SCE Federal Credit Union's Financial Fitness Checklist

Jul 17, 2012 | Tips & Alerts

Considering that US consumer debt topped $11.4 trillion in 2011, it's no surprise that many people are unable or unsure how to flex their financial muscles. For that reason, SCE Federal Credit Union has created a financial fitness checklist to help consumers get in financial shape.

"With the US economic climate being a bit chilly, it's imperative that consumers have the knowledge and resources to live within their means," said Abigail Ulm, SCE Federal Credit Union Foundation manager. "Financial fitness starts with developing proper spending, saving and credit habits."

How to become financially fit

SCE Federal Credit Union offers these tips:

Set goals

  • Outline your long-term and short-term financial objectives
    Whether it's putting money away or paying off student loans, set benchmarks and create a timeframe in which to accomplish your goals.
Save, save and save some more
  • Construct a budget and stick to it
    Track all monthly expenses and deduct them from your monthly income. If more money is going out than coming in, it's time to reevaluate your lifestyle. A 20- to 25-percent reduction in your spending is a good way to start.
  • Pay yourself first
    Before you rush out to buy the latest consumer goodie, be sure to protect your financial future by depositing money in a savings account. SCE Federal Credit Union offers a variety of savings options, including the Super Saver, IRA Savings – Traditional, Roth or Eductional Youth, Vacation Club and more.
  • Break bad spending habits
    Dining out regularly and early morning coffee runs can quickly rack up the bucks.
Dodge debt
  • Keep a close eye on your credit score
    Routinely review the credit score you're assessed by each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Review the scores for accuracy and be sure to challenge any inaccurate items.
  • Make your credit work for you
    Only use credit when absolutely necessary, and repay your credit card bills in full, if possible, at the end of each month. use loans for long-term goal achievement – starting a business, buying a home or paying for education.
Review your retirement plan
  • Make the most of yoru income
    Contribute to a tax-deferred retirement plan – preferably with compounded interest. If your employer matches contributions, be sure to take advantage of the free money.
Manage your money
  • Designate an area in your home to perform money management
    Use this space to keep all sensitive financial information and bills categorized and secure.

 

At SCE Federal Credit Union, we pride ourselves on providing our members with exceptional service and solutions to promote financial growth. Let our advistors help you achieve your financial goals.