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Different PerspectivesBY SHERII SHERBANThe bottom line with finances is that we have more control than we might be willing to claim. During a working career the opportunity to make and spend a half a million dollars exists, but for most of us it is far more than that. How is it possible you might ask? A quick calculation of the person making only $10,000 per year for 50 years gets you there that quick. The person making $20,000 annually for 50 years will earn one million dollars, and likely have spent that much as well. What will you have to show for your $500,000? Or your $1,000,000? Could you save part of that each year? The reality is most likely yes.According to Michigan Demographics the median household income of Battle Creek residents in 2017 was $39,679. Marshall was $49,129 and Springfield was $35,458. This data leads us to understand that the amount of house- hold income experienced in the working lifetime can exceed several million dollars.While many in the working world are concerned about day-to-day expenses and seem to be living paycheck to pay- check there is often something that could be cut out to set aside $1,000 each year. Break it down and you’ll soon realize that $20 per week is not that difficult to find as we measure necessities versus things you might simply ‘want.’ Even if that’s allyou did you would have $50,000 after your 50 years of working. And that’s not even figuring in interest. Using the rule of 72 your money will double at 4% every 18 years so your $1,000 annual invest- ment will likely become $2,000 just 18 years later. Each year the same happens and your dollars grow. Using that same concept, a higher interest rate will double even faster.Strategies to start saving might include:Lets start with knowledge. While it’s not fun to begin tracking your spendingit can provide very valuable information. You will learn where your dollars are spent and can evaluate if that’s what is really important to you. There are a host of on- line programs to turn to or you can create a spreadsheet in excel. Not computer saavy? Pen and paper can work too. Something as simple as paying off the credit card full monthly balance, or even paying on time, can eliminate fees that just suck dollars our of your hands to be used for what you want to spend it on. If that’s not yet possible, moving toward creating a plan can be a next step for you.Getting out of debt might be one of your goals. Some choose to pay off the smaller balances first to move thesmaller debts off the payables quickly, whereas others might want to target those debts with the highest interest rates. Starting with the smaller ones first can create a sense of accomplishment and lead to increased success going forward.Financial guru Dave Ramsey calls this the Snowball method and suggests listing your debts from smallest to largest. Once you’ve paid off the smallest, throw that added amount toward the next one, all the while still paying at least the minimum required on each of the other outstanding debts. According to the Journal of Con- sumer Research it works, and ultimately, people are more likely to stick with their debt payoff goals.You’ve probably heard time andtime again to ‘Pay yourself first.’ Your financial institution is more than willing to help you with this as well. In this day of automation you can set up a recurring transfer from your checking account to your savings without even having to do the work. That $20 (or other amount) is regularly building and you are setting up security in case of emergencies or even retirement without having to do any of the work. Many of you have probably set up automatic payments for your other household bills, this can be one of those that regularly occurs as well.8 SCENE 4401 I MEN IN BUSINESS

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