February 10, 2019
By Stacey Young, AVP of Retail Services
It’s February, and chances are, your New Year’s resolutions to save more, pay down debt, and spend less have already fallen to the wayside despite the best of intentions. You may be asking yourself, “How does this always happen?” You start the year enthusiastic and ready to make a change, but daily life and the unexpected always seem to derail you.
As a natural born saver and finance professional, I have coached many UCU members on how to create attainable goals, recover from setbacks, and most importantly, find the fun in saving!
Here are a few tips to make your financial resolutions a success:
- Create a specific goal. Most people are too broad with their goals. Rather than having a broad goal of saving money, set a certain amount for a certain thing, whether it’s a vacation, a new car or a home. This will make the goal seem attainable and give you a clear vision of the reward for saving.
- Take an honest inventory of spending. Many people write down their set expenses and never look at their bank statements to see what they are really spending money on. Log into your account online and see what you are spending on coffee, clothes and dining out. This can often add up to be far more than people think.
- Automate Saving. Each pay period have a certain amount immediately go into savings. If that $50 isn’t in your checking account, you won’t be tempted to spend it. If you have an HSA or FSA, this is even more important because your contributions will be pre-tax.
- Start small. Instead of trying to save $100 a week, start by committing to bringing your lunch to work every day or making your own coffee at home. Build off that small success and add more to it every few weeks as your confidence in saving increases.
- Make it fun! Not everyone will enjoy saving the way I do, but everyone can feel the joy of reaching a hard-earned goal. Make it a game to see how much you can save and what you can cut back on. When you embrace the challenge, you will find more and more places to save money.
For more information savings and financial education, visit our member education portal for tips and guidance. Happy Savings!