Sacred Heart - Inspiring Health

Holiday 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 15

THE HOLIDAYS ARE A TIME FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND TOUGH FINANCIAL DECISIONS. And Many HAPPY RETURNS WINTER IS APPROACHING and you find yourself with a few extra dollars in your pocket. What do you do: Pay off lingering debt? Set some aside for savings? Spend it on better gifts? Or find a magical balance between all three? The answer may not be as easy as you'd hope. "There is definitely a balance, but really it depends on the person and their financial discipline," says Gerald Jacobson, President at Northwestern Bank. "The first step is to know yourself—something some are better at than others. Once you're honest about your spending habits, you can begin making the best decision for you." Making the right decision is particularly important during the winter months. Speckled with gifts, travel expenses, rising heating bills and approaching taxes, the holiday season is not the time to be careless with your finances. "It's very important to pay off your debts sooner rather than later, but you also want to have something go toward retirement each paycheck," Gerald says. "While there is no 'best' method as to how you should divvy up your funds between the two, there are tips you can follow to improve spending on both." HOW TO PAY ✳ Treat debt like weight loss. Trying to lose 100 pounds in a week is unreasonable and disheartening. Instead, aim for two pounds the first week, a few more the second week, and continue finding ways to improve week by week. ✳ What raise? Most people get a raise each year. Rather than upgrading your car, ignore it. Put the extra money toward paying off existing debt. You lived off your pre-raise salary before and you can do it again. HOW TO SAVE ✳ Max out retirement. Putting as much as you can toward a 401k or health saving account makes the government work for you — providing you with free, reliable money that can quickly add up throughout the years. ✳ Spread The Eggs. Don't put your eggs in one basket and don't trust your entire future to one savings account. Place your money into multiple accounts to protect your investments. If you need free financial assistance or advice, call 2-1-1. Financial Good Health If you find yourself in hard financial times, use these quick tips to get back on your feet fast. • Don't pay for bad advice—There's plenty of free, good advice and help available. • Use cash—Seeing is believing when it comes to spending. Exchanging physical currency can help you decide if something is really worth the price. • Watch the small things—Even minor purchases such as morning coffee can add up. 1 5 S A C R E D H E A R T E A U C L A I R E . O R G

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sacred Heart - Inspiring Health - Holiday 2016