HOST CHARLOTTE AMES: Welcome back. We’ve been trying to kick start your New Year with tips like eating better and getting organized and we’re not finished yet. Today, Galen Bargerstock of Government & Civil Employee Services, is here to help us stay on track with our financial New Year’s Resolutions. Happy New Year Galen and welcome to the show.
GALEN BARGERSTOCK, GOVERNMENT & CIVIL EMPLOYEE SERVICES: Thank you for having me. Thank you.
HOST: Good to see you. Now what is one of the most common financial New Year’s resolutions that people make every year?
BARGERSTOCK: To save money. To stop spending like crazy. To pull back the reigns a little bit. Maybe save for college. I get that one a lot.
HOST: It’s a simple idea but it’s difficult and you have some tips for us, right?
BARGERSTOCK: I do. I have four tips that I will share with you today, but of course there is a lot more. Reach out by phone or in person to get more, but it’s hard to save money, for sure.
HOST: So let’s start out with the first tip. First you have to write it down.
BARGERSTOCK: Write it down, yeah. Visualization. I am big on you have to see it to achieve it, type of person. If you get in that mindset and write it down, I suggest getting a calendar if you aren’t using your smart phone calendar, but get a calendar and once a week type in your goal. Alert yourself every week that way you know you’re staying on track to hit that.
HOST: What kind of goal would that be though?
BARGERSTOCK: Say you want to open up a Roth IRA and save $1,000.
HOST: Oh, okay.
BARGERSTOCK: Something like that. Break it down so you can actually achieve it.
HOST: Okay. You also say make mini-goals.
BARGERSTOCK: Think of 2018 financially like you’re going to run a mile race on a quarter track. If you’re looping that track and you know you have to do four laps and all you’re thinking about is the running…if you’re counting one and then checking it off and then two, three, our, you’re going to hit those quarters and achieve the numbers because you have a plan.
HOST: Now I like the next one. Set splurge days.
BARGERSTOCK: Splurge days, yeah. Go back to the last one. If you’re running that mile race and every quarter you have a little bit excess, take that money and splurge on your family. I promise you that your spouse will not be mad at you if you bring home flowers or something like that because if you’re really trying to save money for the household, you’re budgeting, you’re saving, you’re scrimping. Be happy. Splurge.
HOST: Sounds good to me. Alright, utilize technology.
BARGERSTOCK: Apps. You have apps on your phone. You have apps on your watch. Everywhere. On TVs now. So, I don’t suggest that you use it financially. I suggest that if you have a weight loss goal, use an app or something like that. Now you can track a budget and you can see what you’re spending on an app. But, you really need to reach out to a financial professional if you’re going to get a real financial plan or a goal to achieve because they might see something that you don’t see and it will make it a lot easier for your whole 2018.
HOST: And you have to pay attention to this too. You can’t just write them down at the beginning of the year.
BARGERSTOCK: Right. You can’t just write them down at the beginning of the year. That’s why I would recommend a calendar. At least once a month, if not once a week, because if it’s popping up reminding you, hey, you’re trying to save $1,000 because you need to budget because you need to put your child through education, through schooling, then that’s going to keep you on track.
HOST: Okay. Sounds like good advice. And we will have Galen’s tips on CentralPA.com. Thank you very much, Galen.
BARGERSTOCK: Thanks for having me.