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August 10, 2022
Four Financial Organization & Monthly Budget Tips
August may seem like an odd time to think about financial organization. After all, it’s the end of summer, when most people are enjoying the last few weeks of barbecuing and backyard pool parties before the kids go back to school. But we’re here to tell you that August is a great time to tackle a few tasks that’ll get your monthly budget ready for the rest of the year. Here are just a few ways you can use this month to get ahead:
Budget for your child’s fall and winter activities.
Buying school supplies unfortunately isn’t the end of expenses for the fall semester. Several other items usually come up, so make sure to budget for them. Think about things like field trip costs, teacher appreciation gifts, birthday presents for classmates and any other various school-related spending. While there are ways to shop affordably for these items, miscellaneous costs can add up quickly, so it’s a good idea to think about building them into your monthly budget.
Organize important documents.
When it comes to financial organization, keeping your important documents in one place allows you to access them easily and quickly. Not only does this make your monthly budgeting and bill paying easier, it’s also a big help come tax time. Don’t forget about:
- Birth certificates and Social Security cards
- Receipts, especially those related to potential tax deductions, if applicable
- Important mail, like monthly credit card statements, communication from lenders and other documents you may need to reference later
Start your own filing system in a way that makes sense to you, that way you can stay organized throughout the year. If you’re busy or just hate filing, it’s a good idea to have an incoming paperwork drop-zone for anything you don’t have time to sort immediately. Then, set aside time each week to sort the pile. Another tip: get a shredder to help protect yourself from identity theft by ensuring your personal information isn’t available in your trash can.
Start saving for the holidays.
Winter holidays will be here before you know it, so get ahead of them with a specific holiday savings fund. Decide an approximate amount that you will want for each holiday your family celebrates, then think about how much you’ll need to put aside each paycheck accordingly. Food and travel costs can add up too, so don’t forget to work those into your monthly budget. If you could benefit from keeping funds for the holidays separate from your regular savings, you may want to consider opening a Club Account.*
Review your credit report.
Reviewing your credit report regularly helps you catch fraud or errors quickly and keeps you aware of how your credit is doing. That’ll help you year-round because good credit means better rates and more favorable terms on credit cards and loans. You’re legally entitled to a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus, so be sure to take advantage. The official, safe way to obtain your free reports is through AnnualCreditReport.com. For more about improving your credit, visit our Credit Education page.
If the idea of financial organization makes you want to think about anything else (and maybe go back to bed), you’re not alone. But if you have the right tools and systems in place, organization can be your best friend. Staying on top of your monthly budget, planning for miscellaneous expenses, organizing your important paperwork and regularly reviewing your credit are things that will help you stay on track throughout the rest of the year.
*Grow Savings Accounts are subject to ChexSystems® approval.
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card, personal loan and HELOC payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for personal first or second mortgages and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733