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Money Makeover

Many of us are painfully aware when swimsuit season is approaching. Believe it or not, we can apply some of the same makeover principles to our financial lives. There are places to trim back, places that may need a little padding and some that just need extra attention.

Trim your credit usage. Overusing credit cards can lead to serious problems. Sure, a new dress or pair of shoes may make us feel good in the short term, but stop and think if you really need the item you’re about to purchase. How many pairs of pink sandals do you really need?

Feed your savings. This is the place that could use the extra padding. It can be hard to train yourself to save money, but try this: At the beginning of each day, put $1 in a safe place, and periodically deposit that money into your HealthNet Share Savings account. Next month, put $2 per day, the following month $3 per day, etc. Before you know it, you’ll have a nice nest egg.

Exercise your budgeting skills. Expenses must be lower than your income, or you’re on a sinking ship. Learn to live within your means, and don’t live on credit cards. Write down your net income each month, then, write down your monthly expenses. Use an average for the ones that fluctuate (like utilities). If you’re upside down, figure out where you can cut back.

Keep track of “evaporating cash.” If you like to pay for everything with cash, and you feel like your cash disappears, keep a written account of everything you buy.

Massage your retirement accounts. Buff up on investment education, and take full advantage of your retirement plan. With the tax deferment and the company match, your retirement will grow. If you invest in equities (stocks or mutual funds), don’t panic when you see dips in the market. Remember the old adage, “It’s time in the market, not timing the market.”

For more financial tips, visit your local credit union. HealthNet Federal Credit Union has proudly served Baptist Memorial Health Care employees and the health care community throughout the Mid-South for more than 60 years. For information about the credit union, please call 901-226-1111 or visit www.healthnetfcu.org.