Category Archives: Budget

Your Financial To-Dos

Dylan R.

We want you to find financial success—without the stress. Just complete these monthly tasks to stay on top of your finances all year long. July: Seek out summer fun on the cheap. Camping, local festivals, West Michigan beaches—we live in an area that provides numerous inexpensive options for summer fun with family and friends. What’s your favorite? August: Invest in your future. It’s Back to School season! Even if you’re not headed to class, take some time to plan for your future, whether it’s picking up a new skill to boost your career, helping your kids prep for school, or reviewing your retirement saving options. September: Review your debt. What kind of debt do you have? Are you prioritizing payments on certain loans to help you reach your goals faster? Could refinancing lessen the burden of your monthly loan payments or save you money in the long term? If you … …continue

Leave a comment

More Questions from Our Members: Budgeting

Tim Kosak 2

As part of our Consumers ConnectU financial education series, Tim Kosak, our Consumer Lending Manager is hosting monthly “Ask Tim Anything” chats on our Facebook page. In our most recent chat, he answered several member questions about budgeting. Have questions yourself? Stop in any of our offices or give us a call at 800.991.2221 for a personalized answer. And keep an eye on our Facebook page for our next Consumers ConnectU Facebook chat with Tim! Q. Are there steps to follow or a guide to look through to start a good budget plan and start putting some money away? A. Yes! Our partners at Accel Financial Services are available to help any of our members create a personalized budgeting plan, and their services are free to all Consumers members. The FTC website also offers many good resources for getting started. Here is a link to their budgeting worksheet. They key … …continue

Leave a comment

Your Financial To-Dos

Antwan_B_9668

Consumers Credit Union wants you to find financial success—without the stress. That’s why we’re bringing you our monthly list of financial to-dos. Just complete these tasks to stay on top of your finances all year long. April: File your taxes (if you haven’t already). Don’t forget that Consumers members can take advantage of a discount on TurboTax federal products! Visit ConsumersCU.org/MemberBenefits/Discounts. May: Plan your home maintenance and repairs. If you need to replace your roof, have been meaning to improve your home’s energy efficiency, or want to add a deck for summer fun, now’s the time to explore your financing options and set your budget. June: Time for a summer getaway! If you haven’t already made your vacation plans, keep an eye out for last minute deals—and make sure your car is in shape for your road trip! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for reminders and encouragement to complete … …continue

Leave a comment

What’s Your Money Personality?

Puzzled Girl

The information in this post is provided by our partner Accel Financial Counseling. Accel’s counseling services and educational programs are available free to all Consumers members. Have you ever wondered why you use money in a particular way? Many forces impact the development of your money personality. You make purchases to fulfill desires and to make yourself feel a certain way. Some spending influences include: advertising, media, society, friends, family, and easy credit. In addition, shopping is an “experience” to enjoy and there are so many goods that are so affordable. One way to evaluate your approach to money is to identify your attitudes about money. Where do you fit? Hoarder – The hoarder likes to save, budget, and prioritize Spender – The spender likes to spend Planner – The planner is the nitty-gritty, take-it-one-step-at-a-time type Dreamer – The dreamer hatches passionate schemes, but has no idea how to make … …continue

1 Comment

In Case You Missed It: A Recap of Our Ask Tim Anything ConnectU Facebook Budget Chat

Tim Kosak 2

As part of our Consumers ConnectU financial education series, Tim Kosak, our Consumer Lending Manager, will be hosting monthly “Ask Tim Anything” chats on our Facebook page. In January, he took your budget questions. In case you missed it, here’s the play by play. Q: How would you make it fun? A: Great question! I recommend building in rewards. As you see your progress, reward yourself with something that doesn’t break the bank, like a dinner out or a movie. And keep the ultimate goal in view. What will this budget mean for your family? Is it a better house? College tuition? Use short term rewards and long term rewards like the bigger goals you’re working towards. Make it personal—use pictures and reminders to motivate yourself. Q: Tim, where do I even begin with this whole budgeting thing? A: First, get your team together. Who are the stakeholders? Make sure … …continue

Leave a comment

Ten Rules for Successful Money Management

Calculator

The information in this post is provided by our partner Accel Financial Counseling. Accel’s counseling services and educational programs are available free to all Consumers members. Always remember that the most important factor in using money wisely is not how much money you make, but how you manage your spending! Here are ten rules that can help you achieve financial success. 1. Arrange a family system for handling money and make certain that everyone in the family is involved and understands it. 2. Make a spending plan suited to your own income and needs. Don’t try to follow others – a spending plan is a personal system to help you and your family. 3. Decide on your family’s most important goals. Spend your money on things that will care for your family’s welfare and happiness. Take a minute to decide how important it really is to you and your family, … …continue

Leave a comment

Consumers Makes Your Tax Season Easier

Tax Forms

Few people enjoy preparing their tax returns. That’s why we make it easier for you to access the documentation you need to get them done—and offer discounts on TurboTax federal products. We will be mailing your 1099s and 1098s to you by the end of the month. If you’d like to get a head start on your return, they’re now available to you in Online Banking. Simply log in to Online Banking at ConsumersCU.org and click on “eStatements/Tax Forms” on the “Alerts & Statements” tab. Make sure your pop up blocker is disabled, as this will open in a new tab or window. If you select eStatements from our mobile site, you will be rerouted to our full website. If you earned more than $10 of interest in 2013, you will have a 1099. If you paid more than $600 of interest on a real estate secured loan (a mortgage … …continue

Leave a comment

Your Financial To-Dos

Theresa R., joined 2002

Consumers Credit Union wants you to find financial success—without the stress. That’s why we’re bringing you our monthly list of financial to-dos. Just complete these tasks to stay on top of your finances all year long. January: Review your budget. How did you do at sticking to your budget in 2013? Now’s the time to evaluate your budget and make changes for this year. Didn’t make a budget last year? Start by tracking your spending for a month to see where your money really goes. February: Create savings accounts to keep you on track with your goals. To help you stay on track with your budget, create savings accounts for your financial goals—a down payment, a vacation, an emergency funds, or presents for next Christmas—whatever it is you’re working toward. March: Check your credit report. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the … …continue

Leave a comment

Seven Steps to a Successful Budget

Budget

The information in this post is provided by our partner Accel Financial Counseling. Accel’s counseling services and educational programs are available free to all Consumers members. Budgeting can be a simple and straightforward process. It can also be a rewarding experience for all family members. But, it takes interest and commitment. Here are seven steps to help you create a successful budget. 1. Discuss Values Determine what is most important to the people involved in your budget, or spending plan. By understanding these values, you can make decisions that will provide you with the most satisfaction. 2. Set Goals Begin setting goals by discussing with family members what each one may want to do with their money. An example of a goal might be to save for a child’s education. Have each member list the goal and a deadline. Work on the most important goals first. Put money aside in … …continue

Leave a comment