MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL, Minn., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For those who may find themselves short on "green" this St. Patrick's Day, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group, has a number of suggestions and tips to help you get a handle on your finances and put you on the road to financial stability.
- Pay yourself first: Add your savings account to your monthly list of bills, and make saving a priority.
- Save more through small changes: Identify where you're spending money, and where you can make changes. For instance, packing your lunch instead of eating out could save you thousands over the course of the year.
- Maximize your savings: Once you've started saving, and know what you're saving for, set up appropriate accounts to manage your money. Consider an IRA for retirement savings, and a money market account for your expanding nest egg.
- Write a budget: It's the most effective way to get on track to financial success and to ensure that your spending doesn't exceed your income. Remember to allocate funds for charitable contributions,
- Know your credit score: This rating will determine if you'll have access to key credit options – whether you're opening a new credit card or applying for a mortgage. Check your credit reports regularly to ensure accuracy and develop better credit habits to increase your score over time.
There are many on-line tools designed to help consumers better manage their money and learn ways to improve their financial well-being. BMO Financial Group's program is called Helpful Steps ®. This website, www.bmoharris.com/helpfulsteps , is a simple yet powerful tool to help people arrive at a better place financially. There is also an in-depth section devoted entirely to helping parents teach their kids about money.
"Financial security takes time, preparation and hard work," said Jeanne Crain, Minnesota President, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. "M&I and BMO want to help consumers meet their financial goal, which is why we launched this educational resource."
The important message is this: Don't hinge your financial well-being on finding the gold pot at the end of a rainbow. There are many activities within your control to help ensure you have a brighter fiscal future.
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