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At Bell, we’re passionate about financial well-being – not only for our customers, but employees, too. That’s why we decided to offer Dave Ramsey’s Smart Dollar program to our staff. Touching on planning, building savings, drafting budgets, investing in the future and ultimately growing wealth, the program has taught employees valuable skills and strategies.
Here, they share key takeaways and financial lessons we hope will help you.
Retail trainer Kasey Gothier says that while the concept isn’t new, she’s learned the importance of planning a budget and the beauty of using the envelope system to sort budget categories and pay with cash.
“If you don’t give your money a ‘job’ or a place to go, it’s easy to spend it on silly things you don’t need or haven’t saved for,” she explains. “If I have a bigger expense coming up, I make sure to set money aside for it instead of just putting purchases on my credit card and worrying about it later.”
Perhaps the most difficult part of a budget is setting dollar amounts in the first place. To get started, look back at three to six months’ worth of expenses to see what you typically spend in each category.
“Your budget is always going to be changing, and it’s okay if it’s not perfect right away,” Kasey offers. “It takes time to get things figured out and – depending on your life circumstances – it may look totally different from one year to the next.”
While people get excited to pay off debt at first, the motivation can quickly fade.
“Meeting your financial goals when you rely on just one source of income is not always doable, depending on where you’re at in your life and career,” says Austin Nguyen, digital marketing growth developer. “Chances are you’re good at something that can be monetized, so create a side gig you enjoy to boost your savings.”
For Kasey, flipping furniture was just that – a hobby turned paying job. For others, it might be selling items online, donating plasma or using their career skills to score freelance work.
For Cindy Belohlavek, administrative assistant at Bell Bank Wealth Management, the biggest takeaway was to start monitoring finances when you’re young.
“But it doesn’t matter how old you are … start it!” she encourages. “I really didn’t learn that from the Smart Dollar program but from the school of hard knocks.”
While admittedly, there’s no secret formula to help you meet your financial goals, it’s really about behavior modification, not math.
Try these tips to see where you can take your finances today.
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