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Connecting with Money

Often, when we talk about wellness, we don’t think about money, but our financial health is incredibly important to our lives. Whether it is making sure that we have the resources to meet our basic needs, gaining skills to feel in control of our finances, or being able to work toward accomplishing our goals, working on our relationship with money can truly change our lives for the better.

For several years now Christina Traurig, from Cornerstone Financial, has volunteered at Connections, offering one-on-one support for financial planning, budgeting, or just bouncing around ideas.

We caught up with Christina for a chat

How did you come to volunteer at Connections?

I first learned about Connections at a West End Business gathering. I heard about its purpose and work. I went over, introduced myself and asked if support around budgeting and financial issues might be of use to the community. So that’s how it started.

What have you noticed that most folks miss or need when it comes to their finances?

Oh, there have been a variety of things, but the most common are needing to set up a basic budget and making sure that people are tracking all money in or out.

What would you like folks to know about you?

I’m a transplant from Cincinnati and I love living near the sea, and enjoying my adopted town, whether strolling through Prescott Park or taking a drive up Mt. Agamenticus.

I’ve really enjoyed my work with people from Connections. It’s different from how I usually spend my days, and it’s been great to help empower people to understand and take control of their finances.

Any advice for our readers?

For those still using a checkbook, keeping it balanced is so important. If you have a goal, make milestones for yourself so you can really see your progress.

There are also some really great, free online resources that I recommend (see next page).

If you would like support in setting up a budget, creating a savings plan, or taking control of your finances, please call us at 603 427 6966 to set up a session with Christina.

Free Resources for your Money Journey

Mint is a free (with ads) app from the folks that bring you TurboTax and Quickbooks. The Mint app helps you set up a budget and savings goals, tracks bills and due dates, categorizes your spending, and more. There is an ad-free version for $4.99/month. Christina recommends it because it is an, easy, convenient way to see how you are doing with your budget.

Experian Boost is set up to help you raise your credit score. This can affect whether you get approved for credit or a loan, how much interest you pay and more. You get credit for the bills you pay on time, access to your FICO score, and get free credit monitoring. Christina says it is a free tool to positively impact your credit score.

What’s the difference between a credit score and credit report? Why doesn’t your budget work? What questions should you ask about your employee benefits? You can find answers to these questions and so much more with this free service from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Pretty much every topic in consumer finance is covered.

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