Happy Financial Literacy Month! At CCU, we are passionate about helping others make the best decisions possible with their money. In that spirit, we’ve put together our top 5 financial literacy tips below!
- Check Your Credit Reports Regularly
When was the last time you checked your credit reports? Best practice is to pull your credit reports once a year from each of the three credit-reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Reviewing your reports allows you to take a deep dive into your finances and gain a stronger understanding of your entire financial picture. If you’re concerned about identity theft, reviewing your reports can help give you peace of mind as well! If anything looks suspicious or if there’s an error, it’s easy to report any discrepancies you find.
- Set Financial Goals
One of the biggest parts of creating a financial plan that works for you is setting goals and working towards them. Whether you’re saving up for a vacation, or planning to pay down debt, we always recommend making sure your goal is SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Thinking about your goals in this way will help you really stay on track and monitor your progress easily!
- Automate your Savings
Saving can be difficult, especially when you have multiple priorities for your finances. That’s why we recommend taking advantage of your financial institution’s digital banking services and automating your savings! If you know you’ll get paid on a regular schedule, set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account on each payday. That way you’ll be saving regularly without even having to think about it!
- Review Your Accounts
How often do you check in on your bank accounts? If you’re not regularly reviewing your balances and transaction history, now is a great time to begin that habit! Build in a finance review into your weekly routine. Sit down with your financial institution’s app, and make sure you recognize all the recent charges, and your balances are what you expect. If you see something out of the ordinary or that you don’t recognize, don’t delay! Reach out to your financial institution right away!
- Prevent Impulse Buys
Stores both online and in person are designed with your wallet in mind. Instead of trying to save you money, there are a lot of suggestions to get you to spend more. Checkout lines are filled with products, and websites will offer you suggestions based on your browsing history. It can be incredibly easy to see a suggestion and simply add it to your cart. But is it something you really need? When you see something while shopping, wait 24 hours. Is it something you’re buying on impulse, or is it something you still want after waiting 24 hours? The choice is ultimately yours, but we’ve found that by waiting an extra day, we’d rather have the money in our pocket than the impulse buy.
We hope these tips help you during Financial Literacy Month and beyond! To learn more about personal finance and how CCU may be able to help you, visit https://www.corningcu.org/