You came to this part of our site because:
You just wanted to see what it looks like.
- Have a look around this part of our site and maybe you can pick up some interesting information.
You are not sure how to save money, but you are looking for some help.
- You should find some helpful advice as you read on.
You have some savings, but you are not sure what kind of shape you're in.
- You may want to take the time to review some good information.
You have no idea how to save, but you know you owe out a lot and need to change your spending habits quickly.
INTERESTING QUESTIONS TO REVIEW:
Q: Did you get a big tax refund this year?
A: If so, you are losing money by letting Uncle Sam hold your money and not pay you any interest. You need to review your W4 with your employer and it may be in your best interest to increase your withholdings number to increase your paycheck. That increase should be earmarked for your credit union savings account.
Q: If you have a spouse or family you need to hold a "family meeting".
A: There are three ways you increase savings. The first is to reduce your debt and deposit the "previous payments" into your savings account. The second is to increase income through a part-time job or selling off assets and third you can do both.
Q: You can refinance your current large debt (first mortgage, second mortgage or vehicle loan) to a lower interest rate if possible.
A: Remember to ask lots of questions as to how much will this cost you. Find out the rate, the extra costs, how much longer will you owe this money, can you pay it off early without penalty, can you pay a little more each month if you have the money, is a late fee charged, can the rate change if you don't pay on time, can you refinance again if rates decline and what is the charge, if any, can you have the payment deducted from your share draft account.
Q: If you have a savings account it may be in your best interest to reduce your savings and pay off or pay on your high interest rate credit card or loan accounts.
A: If you were not sure what to do any loan officer at the credit union would be glad to discuss the situation.
Q: If you have a spouse and/or children you can discuss what each member of the family can do to save money.
A: Is it cheaper to pack a lunch or buy it at school or work? Make one person in charge of clipping coupons for those items you always purchase at the grocery. Comparison shop for larger purchase items and have everyone search for the best price. Plan a weekly menu and make a list before going grocery shopping and follow your list and take your coupons. Reduce or eliminate junk food from your daily diet. Let everyone take part in preparing the daily meals, less chance of you buying frozen food at a higher price. Deposit the money saved in your savings account.
Q:Set a savings goal.
A: At least six months salary in a savings account for emergencies is an excellent goal. Set up a wish jar which every family member deposits why they would like to save money and what they plan to purchase after the initial goal is reached. Each family member must research and price their "wish list" purchase. Review all major appliances for possible replacement. Remember sometimes it is cheaper to repair than replace, so take the time to have large replacement purchases "checked out" before you spend that hard earned money.
WHAT IS THE GOOD LIFE AND IS IT THAT GOOD?
The "good life" can mean different things to different people. It used to be that we all wished for the ability to own a home, purchase a new car and have enough money to send our kids to college. Today we have different wants and for lots of members the "good life" means having your house paid off, having your kids out on their own, traveling, having "good health". The "good life" can also mean having no credit card debt, the ability to save money, more time to spend with our family, volunteering some time to a worthwhile organization. As you can see the "good life" means different things to different people.
You need to decide for yourself what this statement means to you and how you plan to reach that goal. If your plan includes financial security we can help.
CREDIT CARD WARNING SIGNS
In order to save money your finances must be in good order. Credit card debt needs to be non-existent or minimal. If any of the following statements apply to you it might be time to come into the credit union for a financial tune-up.
YOU ONLY PAY THE MINIMUM PAYMENT ON YOUR CREDIT CARD BECAUSE :
- THAT IS ALL YOUR BUDGET ALLOWS
Stop in and let us look at your financial situation and see if we can help you make some small change in your monthly budget.
- YOU THINK THIS WILL HELP PAY OFF YOUR BALANCE
Each credit card you carry holds different terms of repayment. If your current payment seems very small then you may have this credit card debt for a long time.
- YOU KNOW THE INTEREST IS LOW, BECAUSE YOU TRANSFERRED THE BALANCE FROM ANOTHER CARD.
When you transferred this balance you had good intentions of paying it off prior to the interest rate returning to a much higher rate. Remember to read the fine print when transferring credit card balances. Keep track of when the interest rate is set to change. Remember if you are late with a payment on this type of credit card, you may lose the low interest rate immediately and late payments affect your credit rating.
SHOULD I REFINANCE MY HOUSE TO INCREASE MY CASH FLOW?
First and second mortgage refinancing has become an "in" thing to do. It may be the best thing for your financial situation and it may not. To refinance your property a fee may be charged and other out-of-pocket expenses.You need to look at the big picture to see if you will be better off when the transaction is complete.
- You can refinance your home to lower the interest rate and shorten the term, but you need to know how much this will cost?
- You can refinance your home to consolidate your debts and lower the interest rate and shorten the term. This should free up your cash flow and this would be the perfect time to start a regular savings program.
- Sometimes if a payment is lower and the term is longer the cash flow increases, but the savings is unchanged and more spending occurs. This can be the dangerous part of refinancing your first or second mortgage.
WHY IS A COLLATERALIZED LOAN BETTER THAN AN UNSECURED LOAN?
As a lender grants credit an interest rate is attached to each type of lending. Loans that have collateral attached favor a better rate, because if the loan defaults the lender can get back some or all of the funds lent by selling the collateral. It is usually always in your favor to put up collateral on a loan to get the best interest rate available. Unsecured loans carry the highest rate. If you are looking to purchase a new or used vehicle you should be aware that a pre-payment penalty clause is being used in lots of lending contracts. Remember to ask if this contract contains a "pre-payment penalty clause". If you want to refinance this loan at a later date it could cost you money. The credit union does not have pre-payment penalty clause in any lending documents.
WHATEVER THE AMOUNT YOU CAN SAVE, START TODAY AND DON'T PUT IT OFF UNTIL TOMORROW.