The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel billions of dollars in federal student loans. The action is in response to a petition from six Republican-led states that sought a pause on the proposed student debt relief while the court rules on their request for a longer-term injunction.

The lawsuit by the six Republican-led states—Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina—is before the appeals court after a lower court judge rejected the suit a day prior.

The states argue that the debt relief program bypassed Congress and poses a threat to the states’ future tax revenues, as well as money earned by state entities that invest in or service the student loans. But U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey in St. Louis determined that while the six states had raised “important and significant challenges to the debt relief plan,” their lawsuit lacked the necessary legal standing to pursue the case.

Biden’s student debt relief program, announced in August, seeks to cancel up to $10,000 to borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year (or $250,000 as a couple per year), or $20,000 in debt relief to Pell Grant recipients who meet similar income standards.

Applications opened on Oct. 14. Nearly 22 million borrowers had applied for the debt relief program since —  about half of the more than 40 million Americans that the Department of Education expects are eligible for some amount of debt relief.

Last week, Yellowstone County Commissioners gave a green light to Mike Mayott, a member of the MetraPark Advisory Board and chairman of its Finance Committee to proceed with updating a study on the economic impact that MetraPark has on the Billings community.

The study will be done with the assistance of Patrick Klugman of Big Sky Economic Development Authority (BSEDA) and it will be funded by NorthWestern Energy.

By Casey Harper, The Center Square

Nearly three out of four Americans are becoming more concerned about rising prices, according to a new poll.

BMO Financial Group released survey data on the economy and inflation that showed that 74% of Americans say they are becoming increasingly worried about rising costs due to inflation.

“More than 70% feel their financial momentum is threatened by higher grocery bills (78%) and the rising cost of gas (76%),” the group said. “In order to prepare for a potential recession, 76% of Americans said they are making lifestyle changes such as delaying large purchases on a house or car, paying down debt, and cutting back on holiday spending.”

The poll, conducted with Ipsos, also found that “significantly fewer U.S. consumers feel confident about their financial situation compared to last quarter.”

That concern varies by age group.

“Older Americans report feeling more concerned than younger generations,” BMO said. “Between ages 55-64, 82% said their concerns about inflation have increased over the last three months, compared to 62% of those between ages 18-24 and 70% of those aged 25-34.”

The survey comes as the latest federal inflation data shows prices have continued to rise on a range of goods and service. The overall inflation rate has dipped in the past several weeks, but that is in part due to a decrease from record-high gas prices in June. After dipping for a couple of months, gas prices are now on the rise again.

Americans are also concerned about the impact of a recession.

“Nearly 8 in 10 Americans (76%) said they plan to adjust their lifestyles in response to recession concerns,” the survey said, with 34% “delaying major purchases, like buying a new home or car,” as well as 28% cutting down holiday spending, and 24% putting more money in savings.

“Americans who report being ‘more’ financially secure decreased to 39% from 50% a year ago and 47% last quarter,” BMO said. “Americans who said they feel ‘less’ financially secure, rose to 27% from 16% in the same quarter a year ago. The number of Americans who said they are making financial progress decreased to 54% from 62% a year ago. More than 40% of Americans under age 35 do not have enough savings to cover an emergency.”

Adaptive Performance Center (APC), a phenomenally successful veterans’ support organization that was founded in Billings just over two years ago, has received a $750,000 grant that opens wide the doors for its future and to be able to more completely meet the needs of its veteran members. One of APC’s  expansion goals is to open a similar facility in Helena.

The grant was part of $2.15 million in federal funding for Montana by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under the Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program . Also receiving grants were the America Northern Rockies ($750,000), and the Rocky Boy Veterans Center in Box Elder ($650,000).

APC founders Karen Pearson and Mitch Crouse are ecstatic about winning the grant and the promise it holds for them to be able to expand the training and support they provide veterans and to expand those services.

APC is a gym for veterans and enlisted military, where they can meet and talk with like-minded individuals whose association helps to build inner strength and peace while building physical strength. Pearson and Crouse launched APC as a new concept, with no guidelines or guarantees or members. Today the non-profit organization has over 500 members.

So on- target was their concept that from Day One they began signing up members, and gaining sponsors who wanted to make sure no potential member has to be turned away because of any financial concerns. And, almost every day the APC trainers witness incredible success stories as one member or another achieves a goal.

The gym is almost a front for helping veterans get support and connection with other veterans and military people that they need, explains Pearson. And, it just happens naturally, as they regularly attend to work out.  The gym becomes a safe and comfortable place for them, where they find others who understand.

That they actually have an impact that helps troubled veterans who are struggling or who might even be suicidal is exactly the kind of outcome that Pearson and Crouse believed was possible given the opportunity for regular physical exercise. Now they can prove it.

Part of the grant requirements include the collection of data and documentation to prove their theory. Depending on how the first year goes with the grant funding they are eligible for grants in each of the next two years.  Pearson said that one of the purposes of the grant program is to show that there is programming available to impact the suicide rate and to demonstrate how APC can impact the suicide rate and help with mental health.

Pearson and Crouse each bring their own knowledge and unique experiences to APC. In each of their experiences in providing physical training for people, who had traumatic situations to deal with, they realized that physical exercise was hugely beneficial in that process. As Crouse frequently reiterates, “Move your body, heal your mind.”

Crouse learned that reality first hand in struggling to recover from a severe injury he suffered in a car accident. Pearson recognized the connection in dealing with patients who were veterans trying to integrate back into families and adapt to regular life after serving in the military. She saw them struggle with PTSD and knew those, who believing there was no hope, committed suicide.

With the grant funding, the first order of business has been to fill gaps in the support and services that they have identified over the past couple of years. “We can hire people to fill those gaps,” said Pearson.

They have hired four additional trainers in the gym, which means they don’t have to rely on volunteers and always have trainers available.

Two of the people they are hiring are Veteran’s Advocates – a man and a woman who will share a full-time position. The advocates are needed to help direct veterans how to deal with getting their needs met, and where to go, what processes are necessary. To help them fill out forms, etc. – “anything they need that is intimidating and frustrating and prompts them to give up,” said Pearson.

They are also hiring a part time therapist and acupuncturist, and a full time occupational therapist who will split their time between the gyms in Billings and Helena.

Getting a second APC off the ground has been a struggle because there is a shortage of the kind of space they need in Helena. But they have finally found a 9600 square foot building in which they will be able to duplicate the facility in Billings. They will also be hiring the same level of staffing in Helena.  Funding for most of the equipment and fixtures that will be needed has already been acquired from an early sponsor, said Crouse, and it is sitting in escrow waiting for a building. They plan to be open in January.

Montana ranks right at the top of having the highest suicide rate in the nation. Pearson noted that from 2018 to 2020 active duty suicide increased by more than 40 percent, and in 2020 in Alaska it jumped 15 percent.

The founding duo of APC urged that anyone who knows a veteran or active duty military, to urge them to check out their gym and services.

Anyone who has their D2-14 discharge papers can join ACP. It doesn’t matter where or when or how they served, they simply have to have served. The cost is $19.95 a month, but no one is turned away because of inability to pay. In fact, APC has numerous individuals, businesses and organizations, who have will pay the dues of anyone who can’t afford to do so. Between 35 and 40 percent of their members depend on such contributions, and they are very appreciative.

APC gym is located at 1420 Broadwater in Billings

Lance Fred…

KLJ Engineering is welcoming Lance Fred to its Billings office where he will be working as an associate project manager in the telecommunications department.

Fred has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Montana State University in Bozeman and has held a Cisco Certified Network Associate certification.

Chris Barlage…

KLJ Engineering has welcomed Chris Barlage to its Billings office. Barlage, who has experience designing fiber optic and copper plants, will be working as a designer in our electrical department.

Barlage has worked in telecommunications for 18 years.

He earned an associate degree in web development and microcomputer support from South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota.

[The following goes to show either there’s nothing new under the sun, or it underscores how ineffectual governments are at changing things that don’t work. At least 30 years ago, the famous economist, Lester Thurow, a Montana native, wrote to say that government give-a-ways, subsidies or special tax breaks does nothing to improve a state or community’s economic well-being. That’s before they started totaling into the billions. -editor]

By Michael Farren 

From Governing

Kansas lawmakers recently approved offering $1.3 billion to a mystery corporation for the company to build a new industrial facility in the state. They may think they’ve taken a step toward a brighter economic future, but in reality, they’ve only started another battle — and maybe even opened another front — in the endless economic subsidy wars among states.

Reporters in Kansas and Japan have unearthed indications that a Panasonic electric vehicle battery plant is the prize in this fight. Missouri would make sense as Kansas’ most likely competitor, given that the two states spent decades (and more than $330 million) poaching companies from each other across State Line Road in Kansas City. If true, this would suggest that Kansas was violating the spirit of its tenuous 2019 border truce with Missouri.

However, reports suggest that Panasonic is actually deciding between a rehabilitated site at an old ammunition plant near De Soto, Kan., and an industrial park outside of Tulsa, Okla. That the sites are 200 miles apart suggests that subsidies might affect Panasonic’s decision, although I’d warrant that the 45 percent cheaper cost of electricity in Tulsa has a larger influence.

If Kansas is competing with Oklahoma rather than Missouri, then one border battle has just been exchanged for another. Do Kansas leaders really want to pick a fight with yet another neighbor? For their part, Oklahoma’s policymakers are now confronted with their own no-win choice between rushing to offer their own subsidies (as reports suggest) or taking the high road and risking the appearance of doing nothing in the face of economic aggression.

That may sound a bit melodramatic, but the truth is even more sensational. States and cities spend an estimated $100 billion every year on an arms race that research shows does little to improve their economic outlook. In fact, corporate handouts actually slow down national economic growth.

This conclusion isn’t controversial; few challenge the idea that bribing companies to choose one jurisdiction over another is a bad use of limited taxpayer dollars. Academic research shows that while subsidies can swing site-specific decisions within a metropolitan area, the handouts don’t sway most corporate location decisions between regions. In other words, in the few situations where subsidies may have a substantial influence on a company’s location decision, they don’t actually increase regional economic growth compared to what would have otherwise occurred without the subsidy — as the Kansas City region has infamously shown.

But the practice continues because politicians are stuck in what economists call a “prisoner’s dilemma.” Just recently, for example, Michigan policymakers, motivated by Tennessee and Kentucky’s combined $1.3 billion in subsidies for a set of Ford EV and battery plants, approved $1.8 billion to subsidize a set of General Motors and Ultium EV and battery plants.

Because there isn’t an easy way for policymakers to commit to mutually beneficial cooperation — yet — the default choice is to continue an economically ruinous competition. Kansas and Missouri took the first step with their temporary truce, agreeing to limit the degree to which each could poach businesses from the other. However, that carriage is scheduled to turn back into a pumpkin in 2025. It may not even last that long if Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly — whose executive order is the most precarious part of the agreement — doesn’t win re-election.

What if, instead, Oklahoma — and any other state seeking to free up billions to expand social services and reduce taxes — were invited to join the truce? In fact, leaders in some states are working on something even better: an interstate compact. It’s a constitutionally based contractual agreement to end the current ruinous form of interstate competition, which wastes taxpayer dollars and starves important social programs of funding. States would still be free to compete over who has the best policies for economic growth, but would forswear the use of subsidies.

Eighteen states so far have proposed interstate compact legislation to permanently end the economic arms race, but it would be especially poetic if Kansas and Missouri were the first states to pass it. They have an extensive history of such compacts together, meaning they’re well suited to serve as national role models in taking the next step toward mutual subsidy disarmament. A rivalry over who can cooperate the most would be the best kind of competition.

Michael Farren is a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

By Denis Pitman, Yellowstone County Commissioner

The question on many people’s minds, and an important topic for our community.  I would like to offer some answers, clarify what is going on, and hopefully put much of this into context. 

Within the past five years we have seen significant deterioration of the property and buildings at MetraPark.  Things were becoming dangerous, and the possibility of people getting hurt were increasing. 

We began by doing an assessment of the property and cost of saving barns and the grandstands.  It was determined that cost of just maintenance and stopping the hazards from getting worse were more of a liability than just removing them. That would lead to conversations about what should or could the entire 189 acres look like with this new foot print?  What did people want to use the property for within the next several generations? 

At the same time, the general manager would indicate that he was going to be retiring.

Then we were hit with a global pandemic that would change everything. While it has been claimed that things were done without transparency, that is not accurate, and in fact things have been delayed and extended to make sure that people were aware of what was being discussed throughout the process. With that, the Board of County Commissioners, the MetraPark Advisory board began a process of examining every aspect of how the property runs, and what the vision for the future might look like. 

We have been going out to the community, we have been sharing everything with the public.  We have been bringing the policies and procedures current and consistent with Montana law, and we have been exploring many different options and ideas.  One aspect of that conversation was what type of management did we want going forward?  It has been managed by a governing board, and recently by the Board of County Commissioners. 

MetraPark is an enterprise department of Yellowstone County, and so it has a separate mission than departments like Road and Bridge.  They have the potential to generate funds, and excel at providing services beyond just what is generated in taxes and fees.  What we are doing right now is simply exploring what all the options are, and who can best provide that professional and productive path forward. 

Everyone agrees that things must change, and as we move forward. Accountability and productivity as well as return on investment must be part of that discussion as well as legacy groups and their contributions to our community. 

All of the members of the board agreed that we must move forward in asking these questions, seeking answers, and keeping the best interests of the property owners, ie, the tax payers as a priority. 

That is the commitment we have made, and now, openly and transparently, we are asking a lot of questions, and seeking as much advice as possible.  From there, we will make decisions about the future of the entire campus, and then put before the voters a cost of construction if they want to invest in additional development of the property.  It is an exciting time for Yellowstone County, and the future of MetraPark.   Ask questions, listen to what we are learning, point out concerns, tell us what you like and don’t like, and stay active in the process. Together we will make this project a premier facility that will serve everyone for generations to come.

Denis Pitman

Yellowstone County Commissioner


Rent Is Due LLC/Jas Contracting, 1140 1st Ave N, Com Fence/Roof/ Siding, $5,000

G & J Diesel Performance LLC/ Raisin Contracting Inc, 1739 Main St,  Com Fence/Roof/Siding, $52,000

City Of Billings/Warren Transport Inc., 2216 38th St W, Com New Other $1,651,258

Landon’s Legacy Foundation/Bauer Construction, 2216 38th St W, Com New Other, $750,000

JNL Holdings LLC/Langlas & Assoc., Inc., 1450 S 32nd St W, Com New Other $2,850,000

W Rimrock Owner LP/Andre’s Construction, 316 S 24th St, Com Remodel $160,000

West Grand Plaza LLC/Jones Construction, Inc, 3039 Grand Ave, Com Remodel, $190,000

Lads Hospitality Associates Ll/ Lads Hospitality Associates LLC, 956 S 25th St W, Com Remodel , $456,625

Shamrock Foods/Yellowstone Basin Construction, Com Remodel – Change In Use,

1323 Main St, $900,000

Jack Gray/ Golden Sands General Contractors, 1313 Grand Ave, Com New Other, $150,000

1400 S 24th LLC/T.W. Clark Construction LLC,1390 S 24th St W, Com New Restaurant/Casino/ Bar, $1,900,000

4M Properties/ JRB Construction, 50 27th St W, Com Remodel, $79,800


Ironwood Land LLC/Colters Construction LLC, 6056 Canyonwoods Dr, Res New Single Family, $405,500

Lorenz Construction/Lorenz Construction, 3504 Crater Lake Ave, Res New Single Family, $256,294

McCall Homes/ McCall Development, 1801 St George Blvd, Res New Single Family, $217,352

McCall Homes/McCall Development, 6126 Norma Jean Ln, Res New Single Family, $409,521

McCall Homes/McCall Development, 6047 Elysian Rd, Res New Single Family, $155,277

McCall Homes/ McCall Development, 6041 Elysian Rd, Res New Two Family, $224,432

McCall Homes/ McCall Development, 6041 Elysian Rd, Res New Two Family, $258,618

McCall Homes/McCall Development, 6047 Elysian Rd, Res New Two Family, $260,768

Upfront Development/Aaron Higginbotham, 2203 Lindero Blvd, Res New Single Family, $252,888

Diverse Construction/Diverse Construction Llc, 2051 Gleneagles Blvd, Res New Single Family, $263,284

Ferguson, Kristy R/Capp, Jerry Construction, 2264 Greenbriar Rd, Res New Single Family, $268,732

Feusner, Leroy & Lynnette/Image Builders, 2504 Aspen Creek Trl, Res New Single Family, $560,000

Wagenhals Land And Livestock L/ Wagenhals Enterprises Inc, 1105 Daybreak Dr, Res New Single Family, $211,452

McCalls Homes/McCalls Development, 6035 Elysian Rd, Res New Single Family, $260,968

McCalls Homes/ McCalls Development, 6140 Johanns Meadow Ln, Res New Single Family, $283,222

McCalls Homes/  McCalls Development, 1890 St George Blvd, Res New Single Family, $283,222

TK Elevator Corporation, 788 Circle 75 Parkway SE Ste 500, Atlanta GA 30339, G678-424-3691, Gust Lagerquist, repair & installation

Purcell Tire and Service Center, 2604 Belknap Ave, 59101, 573-438-2131, Gretta Hochstatter, retail sales

Blended 7 Contracting LLC, 3727 Bitterroot Dr, 59105, 860-8448, Chris Sargent, general contractor

Dutton Rental, 319 Tam O’Shanter Rd, 59105, 670-4196, Dellas and Kerrie Dutton, real estate rental

Simply Modern LLC, 3959 Fairmeadow Dr, 59102, 540-525-7002, Bradley Krupa, general contractor

Wilson Maintenance & Remodeling, 3540 Terry Ave, 59102, 698-5772, mike Wilson, general contractor

Lockwood Auto, 3941 Bobolink St, 59101, 699-1665, James Mocko, auto business

 J and R Tippy Cow, 279 E Airport Rd, 534-3599, Henry Criddle, restaurants, 59105

Dynamic Opportunities United, 1276 Topanga Ave, 59105, 850-8496, Kellen Kessler, service

Henry’s Kitchen, 304 N 19th, 59101, 601-1139, Mario Duggan, Pres., restaurants

All Phase Contracting, 742 Dunham Ave, 59102, 698-5546, Jay Guaraglia, general contractor

Mini Motorz, 5109 Jellison rd #C4, 59101, 321-1785, David Eves, service

Beloved Venture LLC, 1141 W Calle Concordia, Tucson AZ 85704, 520-519-9130, John Taylen, real estate rental

Big Sky Buckshot LLC, 1130 Princeton Ave, 59102, 860-2593, Juanita & Paul Rathburn,

real estate rental

Brownstein Consulting LLC, 1644 Hidden Cove Ln, 59101, 850-9915, Todd Brownstein, service

Phoenix Self Defense, 928 Broadwater Ave, 59102, 200-5328, Richard Shepard, service

Hillbilly Mall LLC, 14 1/2 S 27th St, 59101, 633-1707, Crystal Owens, retail sales

Angies Barbershop, 1911 King Ave Ste 12, 59102, 702-1753, Angie Hergenrider, barber

Siegel Flooring, 3302 1/2 3rd Ave N, 59101, 970-4568, service

Adaptive Performance Center, 1420 Broadwater Ave, 59102, 281-3848, Karen Pearson/Mitch Crouse, service

Maid In Montana Services, 1195 Siesta Ave, 59105, 850-1623, Azelyn Gorman, service

Montana Tablescapes, 1555 Province Lane, 59102, 855-1070, Michaela Martinson, service

Grizzly Glass LLC, 2270 Grant Rd, 59102, 384-7077, Catherine Bergman, service

Restorative Connections Counseling, 926 Main St Ste 8F, 59105, 213-3313, Brittany Garcia, service

Panda Cleaning Services LLC, 2050 Tanner Ln, 59102, 698-8250, Yingchun/Jefferey Jones, services

Al’s cleaning Services, 7933 Burlington Ave, 59106, 561-4146, Alisha Nishikawa, service

Desert Ridge Construction, 4416 March Madness Way #2, 59106, 690-2792, Tanner Marak-Heafner, general contractor

Bedroc Blasters, 310 Moore Lane, 59101, 927-9018, Rocci Lamantia, retail sales

Johnny’s Garage, 2018 Main St, 59105, 208-9178, Johnny Hisaw, auto business  

Out of the Wilderness, 2402 Brook Hollow Dr, 59105, 926-0076, Jeffrey Ferguson, service

Assist Consulting, 7742 Pinto Dr, Shepherd 59079, 671-9510, Sheila Dockter, service

Ecoclean, 911 Blonco Circle, 59101, 698-3677, Micah Richardson, service

Creative Corner Greetings, 5437 Frontier Dr #1, 59101, 855-5681, Kristi Love-Tsukada, retail sales

Sievertsen Contracting, 4244 Bruce Ave, 59101, 661-7883, Mathew Sievertsen, general contractor

Kolbey Andersen Siding, 23 Walnut Dr, 59102, 876-3674, Kolbey Andersen, general contractor

DLB Construction, 3809 King Ave E, 59101, 591-0734, David Barnard, general contractor

Macleod Booking & Consulting Services, 2811 Lyndale Ln, 59102, 200-2216, Katrina Macleod, service

Advantage Media Group, 1118 23rd St W, 59102, 647-4496, Mikel Wolf, service

Time to Eat!, 2139 Alderson Ave Apt #4, 59102, 698-1278, Lucas Hoover, restaurants

CEC Facilities Group LLC, 5505 Abby Rd, 817-734-0040, Brad Smith, general contractor

Simplified Solutions LLC, 41 Adams St, 59101, 690-8014, Katherine Purcel, service

Mirror Mountain Creations, 3548 Kingswood Dr, 59101, 731-613-5245, Amy Mills, retail sales

Uselman Enterprises LLC, 2621 Holman Ave, 59102, 690-1502, Ben Uselman, service

A’s Auto Detailing, 1140 1st Ave N, 59101, 661-3581, Conner Albright, service

ABC Filipino Food, 4703 Rebecca Pl, 59101, 561-8858, Alma Cabillan, retail sales

A Albrecht Construction, 3642 S 56th St W, 59106, 860-2378, Alen Albrecht, general contractor

Jackz of All Trades, 922 Yellowstone River Rd #H8,59105, 697-8660, Kyle Singer, general contractor

Loopdeloo, 7742 Pinto Dr, Shepherd 59079, 671-9510, Sheila Dockter, retail sales

Heights Petlantis, 2204 Bench Blvd, 59105, 702-2580, Kendra Wold/Andrea Norwood, service

Wilson’s Iron Barn Gym, 1105 1st Ave N, 59101, 794-1131, Ron Wilson, service

Relaxful Retreat Massage Studio, 2619 St John’s Ste F, 59102, 794-6429, Russell Tolman, solo practitioner

J&S Handyman Service, 4611 Lux Ave, 59101, 618-367-2253, Jamie & Steven Rasberry, service

JB’s Concepts, 2315 Hoover Ave, 59102, 672-4158, Justin Birkle, general contractor

Carrie Lynn MHP, LLC, 10 Jackie Ln, 59102, 245-2201, Ben Smith, mobile homes courts   

By Michael Vondra

What are your financial resolutions for 2022?

      As you know, 2021 was full of challenges. We were still feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic when supply chains shut down and inflation heated up. So, if you’re like many people, you might not be sorry to see the year come to a close. But now it’s time to look ahead to a brighter 2022. And on a personal level, you may want to set some New Year’s resolutions. You might resolve to improve your health and diet, and possibly learn some new skills, but why not make some financial resolutions, too?

      Here are a few ideas to consider:

      • Prepare for the unexpected. If you haven’t already created an emergency fund, now may be a good time to start. Ideally, you’d like to have three to six months’ worth of living expenses in this fund, with the money kept in a low-risk, liquid account. (If you’re retired, you may want your emergency fund to contain up to a year’s worth of living expenses.) Once you’ve got this fund established, you may be able to avoid dipping into long-term investments to pay for short-term needs, such as costly home or auto repairs or large medical bills.

      • Boost your retirement savings. The pandemic caused many us to reevaluate our ability to eventually enjoy the retirement lifestyles we’ve envisioned. In fact, 33% of those planning to retire soon said they started to contribute even more to their retirement savings during the pandemic, according to a study from Age Wave and Edward Jones. This year, if you can afford it, increase your contributions to your IRA and your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan.

      • Reduce your debt load. The less debt you carry, the more money you’ll have available to support your lifestyle today and save and invest for tomorrow. So, this year, resolve to cut down on your existing debts and avoid taking on new ones whenever possible. You can motivate yourself by measuring your progress – at the beginning of 2022, record your total debts and then compare this figure to your debt load at the start of 2023. If the numbers have dropped, you’ll know you were making the right moves.

      • Don’t overreact to the headlines. A lot can happen during a year. Consider inflation – it shot up in 2021, but it may well subside in 2022. If you changed your investment strategy last year to accommodate the rise in inflation, would you then have to modify it again when prices fall? And inflation is just one event. What about changes in interest rates? How about new legislation coming out of Washington? And don’t forget extreme weather events, such as wildfires and floods. Any or all of these occurrences can affect the financial markets in the short term, but it just doesn’t make sense for you to keep changing the way you invest in response to the news of the day. Instead, stick with a strategy that’s appropriate for your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. You may need to adjust this strategy over time, in response to changes in your own life, but don’t let your decisions be dictated by external events. 

      These aren’t the only financial resolutions you can make – but following them may help you develop positive habits that can help you face the future with confidence.

Michael A Vondra

Certified Financial Planner Practitioner

Edward Jones