We hear quite often how the economy is issue number one in this season’s polarizing election. We can all point to the Pros and Cons of how the Obama Administration has handled this very serious matter that affects us all in very different ways, all depending on our financial situation. While collectively, as Americans, we could individually offer our opinions on which direction we would take to drive a greater rate of success in the Nation’s economy, there is one economy that we have complete control over…our “Personal Economy”.
You can think of this concept of “Personal Economy” as the United States of YOU, with you having complete control of your financial decisions for policy, programming and planning. It’s these three concepts:
- Programming; and,
that will be explored in this series.
It is this concept of our Personal Economy that we can test our resolve for our political views, while driving increases in capital in our own wallets. Yes, and think of your wallet as the Federal Reserve – The National Bank of You! When you begin to think of your financial position in these terms, you can begin to better appreciate the trade offs that must be made to balance your budget and create the surpluses that will shape your future.
As we begin to explore options for the fiscal decisions that we make, let’s put things in two categories – Needs vs. Wants. We NEED food for nourishment, but we WANT to eat out at restaurants as often as possible. We NEED clothes to protect us from the elements, but we WANT the attention that designer clothes get us. To that end, let’s ponder the best approach for YOU.
The vast majority of us have bank accounts that help us to manage our money effectively – a basic need. We use this bank account to receive our direct deposits from our paychecks, pay our monthly expenses and use our debit cards to purchase the many luxury goods that we want. Here’s the million dollar question, when was the last time that you audited your bank account to understand your ROI (Return on Investment) for the fees that you may pay for the Service of helping you manage YOUR money? These fees are monthly maintenance fees, debit card fees, overdraft or bounced check fees, etc.
Did you know that by managing your bank account more effectively you can avoid these fees, but you can also earn incentives that will create a positive ROI. These incentives come in the form of cash, gift cards (for retailers and restaurants) and even points that can redeemed for airline tickets or hotel stays. And, the only cost to earn these incentives is to do a little research, compare offers and read the fine print. Just when you thought that “doing homework” was finished when you graduated High School or College, by continuing to do it a little more financial homework, you can satisfy a basic NEED and help fund a WANT that drives a positive ROI for the BANK of YOU! By taking a little bit more of an active role in managing your Personal Economy, you can affect a Positive change in your financial situation. Regardless of where you are in the economic spectrum, there’s one rule of thumb that we all should remember. If it doesn’t make dollars, then it doesn’t make sense.
We will continue to explore the Bank of You in this series and give you concrete steps on how to do your financial homework and reduce your debt.