Daily Dupaco

Monday, April 25, 2016

Money smart begins with healthy habits

Being money smart starts with saving.

In honor of Money Smart Week—a campaign that places a priority on managing personal finances—we offer some timeless tips on making your money work for you.

Kerri Trecker, Community Outreach and Education RepresentativeKerri Trecker, community outreach and educational representative at Dupaco’s Carroll, Iowa, branch, says successful savers practice many healthy habits, including:

  • Practice need-vs.-want spending: Not only do savers set goals—such as, I want to have enough money for vacation—but they create a game plan to make those goals a reality. To stay on track, they weigh whether potential purchases are wants or needs while shopping, Trecker says. 
  • Save automatically and systematically: When you practice systematic and automatic saving, it’s easier to reach your financial goals. Use your financial institution’s payroll deduction or automatic transfers to systematically build your savings. 
  • Routinely review the budget: Savers also regularly look at their budget—ideally once a month—and make adjustments to account for changes in income or expenses, Trecker says. As savers become more comfortable with their budget and no longer miss the money they’re setting aside, they gradually save more.
  • Shop around for the best deal: To be a successful saver, it’s important to be on the lookout for ways to cut everyday expenses, including consumer goods and services. Aim to compare your auto and homeowners insurance policies, phone plans, television providers and other services at least once a year, Trecker suggests. 

How to hone these saving strategies

Want to fine-tune your saving habits?

Start small, Trecker advises. If you don’t take advantage of payroll deduction to a savings account, start setting aside as little as $5 a paycheck. In the beginning, it’s really about establishing the healthy habit. Then, increase your deduction over time or with every bonus or raise you receive.

It’s also important to set realistic goals and make concrete plans to achieve those goals. The goal could be as simple as: I want to save $20 more in May.

“Plan for how you can do that,” Trecker says. “Maybe you drink one less latte a week. There’s $20 right there. Then put that money into a savings account.”

And your credit union can help. While Money Smart Week happens once a year, Dupaco aims to helps its members achieve a brighter financial future every day.

During a free Dupaco Money Makeover, you might be alerted to potential budget leaks and savings opportunities. Let Dupaco help you practice systematic savings through automatic transfers and payroll deductions. You also can use Dupaco’s You Name It Savings accounts to help you save for special purchases.

“We realize that everyone is unique in their own way, and we take the time to get to know the member and set up a savings plan unique to that member,” Trecker says. “We want our members to be in their best financial position possible.”

By Emily Kittle

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