Daily Dupaco

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Boost your financial IQ

Knowing how to manage your money can be the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and living financially free.

There’s always an opportunity to expand your financial literacy.

“A lot of it comes down to your attitude,” says Megan Redmond, branch manager of Dupaco Community Credit Union’s Cedar Heights branch in Cedar Falls, Iowa. “Take ownership of your finances. Even if you’ve had some bumps in the past, look toward the future.”

Dupaco believes that when you know better, you do better. Here are five ways you can boost your financial IQ with the help of your credit union:

1. Create a budget

Without a budget, it’s hard to know where your money is going from month to month.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the ads and buy unnecessary things,” Redmond says. “People get stuck not having a budget in place.”

Dupaco’s free Money Makeover can help you review your entire financial picture and create a budget that fits your needs.

“The coolest thing about our Money Makeover is that it can go in whatever direction the member needs it to,” Redmond says. “We’ve done a lot of budgets for members and have helped them see where their money is going.”

2. Save automatically

Your budget should allow you to pay yourself first. Dupaco offers a variety of free savings accounts to help you save for your goals.

“What is it that you want to save for in the future—a vacation, a house, your child’s education?” Redmond says. “Everybody can save.”

She recommends creating a savings plan that’s automatic and systematic so your money doesn’t stay in your checking account, where you might be tempted to spend it.

3. Know your credit score

It pays to understand your credit history. Your credit score can be used by lenders to determine how much interest you’ll pay on loans, by insurance providers to determine your rate, and even by landlords and employers to assess how responsible you are.

With Dupaco’s free Credit History Lesson, you can learn how to drive up your score, consolidate debt and pay less.

Then, you can continue to monitor your score with Bright Track, Dupaco’s free credit-score monitoring service that gives you access to your score—and tools to improve it—within Shine Online and Mobile Banking.

4. Read up 

Dupaco’s online Learning Center features educational tips and tools to help you learn more about your money and get money ahead. It covers budgeting, systematic saving, credit score monitoring and other resources to help you optimize every stage of your financial life.

Want a break from reading? Watch Dupaco’s Money Clips. The short video segments feature advice on how to stay on solid financial footing while navigating life events.

“Dupaco is doing a lot more videos about money, and a lot of members come into the branch talking about them,” Redmond says.

5. Go to “class”

Dupaco offers in-person seminars and both live and on-demand webinars to help arm you with the information you need to make even better financial decisions and enhance skills in other areas of your life.

Check out the latest seminars and webinars to find out how you can dig deeper into understanding your money.

By Emily Kittle

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