FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (1/31/14)--Hoping for the best is a positive approach to most situations in life, but not when it comes to personal finance, according to money expert Jean Chatzky who was a guest on the Cornerstone Credit Union League's "Your Money Your Matters" Blog Talk Radio show Wednesday.
Chatzky is headlining the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation's FOCUS Summit Feb. 6-7 in Dallas. The two-day summit addresses the financial literacy problem in U.S., and is an opportunity for financial education advocates to network, share best practices, learn about available resources, and explore proven and strategies for deploying financial education into their local schools and communities.
The "Let's Talk Money" with Jean Chatzky episode can be heard on Cornerstone's Blog Talk Radio channel (Leaguer Jan. 30).
Rather than wishful thinking, personal finance is about making conscious choices, Chatzky told listeners. For example, paying down debt requires a plan.
"I've never seen a budget where I can't squeeze something out of it," she said. "There might be a cell phone with minutes not being used or cable channels you don't really need."
Wherever expenditures can be cut, savings can be applied toward paying down debt, Chatzky said. Ideally, a consumer should be able to come up with an extra $10 a day that can be used towards debt. But if $10 is too much, she suggests trying for $2 a day and working up incrementally to $10 a day.
If the goal is to save more for retirement, Chatzky encouraged listeners to take advantage of employee-sponsored 401(k) plans.
She also shared her thoughts on money management in an interview that is available on the league's YouTube channel.