By Joann Hunter

There are many things that we use but we may not understand how it really works. “Money” is one of them. How do I know? America is sinking in piles of debt! Very few Americans have not accrued any form of debt or filed for bankruptcy at some point.
“DEBT” is a dirty four letter word that we all may encounter somewhere in life, if we don’t have the right information, skills, or self-discipline to avoid it. Some people or institutions may even try to convince you that some debt is good. I would have to disagree. Please feel free to disagree with me. But, if you do agree, then there are ways to avoid debt or get out of it so that you can live a better life!

“The best place to go when you need money is to work”- Junior Discovers Work by Dave Ramsey”
You may be thinking “I already have a job and it doesn’t pay enough. But, work is not the same as a job. The word “job” is a little more confining than the word “work”. While you may already have a specific job, you may be limited to how much you can work, what you can do in that position, what amount you can be paid in that particular position. Work however, can possibly be done anywhere and anytime. Some forms of work may include clipping coupons to save the money you already have or starting a lawn care business in the summer so that when Christmas rolls around again you are enjoying it instead of being depressed because of all the money you’ve spent. The goal is to have more money coming in than going out. Having more income than expenses allows you to do more with your income. Which to takes us to our next goal…

“It’s better to give than to receive.”
Giving to help others allows us to deposit more into someone’s life than just money. It can be an expression love, help, hope, and inspiration. Giving to those you know are in need and that will value your gift brings wonderful rewards to you and them. And if you don’t know anyone, there are thousands of legitimate organizations that can help your money or resources go to individuals or families that could really use the extra help. Using a portion of your money to help those in need can provide for you a sense of happiness that supersedes spending it all on yourself.

Another four letter word to many! However, it’s one of the best things you can do to insure a better future for you and your family. Credit cards may come in handy, but what if you hand cash on hand for that large purchase or for that unexpected emergency, surely that would be better. There are so many ways to save. You can find ways to save on what you already purchase, or you can purchase less to save money. You could put a portion of your money into savings or make investments that can grow the money that you save. You can start going to your local public library for FREE materials and services: movies, CDs, kids, teen, adult, and family programs, internet access, e-materials, and of course thousands of books! So maybe the word “save” is not such a bad word after all, we just have to buckle down and do it!

Where did the money go? You have no idea what you spent the money on, do you? It’s okay! Take a deep breath. Spending can feel so much more fun than the previous 3 goals I mentioned. And it’s necessary. The thing about spending money, is WHAT you spend it on! A good practice is to spend your money on what you need first. Now I know you’ve worked hard and very long hours, and even though you may feel you deserve something, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something you need. So, contemplating what is actually a necessity and what is something that you may really feel you deserve but it is still a want may be the difference in having money for the flat tire you don’t know is coming next week or feeling guilty about spending money on what you deserve. It doesn’t feel good at all. I know from experience.

Work, give, save spend! You got it!
Now that you are equipped with some very basic practices on how to use your money, I hope 2019 is a better year financially than all the rest! Good luck!

Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck and Get Your Financial Life Together (#GYFLT)! If you’re a cash-strapped 20- or 30-something, it’s easy to get freaked out by finances. But you’re not doomed to spend your life drowning in debt or mystified by money. It’s time to stop scraping by and take control of your money and your life with this savvy and smart guide. Broke Millennial shows step-by-step how to go from flat-broke to financial badass. Unlike most personal finance books out there, it doesn’t just cover boring stuff like credit card debt, investing, and dealing with the dreaded “B” word (budgeting). Financial expert Erin Lowry goes beyond the basics to tackle tricky money matters and situations most of us face #IRL, including: – Understanding your relationship with moolah: do you treat it like a Tinder date or marriage material? – Managing student loans without having a full-on panic attack – What to do when you’re out with your crew and can’t afford to split the bill evenly – How to get “financially naked” with your partner and find out his or her “number” (debt number, of course) … and much more. Packed with refreshingly simple advice and hilarious true stories, Broke Millennial is the essential roadmap every financially clueless millennial needs to become a money master. So what are you waiting for? Let’s #GYFLT

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

You CAN take control of your money. Build up your money muscles with America’s favorite finance coach.
Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s with The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition.
By now, you’ve heard all the nutty get-rich-quick schemes, the fiscal diet fads that leave you with a lot of kooky ideas but not a penny in your pocket. Hey, if you’re tired of the lies and sick of the false promises, take a look at this—it’s the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it’s based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies. With The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition, you’ll be able to:

  • Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt—meaning cars, houses, everything
  • Recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths (these will kill you)
  • Secure a big, fat nest egg for emergencies and retirement!

(Summary from Amazon)

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez

For more than twenty-five years, Your Money or Your Life has been considered the go-to book for taking back your life by changing your relationship with money. Hundreds of thousands of people have followed this nine-step program, learning to live more deliberately and meaningfully with Vicki Robin’s guidance. This fully revised and updated edition with a foreword by “the Frugal Guru” (New Yorker) Mr. Money Mustache is the ultimate makeover of this bestselling classic, ensuring that its time-tested wisdom applies to people of all ages and covers modern topics like investing in index funds, managing revenue streams like side hustles and freelancing, tracking your finances online, and having difficult conversations about money.

Whether you’re just beginning your financial life or heading towards retirement, this book will show you how to:

  • Get out of debt and develop savings
  • Save money through mindfulness and good habits, rather than strict budgeting
  • Declutter your life and live well for less
  • Invest your savings and begin creating wealth
  • Save the planet while saving money …and so much more!

(Summary from Amazon)

Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money, and the American Dream by Scott Trench

If you want to be financially free, you need to develop fiscal confidence; you need to build and follow a plan that allows you to live the life of your dreams. Trench provides a three-step guide that gives readers the fiscal confidence they need to achieve early financial freedom.

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach

Whether you are just getting started in your investment life, looking to manage your money yourself, or work closely with a financial advisor, this book is your proven roadmap to the life you want and deserve.
With Smart Women Finish Rich, you will feel like you are being coached personally by one of America’s favorite and most trusted financial experts. The Smart Women Finish Rich program has helped millions of women for over twenty years gain confidence, clarity and control over their financial well-being — it has been passed from generations to generation — and it now can help you.

(Summary from Amazon)

Joann Hunter
Experience Facilitator

Joann Hunter

Joann is an Experience Facilitator with EVPL.

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