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Success Online Financial Education Newsletter
Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCCESS NewsletterJuly 4 2013 newsletter
How to salvage your goals for 2013

man running joyfully because he has learned how to reach his financial goals

By Jesse Campbell, Copywriter

It’s hard to believe, but half of the year is already gone. As the firework ash settles on the ground and your mother-in-law’s macaroni salad settles in your intestines, it’s time to look back at where you wanted to be and what you can still do to get there.

Are you a long way off from where you thought you’d be? Like, so far off you’d rather just write off 2013 altogether and start planning for 2014? Fight that urge!

2013 is completely salvageable. You’ve got plenty of time to meet your goals and even set a few new ones.

The key is determining what you genuinely need and want – the connected benefits of your goals – and finding the right balance of plan and action.

It’s literally too easy to not do. Let’s get to it!

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Ask the Experts

ask the experts

Q: Is it standard practice to not notify someone before repossessing their car?

"I financed a car awhile ago. Then I fell behind two months. I never got a call or a letter allowing me to rectify the back payment. Then my vehicle was repossessed. I called to find out what I could do to retrieve the vehicle and I was told I could pay them $2,000 in 15 days. I know it was inevitable that they were coming to repossess the vehicle but is that standard procedure not to contact me verbally or in writing" -Renee

Dear Renee,

It is standard procedure not to contact a person prior to repossession. Imagine what it must be like to reposses a vehicle. It is not personal; the person is only doing the job they were hired to do. Never the less, it is sometimes human nature to “shoot the messenger” and the repossessor never knows how a person will react. Alerting the car owner that a repossession is imminent may only cause further difficulties.

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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
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How to hold a family financial meeting

Do you have a family CFO? The family CFO is the family member who is responsible for the family finances - paying the bills, tracking the budget, and managing savings. While most families have one person who is in charge of the family budget, it’s essential that all family members understand the financial situation of the family, as well as the short-term and long-term goals.

When changes occur with the family’s financial situation, including layoffs, increased bills, or unexpected medical situations, it’s a good idea to have a family meeting to talk about the financial implications.

Gather all of the family members together, including any children who are old enough to understand. While some parents may not want to involve their kids in any negative financial discussions, it’s a great way to teach your children financial responsibility, and also gain their understanding and cooperation with any changes you will be making. Not only will your children be more inclined to assist with your changes, it will also help set them up for financial literacy in the future.

Before the meeting, the family CFO should do some analysis to determine what the current situation is for the family. If an event has occurred that will require major changes in spending, having some information about what should change would be a helpful starting point for discussion.

The family financial meeting should occur with little to no distraction. Keep the television off, and refrain from answering the phone, texting, or looking at your Blackberry. During the meeting, the family CFO should lead the discussion, explaining what changes are occurring, and how that will impact everyone. Depending on the ages of your children, brainstorming some solutions is a great way to involve the entire family. Discuss all alternatives that are available, and agree on the changes as a family.

Going forward, having some follow-up discussions is helpful. The family CFO can explain how well the family is following the financial plan, and the family can continue to refine the financial plan.

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