5 Common Financial Mistakes Made by Consumers in New Bedford

New Bedford Credit UnionWhen it comes to making smart financial decisions, each generation has faced different challenges. However, while economics used to be taught freely in middle school and high school, many districts are no longer requiring students to take a personal finance course. Studies show that 20 percent of American teens lack an understanding of even the most basic financial skills, putting our nation far behind several other countries. As a result, many adults today, in particular in the “millennial generation,” do not have the capacity to properly manage credit, debt, and interest.

Credit union online banking can help struggling young adults learn how to properly manage their personal finances through various programs designed to support members. New Bedford credit savings and checking programs available at St Anne Credit Union can provide standard financial tools and education to help members to stay on top of savings and monthly expenses while looking to the future. A credit union auto loan or home loan can protect members from high-interest lenders with deceptive practices that might result in negative New Bedford credit checking results.

Why a Credit Union Instead of a Bank?

Traditional banks work for a group of board members who seek to make a profit from account holders through increased fees, interest rates, and other charges. Credit unions work on behalf of their members, working to make strategic gains that will result in profits that are passed on to those members in the form of discounted or eliminated fees, lower interest rates on loans, and better interest on savings. If you want to improve your financial health and work with an organization that truly has your best interest in mind, consider joining a credit union instead of opening an account with a traditional banking institution.

Mistake #1 – No Budget

Do you sit down each month and make a budget? Having a budget will help you stay focused on the bills that need to be paid, such as rent, utilities, food, and entertainment while ensuring that you don’t over-spend on extras and can afford to put money away into savings for your future. Studies reveal that only approximately 40 percent of all Americans even use a monthly budget. It can be tough to sit down and write it all out, but once you get going, budgeting can become an excellent habit.

Mistake #2 – No Emergency Savings

How much money do you have in your savings account? Today’s credit union online banking opportunities make it easy to do everything from seeing if a check has cleared or making a payment on your credit union auto loan. But did you know that you can transfer funds between your New Bedford credit savings and checking accounts online? Studies show that Americans should have at least three months of bills, rent or mortgage, and household needs saved up in case of an emergency. Figure out how much you need each month and set a goal for your savings account that will provide you with a cushion for the future.

Mistake #3 – No Retirement Planning

What will you do when you become too old to work? That might not be a concern right now, but by the time most people are 40, they begin dreaming about retirement. Even if you have a pension or retirement plan at work, it is essential to contribute to a savings program of some kind. St Anne Credit Union has an IRA Share Account option that only requires a minimum $500 balance to get started. The time to start planning for your retirement is today!

Mistake #4 – Spontaneous Purchases

Springing for lunch or the occasional latte is not a big deal when it comes to your overall financial health, but if you do it every day, it can add up fast. Big purchases are even worse. You spot that TV you’ve been wanting on-sale at a really great price, but didn’t save up enough or budget for it. You put the purchase on your credit card or decide not to put money into savings this month so you can afford it. These small and seemingly insignificant decisions can establish a bad pattern of behavior, putting off essential bills and savings plans for instant gratification.

Mistake #5 – Not Treating Savings Like a Bill

When you create your budget and list mortgage or rent, electric, gas, cable, internet, mobile phone service, groceries, and other essentials, don’t forget to include your savings. Even if you only do $25 a month, putting savings down as a bill is like a promise to yourself to put that money away. If you can do more, that’s great; but if you can’t, at least you met the minimum that you set for yourself. Over time you can increase that $25 to $50, $100 or more to help you reach your goals even faster.

Join St Anne Credit Union

If you are interested in learning more about the options available for credit union online banking tools at St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford, give us a call at 508-993-0011. We can answer your questions about everything from how to become a member, to our opportunities for New Bedford credit savings, checking and more. We can also discuss programs for credit union auto loan and home loan applications, along with IRA Share retirement savings and other financial management plans. Call today or stop by our branch location on Union Street in New Bedford, MA.