This past year has caused many of us to re-evaluate our goals, our everyday practices, our intentions and our overall health – living through a pandemic will do this. If we’ve learned anything through COVID-19, we have learned that taking care of ourselves in all aspects of our life is crucial to our overall health. And, keeping our health in check is important insurance to fight off illnesses of any kind, including the Coronavirus.
As a result, many of us are exercising more, reading more, organizing more and spending more time with our immediate family. All of these practices are essential to good health, but many of us may be missing one very important area that needs attention…managing our finances.
Since money is central to everyday activities, approaching our finances in a way that benefits our well-being can add a sense of order and create a safe foundation in our life. Setting aside time each week to focus on money management will reduce stress, create stability and allow you to make informed decisions. However, before we focus on these weekly activities, we recommend taking the following steps:
Make a list of all your deposit accounts, the interest you are earning on each and where they are located.
Make a list of all of your loans (including credit cards), the balance owed, your interest rate and where they are located.
Create a list of all of your investment accounts and the balance in each.
Document your net monthly income and make a list of your monthly expenses. Subtract your expenses from your income to equate your disposable income.
Once you have a complete picture, create a schedule to review and manage your finances weekly. For example: 30 minutes every Saturday afternoon. We recommend covering the following during your weekly Financial Fitness Sessions:
Pay your bills and put money into your savings account, even if it is only $5 every week.
Compare your deposit rates to other financial institutions and move money, if appropriate.
Compare your loan rates to other financial institutions and refinance to lower rates, ultimately reducing your monthly expenses.
Create a path to pay off your credit cards, if you do not already do so monthly. Cash in any reward points you have for credit.
Take a look at your expenses the previous week and make a plan on what to spend in these specific areas during the next week. Ask yourself:
How much did I spend on going out to eat last week? How much do I plan on spending next week?
How much did I spend on groceries last week? Did I eat all of them? Can I spend less the next week, etc.?
How much money did I put into my savings account last week? How much can I put in next week? What do I need to do to increase my savings?
Regardless of what you accomplish each week, we are positive that reviewing and managing your finances weekly will reduce your stress and benefit your well-being.
If you’re receiving a stimulus check as part of the most recent COVID-19 Relief Package, it’s more important than ever to consider the coming months and make sure you’re using the money wisely. Let our insightful infographic help guide you through your choices as you prioritize how to spend your funds. Access, 5 Smart Ways to Use Your Stimulus Check, for a few strategic tips. If you have questions or would like more details, reach out to a financial professional located at our credit union.
Representatives are registered, securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, which is not an affiliate of the credit union. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/ NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. CBSI-3381097.1-1220-0123
5 Tips to Reach Your Retirement Goals During Uncertain Times
During this season of financial uncertainty, it may be tempting to dip into your retirement accounts to get by. Or, maybe you’re an older worker who’s experienced job loss and are wondering if you should claim Social Security at age 62 rather than wait until full retirement age. Before making any major decisions that could have implications on your long-term retirement goals, access our helpful guide, 5 Tips to Reach Your Retirement Goals During Uncertain Times. If you have any questions or concerns about meeting your retirement goals, reach out to a financial professional located at our credit union.
Representatives are registered, securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, which is not an affiliate of the credit union. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/ NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. CBSI-3178843.1-0720-0822