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Sherry Johnson

For June’s Females and Finances, we have 2015 Project Money coach Sherry Johnson! A Summit employee for over 17 years, Sherry coached her team, Carrie and Chris Bennett, to victory in the 2015 Project Money competition – so the woman knows a thing or two about finances. Read below how Sherry owns both her personal and professional life, and get some tips from this rock star lady.

What does “Owning It” mean to you?

“Owning it” means taking control of your own finances and knowing where your money is going. It means being part of the solution, and having the willingness to make the needed changes. It’s about understanding your financial goals by researching your options and creating the path to get there. Finally it is asking for help along the way and holding yourself accountable.

Tell us how you got to where you are today.

I’ve been working for the credit union for 18+ years, and helping our members with financial goals since the beginning. Working for the credit union was a good fit for me, as our values lined up and I got to work with people and make recommendations that made sense for their goals.

I’ve learned from day one that everyone’s experience with money is different and that no two situations are alike. I found out through my interactions that our members like to be educated in their options, so when it comes time to make a decision they feel comfortable in the option they choose. I started mentoring other employees, which led to my current management position. I’ve had the opportunity to be a Project Money coach and presenter at schools and seminars, as well as a leader in my community.

What would you say are your most important lessons learned about finances?

·Communication is key! It’s important to talk about finances and make sure you are on the same page. Not every goal has to be the same, but making sure it is in the budget is a must.

·The “quick fixes” are not always what they are cracked up to be. Make sure to always read the fine print; if it seems too good to be true it probably is!

·If you don’t know how to snowball your debt, talk to someone at the credit union—this is a life-changing experience.

·Budget for the fun things in life and celebrate your successes along the way.

What’s your favorite current financial education resource?

For me it has been all the education and resources that Summit has provided to me along the way. I’ve used our online tools for myself and with our members for years. One of my personal favorite programs is Red Shoes, Summit’s exclusive financial wellness program. It provides well-defined steps and advice, plus you get to control the pace you go.