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Baby Steps Towards Financial Security
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Baby Step$ Toward$ Financial $ecurity

by Maria Tannen, AAERT Membership Liaison


Baby Step$ Toward$ Financial $ecurity 


Start small and see the success you can achieve.  That mantra could relate to almost anything, but I’m talking about saving money. Ugh! Imagine another person trying to tell me how to save money. Most people don’t like to discuss the subject. We live in financially difficult times, but think of the burden lifted from your shoulders or the feeling you have when you know the money is there for your yearly AAERT membership dues, or for that tax bill you pay every year. What about vacation or Christmas? There are a multitude of places and ways to save funds.


Have you ever considered putting money aside every month for that annual tax bill, biannual auto insurance, or yearly homeowner’s insurance but didn’t know how to go about it because it appeared so overwhelming? Start small and see what successes you achieve. Consider taking a financial planning course, such as the Financial Peace University Class by Dave Ramsey, or learning more about finances by visiting Dani Johnson, or David Bach websites.


Saving money for your AAERT membership renewal is fairly easy and, if simplified, doesn’t cost that much per month. For a general member, it’s a small amount of money each month to set aside or $11.37 per month over an 11-month period. That’s approximately 40¢ a day. If you recently paid your AAERT membership renewal fees, why not start now, this month. If your membership renewal is due soon, take the amount of money due for your membership and divide by the months remaining until your renewal date. Even if you have only four months until your membership renews, that would amount to $31.25 a month over the next four months or $1.04 per day. Start small and add on other obligations such as the quarterly water bill or yearly sewer bill. Why not save money for home or auto repairs, vacation, Christmas, or other gifts? Having an emergency fund is a great idea, too. It’s an incredible burden lifted from your shoulders when you know you have the money to pay upcoming bills.


My husband and I started learning to be financially responsible when we decided we were tired of being in debt. We took the Financial Peace University class by Dave Ramsey. You take baby steps to help you achieve financial security and before you know it, you are saving like crazy.  We started getting rid of debt in 2009 and have not used a credit card since. We are able to put money aside every month for things like car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, Christmas gifts, vacation. Imagine coming home from vacation with all expenses paid. We save for gifts including birthdays, graduations, weddings, our emergency fund, home repairs, car repairs, and more.


We are also teaching our children, ages 17 and 20, how to save for a car, Christmas, senior prom and retirement. Yes, retirement. They are saving money to start an IRA. When they retire, they want to be millionaires. Yes, it is possible. We transfer our money to special savings accounts so we don’t spend it on other stuff. Sometimes when I am recording the transfers in my checkbook, it’s hard to picture the money being transferred to our special savings accounts, but I know that when that big bill comes in or a car repair needs to be done, we have the money and don’t have to wonder where we will locate the funds. It’s a great feeling! So start small and take those baby steps to financial security.


Here are some previous articles regarding savings and financial planning tips that you may also want to read:


Financing a Dream by Lisa Luciano, CET & Ilene Watson, CET

Savings and Financial Planning Tips by Anne Pelini, CER, CET


Maria Tannen started her career in the early 1980s as a secretary and eventually moved up into the IT department of a large pharmaceutical company. She then worked the help desk and performed other IT-related duties. Maria became a stay-at-home mom starting in 2001 which included educating her children at home. In October of 2009, Maria began employment for a non-profit organization. Subsequently, in February of 2016, Maria joined AAERT in the Membership Liaison position. She enjoys working with the AAERT membership, attended AAERT 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona, and looks forward to AAERT 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maria Tannen has been with AAERT since February 2016.  She lives in Wilmington, Delaware with her husband and 2 children (ages 20 and 17). Maria attended her first AAERT conference in 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona and looks forward to many more conferences.



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