LEAWOOD, Kan., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For those who may find themselves short on "green" this St. Patrick's Day, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group, has a number of suggestions and tips to help you get a handle on your finances and put you on the road to financial stability.
- Pay yourself first: Add your savings account to your monthly list of bills, and make saving a priority.
- Save more through small changes: Identify where you're spending money, and where you can make changes. For instance, packing your lunch instead of eating out could save you thousands over the course of the year.
- Maximize your savings: Once you've started saving, and know what you're saving for, set up appropriate accounts to manage your money. Consider an IRA for retirement savings, and a money market account for your expanding nest egg.
- Write a budget: It's the most effective way to get on track to financial success and to ensure that your spending doesn't exceed your income. Remember to allocate funds for charitable contributions,
- Know your credit score: This rating will determine if you'll have access to key credit options – whether you're opening a new credit card or applying for a mortgage. Check your credit reports regularly to ensure accuracy and develop better credit habits to increase your score over time.
"While some residents may prefer to catch a leprechaun to secure their pot of gold, financial security takes time, preparation and hard work," said Scott Malone, Regional Senior Vice President, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group.
There are many on-line tools designed to help consumers better manage their money and learn ways to improve their financial well-being. BMO Financial Group's program is called Helpful Steps®. This website, www.bmoharris.com/helpfulsteps , is a simple yet powerful tool to help people arrive at a better place financially. There is also an in-depth section devoted entirely to helping parents teach their kids about money.
"M&I and BMO want to help consumers meet their financial goals without the help of fairytale characters, which is why we launched this educational resource," added Malone.
The important message is this: Don't hinge your financial well-being on finding the gold pot at the end of a rainbow. There are many activities within your control to help ensure you have a brighter fiscal future.
About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 650 branches and approximately 1,350 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(sm) and M&I® are trade names used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.
SOURCE M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group