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Welcome To The Insighter!

Explore the latest happenings at Kirtland CU and learn about important topics from around the financial world. Here’s your insight! To learn about retirements, investments and financial planning, check out Invested now.

Spring Clean Your Finances

By K-Staff

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The weather is warming up, the flowers are in full bloom, the trees are green – it’s finally spring, and that means one thing. It’s time for spring cleaning!

April is National Financial Literacy Month (also known as National Financial Capability Month) – this period was established in 2004 to raise awareness about financial education and understanding of financial services and products. What is financial literacy, though? It’s defined on Wikipedia as “the possession of the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.” Basically, it’s anything that helps us make smarter decisions about using our money.

How can we combine spring cleaning and financial literacy? By getting our finances in order!

Budgeting 101

The first thing you can do to start getting your finances organized is to create a budget – basically a spending plan based on your income and expenses.

Start by determining how much income you receive (or estimating it as best you can if you don’t have a steady income stream), and then organize your expenses into three categories: needs, wants, and savings. Needs are things you can’t do without – housing, basic utilities, transportation, groceries, insurance, child care, etc. You should commit 50% of your income to needs. Wants are less essential things – dining out, traveling, entertainment, etc. Leave 30% of your income for wants, and commit the remaining 20% into savings or paying off existing debts.

By following the 50/30/20 rule as a budget framework, you can help organize your spending and determine what you need to adjust to best fit your available resources and lifestyle.

If this seems daunting, it doesn’t need to be – Kirtland CU offers Money Management in our online banking suite for free, and this includes budgeting solutions, tracking spending across multiple accounts, trends from the past 12 months, and more! Click on Manage Money in Online Banking and choose Money Management to get started, or learn more at KirtlandCU.org/money.

Educate Yourself

Budgeting is the key to several other tenets of financial literacy – controlling your spending, managing your debts, and planning for your future, whether for college, investments, or retirement – but another key to financial literacy is education.

To assist with this, Kirtland CU has partnered with MoneyEdu to develop our Financial Wellness Center.

Through MoneyEdu, our members have free access to online courses on multiple topics surrounding financial literacy, including budgeting, investing, managing debt, and financial planning. In addition to guided courses, we also have free articles in the Financial Wellness Center on dozens of different topics.

Need help with tracking a budget, or want to calculate what it will take to get your credit card paid off? MoneyEdu has calculators, assessments, and data tools to assist with several real-world scenarios – from estimating loan payments to comparing college costs, you can use these tools and resources to gain knowledge on what matters to you.

Finally, Kirtland CU has free credit counseling through Money Management International – call them at 877-311-2227 and you can talk to a counselor at any time.

Find out about everything our FREE Financial Wellness Center has to offer at KirtlandCU.org/FWC.

Don't Be a Victim!

You need to know about credit union impersonation scams so you can avoid becoming a victim of these nefarious tactics.

Online and Mobile Banking will be unavailable on Thursday, May 9 from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Friday, May 10.