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Increasing your financial health in Johnson County

By Sarah Ransom

Money. Everyone likes to have money. Some have a little and some have a lot. The vast majority have something in the middle. According to the US Census Data, the state of Tennessee has a median income of $53,320 annually, however if you find yourself living in Johnson County, you can expect that number to drop to approximately $36,004. Before anyone gets too upset, remember there’s a lot of positives to living in our area and the cost of living is also exponentially lower here – and the people are great! But, with the ever-rising costs of living, gasoline prices climbing once more, housing, food and medical expenses – learning how to live on a tight budget becomes important. Remember, median income means some get more, some get less – so it’s all about learning to live within your means.
One may wonder how you can move from living paycheck to paycheck to having a little more financial stability. It starts for everyone the exact same way – one decision at a time. There are many ways to increase or improve your financial health.
A fun way is through participating in some of the America Saves Week challenges. The UT/TSU Extension office will be providing some additional daily tips on their Facebook page during the week of February 21-25th. The America Saves Week targets five critical areas to improve your financial health.
Financial health is a term for describing the state of someone’s personal monetary affairs. Just like with our physical and mental health, we all have financial health. It may be great, decent, a little sickly or really struggling. The goal is to move our financial health to a stable territory! Here’s some areas you can begin impacting right now.
1) Save automatically – turn saving money into a habit. If you can, set up automatic savings out of your paycheck. This way you don’t even have to think about it! Many employers also offer retirement or additional investment options, ask them!
2) Save for the unexpected – emergency savings and rainy day funds may trigger thoughts of negative situations. But remember that unexpected events can include fun things too! Having a little set aside for unexpected moments gives you freedom to say “YES” to fun moments or your dreams instead of having to say no.
3) Save for retirement – doing the hard part now, will make you thankful later! Saving for retirement is a financial priority. Consider options through your employer or establish individual accounts. Putting money in now only increases your opportunity for a more financially stable future.
4) Save by reducing debt – watch your credit carefully. While debt for things like houses is reasonable and to be expected, reduce debt on other things like extra events, education loans, shopping and more. Be sure to know what the interest and fees are, this is where most people get really stuck in debt.
5) Save as a family – involving children in the money conversation is a great way to start teaching financial literacy early. Encourage them to start saving from an early age – trips with friends, a car, college, down payments on their future houses, these can all be things youth can start saving to invest in their future.
For more information, you can read https://utianews.tennessee.edu/america-saves-week-2022-building-financial-resilience/
If you’d like more money saving tips, contact Sarah Ransom at [email protected] or call 727-8161.