Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
September 9, 2021

Nine Tips to Be Smarter with Your Money

You’ve most likely noticed that we share financial advice about things like budgeting, retirement planning, building credit and lots more in the interest of helping you grow your financial knowledge. We’re firm believers in the concept that you don’t have to be rich to be smart with your money and advocate that building a foundation of financial literacy is important for everyone.

Today, we’re bringing you helpful financial advice from nine Grow team members about several important categories of financial wellness: savings, credit, auto loans, budgeting and protecting yourself from scams.

Savings

“I live by the motto ‘pay yourself first.’ Basically, I do an automatic transfer of a set percentage to my savings each paycheck, so it’s out of sight and out of mind. That way, I’ll have things covered if a rainy day comes along.” – Angelica Nguyen, Finance Management Program Associate

“You never know when an unexpected expense may hit, so whenever I get cash or change, I like to save it. That way when something does come up, I have some money set aside so I can focus on resolving it.” – Hannah Pegues, Loan Resolution Specialist

“When it comes to saving, I like to set incremental goals each year. Something as simple as increasing my saving by 1% really makes a big difference toward long-term goals.” – Allyson Wicker, Mortgage Loan Consultant

These team members understand that it’s important to save for unexpected expenses, set financial goals and use compound interest over time to your advantage.

Credit

“I like to make a couple payments on my credit card balance throughout the month, rather than one lump sum, to help keep my credit utilization ratio looking good.” – Tammy Bowman, Relationship Specialist

“I set up automatic payments for my credit card so the balance is paid every month directly from my bank account. This way, I avoid paying interest while still enjoying the benefits of my rewards credit card. Even if you can’t pay the balance in full, at least automate the minimum payment, that way you never pay late fees.” – Ryann Donahue, Content Specialist

Tammy and Ryann are right on with their advice. Looking to improve your credit score? Check out these good credit habits.

Auto loans

“I like to pay a little extra on my car loan each month, even if it’s only $50. That way, I’m setting myself up to save big on interest over the life of the loan and shaving several months off the payment timetable.” – Ja’Mia Canadiate, Relationship Specialist

Ja’Mia is on to something. Saving on interest? That’s a win in our book! In addition to paying extra when you can, there’s another simple change to the way you pay that can cut hundreds (or more) off your auto loan. Learn more.

Budgeting

“I stick to a budget. It allows me to jumpstart my savings, pay off debt quickly and make progress toward my financial goals. I use the Budget widget in Grow Online Banking because I can create personalized budgets for each of my accounts and watch where my money is going.” – Marquise Davis, Fraud Investigator

“In my household, my wife and I review our expenses monthly. Then, we determine our budget for different categories, such as groceries and entertainment, to keep us on track. Communicating about our financial plan helps both of us have a clear understanding of where we are, what we can do and where we’re headed.” – James Kapish, Senior Internal Communication Specialist

Both Marquise and James know that when it comes to finances, being freeform is not the best option. Make sure you’re on track by using a budget and evaluating it frequently. New to budgeting? Get started today.

Protecting yourself

“You can’t be too careful with your finances, so I check my accounts daily for suspicious activity. Grow makes it easy to keep an eye on things, even on the go, with the mobile banking app.” – Chantel Negron, AVP Asset Protection

Following Chantel’s advice as well as monitoring your monthly statements are important steps in protecting yourself. Stay a step ahead of scammers by understanding how to avoid online banking scams and common holiday scams.

Want more articles like this? We share financial literacy education on a wide variety of topics to benefit our members and anyone else interested in learning more. Is there a financial topic you’d like us to cover? Tell us by sending a message on Facebook or Instagram. We love hearing your input!


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