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Making Change

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Felicia M. Johnson, BBA, MBA Financial Consultant

Felicia M. Johnson, BBA, MBA
Financial Consultant

Felicia M. Johnson is an Assoc. Director in Academic Affairs at a higher education institution.  She teaches personal finance classes and is active in local organizations that help support the economy, women, and local community.








Know Your Money
Wednesday – March 12, 2014

Making Change
By Guest Contributor
Felicia M. Johnson

Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to make a financial change in your life? In January of this year, I began Elevate Book Club and our first book was “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. I felt it would be a great book to help the participants successfully change regardless if they were trying to improve their finances, lose weight, or advance their career. The Heath brothers believe to make a successful change, you have to do the following three things:

Direct the Rider – Investigate what works well in handling your finances and clone it! Make sure you truly understand why you need to improve your financial situation. Think of specific things you can do to change your finances. For example you may decide to only use cash when purchasing items in the store.

Motivate the Elephant – Now that you know you need to change your financial situation, make sure all those affected can “feel” why things need to change. Maybe instead of just telling your family that if overspending continues you will not be able to pay the electricity bill, have them “feel” what it is like not to have power by shutting it off for an entire day. A side benefit is the uninterrupted time you will get to spend with your family.

Shape the Path – Changing the situation leads to behavior changes. Set active triggers that will support the new change. For example every time you use cash dollar bills at the store, save the all the coins you receive in change in a jar. Then at the end of the month, count all the coins and place the money in your family emergency fund or other special fund account. You will be surprised how coins can add up to large sums of money. Just recently, my husband collected $131 in coins.


Young Woman Exercising on a Rowing Machine --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Young Woman Exercising on a Rowing Machine — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis


Remember, “For things to change, somebody somewhere has to start acting differently” (Heath and Heath, 2010).

I would love to hear about your plans for financial change. Connect with me via LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/feliciasigningoff

Felicia Signing Off!

Works Cited:
Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2010). Switch: How to change things when change is hard. New York: Broadway Books.

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  1. Melissa Jackson says:

    Felicia, thanks for sharing the book (now on my must read list!). My bank has a “Keep the Change” program. Whenever I use my debit card, the change I would receive from my purchases is placed in my savings account. So far I have saved over $1000 by using the program. And my bank does not charge any fees for the program!

  2. Right on Felicia! Great work and I am looking forward to reading MORE of your future posts. Keep em’ coming!

    Cheers from New York City!

    Marty Morua

  3. Wendy says:

    “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”- Arthur Ashe. Oftentimes people falsely believe financial strategies can only begin when a certain dollar amount has been amassed. Spending takes place among minimal budgets and so can saving. The trick is to actually start not merely plan to start.

  4. Gail Dalton says:

    I enjoyed your post, Feclicia. I will look into the Heaths’ book for sure. Everything you say is true, and it can be expanded to any portion of our lives. Thank you for sharing with us.

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