Inside the Foundation  
Let's Talk Money - Jean Chatzky to Headline FOCUS Summit
Friday, January 10, 2014 7:00 AM

Let’s talk money…how to get it, how to keep it, how to invest it and how to make peace with it. Credit union professionals, educators and community leaders will be doing just that with Jean Chatzky, acclaimed author and financial editor for NBC’s “Today” show. Chatzky is headlining the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s FOCUS Summit Feb. 6-7 in Dallas.

Chatzky has written eight books, including Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security and the recent New York Times best-seller Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved.

When it comes to money, Chatzky has five rules:

  1. Personal finance is more personal than it is finance. You have to make decisions that are good for you and your family, nobody else. It might mean swimming against the tide – leaving more money in the bank so you can sleep at night, or renting instead of buying.
  2. If You’re “just looking,” don’t try it on. You’re in the department store or your favorite boutique and you see a pair of pants that looks interesting. Unless you’re in that store to buy pants, don’t try them on. Why? Because behavioral economists have found that when you put those pants on and see yourself in them, your mind actually takes possession of them. At that point, not buying the pants feels like a loss.
  3. Financial plans don’t fail people. People fail to plan. More baby boomers are more afraid of outliving their money than they are of dying, one study showed. And most Americans have never even tried to figure out how much money they need in retirement. That’s dangerous, very dangerous.
  4. Just because someone will lend it to you doesn’t mean you should borrow it. This is the time of life when we should be thinking about paying it down, not acquiring more debt. Keep your spending in check – ask why you are buying something? Do you need it? Or are you doing it for more emotional reasons.
  5. Count Dollars Like Calories. Research has shown that keeping a food diary, writing down what you put into your mouth, habitually and without fail, keeps even the most troubled dieters honest. The same is true of tracking your spending. Most people have absolutely no idea where their money goes, particularly their cash. Tracking, whether you do it using pencil and paper or a Web or smartphone application, works.

To gain more insight from Chatzky, register now for the Feb. 6-7 FOCUS Summit being held at the Doubletree Galleria Hotel in Dallas. In addition to Chatzky, the two-day program offers:

  • An overview of financial education tools available to credit unions and educators, including the National Endowment for Financial Education High School Financial Planning Program, BizKid$, FamilyMint, Sammy the Savings Rabbit, Money Mammals and more
  • A performance by The Disclosures: Musicians with a Mission. Tarrant County CU and FivePoint CU are sponsoring this session.
  • A Life Simulation facilitated by Lois Kitsch, REAL Solutions national program manager with the National Credit Union Foundation. A Life Simulation is designed to help participants better understand the difficulties that families living in poverty face. 
  • A best-practice panel discussion with a superintendent, principals and teachers that will focus on how credit unions can enter schools, sustain the relationship and remain relevant.

Open to all credit union professionals, community leaders and educators, this two-day event is an opportunity for financial education advocates to network, share best practices, learn about available resources, as well as explore proven techniques and strategies for deploying financial education into their local schools and communities.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, and the Friends of Consumer Freedom and Credit Union Resources, Inc. have already signed on as a sponsor. The fee to attend the two-day program $250. For additional information about the summit, including online registration and sponsorship opportunities, please visit If you have any questions, please contact the Foundation, at (800) 953-8283.