Were you one of them? Whether your resolution was to dig out from debt; save money; set something aside for retirement; establish a college account; or just become more financially savvy, the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union has financial products and tips that can really make a difference.
Set SMART goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Generalized statements like “I want to save more money in 2019” won’t help. Set a goal to save a specific amount of money each pay period and a total amount over the year. Don’t set your goal so high that you can’t achieve it, but don’t set it so low that it’s not helpful. Put a timeframe around the goal. If you are saving for a specific purpose, tie the behavior to that purpose. For example, you might set the following goal: “I will set aside $20 per pay in 2019 to fund a down payment on a new home.”
You can apply the SMART principle to any goal you want to achieve – paying down debt, paying off your mortgage, setting aside money for retirement. Wherever possible, automate the process so you don’t have to think about it.
Create a budget. Your budget should be realistic, taking into account everywhere your money goes. But it should also cause you to make changes in your spending, especially if paying off debt or saving for the future are among your priorities, as they should be! There are many budgeting systems, programs and apps available to help you create and manage your budget, including a free online budgeting tool available to UKFCU members. You might also investigate apps like MINT, Every Dollar and Clarity Money. We have seen many customers achieve remarkable success by creating and sticking to a budget. You can too!
Cut expenses. An important part of the budgeting process is looking at where your money is going and setting priorities. You have undoubtedly heard about the wastefulness of the morning $5 latte.
But there are other ways to reduce financial waste, including your credit cards. When was the last time you really looked at your credit card statement interest rate? You might be shocked to learn that you are paying interest rates of 24, 25, or even 28 percent on some cards!
Open a new UKFCU Visa account in January with a transfer balance and you’ll earn 1 percent cash back on the balance transfer, subject to credit approval and disclosures. The UKFCU Visa card is available with very affordable rates; there is no annual fee; and members enjoy the CURewards program. The money you save in interest and fees can go far in helping you achieve your financial independence in 2019!*
Educate yourself. The financial world can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! UKFCU offers unbiased, reliable financial education through its Smart Money Center. UKFCU can help you learn how to save for, and buy, a home; use credit cards wisely; invest for the future; manage debit; understand your money personality; manage student loans; and even develop your career! It’s all available, free of charge, to everyone, in the UKFCU Smart Money Center online.
If you’re a podcast listener, consider subscribing to a personal finance podcast or two, such as So Money; Stacking Benjamins; The Fairer Cents; or Dave Ramsey. Search your podcast provider – Stitcher, Apple, Google Play – and check a few out.
Practice not spending. We live in a society in which spending money is a daily habit. But do you really need to spend money every day? Probably not. You can practice money mindfulness by designating a day or two a week as spending holidays. It can be challenging, but with a little planning and some discipline, you too can kick the spending-every-day habit and reap the rewards.
Need more help?
The University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union is here for you! As a not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution, our mission is to help members achieve financial well-being by building financial partnerships member by member. Come in and see us! We would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your financial goals and the ways we can help you achieve them.
*Offer available 01/01/19 – 1/31/19. Must be a UKFCU member. Balance transfer must be from a non-UKFCU credit card to receive funds. 1% of balance transfer will be deposited within 60 days into a Prime Share Savings Account, up to a $100 maximum. Annual Percentage Rates are current as of 09/27/2018 and subject to change. Other restrictions may apply. See a representative for more details.