By Debbie Matz, NCUA Board Chairman
America Saves Week and Military Saves Week was the perfect opportunity to take the pledge to save and take control of your financial future. But the lessons of America Saves Week and Military Saves Week continue throughout the year.
In addition to taking the savings pledge, it is also important to set clear, obtainable savings goals. Remember to start off small, like saving for a computer or setting aside money for school. Be sure to track your progress and stay committed to achieving your goal. Remember, small savings victories add up over time. When you’ve met your goal, set another one and keep the savings habits alive. Each milestone will give you the confidence to set bigger goals like saving for a home or college.
Nothing feels better, or makes the most impact on your financial future, than paying off debt. In many instances, the interest paid on any debt, like a credit card, is greater than any return on an investment. Start off small by paying the item with the smallest balance and then keep going.
Finally, always remember the needs versus wants rule: Needs are absolute. Wants can wait. Have clear priorities on what you need to spend money on, like an outstanding debt or past-due account, versus what you want to spend money on, like that new car or TV. This will help you manage your finances, avoid over draft fees, and reduce your stress.