6 Steps Toward Financial Well-being
Aug 10, 2022
1. Put your money on autopilot—Set up direct deposit, authorize electronic payments, and automate routine savings. Streamlining your finances with online tools not only saves time, it can also help you avoid overdrafts and late fees. Plus, it makes saving easier!
2. Create a spending plan—Only about 40% of adults have a budget, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. By using our free online budgeting tool, Money Management, you can keep track of expenses and compare them to your monthly take-home pay. See where you’re spending too much and make any necessary adjustments or set goals for those big milestone purchases.
3. Build an emergency fund—Not having an emergency fund is like driving without wearing a seatbelt; it’s a risk that could ruin the rest of your life. More than half of Americans don't have a rainy-day fund and 40% don’t even have $400 in cash saved for emergencies. Set a goal to save 3 to 8 months of income. Then open an IAACU Savers Club account and start saving. You can start small with $10 to $20 per check. To make it easy, set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your Savers Club account.
4. Increase your credit score— Monitor and improve your credit score with our free tool My Credit Score. Improve your score by making sure you pay bills on time, every time; paying more than the minimum if possible; not using more than 30% of your available credit; not opening multiple new accounts in a short time period; and keeping your oldest existing credit open (the longer a credit history, the better). Also, if you have parking tickets or library fines, pay them off. Debts are reported to credit reporting agencies, and they can knock down your credit score.
5. Request your credit report—You’ll want to make sure there are no errors, and no one is using your credit unlawfully. You can request one free credit report a year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus by visiting: annualcreditreport.com.
6. Beef up retirement funds—Make regular contributions to a retirement savings plan such as a 401(k) or IRA. If your company offers a 401(k) plan, contribute at least enough to meet the company match. If you don't, it's like leaving free money on the table. Another great option would be to open an IRA at IAA Credit Union!