President’s Point

When our children were young, my wife and I divided homework duties. Depending on the subject matter, one of us would take the lead as tutor. Math was my subject.

My favorite school subject was math. I enjoyed the logic of calculating an answer that would be a single truth. I learned math the old-fashioned way. There were no computers or calculators. I used a slide rule for advanced equations. (For you whippersnappers, Google “slide rule.”)

I quickly learned math is not taught the way it once was. When I tried solving the problem their way, I was confused. I had to fall back on my ancient teachings. Somehow, we arrived at the same answers.

When it comes to math, there is more than one way to solve a problem. The same can be said for money matters. To arrive at the right answers for your financial situation, use the right formulas.

In the financial services business, we recognize there are two basic ways to build wealth: increase income or reduce expenses. This math equation seems simple at first. Let’s take, for instance, the expense reduction side of the wealth equation. If you have accounts with other financial institutions, take a long hard look at what it may be costing you.

Recently, I was given the fee schedule for another institution. The number and amount of fees astonished me. It was clear the price to maintain a banking relationship with this company was costing a consumer more than seems necessary.

If one wanted to request a stop payment on a small check, the fee could cost much more than the check’s face amount. There was even a fee to speak with a teller for some transactions. I counted 42 different kinds of fees. Ouch!

No matter how you learned math, you were taught subtraction. To make math work for your budget, choose financial services that don’t take away your ability to save money.