it adds up to be in the long run? Track spending for 30 days to see just how much small insignificant purchases add up to be in the end.

“Eat every bite.” Remember that every little bit counts. Place your spare change in a jar, along with any extra money that is above your regular monthly income, and deposit it into your savings account monthly.

“If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?” You are in control of your money, and your budget should be unique to your personal needs and lifestyle. Stick with it, regardless of how others around you are spending.

As much as it may hurt to admit it that your mother was right, her common-sense tips, when applied to your pocketbook, can lead to financial stability and success. After all, as mother says, “You can do anything you set your mind to.”

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You've found yourself in debt. Now what?

As the economy shows signs of improvement, more consumers have started reaching for their credit cards.

In fact, both Visa and MasterCard report significant first quarter profits of more than 20 percent resulting from increased credit card usage. In March alone, revolving debt rose by $5.1 billion to $798.5 billion – a 7.8 percent increase, according to the Federal Reserve.

While the increase in consumer spending is great for the economy. it is important for individuals and families to remember their personal economies and the far-reaching impact of debt. Without a solid plan, debt can sneak up on you — quickly.

So prior to making any more credit card purchases, the best course of action to take is to sign up for a free debt and budget counseling session with a reputable nonprofit credit counseling agency prior to making any more credit card purchases.

Nonprofit credit counselors work with consumers to establish a realistic budget, set financial priorities, and create a plan to pay off uncontrolled debt. And having a plan can help to keep debt and credit issues at bay.

How do I choose a reputable credit counseling agency?

Special care should be taken when considering a credit counseling agency. After all – you are entrusting them with your personal financial information and your money.

Do the research and make sure their counselors are certified and trained in the area of consumer credit, budgeting, debt and money management.

Trustworthy agencies will offer free or low-cost financial education and detailed information about all the services they provide. Their counselors will discuss your entire financial situation and help you develop a plan based on the best option for your personal financial needs.

Other factors to consider when seeking a reputable credit counseling agency include the organization's history — which should consist of at least ten years of service — as well as third-party accreditation.

Consider organizations who receive third-party certification by organizations such as the Council on Accreditation (COA) or the International Standards Organization (ISO). Counselors should also be certified by an independent organization such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

In addition, try to remember that dealing with overwhelming amounts of debt is rarely an easy task. Download the free eBook Managing Debt to Improve Your Mental Wealth to learn more about the benefits of reducing debt.

If your financial obligations become overwhelming and you find yourself losing control, don't do it alone. Your human resources department or employee services may be able to help with available options. Even if you choose not to use a credit counseling agency, help is available.

MMI Debt Management Plan Client Corner
Tips for Success

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Update your account balances online. When you receive your monthly statement from your creditors, login to your MMI account and update your balances. It is important that we have the most accurate balance information possible on file. 

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About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
866.530.9869 or visit

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