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Bright Lights

The light of 2018 is shining brightly. Consumer confidence is up – as evidenced in the stellar holiday shopping season. Retail sales increased by 5.4%, and on-line sales increased by 11%. Joblessness is registered at an unemployment rate of 4.1%. As long as consumer confidence and spending is up, all is well – right? Not so fast when you consider the following:

People are spending more – and saving less.
People are swiping more — purchasing more with credit cards, creating more debt.
The unemployment rate includes the underemployed; including those whose core skills became obsolete with the technology revolution, and have re-entered the job market in positions that pay them less.
Consumer confidence is a key driver in the country’s economic assessment, however, we must not be unduly influenced by current trends. Basic principles of personal finance still work.

  1. Track your expenses; find available money for savings. The old folks used to say “save for a rainy day”. Whether your rainy day is education, retirement, homeownership, entrepreneurship, independence or unexpected repairs — inevitably, that day will come.
  2.  Create & maintain a budget that is customized to your lifestyle. Make adjustments as necessary. Consider all your monthly inflows and outflows. (Use the Cash Flow template that is attached – MS Excel format; pre-programmed calculations; just pop in your #’s.)
    Don’t let money rule you; and don’t let the headlines fool you. Don’t let anything – including debt, worry and doubt – steal your joy!

“My God will use his wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need.” Philippians 4:19 NCV

In all you do, B. Lifted…
Gwen Franklin