For the next five months, Connex Credit Union will be working closely with five participants to see who can become the most fiscally fit to win a $3,000 grand prize. Each participant has been paired with a Connex Financial Advocate who will offer real-world, practical advice on how to reduce debt, build savings, and many other helpful financial tips and advice. Connex received over 140 applications for the second annual ConneXfactor competition! Below is the first update on our contestant Paul S.
Paul S.: Cutting Expenses, Stacking Savings
Coach: Gezim Stroka, Meriden Branch Manager
Paul and his family are working hard towards the goals set in the beginning of the ConneXfactor competition. Their main goals are to reduce their credit card debt, build their emergency savings, and save money for their children’s education. To help them stay accountable, we have set up accounts for each goal and Paul is contributing every month with automatic allocations.
To help them save even more money towards their goals, we looked at ways to cut down on expenses.
First we assessed their daily spending habits. A considerable amount of Paul and his wife’s income was spent on groceries, so they are now shopping smarter by buying items that are less expensive and buying in bulk. Eating out was another money drainer, so they are committing to cooking more meals at home.
Having very young children also means that some expenses are hard to avoid, like diapers and the occasional toy. Paul and his wife are doing their due diligence in finding reasonably-priced retailers for these purchases, to ensure they have more room in their budget. They are also being more cautious with how often they are buying toys.
Another area that was eating up a chunk of their income was frequent weekend road trips and visits to relatives. They are cutting down on trips that are not necessary to conserve money spent on gas.
Individually all of these changes might seem small, but collectively they are helping Paul and his family pay down their credit card debt quicker, and put money aside to contribute to their other goals.
They are very confident that they will be ahead of their goals by the end of the competition. -Gezim Stroka, Meriden Branch Manager