Simplfy Your Finances

Cece Mitchell, Senior Vice President and Manager of the Zions Bank Women’s Financial Group, shows a Sandy woman how a few simple steps can help her reach her financial goals.

• Whitney Osborne of Sandy is like many of us. When there’s money in her account, she wants to spend it. But she and her husband Jeff want to save up for a down payment for a house for their growing young family. Right now they just have one two-year-old but plan to have more children. So to save for a house, they moved in just a week ago with Jeff’s parents and are living in their basement. On top of it all, they’re hoping to pay down about $1,000 in credit card debt.

• How can Studio 5 help her simplify her finances? Cece Mitchell, Senior Vice President and Manager of the Zions Bank Women’s Financial Group, has four simple suggestions for Whitney, to help get her on the path to financial success.

• It’s common for people to ask if they should pay down debt or save. The answer is: both. It can be done. But it takes discipline. You’re young so you can start to form good habits now.

• First, take the amount you would have paid on your rent and directly deposit it in to a savings account. A great way to do this is to work with Jeff’s payroll dept. to get that portion of his paycheck directly deposited into the savings account. That way, you never see the money so you never miss it.

• Next, add up your previous expenses for utilities and cable. Say that’s $75-$100. Remember, you were able to manage after paying these expenses before, so you can part with it again. Use this money to pay down the credit card bill on top of your regular monthly payment. And don’t charge anything new. If you do online banking, you could set up a regular transfer or bill payment timed for when you receive your paycheck so that again you never really see the money and it’s less painful to part with.

• Say it takes about 8 or 9 months to pay down the credit card bill. Once the balance is at zero, it’s time to apply that $75 or $100 to the savings account toward the down payment on your home.

• But the most important part of savings is to have a goal. If you’re saving for a down payment, you need to know what that amount is. So find out what loan amount you can qualify for and what the down payment would need to be. Then keep your eyes on the prize and work hard to get there. Beyond that, be ready to continue your discipline of savings moving forward – whether it’s for an emergency savings fund or your son’s college education.

• Smart Women, Smart Money Conference:

You are invited to attend a free financial education conference hosted by Zions Bank on Thursday, August 19. It’s a full-day event at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. We have a breakout session all about creating spending plans unique to your situations. There will be lots of great tips for you to learn to spend wisely, save wisely and even plan a business, wisely!

While the event is free, registration is required and is limited to the first 2,000 women who sign up to attend – and it’s filling up fast. For more information or to sign up for the event, visit or call 801-844-9328 or 800-737-6586.

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