Whether you want to make your day-to-day finances more comfortable or get on track to reach your financial goals, checking in with how you’re managing your money can help. At Elevations, our in-branch team of experienced Financial Solutions Guides are ready to assist you. Here are four ways we help members find opportunities during a free personal finance consultation.
1. Where’s your money going?
The first step in any financial plan is to know where your money is going. The Money Management tool in Elevations Online Banking is an incredible resource for inputting and tracking all of your spending. If your finances are tight every month, this resource can help you understand and prioritize spending, so you aren’t anxiously waiting for your next paycheck. Feel confident knowing where your money is going by tracking your spending and creating budgets.
2. Where can you save on your loans?
Next, it’s important to understand where money can be saved or better allocated. Just because you have a low interest rate on a loan doesn’t mean it’s the best product for your financial situation. There are many loan types available. Understanding the real cost of your borrowed money can help you know if you have the right loan product. A Financial Solutions Guide can review your credit and uncover whether it might make sense to refinance a loan or consolidate it into one core product. Although many people think it’s all about saving money on interest, it’s also equally essential to increase cash flow by lowering total monthly payments.
3. How can you improve your credit?
If you need to improve your credit an Elevations Financial Solutions Guide can review your credit reports with you and recommend ways to improve your credit going forward. Secured lending products such as a secured credit card or secured personal loan are great options to rebuild credit. These options can have looser credit requirements to obtain them. Elevations Online Banking also has a FICO® score tool, which is a great free feature to see the health of your credit. Your Financial Solutions Guide can also refer you to GreenPath Financial Wellness, our trusted credit counseling resource for additional assistance if needed.
4. How can you grow your money?
Once all your liabilities have been sorted out and fully understood, it’s time to figure out where your money can grow. While most savings accounts and time certificates or share certificates currently do not yield much of a dividend, it’s essential to have liquidity in your finances. Liquidity allows you to access money should the need arise without having to pay a penalty or wait for a funds transfer. It’s a good rule of thumb to have a comfortable amount in savings that is determined based on your individual needs. This is typically three to six months of funds for essential expenses. If you’re starting from scratch, set up automatic transfers into your savings to build up money over time.
Money you don’t need in this emergency fund can be allocated for other goals, like retirement or saving for college. Again, setting up automatic deposits into your savings as soon as you get paid is one way to chip away at these goals. Elevations members also get a free first consultation with our CFS* Wealth Management advisors, who can provide actionable guidance as you consider investing, retirement planning, saving for college and more.
Want to learn more? Schedule a personal finance consultation with one of our in-house Financial Solutions Guides to better understand the core fundamentals of financial well-being. This team can also tailor products and services to your unique needs, even if that product or service isn’t with Elevations. We build trust with our membership through open and honest recommendations, and one of our favorite parts of the job helping members build financial wellness. Find a branch near you and meet with a Financial Solutions Guide today.
*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC)** and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Elevations Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.