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Financial Health in Today's Economy

By: Gina Pitisci Email
By: Gina Pitisci Email
The United Way of the Big Bend offers resources that can be used to learn how your finances impact you and how to improve your financial health in the future.

Close-up of silver digits on a credit card. Very shallow depth of field, focus on number 2. You can see the texture of the card in the in-focus areas.

September 3, 2012

David Xanders moved from Illinois to Tallahassee in 2006 with the dream of buying a business. Two years later that dream turned into a nightmare. Xanders says "we couldn't keep up with the mortgage on our house so that probably had more of an affect than the business did at that point." He turned to long time financial advisor and friend, Fred Thomson, for support. According to Fred Thomson, "one of the first things to do is find someone who has been around the block a few times and has some experience with the situation and get some counsel both from a professional stand point and from the stand point of using friends or members of your church that are older and wiser."

The United Way of the Big Bend offers resources that can be used to learn how your finances impact you and how to improve your financial health in the future. Executive Director of the BEST Program says “we offer something called Master Money Mentors. It is free one on one financial coaching so it doesn't matter what your situation is, maybe you just need general help with budgeting, maybe you need very specific help, maybe you've never had a checking account."

Credit cards can help build your credit and provide incentives, however, financial experts recommend being responsible and if you can, pay them off at the end of each month. Gillum states, "a lot of us find ourselves in credit card debt. We need to know how to pay it off. If you've got 7 or 8 cards, sometimes it's better to pay off one card at a time. These are all things that a Master Money Mentor can teach you or you may be able to learn this in a financial education class."

Although it's been a tough road for David Xanders and his family, he is now able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Xanders says “we've managed to make it through and we're in a better place now than we were."

For more information on the BEST Program which is available in the 8 counties serviced by the United Way of the Big Bend you can call 2-1-1 or you can go to www.thebestproject.org


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