The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

Make 2010 A Financial Success

On January 4th, 2010, posted in: Uncategorized by

Too early for golf talk?  Nope.  I’ve got some serious cabin fever and I’m ready to play some “stick.”

My buddy “Hoos” is one of my favorite playing partners.  He doesn’t take himself or the game very seriously – that’s a prerequisite for playing golf with me.  I’m not very good and usually find myself wanting to be home about 20 minutes into the round.  Work is serious.  Golf, not so much.

Don’t misinterpret Hoos’ lax manner on the golf course for a lack of competitiveness.  A putt more than a foot or two, and the cat gets his tongue.  He gives up putts – far and few between.  The man does not have the word “gimme” in his vocabulary – especially on any putt outside of the leather or as Hoos likes to call them, those with “a little chicken on the bone.”  That’s Hoos’ vernacular for “you got some work to do.”

Well, as consumers enter the New Year, many have a financial picture that has some serious “chicken on the bone.”  Here are some ideas to assist in making 2010 a financial success:

Start a budget.  Make a commitment and stick to it.  Just like taking a shower or eating, make effective money management something you do on a daily basis.  To help commit, involve a trusted confidant who can assist with keeping you on the straight and narrow.  Between commitment and a trusted confidant to help, you can start cleaning up your personal financial statement.  Telling someone forces your hand to perform.

Slow the cash leaks.  Vending machines, newspapers, a cup of coffee, lunch, dinner out three nights a week, etc.  You get the idea.  There’s a hole in your pocket – fix it.

Save some money.  Start with the cash leaks just mentioned.  While never easy, it is essential to save for that “rainy day.”  Have something to fall back on when the proverbial “stuff hits the fan.”  When you design your budget, be sure to put “saving” as a line item somewhere near the top.  Start small and celebrate your progress.  $5 per week is $260 per year – that equates to an emergency car repair.  Your new-found “rainy day fund” keeps you from borrowing or overdrawing your account; now you’re getting ahead.

Stay off the credit card.  Understand the difference between what you need and what you want.  Cash at the register makes much more sense than adding to a credit balance that has a half-life of eternity.  They call it a cash register, not a credit register.  Put the plastic away or use it sparingly – please!

Yep.  As Hoos would say, there is “some chicken on the bone.”  Many folks have some work to be done.  Another golf reference is “keep it in the short grass.”  That means don’t end up out-of-bounds.  Yep, that applies as well.  Get busy and make 2010 a great year.

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