Winning strategies for football and your finances

To win, you must be sound in all three phases.

It’s less than a month away from the biggest football game of the year, the Super Bowl! Finances, like football, require planning and strategy to succeed, so here are a few lessons to learn from football to help you score a financial touchdown.

To build a good offense you need a passing and a running game. In finances, this equates to spending and saving. Saving is your running game. It may not be flashy, but it’s necessary. Many people simply do not save enough money, so on payday, pay yourself first.

Emergencies happen and one day retirement will be upon you, so as a general rule of thumb you should try to follow the 50/30/20 rule: At least 20% of your income should go towards savings, while 50% goes toward necessities and 30% goes toward discretionary items.

Spending is your passing game. Control the pass – don’t spend beyond your means. Remember 50/30/20. After saving 20%, 50% is going toward necessities (housing or rent, groceries, monthly bills) and 30% toward discretionary items (entertainment, clothing, dining out, etc.)

Be prepared and having a good game plan. Setting financial goals is a good way to prepare your finances for the year. Set both long term and short-term goals. (eliminating credit card debt, saving for a home, taking the family on vacation).

Develop a budget that will help you achieve or take steps closer to reaching those goals. Work toward eliminating debt. Once you begin reducing your debt, you will be freeing up money to help you reach other financial goals.

Special teams can win or lose you a game. These are a few things that can be reviewed to make sure you don’t have any setbacks.
  • Review your credit report annually or throughout the year at
  • Review your online and mobile banking consistently. Unfortunately, fraud is something we must all protect ourselves against. Creating alerts for your credit cards and accounts can help mitigate potential fraud.
  • Keep in touch with your designated financial service representative or financial planner throughout the year. An extra set of eyes to discuss and re-evaluate your strategies throughout the year, makes all the difference in keeping you on track.
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In the end, you want to make sure you know your end goal or “end zone”, if you will. Whether you’re looking to save for retirement, buy your first house, or take a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, it’s hard to win without a good game plan.

Meet with a financial expert to talk about your spending and saving, and to determine what special teams will help you reach your goals.