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 Nicholas M.
Every week, each contestant will talk with their Connex Coach to help them stay on course and make any adjustments.
Nicholas M.: Budgeting for Bills
Coach: Michelle Panzo, North Haven Assistant Branch Manager
Nick is a student at Southern CT State University and a waiter at an Italian restaurant. Like many college students, he had accumulated a substantial amount of credit card debt. To add to his expenses, he recently moved into a new apartment with a higher rent payment. So his budget is stretched a bit thin, to say the least.
During the ConneXfactor competition, Nick hopes to significantly decrease his credit card debt, save for emergencies so he’s not panicked when unexpected expenses occur, and increase his credit score.
One way Nick plans on tackling his debt is by spending less in the first place. Shopping for wants instead of needs is something he struggles with; a trait he jokingly says he inherited from his mother. We are looking into ways he can acquire better spending habits so that, ultimately, he will become disciplined with impulse purchases and instead save for those items he really wants.
To help Nick better manage expenses and see where his money needs to go each month, we are working on creating a budget and have set up subaccounts. These subaccounts are labeled for each of his bills, and he deposits one quarter of his monthly bills into each account weekly. He was not aware Connex offered this option, and is relieved to have his rent payment saved ahead of time instead of scrambling to make the payment on the first of the month. These subaccounts also include one as emergency savings.
I am looking forward to helping Nick meet and exceed his goals through a variety of tactics. – Michelle Panzo, North Haven Assistant Branch Manager
How do you budget for bills each month?? Share your best tactics below!