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Kick Off 2014 with Achievable Financial Goals

Community bankers can help consumers create a roadmap toward financial independence

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 27, 2014)—As 2014 begins, resolutions are near the top of everyone’s mind, and the new year is the perfect time to get your financial world in order. The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) and the nation’s nearly 7,000 community banks encourage consumers to create achievable financial goals for the upcoming year.

“It’s important for consumers to discuss their financial and life goals with their community bank,” said Bill Loving, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Pendleton County Bank in Franklin, W.Va. “Community bankers from across the country value their customers and want them to succeed. Whether they are planning for retirement, purchasing a new home or paying for their children’s or grandchildren’s college education, we can help. And remember, it’s always a good time, no matter what day of the year it is, to take control of your finances.”

ICBA offers consumers simple suggestions on how to kick-start their money-management resolutions:

  • Set up and follow a budget. Budget calculators and worksheets help organize household income and monthly bills.
  • Pay bills on time, every time. Whenever possible, pay more than the minimum payment owed to pay off the balance faster and save on finance charges.
  • Check your account balances. Know the limits on how much cash you can withdraw or how many purchases you can make.
  • Use debit and credit cards wisely, and do not overspend. Be sure that you understand the terms and any fees or finance charges that may apply.
  • Set up an automatic savings account that pulls from your checking account as soon as you get your paycheck.
  • Take advantage of financial planners at your local community bank that can help you create a financial roadmap that meets the needs of you and/or your family.

“Take small, realistic steps to achieving your financial goals,” Loving said. “If you are trying to save money for a family trip, skip going out to lunch a few days a month and put aside $10 a week, and by the end of the year you will have saved more than $520. It may not seem like much at first, but it sets you on the right path to obtaining both shorter- and longer-term financial goals.”

ICBA will be holding a personal finance Twitter chat on Friday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time). Guest Tweeters include @AmericaSaves, @PracticalMoney, @BankRate, @SingletaryM, @NatlJumpStart and @TerryJorde. To participate, follow and use the hashtag #NewYearFinLit.

To learn more about financial literacy, visit www.icba.practicalmoneyskills.com. To find a community bank near you, visit www.banklocally.org.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for nearly 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services.

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