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Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCESS NewsletterFinancial Education Newsletter
 
Step-down Budgeting

MMI Copywriter

By Kim McGrigg, MMI Community Manager

Free financial webinars are a great way to increase your knowledge during Financial Literacy Month. This week, MMI offered a webinar on paying down debt. In case you missed it, here is a glimpse at what was covered.


In order to accelerate your debt repayment schedule, you might have to free up some additional dollars. Too often, people are discouraged by this idea because they think of it as an "all or nothing" strategy. In reality, there is a lot of room in between to step-down.

For example, If you eat at a fine dining restaurant twice a month, then you can step down to a family restaurant and save $60 a month per person. That alone could net you $150 more for debt repayment. If you eat lunch out every day at a fast food restaurant, you can save $25 per week per person if you take your lunch.

step_down_budgeting

Here's another example: An evening movie without drink or snacks- $9.50

  • Step-down by choosing a matinee at the movie theater- $6.50
  • Step-down by renting a movie to watch at home- $4
  • Step-down by renting an older movie- $1
  • Step down by borrowing a movie from the local library- $0

Don't worry if you missed this webinar, there are plenty more opportunities for you to increase your financial know-how during Financial Literacy Month. Register for an upcoming webinarparticipate in a webcast (available anytime) or download our free eBook - Financial Literacy: Your 30 step Path to Financial Wellness.

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Becoming a Super Consumer

 

Most kids know exactly what they want to be when they grow-up. Unfortunately, landing a position as a ninja or princess isn’t always easy. On the other hand, one thing that we all will be when we grow up—whether we like it or not—is a consumer. While being a consumer isn’t as glamorous as being a Superhero, it is important and does require a lot of training.

 Learning to be a good consumer provides a basis for financial success; but many American students complete 12 years of schooling, with little or no attention paid to economics. As a result, many consumers find themselves on their own to learn from the school of hard knocks. In fact, Americans currently owe more than $2.4 trillion in non-mortgage debt.

In honor of Financial Literacy Month, the experts at Money Management International (MMI) have identified the following tips for wise money management:

Take an active role. If you are not on top of your financial strategy or are not sure that you even have a strategy, it is time to make a plan. Download Your 30 Step Path to Financial Wellness, a free financial eBook designed to help you get your finances in order.

Live beneath your means. Learn the difference between needs and wants; experts agree that one key to happiness is to be content with what you already have. A financial priorities worksheet can help you prioritize your needs and wants.

Expect the unexpected. No one plans to lose a job or suffer from illness. Being prepared for life’s setbacks will give you peace of mind and help you to survive financially if the worst should happen.

Plan for tomorrow. Make it a habit to pay yourself first. Don’t despair if you are behind on your savings goals—it is never too late to make a positive change. Use a savings calculator to help you determine how much to set aside for the future.

Keep credit under control. The percentage of disposable income dedicated to debt repayment is near record highs. Smart consumers use credit as a tool of convenience, rather than an extension of their income. Consider taking the debt test to determine if you need a plan for payoff.

Perhaps most importantly, being financially savvy will set a good example for your children. Kids learn many habits from their parents, and financial stability is a great trait to pass on. Finally, know when to seek help. MMI is a nonprofit, community service organization that provides professional guidance, free credit counseling and debt management assistance to consumers.


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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. 

If you would like more information about signing up for a Debt Management Plan through Money Management International, visit MoneyManagement.org.


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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 MoneyManagement.org.


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