Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thrifty Thinking: Basic Tips for Living Debt-Free

If you’re one of the 52% of Americans that spend more than they earn or the 21% of that group who regularly have monthly expense in excess of their income, Paul Richard, President of the Institute of Consumer Financial Education recommends several tips to get you back on the right financial track.  These four points will jump-start your journey to improved spending techniques and practices.
1.      Discontinue borrowing and use of all credit cards – Credit card misuse occurs when people are between paychecks and cash flow is low.  In this case, make serious lifestyle changes and cut out expenses you’ve been charging to credit cards.
2.      Begin saving one dollar-a-day and all pocket change, every day – Wealth is created through investing and savings are necessary as a safety net for life’s surprises and to build wealth for financial security.
3.      Separate shopping trips (when comparing prices) from spending trips – Many over-spenders fall into classic shopping traps because they just can’t say ‘no’ to the perfect item or they have very short-term memory for recent purchases that affect their bank account.  Separating shopping trips from buying trips removes the emotion from the purchasing decision.
4.      Create a basic detailed list of where your money comes from and where your money is spent – Use a budgeting app on your phone to make basic entries for cash inflows and outflows. Now that you’re not using plastic you’ll need to keep track of your cash as the first step to creating a spending plan.
About the Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton, the creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and resources.  The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004. Visit the ICFE's web sites at: and

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