Saving dollars takes a little sense

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Feb. 21, 2018 at 4:33 p.m.
Updated Feb. 22, 2018 at 6 a.m.

Whether you're a small business owner or an average Joe trying to get by on a budget, financial literacy is an important skill to have.

Financial literacy is more than just a one-time decision to "live within one's means." It's a series of best practices that should be cultivated throughout a person's lifetime and adapted to changing circumstances.

Learning to implement these practices sometimes requires a little professional help. Fortunately, we have a few options here in the Crossroads. Saturday, Victoria College will host MoneyLIVE 2018, a free event offering age-appropriate financial literacy lessons for children through adults. There's also Financial Peace University, a program that's hosted locally from time to time and has helped many in the Crossroads eliminate debt and organize their budgets.

It's true that some money-saving strategies (making hefty down payments, for example) aren't applicable to every person's financial situation. However, we believe that regardless of means, people should keep financial literacy in mind as they strive to save and get rid of debt.

The first step in budgeting - simply taking stock of expenses - can be a big help in finding ways to save. If you know how much you're spending and on what, you can identify redundant or unnecessary expenses.

There are some common tricks that can help you get organized. One is to divide monthly expenses between paychecks. Deducting an even amount of money from each paycheck will give you a clearer idea of how much you really have available. Some people also find it helpful to budget using cash so they can see how much they're spending.

For longer-term investments, especially retirement, it literally pays to consider your options. Even a small amount of money can have huge dividends if it's invested over a long period of time. Do some research or talk with your employer or a financial adviser to find out what investment strategy will work with your budget.

Programs like MoneyLIVE can help point you in the right direction. However, whether or not you decide to attend a formal seminar on financial literacy, it's always a good idea to look at your funds and consider strategies that will help you save. It can be a struggle, but the rewards are worth it.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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