For the summer 2012 issue of The Eleusis, we’d like to know: How do you to make where you live feel like home? Please reply in no more than 75 words to: TheEleusis@ChiOmega.com. Include your first, maiden, and married names, chapter, and initiation year. Deadline: April 15.
Pearls of Wisdom
Great Ideas for Chi Omegas from Chi Omegas
We asked Chi Omegas to share their best financial advice.
We are pleased to share their answers with you in another
offering of Pearls of Wisdom, great ideas for Chi Omegas from
Erika Humphrey Pfeiffer,
Lambda Delta/Kent State U
Think very carefully about
your lifestyle goals and expectations before you choose your career path. Make
sure that you are realistic about your earning potential in a given field.
Nothing will make what was an enjoyable career more disappointing and
burdensome than finding yourself struggling to make ends meet down the road.
Nicole Stacy Solis, Psi Mu/U
of Central Florida
Don't borrow too many student
loans if you are not going to see a major return on investment (e.g. go to law
Michele Jaczesko Wilhelm,
Zeta Alpha/Ohio State U
Maintain and keep a small
side job that brings in additional cash in case you run into tough times
financially. I started
up a pet sitting business on the side when my
husband's business was not doing well, in addition to working a full time
job. I also worked an extra part-time
job a few days a week and incorporated jogging a mile a day. While my husband's
business is going better now, I still maintain the pet-sitting business along
with my full-time job, and jog a mile a day. It is gratifying and sets a good
example for my daughter, Veronika.
Anne Baine De Maagd, Xi Gamma/Michigan State U
ALWAYS! ALWAYS! BE ABLE TO SUPPORT YOURSELF, no matter WHAT your
age, single or married. NEVER count on anyone else to provide for you and
your family! Have your own checking account, your own credit cards, and your
own retirement funds, and MANAGE THEM! I retired from teaching after 31 years,
and, at age 75, I’m still working at three part-time jobs.
Jayne Murray Ousley, Phi
Epsilon/Ball State U
The advice I have to offer
was given to me by my father at the time of my high school graduation: You must
be prepared to be the breadwinner of your family. One never knows the path your
life will take. You need to plan
and be prepared if necessary.
Kathy O'Donnell Goodman, Zeta
Theta/Middle Tennessee State U
Pay off your credit card bill
in full every month.
Rebekah Ramirez Goldstein, Pi
Delta/New Mexico State U
Credit cards are evil. Have
one with a low interest rate that gives rewards back, and use it for emergencies
only. Get a gas card if you only really need one, but remember: If you cannot
pay for it from your checking account, you cannot afford it.
Kelli Wooten, Delta Alpha/U
Check your credit report
annually. Keeping a strong credit score can save you tens of thousands of
dollars over time in reduced interest rates.
Melissa Mabe, Chi
Pay your dues at the
beginning of the semester so you don't have to worry about it during the school
Tana Strebeck Althaus, Kappa
Zeta/Texas Tech U
Pay a little extra every
month on your mortgage: $10, $15, $20. Paying a little extra to your principal
shows. Plus, it feels great!
Manon Seeger, Phi Beta/U of
Undergrads: Take out a credit
card today if you don't already have one. Only charge a few dollars on it per
month and pay off the balance right away. This way, you will have established
good credit by the time you graduate college.
Beatriz Hill León, Pi Alpha/U
Have a budget. I use a
spreadsheet to enter all my expenses so I know where my money is going every
Lauren Levitt, Lambda
Delta/Kent State U
Plan, plan, plan! Plan what
you are going to spend each month; plan how you are going to pay off your
student loans; plan your retirement and for your future legacies!
Margaret Bizzell Damm, Psi
Pay off your credit cards
monthly. Always have a zero balance.
Sheri Salter Lilley, Psi
Develop a budget and follow
Sarah Marczynski, Delta
Alpha/U of Tennessee–Chattanooga
A budget is great. But if you
get off track one month, get right back on track the next month!
Christy Hasch, Iota Zeta/U of
Live beneath your means; pay
off credit cards monthly; always pay bills early or on time; but leave money in
the budget for entertainment!
Emily Accipiter, Psi
My parents taught me to treat
everything as if it were cash. Even using credit cards, I pay my bills in full
when they are due. It has made me more financially responsible, and I've never
once been afraid to open my monthly bills!
Leah Taylor, Pi Alpha/U of
Typically for most things: if
you can't pay for it in cash (or straight from your checking account) you can't
afford it. LIVE BENEATH YOUR MEANS!
Jennifer Zajac, Psi Mu/U of
Moving to a big city after
college is a great experience, but very expensive! Resist the urge to try every
restaurant, attraction, etc. Check newspapers and blogs for free or inexpensive
things to do. Follow local businesses on Twitter for coupons/deals. And use
sites like Groupon/LivingSocial only for special occasions, or else you’ll end
up buying things you never needed or wanted.
Tabitha Seidel, Gamma
Kappa/Western Illinois U
Only buy what you can afford.
That outfit won't matter ten years from now; it is how you feel about paying
back that debt that will.
Nancy Tonkins, Tau
Theta/William Woods U
Try not to live beyond your
means. Keep life simple.
Tanya Micklitsch, Psi Mu/U of
Live within your means, and
always put a bit of money aside every month. You should never start every month
in the hole! If you do, it's time to pare back.
Suzie Wiersum, Beta
Make rules for yourself, like
waiting 24 hours before making a $100+ purchase. Maybe you'll realize it was
just an impulse!
Becca Dingwell, Zeta Delta/U
When I see something I want
to buy, I skip it and wait until the next day.
If I still can't get it off my mind and I'm worried sick that someone
else has already gotten it, I go back and get it the next day. Also, keep all of your tags on everything and
if you don't wear it/use it within 30 days, take it back! That means cash in
your pocket and clutter out of your space!
Emi Dunn, Xi Alpha/U of Utah
My best financial tip is for
shopping, and I call it the "price-per-wear" rule: When shopping for
a clothing item, look at the price and then think of how many times you will
probably wear this item. If it's a nice pair of jeans you'll wear numerous
times, then the price can be higher because you'll wear them so much that they
will be very inexpensive per wear. If it's a crazy pair of shoes you wouldn't
wear often, only buy if they are inexpensive and worth the two or three times
you wear them a year!
Barbara Egemo, Eta Beta/Iowa
Born in the Depression years
I think has made me the worst cheapskate on the planet. It also taught me only
in the most dire of circumstances to exceed my budget. But I love to shop! I was
trained by the best: a mom and aunt who dragged me to Younkers in downtown Des
Moines, Iowa, and through endless hours and booths of “trying-on,” when I was
To this day, I feel shopping
gets me up and out when I most need it, motivates me when I’m down, and is the
best and most enjoyable exercise I’ll ever have. Impulse buying has always
stood me in good stead. Even returning the bad decisions is good exercise.
So my advice is: Shop on, Chi
Os, whether it’s Target, Walmart or Saks!
At age 77, I highly recommend
it, and am continually doing it. It’s positive action on the highest level and
in the fastest gear. Just don’t exceed your budget!
Megan L. Rieck, Alpha Alpha/U
of North Texas
Know the difference between a
want and a need. Be grateful when your needs are met.
Patricia Hood Fioravanti,
Upsilon Alpha/Syracuse U
As my grandmother always
said, “Save a little, spend a little, then you'll always have a little.” She
taught me well!
Molly McNamara, Theta/West Virginia
In my first year of
employment I lived off of peanut butter and jelly while everyone else bought
their lunch. It saves a lot of money and is delicious!
Sarah Cusick, Iota Beta/U of
When reviewing my debit card
transactions, the most frequent offender is Starbucks. I blame my Iota Beta
sisters and nursing school for allowing my coffee addiction to flourish. I'm trying my best to stop splurging on
overpriced drinks. For now, I'll make my
own coffee and save the caramel macchiato for a special occasion!
Stacy Ribble Dellasega, Theta
Keep a journal for one month
of ALL your expenses, including Sonic drinks, gum, etc. You'll be amazed at how
much you are spending on little things, which may be keeping you from saving for
the big things.
Rachel Anne Drechsler, Zeta
Beta/U of Arizona
When not eating at the
sorority house, make your own food as much as possible! Not only will cooking
your own food cost less, but it is also healthier!
Jennifer Garza Mathe, Theta
Max out contributions to
whatever savings plan your company offers. Even if you have to back off the
contributions when you start a family, that money will start compounding
interest. It's never too early to start thinking about retirement and how you
want to live then. So many resources are underutilized that can be big savings
to employees. If you're unsure about something, ask your human
resources/benefits department for clarification.
Melissa Tyroch Bragg, Xi
Kappa/Texas A&M U
I encourage all Sisters to take
advantage of Roth IRAs, if they qualify.
These accounts are a great way to watch your after-tax money grow and
never pay tax on the gains. Make sure you name a beneficiary for this account,
just like other accounts, and update it regularly.
Margaret Hobokan Wallace, Psi
Zeta/U of Houston
Start saving NOW! $25/month
when you're young is better than $250/month when you're older.
Laura Johnson Sisemore, Nu
Always make sure you have
savings that will cover at least two to three months of bills. In this economy,
you never know what might happen to your income.
Rachael Thomas, Epsilon
Zeta/Stephen F. Austin State U
New grads: Invest in your
401k. It's never too early.
Jessica Johnson Bentley,
Omicron Kappa/U of California–Davis
Save! If you start a new job,
put the maximum possible amount into your 401k. It’s money you'll never miss. And open a
savings account and make deposits every month, even if only $25. It will grow.
Jennifer Ward Trimmier, Alpha
Zeta/Texas State U–San Marcos
Start saving as soon as
possible, even if it's just a tiny bit each month. It will add up over the
Edith Lack Tarter, Epsilon
Delta/U of Southern Mississippi
Save early and save often!
Start contributing to the 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan as
soon as you're eligible. Then, increase the amount you contribute as your pay
increases. It's like giving your savings a raise with each new pay increase.
Sandie Smith, Iota Delta/San
Jose State U
Start saving $2000 a year
when you pledge, and when you retire, you'll be a multi-millionaire!
Teri Lipscomb Christensen,
Beta Gamma/U of Louisville
You are never too young or
too late to seek objective, financial advice from a financial planner. When seeking advice, search for a fee-only
planner through organizations such as the National Association of Personal
Financial Advisors (www.napfa.org) or The Garrett Planning Network (www.garrettplanningnetwork.com). Advisors who are members of these
organizations do not sell anything, receive commissions, or collect referral
fees. They operate under fiduciary
obligations to put the interest of the client first―not their firm.
Karin Fecteau, Tau Kappa/U of
Read and learn as much as you
can about personal finance. Be empowered!
Deena Ebbert, Zeta Beta/U of
Take a gander at Financial
Peace University; it saved me and made me sane! The lessons are rock solid.