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March Money Madness

Pig - BasketballWhile many CPAs are in the depths of tax season right now, sports fans are entering the height of the college basketball season: March Madness. Even the most lackadaisical college basketball fan can’t help but get into the spirit. It also can be a prime time for overspending, whether buying rounds of drinks while watching the game at the bar or participating in the office pool. Although the NCAA tournament may be a one-and-done system, CPAs know all too well that this is not the case with personal finances.

The commonsense financial approach to events like March Madness are usually your typical stick to a budget, think before you spend, etc. But often no matter how many “tips to save money” you put out there, consumers are still drawn in by the pressures of friends, family and the media. While the individual consumer may know all the tips and tricks and understand the impact their decisions will make, that doesn’t mean it’s easy, and it doesn’t mean they’ll do it. So how do we, as professionals in the finance community, combat this? How do we change the thinking of Americans to one be focused on financial wellbeing?

One approach that we have taken with the Feed the Pig campaign is to help young adults realize on their own their need and desire for financial stability. That is, rather than telling them what they need to do and why, we help them realize how financially smart decisions are directly tied to their non-financial needs and goals. By helping them realize that making smart financial moves is about more than just the money, we are helping them create a stronger base for building a financially-stable life.

What do you think? What advice and guidance do you offer to help your friends, family and clients find their path to financial stability? And lastly, who are you rooting for during this year’s March Madness? :)

Claudia L. Cieslak, Communications Specialist, American Institute of CPAs.

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