When you reflect back on 2016, does your financial well-being take center stage? For many of us, we do not think too much about our spending and saving habits from the prior year; but we should.
The last few months of the year are more expensive; shopping, parties, heating and electric bills increase. Where does this extra money come from if you have not saved for it? For most, it comes in the form of a credit card, which will need to be paid. Some people are able to pay off their credit card purchases each month, but for many making the minimum payment is the best we can do. The next credit card statement you receive, take a look at how long it will take to pay off your balance by making the minimum payment each month. It will probably frighten you to see how long and how much extra you will be paying just by making the minimum payment.
There is good news though, CASE Credit Union offers many types of loans including consolidation loans. This type of loan allows you to combine your current balances into one loan and create a payment that you can afford. In some cases, it may create a shorter term to pay the loan off and decrease your interest rate.
But first, it is essential to create a monthly budget. Be sure to include a set aside fund or a holiday account. To decide on just how much to save, add up your total spending during the holidays for the current year and divide that by 12; that is the optimal amount to save each month. You can have it deducted from your paycheck so you will not notice such a difference in your take-home pay. This account will allow you to pay for additional expenses with cash and will empower you to think about your choices prior to spending.
If you need assistance with creating a budget, we are here to help you. CASE Credit Union offers financial counseling to both our members and non-members free of charge. It’s one way CASE Credit Union gives back to our community.
Make a commitment for 2017 to be a year of obtaining better health, both financially and physically. Give us a call, we can help!