Know your personal finances inside and out.
Knowing how much money you have is one thing but knowing how to budget for things on a weekly or monthly basis is another. Luckily, we’re here to help you understand your personal finances and how they impact your life.
Financial struggles take their toll mentally and even physically. The key to financial wellness is understanding where your money is going, knowing how to make the best use of the resources available, and learning how to get out of debt, permanently. Money makes the world go ‘round, so arm yourself with the financial literacy tools you’ll need to succeed. You can do it, and we can help.
Turns out, you don’t need an accounting degree to be on solid financial ground, but you should bank with an institution like ABNB that helps you make the most of your money.
Budgeting means creating a plan for your money— and understanding how much comes in, and how much goes out. Some people use spreadsheets for budgets, some folks still balance their checkbooks, and others use online programs that sync with your accounts to create an automatic budget. Whatever option you use, a budget is the number one tool to help you track your spending habits and ensure you’ll always have money for the things you need. Here are some tips.
- Figure out your monthly income. For example, create a spreadsheet and put your paycheck amounts and dates in two columns.
- Below that, plug in the payments you’ll have to make until your next paycheck. List each expense by date, so you know exactly how much is coming out and when. Do this every month until you know how much money you’re left with at the end of the month, which will help you see where you can trim and save.
- If bills in the first half of the month are leaving you with little to no money until your next paycheck, see if you can shift due dates.
- If your spending habits are hindering your ability to pay the basics like rent, utilities and groceries reconsider your extra expenses.
- The key is to make a budget that works for you, and then stick to it.
Once you’ve got a budget, you can start figuring out how much money you can save every month. Savings are another vital tool for short- and long-term financial planning, building a safety net for unexpected expenses and assuring long-term financial wellness.
When you open a checking account with a financial institution like ABNB you should also open a savings account. Whenever you can, you should put some of your income away if possible every month. Whether it's a little or a lot, building savings can help you prepare for unexpected expenses, or help pay your annual taxes.
Emergency funds are vital to your financial wellness. When you prepare your budget, identify how much money you can save each month and deposit some of that money into a designated emergency savings account. Your emergency fund is there to keep you afloat in case you get hurt and can’t work, lose your job, or have some large, unexpected bills come up.
In a perfect world, you should have at least three to six months of income stashed away just in case. It will take time to put that money away, but don’t get discouraged— be disciplined and it’ll be worth it in the long run.
Establishing a positive credit history is something that will definitely help you in the long run. Businesses, apartment communities, and lenders everywhere use your credit history to determine your creditworthiness—or how much of a risk you pose when it comes to the ability to repay your debts and loans.
Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian are three of the main credit bureaus, and they each have their own scoring criteria. Primarily, they’re concerned with the number of accounts you have, how long they’ve been open, your balances, and your payment history. Multiple accounts show you can handle regular monthly payments, but multiple accounts with high balances and several late payments portray you as a risky borrower.
For example, when applying for a credit card, a bank or lender will check your credit score and credit report to find out if you qualify. Good credit equals lower interest rates and vice versa.
Keys to building a positive credit score:
- Focus on one account at a time
- Pay creditors on time, every time
- Carry small or zero balances
- Don’t apply for new accounts too often
Debt Management is the preferred alternative to bankruptcy. Don’t wait until it is too late. You’re not alone because we can help you every step of the way. This is a long-term intensive one-to-five-year program for members who are in serious financial debt, where the monthly obligations equal or exceed their monthly income.
Our Debt Management program includes action items like:
- Adjusting financial priorities and lifestyles.
- Reworking and lowering payments to creditors in a fair and equitable manner, enabling you to meet all your financial obligations.
ABNB vs. BIG Banks
BIG banks are profit driven and view their customers as numbers on a balance sheet. They may offer worldwide ATM access, but they’ll get you with fees on everything.
Credit unions, on the other hand, are not-for-profit financial institutions owned by their members, which means they can offer higher savings rates, lower loan rates, personal member service, and local decision-making. In addition, credit unions have shared branches and surcharge-free ATM networks across the country and offer the same benefits as BIG banks at a lower cost, plus online/mobile banking, mobile deposits, and the latest security features to keep your money safe.
Financial Education Resources
For additional financial planning tips, including FREE financial seminars and no-cost personal financial coaching, contact Joselyn Hansbarger at [email protected]. Please be advised this communication is not encrypted. Please do not include confidential information, such as account numbers or social security numbers in this email.