Hey New Bedford: It’s Time for a Financial Spring Cleaning!

spring-cleaningThere may still be snow on the ground, but it’s always a good time to do a financial spring cleaning. If you have a credit union checking account or Share savings account at St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford – we can help! There are lots of tools, options and financial opportunities available to members at St Anne that you can use to clean up and boost your finances. Here is a quick overview of all the things that your local credit union can do to help you get on the right financial track:

Basic Budgeting
It all starts with a good budget. The key to great money management is to know how much money you are making, how much money goes out each month for basic, cost-of-living bills, how much money you are saving and how much money is getting wasted on frivolous expenses. It can be difficult – at first – to track every penny you make, but there are a lot of great online tools that you can use, along with your credit union checking account and Share savings account statements, to stay on top of your spending habits. For the first 30 days, just save every receipt and keep track of what you do. At the end of those 30 days, evaluate your spending habits – identify your weak areas and include your strengths into your new budget.

Create an Emergency Fund
One of the ways that people end up getting themselves into financial trouble is through emergencies that are beyond their control. Your car breaks down or you blow a tire. You get into an accident and need medical attention. The heater goes out and it’s 30 degrees outside. There are many different kinds of unexpected expenses that can pop up out of nowhere. If you aren’t prepared with an emergency fund, chances are that you might borrow the money at a high interest rate, use a credit card or cut yourself short on basic needs, like grocery shopping, household purchases, etc. Use your Share savings account at St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford or consider opening a second savings account to keep your emergency fund separate from the rest of your accounts. This will make it less tempting to dip into those funds for non-emergency reasons. Start with $500 or $1000 and build up that emergency fund to be able to cover a month’s worth of average expenses just in case you get in a bind.

Retirement Savings
Are you saving for your retirement? It is never too early – or too late – to start socking some money away for your retirement. Part of financial spring cleaning is planning for your future. Speak with a representative at your local credit union in New Bedford to find out about retirement savings and investment programs available to St Anne Credit Union members. Using a tax-friendly savings program, such as an IRA, can really help you to boost your retirement savings and help you to save money on taxes each year.

Save for Big Expenses
Is there something that you do or pay for once a year every year? From annual taxes to family vacations, college tuition to home insurance costs, it can really pay to save for these big expenses in advance. Consider using a Christmas Club savings account to save for holiday shopping so you won’t put your purchases on high-interest credit cards or spend yourself broke for the month of December. Open up a second Share savings account to put away money for taxes, insurance, vacations, tuition and more so the money will be there and ready when the bill comes due. In the mean time, you can also earn interest that you wouldn’t if you just kept the funds in your credit union checking account.

Refinance Your Loans
Speak with a representative at St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford to find out more about low-interest rate loans for members who have mortgages or car loans. Even if your original loan is not with us, we can offer refinancing opportunities that could save you thousands of dollars in interest over the lifetime of the loan. Our representatives can help you determine whether or not mortgage or auto loan savings can be part of your financial spring cleaning plans. Stop by or give us a call to discuss your options.

Invest in Your Future
Getting good at putting money away in your savings for a rainy day? Have you ever thought about investing your money in a Certificate of Deposit (CD) or Money Market account? These accounts can help you to grow your money and invest in your future much faster than with a traditional Share savings account. Higher interest rates are paid, however there are rules about minimum initial investments, minimum balances and the term that the money must stay invested in order to maximize your earnings. Speak with a representative of your credit union in New Bedford to find out more about the opportunities available through these savings and investment options.

Start Your Financial Spring Cleaning Today!
Just contact St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford to find out about all of the opportunities available to our members. Not a member yet? All you need to do is work or live in Plymouth or Bristol counties right here in Southeastern Massachusetts. Start by opening a basic Share savings account and then add a credit union checking account, IRA, money market account or any other financial option available. Speak with our representatives to find out more about how St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford can help you boost your savings and support your financial spring cleaning today!