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How is your overall wellbeing? Are you balanced? Expand/Collapse

wellbeingThis is it, we have reached our last 25 tips in our summer #CentsAble series. Wow did the summer really go by that fast? Let’s wrap up our last set of tips with a holistic look at our overall well-being and the many aspects that influence our state of well-being. Over the next two weeks, this series will provide tips on how to achieve overall well-being as it relates to your social, occupational, physical and intellectual growth. Here we go!

Need to refresh your memory on the last 25 tips on Spending Responsibly? Check them out here!

Tip#126 
Developing and maintaining strong relationships with family and friends helps you feel energized and empowered

Tip#127 
Finding work that is enjoyable and rewarding, will aid in your sense of satisfaction

Tip#128
Making an effort to eat wholesome, nutritious foods along with daily exercise is a way to maintain a healthy physical lifestyle

Tip#129
Joining a local organization or club is a great way to feel a sense of belonging, it also benefits your community

Tip#130
A good way to stimulate your mind is to set goals and have a plan to execute them

#150tipsfromConexus

Check out our 25 tips on overall well-being from our summer series of #150tipsfromConexus, open up and take a view.

Have you strayed from your spending budget? Expand/Collapse

BudgetsDo I dare say that summer is slipping away, fall is right around the corner and we only have 50 of our 150 tips for the summer left! We have shared a variety of tips from buying big ticket items, to helping in our communities, to being prepared for retirement. If you need to catch up here is where you can find all the tips.

This summer have you strayed from your spending budget? If you answered yes, it’s now time to get back on track. Our next 25 tips are on the basics of spending responsibly, it includes purchases like clothing, food and overall spending habits.

  • Tip#101- How you pay for purchases whether it’s by cash or by credit card is a good indication if you are spending money you don’t have.
  • Tip#102 – Keep a personal spending diary, write down how much you spend daily, it will provide you with good insight to where you can cut your spending.
  • Tip#103 – Organize your purchases by category (food, clothing, entertainment), the categories with the highest monthly amounts are areas to focus on to cut those costs.
  • Tip#104 –Reviewing your bills monthly helps you be aware of those small purchases that are eating up your extra cash.
  • Tip#105- Reviewing your budget monthly keeps you aware of what you can spend based on your monthly income.

The “R” word Retirement have you thought about it? Expand/Collapse

RetirementCan you believe we are over halfway through our 150tips for the summer? Here are a few highlights from the last sets of tips, that will help with summer:

  • Tip# 17 - Install a programmable thermostat, steady temperatures means your AC does not have to work overtime. That’s especially true this summer with all the heat we have been experiencing.
  • Tip# 46 - July- best time to buy furniture, home décor, and tools, great opportunity to escape the heat.
For more of the tips we covered, we have each set of 25 outlined here:

Now it’s time to get into the next 25 tips, retirement.


Let’s face it when summer hits it doesn’t matter what age you are, we all wish we were retired, so we could take in the days of summer however we want. Oh what a wonderful fantasy, lucky for you, we have tips that can help your retirement become a reality!  Let’s take a look at what’s in the tip jar for the next couple of weeks: when to start your retirement planning, family planning and maintenance, becoming an empty nester and the impacts to your plan, lastly when that fantasy becomes a reality and retirement is just around the corner. So hang out with us and check out our next set of tips to get you closer to having fun in sun and reaching your goal for retiring.

#150tipsfromConexus

Let’s start off with some basic tips about retirement

Tip# 76 - Take any extra income and earmark it for retirement and save it away

Tip# 77 – Make it easy, set up automatic transfers to a retirement account

Tip# 78 – How you spend your money now can impact your retirement, start thinking about your spending habits.

Tip# 79 – Invest in your financial education, you can do that by talking to a financial advisor

Tip# 80 – Have a plan in place to get rid of debt before retirement owing money when you are no longer making money can cause stress

What can you do in your community? Expand/Collapse

We all know that the strength and vitality of our communities is all about the people who live in them and support each other in various ways. We see and hear stories about people donating large sums of money to build a hospital wing, or a new community building, or…and the list goes on. While these donations are very important and always appreciated, this isn’t always an option for people. You may be saying, “well yeah those are great things, but what can I do in my community to help out and give back?” The answer is, LOTS! 

In the next 25 tips from our summer series we are going to explore how community enhancement, becoming involved in a community project, caring for our furry friends and getting young people involved can keep your communities strong and vibrant.

Wow! Can you believe we are now up to tip#51?
Check out the latest 25 tips about making a large purchase for a quick recap.

#Tip 51 
One of the best ways to support your community is to promote and support local businesses

#Tip 52
Do a huge favor for your community, chose reusable products like carrying bags, and recycle the products you can

#Tip 53
Bring a mini library to your front yard – it’s a great lending – library where you take a book and leave a book

#Tip 54
Plant a community garden and donate any extra veggies to your local food bank

#Tip 55
Take time to clean up neighborhood playgrounds – making sure structures are safe

#150tipsfromConexus

Are you ready to buy that big ticket item? Expand/Collapse

Big Ticket ItemsOur Summer #CentsAble Series of 150 tips is in full swing. Do you need to catch up? Check out this quick recap of the first set of 25 savings tips or you can check out our last #CentsAble and take a peak back on our Facebook Page. Our next set of tips are all about buying large ticket items.  Everyone has their own vision of what a large purchase might be. Here is what comes to mind for us; it may be buying your first home, a car for that new driver in your family, new furniture after that renovation has been completed, new appliances or something as simple as the expense of getting a fur baby as a new addition to the family. All of these things can be considered big ticket items. It is time for us to share tips to help make those purchases become a reality.

Tip # 26
When you start to think about making a large purchase, start saving. Set a budget aside, and when you have enough, make the purchase.

Tip # 27
If purchasing a car consider buying last year’s model. These models always go on sale in the spring when dealers need to make room for new models coming out.

Tip # 28
Ask yourself, is this purchase a need or a want. If it is a want, only purchase it if you have the cash.

Tip # 29
Quality is important if it’s an item you will use every day. Consider buying, higher quality for things like appliances as they will last longer vs continually replacing cheaper versions.

Tip # 30
Do your research. If you’re planning to add a pet to the family consider all the costs that will be associated with it, yearly vet visits, food, toys and all the other items you may want to make your new addition feel welcome.

150 tips for your life! Are you ready? Expand/Collapse

TipsWe are going to kick off Canada’s 150 birthday with a summer series of 150 life tips, with a small flare on financial tips. Well, come along with us this summer and check out some easy, practical tips. We are showcasing the first 5 tips here, follow us on Facebook to get the rest. #150tipsfromConexus

Tip # 1
Go generic. Ask your physician if generic prescription drugs are a good option for you
 
Tip # 2
Don’t skimp on preventive healthcare. Routine dental checkups, help prevent fillings, root canals, and dental crowns, which are expensive and no fun
 
Tip # 3
When you receive a lump sum of money, like a tax return, automatically put a portion of it into a savings account
 
Tip # 4
Treat yourself but save equally. When purchasing non-essential items, put the same amount you spent into your savings account

Tip # 5
Save your loose change. At the end of each day, empty your pockets and put the change into a jar. You'll be amazed how quickly it adds up

By the end of this, you’ll be thinking, “man I wish I had known that!”

Are you spending more than you have? Expand/Collapse

Spending
Are you consistently spending more than you have? If you are it's an easy way to accumulate debt. To stay out of debt, you’ll need to find a ways to spend less. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself.

  1. Do you eat out a lot?
  2. Do you buy coffee on the way to work each day?
  3. Do you have to buy the latest trends, as soon as they are available?
  4. Are you using your credit card, line of credit  or savings to make purchases?
If you are answering yes to these questions you may be falling into the trap of spending.  We have some great tips to keep you from making your spending a habit.
Making small changes can add up to big savings. If you start by cutting out one expensive coffee to go, every day, you could save about $20 each week. That adds up to more than $1,000 a year.
 
There are many types of spenders out there are you starting to wonder what type of spender you are? Try this money personality quiz to find out?

Being Debt Free is Achievable Expand/Collapse

Debt
Imagine feeling completely at peace about your money because you are debt free. That freedom can be yours if you have a plan. The sad reality is, research shows 51% of Canadians admit to lying about their finances, this is no way to start a debt free relationship.
 
Here are more eye opening debt stats:

  • 73% of Canadians are currently in debt
  • 16% of Canadians 35 or younger have “a good deal or a lot of debt”
  • 23% of Canadians with debt believe they will never be debt free
  • 36% of Canadians believe that “debt is inevitable”
  • On average, most people with debt believe it will take them at least 8 years to be debt-free
You don't want to be a debt statistic, do you? Why not grab debt by the bills and create a plan that will set you free!
 
When you're overloaded with debt, it can be difficult figuring out where to start. You have to figure out which accounts you should pay, in what order to pay them, and how much you need to pay in order to eliminate your debt. By attacking each of these hurdles one by one, you can tailor a plan that fits your budget and debt load. Now is the time to take that big step forward to put together a plan to eliminate your debt.
 
This plan will be the start of your success to achieving your financial goals. If you need help with creating a plan, financial advisors, like those at Conexus, are in a perfect position to help.

Ways to lose your debt – and keep it off! Expand/Collapse

DebtThe key to turning around your debt is to make lifelong spending changes rather than quick, dramatic ones that won’t last, similar to when you're trying to diet. You often hear about people who have lost huge amounts of weight only to gain them back again. It seems to be hard to understand that it has to be a lifestyle change in order to keep the weight off. The same rings true when dealing with an overabundance of debt.  Similar to a diet, you want to have goals to reduce your debt that are realistic, achievable and sustainable. We pulled together some great ideas to help you on your journey to lose your debt – and keep it off.

  1. Have goals

    Sit down and identify specific goals, then write them down and commit to them. When writing your goals look for your high interest debt first, such as credit cards, and commit to putting extra money on to pay off sooner; in the long run this will save you money. Wondering why setting goals is always the first thing we should do? Here are some great benefits for goal setting.

  2. Go on a cash diet

    Go on a cash diet for at least 30 days. This means you will take out an agreed upon amount of cash each week (on the same day, no advances and no exceptions!) and use it for your controllable expenses, such as groceries, eating out, kids activities and entertainment. It’s easy to spend money without thinking about it when you use plastic. Seeing the money come out of your pocket, or account, can be a real wake-up call.

  3. Review your financial goals monthly

    Review your financial goals once a month to see your progress. The benefits to reviewing your financial goals can be as simple as seeing that you've already accomplished a short term goal, which is a great incentive to stay committed to working on reducing your debt.

Is Debt Tapping You on the Shoulder? Expand/Collapse

DebtThere's an old saying when debt starts to catch up to you, "We often rob Peter to pay Paul," in other words we try shuffling money around to make ends meet but we don't address the issue. We think if we don't talk about, it can't be true. Right? When it comes to debt, which we all know can be scary to think about, talking about it is actually the best thing you can do. Sometimes the reasons we are scared to talk about our debt could be as simple as your parents didn't know much about money and never talked about finances with you. But asking for help can be just a conversation, a place to get you started. The conversation could be chatting about giving yourself permission to change. You're probably thinking, "what does that even mean?" This could be deciding to change and focus on your needs versus your wants so instead of the full packed cable options you decide that you don't all of those channels right now. Small adjustments like these can help you get comfortable to talk about your larger debit issues.
 
If you're in debt, you're not alone. Research shows that Canadian household debt is increasing. A large percent of  Canadian families are carrying some form of debt, that includes mortgages, vehicle loans, home renovations, sometimes needs and wants are hard to distinguish between.
 
Sadly debt can take a toll on us mentally, physically and emotionally and keeping your finances in the dark can have effects on your personal and work life. The constant worry over debt can wreak havoc on your mind making it impossible to concentrate on work and family. The more you worry, the more sleepless nights you have, which in turn contributes to your physical well-being and eventually can wear you down.
 
After a while, if it continues, everything starts to snowball and it becomes harder and harder to shuffle money around to meet your obligations, which can add stress and anxiety to your overall health. Being afraid to talk about debt is natural but not talking about debt can have lasting effects on you every day. Studies indicate that there is a link between wealth and health, meaning the stronger you are financially the greater your longevity and wellness will be.
 
Now is the time to become courageous and reach out to get a helping hand to make a plan to reduce your debt. Financial advisors, like those at Conexus, are in a perfect position to help. Let them help you to succeed in your goals on the road to becoming financially well.

Sprucing up for Spring Expand/Collapse

Cleaning ClosetBy the end of March, the days are longer, the air seems fresher, and you now have a spring in your step. Most of us are also getting rid of cobwebs that have been hanging around all winter! Now's the time we look forward to sprucing up our wardrobes, homes, and yards.

As the weather starts to warm up, you work on changing out your winter wardrobe with your spring clothes. This is a great opportunity to evaluate what is going back into your closets and what needs to be replaced or updated. I know you’re probably thinking, "man I would love to switch out all my clothes for new ones", but reality is sometimes that's not always possible. Here are some ideas that can help you update your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Since you are on a roll with sprucing stuff up, there are inexpensive ways you can add some fresh touches to your home that do not take a lot of time or cash. And the bonus is that everyone will think you've spent a lot of time on it!

Your clothes closets are spring ready, your home has a fresh new feel, it’s now time to survey the yard. The snow banks are gone and the tulips are trying to pop through the earth. Before you grab your shovel there, a few things you need to do as we head into warmer temperatures in your yard.

Now that you have taken care of your wardrobe, home, and yard it’s time to enjoy Spring!

Spring has arrived! Expand/Collapse

On Monday March 20, 2017 at 4:29 am CST, spring officially arrived in Saskatchewan and we couldn't be happier. So long, winter boots and toques, hello tulips and umbrella's!Spring

There are a lot of things that are synonymous with spring like spring cleaning and getting active. We also think that spring is a great time to review your finances, if you haven’t already checked out our online Personal Financial Management tool, do it now!

But being financially well is only one part of it. The long, cold winter gets to all of us and getting active and moving will not only benefit your physical health but your mental health too. Take a look at these resources to see just how easy it is for anyone to get outside and get moving! Your body and mind will thank you!

  1. Get Active for Spring
  2. Tools for Getting Active
  3. Spring Activities for Families
And, the great thing about most of these is they are low cost or even FREE! This means you can enjoy them without breaking the new budget you created during your spring clean!  It’s a Win-Win!

It’s an Emergency do you have a fund for that? Expand/Collapse

EmergencyWhen it comes to your finances, you should always be prepared for the unexpected, and this is why you need an emergency fund. Having an emergency fund set aside is the ideal solution. Financial emergencies can come in the form of job loss, significant medical expenses, home or auto repairs or something you’ve never dreamed of. The last thing you want to do is be forced to rely on credit cards or a loan which could simply compound the problem.

Your first step to consider when preparing your emergency fund is to be sure you have considered both fixed and variable expenses.

1. Here are some examples of fixed and variable expenses:

  • Housing Expenses: rent or mortgage, utilities
  • Insurance: life, renters or homeowners  
  • Taxes: income taxes, property or municipal taxes
  • Debt Repayments: credit card debt, student loans, car loans
  • Healthcare: health and dental insurance
  • Childcare: if applicable, day care or babysitter expenses
  • Personal Living Expenses: groceries, personal items
  • Transportation: gas, taxi, or public transportation
Once you've calculated how much you are spending in these categories on a monthly basis, you can then determine how much you need in your emergency fund

2. Getting started

  • If you don’t have an emergency fund set up yet, or you find it difficult to save money the key is to start small.
  • Accumulating one month’s worth of expenses will take some time, but if you set your immediate goals to be small and manageable you will have a better chance to reach them.
3. Your emergency fund

  • Open up a new savings account if you currently don’t have one and begin to save with this first
  • The next step is to get into the habit of making regular deposits into this account
  • Whether it is weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, create a schedule and stick to it 
With spring just around the corner some unexpected emergencies may appear, here how to understand why you need that emergency fund.

Don't let fraud get you! Expand/Collapse

FraudFraud happens year around but, March is the month dedicated to remind you to be aware, recognize and protect yourself against situations that could be fraudulent.


Fraudsters have become more creative through technology to try and lure you in, don’t be fooled! Identify Theft/Fraud and Text Fraud are a couple of ways that technology is being used.

So, what is Identify Theft and Text Fraud?

Identify Theft/Fraud - is acquiring and collecting someone else's personal information for criminal purposes. Identity theft techniques can range from dumpster diving and mail theft, to more elaborate schemes through technology.

Beware of some popular catch phrases used to lure information from you:

  • E-mail Money Transfer Alert: Please verify this payment information below…
  • It has come to our attention that your online banking profile needs to be updated as part of our continuous efforts to protect your account and reduce instances of fraud…
  • Dear Online Account Holder, Access To Your Account Is Currently Unavailable…
  • Important Service Announcement from…, You have 1 unread Security Message!
  • We regret to inform you that we had to lock your bank account access. Call (telephone number) to restore your bank account.

Text Fraud - text message is intended to trigger a quick reaction from you. It can use upsetting or exciting information; demand an urgent response or a false pretense or statement. Phishing messages are normally not personalized.

  • Typically, phishing messages will ask you to "update", "validate", or "confirm" your account information or face dire consequences. They might even ask you to make a phone call.
  • Often, the message or website includes official-looking logos and other identifying information taken directly from legitimate websites. Government, financial institutions and online payment services are common targets of brand spoofing.
Check out the RCMP website or the  for more details about these schemes.

Tips to protect yourself
  • Don’t be fooled by the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase.
  • Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection.
  • Don’t disclose personal information about your finances, bank accounts, credit cards, social insurance and driver’s license numbers to any business that can’t prove it is legitimate.
  • If a scam artist contacts you, or if you’ve been defrauded: Report it! Your reports are vital to the anti-fraud efforts of law enforcement agencies.
Remember stay safe!

Are you prepared for tax time? Expand/Collapse

tax season imageDoes tax time stress you out?  Do you know where all of your tax documents & receipts are?  Why pay more than you should on taxes? Maximize your return with a few organizing steps.

1. Organize a space
  • Designate a space in your home or office specifically for taxes
  • You will need a desktop filing system, place it within reach of your work area
  • If it’s out of site, your paper will surely pile up, so placement is key!
2. Filing system
  • You need to make this process functional and simple, so you can file a receipt or document in a jiffy!
  • Label file folders with categories
  • Create a tax binder as a backup in case your computer breaks down
3. There are online booking keeping programs available for your use, depending on your needs.

4. Don’t forgot about claiming charitable tax credits/donations. This charitable giving not only helps to reduce your income taxes, but also makes our communities, country and world a better place.

5. Have a plan in place for your refund or if you owe taxes, how to pay them.

6. There are number of ways to file your taxes
  • By Mail. You can fill out a paper return and mail it to your local tax services office.
  • Online. Use NETFILE to file your return online.
  • There are other online filing programs as well
Hope you’re thinking about organizing your taxes throughout the year, instead of preparing them a week before they are due. Tax time doesn’t have to be stressful.  Stay organized so you will be prepared ahead of time!!

It's RRSP Time! Expand/Collapse

RRSPCan you believe that it's been 60 years since the RRSP was introduced as a retirement savings tool! Many people today still use an RRSP as place to put extra money such as a bonus, or to reduce income on the tax return.

There are common mistakes to avoid when considering an RRSP or if you have existing RRSP's.

  • Dipping into funds:
    • Dipping into an RRSP for expenses other than retirement income
    • Making random withdrawals from your RRSP can give you a unexpected tax bill in April
    • Now there are two expectations to dip into your RRSP funds and they are for:
      • First -time homebuyers plan
      • Lifelong learning plan

Remember no tax is withheld from these withdrawals so you will need to repay the money over a period of time.

  • Putting in too much money:
    • There are limits to how much you can invest in an RRSP
    • Make sure you know what your limit is- this can vary for people without or with a company pension plan
  • Starting too late:
    • The earlier you start sticking that money away the better
    • It is understandable that it may be hard to begin when you may be working at part - time job - but it does not need to be large sums it can be as simple as tucking away$25 per month

  • Not revisiting your plan:
    • It’s not enough just to open an RRSP and make a yearly, lump sum contribution
    • You need evaluate your retirement goals on a regular basis

Breaking up with Winter! Expand/Collapse

Why is February the month people look forward to after Christmas? February

First of all, by the time February rolls around many of us are ready for a break from winter.

Other reasons for its popularity:
  • It's the shortest month in the year
  • It has a mid-winter break from university and school classes
  • There is a Family Day long weekend
  • And of course, Valentine’s Day!
It’s also the time for the vacation you’ve been planning and saving for since last February.  Don't have a vacation planned for February but want to go somewhere? Well, it's never too late  to start planning!
 
To help you get started with building a plan, here are some questions to ask yourself:
  1. How can you get better financial understanding to achieve measurable financial goals that you set?
  2. How you can take a whole new approach to your budget and improving control over your financial lifestyle?
  3. Did you know that savings created from good planning can prove beneficial in difficult times?
Check out these 10 basic steps to help answer questions and create a #CentsAble plan.
 
No matter what your financial goals are putting a  plan in place is essential for your financial well-being.

To Save or Not to Save that is the Question Expand/Collapse

RRSP vs TFSARetirement
 
Wow did January just fly by or what! Don't let February do the same without taking advantage of a great way to save for retirement. Two popular ways to do this are either an RRSP or a TFSA. You're probably saying hang on a second – what’s the difference and how do I choose which is best for me?
 
RRSP BENEFITS
  • Contributions to your RRSP are tax deductible
  • Pay no tax on interest or other monetary growth until the day your funds are withdrawn
  • A variety of investment options depending on your personal preferences and needs
  • Complete deposit insurance on term deposits
  • Pre-authorized contribution programs make it easy to build a strong retirement fund
 TFSA BENEFITS
  • No minimum contribution required
  • Contribute up to $5,500 per year (as of 2016)
  • Any investment income you earn is tax-free
  • Withdraw money at any time with no tax penalty
  • Unused contributions are carried forward to the next year
  • Choose from a variety of investment options
Both RRSPs and TFSA's have a similar purpose to save for retirement but go about it in different ways, depending on your goals and the stage of life your at.

So let's chat about the difference of each, first an RRSP is meant for your retirement savings and a TFSA can be used for any kind of savings goals.

Another variation is that RRSP deductions are tax deductible and TFSA's – not so much.  You can deduct your RRSP contribution on the income you report on your tax return. A TFSA you can't, however withdrawals are free because you made the contribution with after tax money and RRSP you pay tax on your withdrawals since you made the contribution with pre tax dollars.

Another thing to consider is that when you turn 71, you need to move your money from your RRSP into another investment like an RRIF, with TFSA's on the other hand, there is no age limit.
 
Here is a Retirement Planner and a TFSA calculator to help you!
 
Now you  have a start to see which works the best for your future financial saving goals!

Where has all my money gone and it’s only Monday? Expand/Collapse

Do you know where your money goes?Spending

Imagine this, it's payday, one of the best days of the month! You've worked hard for your money and now it's sitting in your bank account. You check a couple weeks later and it's almost all gone, but you aren't really sure where it went. Sure you bought that new shirt, filled your car up with gas, got groceries and went to the movies, but you didn't spend that much. Then again, you also went out for lunch a few times and you did stop by the ATM once or twice and you… Sound familiar? It can be really easy to let our spending get away from us. But a little here and a little there can really add up in the end. Fortunately, our online banking PFM tool is here to help! With it, you can track exactly where your money goes each month and since you already have a budget in place, especially after last week's post, you can see which buckets you're spending a bit too much in. 

Need help to understand what spending habits are ? Here's a great example: Every morning on your way to work you find yourself in the lineup or the drive thru at your favorite coffee shop buying your morning cup of java. That's a habit!
 
Where do these spending habits come from? Lots of places:
  • We see how our parents or other important people in our lives spend their money
  • Our own personalities and experiences
  • The things we see on the internet, the TV or from the media
  • We see how people we admire and want to be like spend their money
All of us have different spending habits because we are all different people, but we all have something in common. We all need to understand how we spend our money and PFM is a great tool to help with that.

Haven't taken charge of your money yet? Expand/Collapse

recapHere's a quick recap for another look at PFM
 
"When it comes to finances, most people fall into three groups:"
  1. You understand the importance of budgeting, and have one set-up. You watch your spending and have a pretty good awareness of where your money is going.
  2. You see your money come in and you see it go back out. You know you should have a budget and know more about your money, but right now it's not a priority.
  3. You fall somewhere in the middle.
Conexus has created an online tool, Personal Financial Management (PFM), that can help you, whichever group you fall into.

Let's take a quick recap of information this week to help you start, modify or maintain your plan.

Are you ready to roll? Here we go!
  • What is PFM- Personal Financial Management - an online banking tool to help you better understand your finances.
  • How can it help – it can show you how to set up a budget and monitor your spending
First you should revisit the budgeting and spending videos on the PFM page to remind yourself what’s possible.

Okay, now that you’ve got that, let's move on to the many great online apps that can help you like this app that sends you all the weekly flyers and can help with your weekly budget.
 
Remember you can always view your spending and budgets on our Mobile Web and Mobile App features to help you keep on track.

What’s the best cure for a debt hangover? Nope, it’s not orange juice. Expand/Collapse

Are you thinking there is a lot more month left after your payday than there is money?budgeting

You’re not alone and you can turn this around; all you need is a plan – like a budget!

A budget:
  • Gives you control over your money
  • Is a way of being intentional about the way you spend and save your money
  • Keeps you focused on your money goals
  • Helps you avoid spending unnecessarily on items and services that do not contribute to attaining your financial goals
  • Can also keep you out of debt or help you work your way out of debt if you follow it.
Here are six step to get you on your way:
  1. Assess your financial resources – how much money do you have coming in each month?
  2. Determine your expenses - how do you spend your money? Separate your fixed expenses that you must meet (mortgage, rent, car payments, insurance) from variable expenses (food, clothing, entertainment, charitable gifts). Once you see your spending patterns, you may be able to make adjustments to certain expenses.
  3. Set goals – what do you want to achieve with your money? Establish a list of the goals, either long-term like purchasing property or short-term like home improvements or car maintenance.
  4. Create a plan - Once you've figured out how much money is coming in and where it's going, you can put together a plan that matches your goals with your financial situation.
  5. Pay yourself first - When you pay yourself first you simply set aside a certain amount of money each month to go into an account that you will not touch. For those infrequent but anticipated expenses, such as property taxes, vacations, automobile insurance or car maintenance.
  6. Track your progress - At the end of each month, re-evaluate your budget. Compare your actual expenses and income to your budget. And remember, a budget is only a guideline.
Check out our Personal Financial Management in online banking. With it, you can create and manage your budgets based on your spending habits.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated, here’s 8 more tips to help improve your budget plan.

Remember, a budget is only a guideline and is great for a debt hangover; orange juice is for breakfast!

PFM – Your Resolution Secret Sidekick Expand/Collapse

NullThe hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, and those expenses are starting to arrive at your door. What a better time to check out our new exciting online banking Personal Financial Management tools.

What is Personal Financial Management (PFM)? It’s a set of financial management tools designed to help members better understand their finances and inform their overall financial decisions. 
So what does it mean for you? With PFM you can:

  • Track and categorize your spending
  • Set up a budget based on actual transactions, allowing you to set realistic limits based on your current needs and future goals
  • View your spending and budgets on our Mobile Web and Mobile App features

The best part? It’s absolutely free to members and is already completely integrated into the online banking that you all know and love!

You’re probably thinking “great idea” but where do I start? How about 5 easy steps to get control of your finances.

If budgeting and taking charge of your money was one of your New Year’s resolutions, or even if it wasn’t, our PFM tool can help get you started.

What a great way to start 2017!