Understanding a Credit Card Statement

We were going to put together an article that explains everything you need to know about a credit card statement. However, in the process of researching we found their already to be an excellent article in this area!

Check out the link to this article by thebalance.com on understanding credit card statements! https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-understand-your-credit-card-billing-statement-960246

The only important item the article from thebalance.com leaves out is the concept of the “grace period”. The grace period is the time between the end of your credit card’s billing cycle and the due date for that billing cycle. This is typically about 21 days.  As long as you pay off your card’s balance by the due date then you will not experience any finance/interest charges. If you do not pay off your balance in full by the due date then you will immediately be charged finance/interest charges. These charges will continue until you have paid your balance of in full. The interest rates are steep on credit cards. Sometimes almost 30% so make sure and pay that balance off completely if at all possible!

Make sure that before you apply for a credit card it includes a grace period for purchases! Be aware that even if a credit card includes a grace period for purchases there still might not be a grace period for cash advances and balance transfers.

As always remember the rule of thumb for using credit cards! Before using a credit card make sure you have 1) a written budget, 2) you are tracking your expenses to ensure your budget is being implemented and is realistic and 3) Spend multiple months getting comfortable with steps 1 and 2 before getting a credit card.

If you would like to read more on credit cards check out these two recent articles we recently posted “Don’t Trust The Card or Yourself Without a Plan” and “The Process for Getting a Credit Card”

Understanding Credit Reports

Understanding Credit Reports

Credit Report: This is a report that combines all the information reported by businesses and organizations about an individual’s credit activities and current credit situations. The information is a combination of the different credit, loan and payment activities and is compiled into a report. There are three credit bureaus that compile these reports. Not all businesses report to every bureau which causes the reports to sometimes be different.

According to Annualcreditreport.com a credit report may include:

  • A list of businesses that have given you credit or loans
  • The total amount for each loan or credit limit for each credit card
  • How often you paid your credit or loans on time, and the amount you paid
  • Any missed or late payments as well as bad debts
  • A list of businesses that have obtained your credit report within a certain time period
  • Your current and former names, address(es), birthdate, social security number, phone number and/or employers
  • Any bankruptcies or other public record information

The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that each credit bureau give consumers one free credit report a year. The three credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The credit bureaus provide information to credit score companies such as FICO so that credit scores can be determined.

 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission both provide excellent additional resources on credit reports. The Federal Trade Commission has resources available to aid in reporting items that are on an individual’s credit report in error.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-credit-report-en-309/

Federal Trade Commission: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/credit-and-loans?sort=subject

 

Understanding Your Credit Score

Credit Score defined:  A number that helps lenders determine creditworthiness of a borrower.

Background on Credit Scores: There have been multiple algorithms developed that determine an individual’s credit score. The most common score used by lenders to determine creditworthiness and interest rates is the FICO Score or more appropriately a version of the FICO score (there are multiple FICO scores). The FICO Score was developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation in 1989.  MyFico.com makes the claim that a FICO score is used in 90% of lending decisions.

The second most commonly used score is the Vantage Score. Credit Karma, a reputable credit resource website that uses the Vantage Score, states that over 2000 lenders use the Vantage Score to determine credit worthiness. Most of the online free credit scores come from the Vantage Score formula. While for the most part this score is educational (in that most lenders use the FICO Score) it is still accurate and close to the FICO Score. The information gained from the Vantage Score most of the time will provide the information needed to improve an individual’s score.

How the FICO Score is Determined

The primary FICO score is on a scale of 300 to 850. It is has been determined that a score of 580 or lower is “poor score”, 580-669 is a “fair score”, 670-739 is a “good score”, 740-799 is a “very good score” and 800+ is an “exceptional score”.

 

The Fico Score is determined by 5 factors. The factors and percentage weight of each factor is as follows: 30% Amounts Owed, 35% Payment History, 10% New Credit, 15% Length of Credit History, 10% Credit Mix. The three credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and Transunion provide the information that FICO uses in each factor to compute the score.

30% Amounts Owed:

This refers to the amount of credit an individual has used compared to how much available credit that they could use. Using credit each month for purchases will not necessarily a make a credit score go down in fact utilizing credit each month can potentially improve the score whereas not using any credit will not cause the score to be improved.

The closer that the amount of credit used gets to the amount of credit available the more likely that a score can go down. This is because it indicates that individual could have a high risk of over extending themselves and unable to pay back the borrowed amounts when they are due.

Fico scores pay attention to the amounts owed on different forms of credit and treat them differently.

Keys to Success: Pay off credit cards fully each month (if you have only a small amount of available credit it may benefit you to pay off your card balance more frequently than to just once during a billing period). Pay installment loan payments on time with the appropriate amount each month.

35% Payment History:

This is the heaviest weighted factor in computing an individual’s credit score. In general this factor is looking to see if an individual has made their credit payments on time. According to myfico.com if someone misses one or two payments but has a good history it most likely won’t hurt their credit score much at all. However, missing many payments can have a strong negative impact on one’s score.

All forms of credit accounts are considered in this factor. Fico also considers public records and collection items. Myfico.com states that negative factors include bankruptcies, lawsuits and wage attachments. Myfico continues with the details of late payments and collection items are considered such as how late they were, how much was owed, how recently they occurred, how many there are.

Keys to Success: Create a budget plan that ensures you are able to pay credit cards in full each month, afford monthly installment plans, and includes an emergency fund so that unexpected bills such as an Emergency room visit or replacing a washer doesn’t cause you to a bill sent to collections.

10% New Credit:

This factor focuses primarily on two items. The first is the age of an individuals and how much credit accounts have been opened in recent history. Adding a new credit card account has the effect of lowering the age of an individual’s credit which can potentially slightly lower their credit score. Likewise if an individual opens multiple accounts in a short span of time it can have a negative impact on a credit score because of the possibility of that individual being a higher risk – especially in instances when that individual does not have a long credit history.

The second item is inquiries. The FICO score only considers inquiries in the last 12 months even though most inquiries will stay on an individual’s credit report for 2 years.  With the fico score inquiries have a small if any impact. The score allows for individual’s to interest rate shop without being penalized by the inquiries.

Keys to success: Avoid opening numerous accounts rapidly. Only open a new credit account when needed.

15% Length of Credit History:

This factor improves as length of time an individual has credit. It is possible to a high FICO score without having a great score in this factor.

Myfico.com describes three items that are taken into account in this factor: “1) How long your credit accounts have been open, including the age of your oldest account, the age of your newest account, and average age of all your accounts. 2) How long specific credit accounts have been open. 3)How long it has been since the account has been used.”

Key to success: If you don’t have a credit score open a secured credit card, or find someone to cosign with you. Be slow to cancel a card that has been open for a long time even if it has been a source of debt. It is okay to not use it anymore, but it may not be wise to close it you are looking to building your score.

10% Credit Mix:

This factor considers the different forms of credit accounts that an individual has opened. This factor does not play a significant role in determine the FICO credit score. It is important to not go out and open a credit account unless it is actually needed. This factor considers whether an individual has experience in paying back different forms of credit accounts on time such as credit cards or installment loans.

Key to Success: Manage the accounts that you do have responsibly. If you have no credit accounts as mentioned above start with a secure credit card to begin to build credit.

Limits of the FICO Credit Score:

It is important to note that the information above is to be used as general guidelines. Every individual’s FICO Score calculation will be slightly different based of the individual’s experience with credit utilization and the fact that every individual has a unique credit history. Secondly, FICO has made multiple credit scores. Different lenders use different scores for different forms of credit. For example FICO has created a formula for a fico score specifically for mortgage lending that mortgage lenders tend to use. The same could be said of credit card lenders and car loan lenders.

How to Access my FICO Score?

It is extremely difficult to access a FICO score for free without taking a credit card with a company that offers a free score as benefit. Discover happens to be the only company we have discovered at this point that seems to offer one FICO score for free based off the Experian Credit Report. You can also access the Vantage Scores based of Equifax and Transunion credit reports by creating a free account with creditkarma.com. The Vantage Scores provide by Credit Karma and the FICO Score from Discover will provide valuable insight, and will help you improve your score without paying for access to other FICO scores.

To learn more about your credit score through reliable online resources we suggest visiting www.myfico.com, creditkarma.com, and yourvantagescore.com.

 

The Process for Getting a Credit Card

Step 1: Consider a few questions before applying for a credit card. If your answer is “no” to any of the following questions we would suggest reconsidering applying for a credit card until the answers are yes.

  • Do you have a written budget and a method (spreadsheet, budgeting app, pen & paper) to track your expenses monthly see if they line up with your budget?
  • Have you been using a written budget and tracking your expenses for at least 3 months?
  • Are you aware of the impact credit card interest rates can have on your financial reality if you do not pay the card balance off fully each month?

Step 2:  Determine what kind of card you would like to apply for. Cards have different benefits some of which are: sign up bonuses, cash back cards, hotel rewards, airline miles, rewards cards, balance transfer, student, zero APR, no annual fee, a retail card, etc. Typically cards offer more than one of the benefits listed. You can go to places like bankrate.com, creditcard.com, and creditkarma.com (the websites do make money off marketing the cards if someone applies for the card through their website). Make sure that you look to see what annual fees may be associated with the card you decide on.

Note: Make sure that before you apply for a credit card it includes a grace period for purchases! Be aware that even if a credit card includes a grace period for purchases there still might not be a grace period for cash advances and balance transfers.

The grace period is the time between the end of your credit card’s billing cycle and the due date for that billing cycle. This is typically about 21 days.  As long as you pay off your card’s balance by the due date then you will not experience any finance/interest charges. If you do not pay off your balance in full by the due date then you will immediately be charged finance/interest charges. These charges will continue until you have paid your balance of in full. The interest rates are steep on credit cards. Sometimes almost 30% so make sure and pay that balance off completely if at all possible!

Step 3:  Determine your credit score. An easy way to get your credit score is to create a free account with creditkarma.com. Credit Karma offers scores for two of the three credit bureaus and it is free. When perusing through different cards, usually in the details section for the card it will show a credit score range applicants typically have when they are approved for the card.

Step 4: Apply for a card. Nowadays this is possible through an online application- this is the easy way. Applying at a bank or a retail location or sending off an application is still an option. Make sure you answer the questions on the application asked accurately.

Step 5: This step happens behind the scenes. The lender will complete an investigation into your credit history to determine your creditworthiness. If applying online, often this takes just a matter of seconds. The lender will obtain your credit report from one of the credit bureaus. The lender may get your report from one of the bureaus or all three of the bureaus. The lender will also get your credit score to help make an informed decision on whether or not to grant you a card.

Step 6: The lender will decide to accept or reject your application. If your application is accepted then the lender will determine the exact terms of your credit agreement. The higher your credit score the lower the interest rates will be on the card and the lower your credit score the higher the interest rates. Under the Fair Credit Report Act if your credit application is rejected you are allowed to request a free credit report. You must request it within 60 days of being notified of the application rejection.

Step 7: Make sure to include your credit card in your budget! It is easy to forget how much is spent on the card when not carefully including it in your budget and making sure that money is accounted for to pay off the balance each month. Read more here on budgeting with a credit card.

Is A Larger Paycheck The Solution?

 


Do you ever feel like your financial stress and ability to manage debt depends all on the size of your paycheck? When it feels like there is more money going out than coming in, it is easy to become frustrated and feel that the issue can solely be blamed on not making enough money. I am not going to deny that having a larger salary can make a huge difference at times. However, I will argue that an extrinsic issue like this may not be the first step in a solution to your money woes.

At the Center for Financial Success, we have found that the difficulty in managing money lies not in the size of the paycheck, but in one’s resolve to learn how to effectively manage their money and stick with it. People are quick to assume that a larger paycheck will solve all of their financial problems – keep in mind that even millionaires declare bankruptcy.

In our experience at the Center working with students and community members to create long-term practical money management solutions it starts with helping the client learn how to live within their means. What does this look like? It looks like avoiding the use of credit on consumer items that you need every month if can’t pay it off at the end of the month. It looks like breaking the habit of living from paycheck to paycheck and learning how to not spend every dollar you make. It involves incrementally cutting back to the point where there is actually a small amount being saved every month. This eventually leads to addressing debt, getting a month ahead, and the beginning of making progress on your financial goals.

The point of this article is not to dissuade you from pursuing a higher paying job. However, there are certain financial habits that must be formed regardless of income level. Regardless if you are making $32,000 or $1.5 million a year, you will fall into the same problems of being trapped in overspending and unnecessary financial stress without healthy spending habits.

Once you are able to develop basic financial management skills instead of focusing only on the need for more money, it can be a little easier to avoid the financial stress caused from overspending. After you establish financial goals and develop a maintainable spending plan, you will find these principles to be effective regardless of how much you earn. You will be getting “more bang for your buck” – a habit that will pay huge dividends especially as your paycheck increases!

Unfortunately, a one stop solution that magically enables someone to pick up the basics of personal financial management does not exist. Sound financial management skills can be compared to a muscle –  it must be exercised before it can be strengthened. Just as a weight room is a great resource to strengthen your muscles, there are great resources out there to assist you in growing your personal financial management skills. We offer resources for these skills through our blog, peer financial coaching services, and presentations. When you visit our website, you can find links to external sources we find helpful.

If you enjoyed this content and would like to enhance your personal financial management skills, take a few seconds to fill out our new client form so you can be on your way to a life with less stress with Peer Financial Coaching Services.

Don’t Trust The Card or Yourself Without a Plan

Don’t Trust the Card or Yourself Without a Plan

In the world of purchasing with plastic (credit or debit card) we sometimes lose sight ever so quickly of exactly how much we are spending! In fact, I find that by the time I am in the parking lot after making a purchase my mind has already moved onto the next thing. By the end of the week when I am about to make another purchase I have already forgotten that I even made the first purchase which causes me to have a false idea of how much money I actually have left to spend. Before I know it if the plastic I am making a purchase with happens to be a credit card then I could so easily fall into the trap of purchasing an item with future income (money from my next paycheck that hasn’t even hit the bank yet). This can happen to even the best of us.

Let me be clear I am not suggesting we should all revert back to the archaic envelope budgeting system and cash. However, I am suggesting there a few things we can recognize when purchasing everything with a card to ensure financial success.

Here are a few tips that can help lead to financial success if you pay your bills and make all of your purchases with a card, especially if its a credit card.

1) Keep Track of What You Spend.

Don’t fall into the trap of only reviewing the balance on your credit card every couple of weeks or once a month when your bill comes due. If you are using a debit card be careful to avoid only reviewing the available balance in your checking account when in the checkout line at a store or on pay day.

I am not a psychologist by any means, but I know myself well. I do not think I am alone when I say that it is easy to underestimate how much I’ve spent since I last looked at the balance on my card and overestimate how much I can afford to spend when I have not sufficiently tracked my previous purchases. The Consumer Financial Bureau suggests that there is some research to back the assessment that I have made.

It may not be fun at first, but putting a spending plan in place and rigorously keeping up with it will be one of the greatest stress relievers you can experience regarding money. If money is a source of stress or anxiety it can be tempting to ignore the way you spend, your bank account or credit card balance, however, this will create more stress in the long run and financial disaster I might add. I personally prefer to track my expenses through the use of budgeting software called youneedabudget.com. I know others that prefer good ole excel spreadsheets, pen and paper, or mint.com.

2) Don’t Trust Monthly Minimum Payment Offers.

When things are tight and there are extra items needed or wanted, it can be extremely tempting to take advantage of the credit card offer to carry the balance on your card over to the next month and only make the minimum payment. This can be especially tempting during times where there is stress pouring in from other areas of life.

It is important to recognize that when you only make a monthly payment, it means you are committing your future income to interest payments on items that are not worth paying interest on. Also keep in mind credit cards offer some of the worst, if not the worst, interest rates. They can get up to almost 30%! Nerd Wallet, a reputable personal finance website, goes as far as to say they are designed to keep you in debt. Click here if you want read more on minimum payments.

It can be tempting and you might say to yourself that you will be able to pay it all off the next month before the interest takes off and gets out of control. That can be a dangerous place to be especially considering personal finance tends to be one of the most unpredictable areas of life, because it involves almost every aspect of life. You cannot predict when your car is going to breakdown, you are going to have an emergency room visit, animal needs to go to the vet, or some other unexpected expense shows up.

3)Preemptive Planning vs. Reactionary Spending

If you want to beat living paycheck to paycheck, pay down debt, and avoid having to pay only the minimum payment on a card it happens through planning. The words “budget or spending plan” are not everyone’s favorite words. However, they can be such a lifesaver! For some they do not like the idea of a budget because they feel that it will constrict their financial freedom to do as they please. For others it is just an overwhelming, daunting task and an area that causes anxiousness so they just avoid it.

I would like to suggest that choosing to be preemptive in planning, how to spend and save your money, will actually create a sense of financial freedom not experienced beforehand and will help reduce anxiety surrounding money. Planning our spending will prevent those moments when we react to a need or want, have not planned our spending for the pay period/month and then swipe our card, and we can’t help but experience the anxiety surrounding the purchase. The all too familiar questions surface in our mind such as “can I really afford this and will I have enough left for my bills due soon?” I would like to suggest these questions almost steal the joy that could have come from the purchase.

On the other hand, when you take time to plan your spending upon receiving a paycheck and then follow point #1 of tracking your expenses, you can feel comfortable spending money because you have planned the spending and do not have to deal with questions like “Can I afford this and will I have enough for my bills?” It creates a since of freedom and peace of mind. Finally, it is important to be aware that everything might not always go according to plan, however if there is a plan in place you will know how to adjust to ensure that you are staying within your means.

Financial Wellness Checklist for Graduating Seniors

It is almost graduation! While graduation is an exciting time, it can also be overwhelming to be thrown out into the “real world”. Getting your financial life in order can help you to feel more prepared for the next chapter in your life. Although this post is geared toward graduating seniors, it is helpful for anyone.

I also want to add that our counselors are here for you. Visit us before graduation and let us help you start post-grad life off on the right foot!

I have compiled a neat checklist for you to follow along with. This list is not exhaustive, but is a great start!

Graduating Senior Financial Checklist:

  • Create an online log-in with your student loan servicer
  • Set-up an appropriate repayment plan for your student loans
  • Open a checking account with no minimum balance and no monthly fees
  • Open a high-yield savings account to store emergency fund and other intermediate-term savings
  • Perform a credit well check- consider opening a credit card if you do not already have one
  • Read your employee benefits- if you are starting your career, spend some time studying your new benefits
  • Create a written budget
  • Start saving for retirement- utilize your employer match if you are starting your career, or consider opening a Roth IRA
  • Write out your short-term, intermediate-term, and long-term financial goals

The WKU Center for Financial Success has resources explaining how to accomplish these items here:

https://www.wku.edu/cfs/resourceshome.php

Our counselors can also walk you through this checklist and have you leaving WKU empowered and excited for the road ahead!

Visit our website to set up an appointment:

https://www.wku.edu/cfs/become-a-client.php

How to Live Well All Year Long (as a college student)

When I first started budgeting, I realized I was spending an absurd amount of money at Starbucks and eating out.

Like many others, I work as much as possible during the summer and winter to stockpile money for the semester when I cannot work as much. My financial goals at the start of each academic year are always to:

  1. Make my money last until May.
  2. Experience that year with my friends and family.
  3. Save money going into the next academic year

In August, I would look at my bank account balance and be afraid to spend because although my bank account balance was high, I was unsure how long my money would last. I would say no to weekend trips or events with my friends, and I stressed about unexpected expenses.

It wasn’t about having money, I had some, but I constantly worried, Do I have enough?

Enter budgeting. With my budget, I decide how much I want to spend each month to live comfortably. I decide how much I need for gas, for eating out, for gifts, for trips, and all of the other things that might happen in my life that academic year. I also consider things that might happen, such as having to get new tires or replacing my phone. After deciding how much I need, I spread my pile of money out from August to May.

I don’t have enough money for everything that I list out that I want. Because of this, I must prioritize what is important to me and eliminate those things that are less important. For example, I do not buy coffee from Starbucks anymore, unless I am having coffee with a friend. I also follow the same rule for eating out. For me, I was spending too much of my money on grabbing coffee and food alone, that I had to say no when friends were going out. I also do not buy new clothes and limit myself when buying new possessions. I don’t have enough for possessions and experiences. If I buy a new shirt, I must say no to fun with my friends later that week. I try to choose people over things.

Depending on your goals, your budget may lead you to work less or work more. For me, my budget enables me to stress less about work because I know how much time I need to spend at work to fund my priorities.

For help getting started with your own budget, we have a Quick Start Guide to Your Financial Success on Budgeting available for you here:

https://www.wku.edu/cfs/quickstartbudgeting.pdf

As always, we also encourage you to take advantage of our free peer-to-peer financial counseling by setting up an appointment with one of our counselors. You can do that here:

https://www.wku.edu/cfs/become-a-client.php

Saving in a World of Targeted Ads

I originally wanted to write a blog post about subscription services, and how they eat up your income. On my laptop I started researching the most popular subscription services.

A few hours later I opened Instagram on my phone and it was filled with ads for various subscription boxes. The two I get most frequently is for Fab Fit Fun and for Hello Fresh.

I really love the song “85” by Andy Grammer. The lyrics are:

“There is a lie that I believed
The more that I got, the more I’d be free, free, free, free
So I’ve been away, making the green
See, the more that I get, the more that I need, need, need, need

I like to think that I am highly resistant to targeted ads, but it is a constant struggle to remind myself that I don’t need these products.

A few weeks ago, I kept getting, and still do get, ads for different tooth powders. I had never heard of tooth powder, yet the ad was so enticing that I almost paid $30 for a TINY container of tooth powder.

Subscription boxes and other products that these ads are often for have a way of eating up our money.

Here are strategies I use to resist targeted ads:

  1. Avoiding them. As I am scrolling through social media, I often will click hide on ads without really reading them.
  2. Wait 24 hours to purchase. Often the ads are trying to rush you to buy NOW. Just wait. Often after 24 hours you realize naturally that you really don’t need it.
  3. Comparison shop. I sometimes find myself convinced by the ads that this product is the best on the market. But if I take a moment to comparison shop, I typically find that the product is overpriced compared to other products.

Finally, having a written spending plan can help you navigate the appropriate time to make purchases on items that you may want, but do not need. If you would like help building a spending plan personalized to your needs, schedule an appointment with a Peer Financial Counselor at the Center for Financial Success. Visit our website to schedule an appointment!

Goal-Setting is like the One-Two Punch

The “One-two punch” is one of the first moves taught to a boxer in training because it tends to be easy and effective. It consists of quick jab with one hand followed by a cross punch (a much more potent punch than a jab) from the other hand. Secondly, this is a fundamental technique to build upon more complex techniques in the boxing world. As a former athlete this analogy resonates with me, because I have understood from experience the importance of the developing the fundamentals first.

Goal-setting in financial success is just that – the fundamental piece that sets you up to take on every financial situation. Successful goal setting is a multi-step process. People often say their goals are tasks like retiring with $1 million, visiting Paris, swimming with dolphins, saving for a new car, or starting an emergency fund. I would like to suggest that these are dreams not goals, and with a little bit of work they can become realizable goals. Just like the one-two punch doesn’t end with the first jab because the first jab doesn’t accomplish the job but rather sets up you for the second blow in the same way dreaming of what you want sets you up for the opportunity to create incredible goals. At the Center for Financial success we strongly encourage forming specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals. Specific goals have a much better chance at being achieved then a vague goal. For example, if you want to go on a spring break trip and leave your goal at saying, “I want to go somewhere for spring break” you will be much less likely to actually achieve that goal then if you state, “For spring break 2019, I would like to go to Destin, Florida for 5 days and stay at a beach-side condo that costs $100 a night.”

Measuring a goal is the point where you set forth concrete criteria to see if you are staying on track to attain your goal. When you have established such criteria and then you use the measure to evaluate if you are on pace to achieve a goal it can create a sense of accomplishment that encourages you to keep pressing on towards your goal. Let’s assume you have ten months to save $1,000 for the trip to Destin. This would mean you need to save $100 a month therefore you can measure the goal by looking at your savings at the end of each month and see if you have save another $100 dollars.

The final three steps are attainable, realistic, and timely. This part involves examining your time frame for achieving your goal and determining if the time frame is realistic and attainable. For example, if spring break is 10 months away and costs $1,000, but you are in a position where you are only able to put $50 a month towards this goal then it is not attainable. At this point you should not ditch the goal, but rather determine how to proceed. Should you adjust your time frame? Maybe waiting until the fall would make more sense or you might determine that you have enough time to pick up an extra side job to stay on the same time frame.

When making realistic goals, your goals need to be personal to you. It is easy to build goals based off what everyone else is doing, but those same goals may not truly align with what you define as success and a full life. Do not be tempted to live someone else’s dream. Figure out your dreams, make them goals and write down a plan to accomplish them.

There is little you won’t be able to accomplish when you have written goals that you actively work towards and track your progress. Finally, it is tempting in the goal-setting process to make goals that are easily achieved and that never challenge you to reach them. I caution this because I am not convinced that you will be able to achieve the dreams that you will really want achieve. Do not let the fear of failure keep you from achieving tough goals!

At the WKU Center for Financial Success we are in the business of helping you make your goals a reality. Consider scheduling a free appointment with one of our Peer Financial Counselors. It is easy, just visit our website and fill out a form that takes 30 seconds and you could be on your journey to achieving your dreams!

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