Understanding Your Finances

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1 Understanding Your Finances

2 Getting a handle on your finances can be difficult, especially when you find yourself... Dealing with low credit scores, Living paycheck to paycheck, Not knowing where your money goes.

3 Unfortunately there is no quick fix and when you receive enticing offers, such as Credit problems? No problem! We can erase your bad credit 100% guaranteed. Create a new credit identity legally. We can remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and bad loans from your credit file forever! Do yourself a favor and save some money, too. Don t believe these statements. Only time, a conscious effort, and a personal debt repayment plan will improve your credit report. Above from the FTC website, for more information, click here.

4 According to the Federal Trade Commission website, self-help may be the best. The following material contains tips on: Budgeting basics Understanding cash flow Getting help when you need it

5 How to start? You ve taken the first step, by becoming a credit union member, you join 89 million Americans who have selected a credit union as their financial institution.

6 What makes a credit union unique? YOU!

7 As a Service Credit Union member you are one of 100,000 individuals who own this financial institution. This credit union, as well as all other credit unions throughout the world, promote thrift. What is thrift? It is careful money management.

8 What are some other ways you can work towards a healthy financial future? DEVELOP A SPENDING PLAN Also known as budget. Budgeting has a negative connotation, but start to think of it as a way to achieve your financial success. You can also think of it as cash flow.

9 Why Budget? Budgeting is the first step on the road to financial success. Controlling your day to day finances allows you to do the things you want to do.

10 Balancing income & expenses ~ Start budgeting now don t wait until you re financially on your feet to develop a spending plan. The sooner you begin, the better off you ll be. A budget is nothing more than the activity of balancing income vs. expenses.

11 How to start? If you haven t budgeted before, or feel at this point you don t know where your money is going, try this... For the next month, write down EVERYTHING you spend money on and anytime you receive money. You may be very surprised at where you actually spend money.

12 Sample of a monthly tracking sheet ~ Create a tracking sheet which looks similar to this spreadsheet. You can create it long hand, or use software if available.

13 Creating a personal budget ~ Track your expenses using the previous monthly tracking sheet Figure out the amount of money you re spending What do you have to spend? What are you spending that isn t a necessity? Take a look at how you spend your money.

14 Once you ve established your income vs. your expenses ~ Is your income greater than your expenses? YES great, then it s time to focus on savings! NO there s a problem, where can you cut spending?

15 Do your expenditures exceed expenses? Take a look at what you can do without A daily cup of coffee could add up to $547 a year that s assuming you spend $1.50 on for a cup. Bring your lunch from home eating out and spending between $ $10.00 a day, could be between $ $1500. Buying things you need on sale, saves money.

16 There are several ways to put together a spending plan ~ The important thing is to use what works for you! It helps to categorize your spending. This can be as detailed or general as you want.

17 The following slide demonstrates cash flow (1) Take a look at your income. If you live in a two-income family or you receive additional income (bonuses, commission, child support, etc.) take that into consideration. (2) What are your expenses? what do you need to pay? Consider housing, utilities, food, gas, necessary items. (3) Add your income subtotal (4) Add your expenses - subtotal

18 (cont.) (5) Subtract your expenses, from your income. These are discretionary funds. This left over amount will help you develop savings. (6) Save as much as you possibly can. If you can, start with saving half. (7) Saving a regular amount on a consistent basis, provides you a safety net, for future needs or emergencies.

19 Cash flow ~ Place income here. If you have two incomes, or receive extra income (bonuses, overtime, etc.) enter here. Add your income. Keep a running total of your expenses. Modify the categories, so they fit into your lifestyle. Subtract subtotal of expenses from subtotal of income. Commit to saving some of the difference! Provide a safety net for yourself and your family.

20 Once you have understand your cash flow, you re on your way to developing a budget to create a spending plan. It s usually helpful if you categorize your debts, and anticipate what you ll spend. The following slide demonstrates a budget using categories.

21 Using categories to create a budget~ In this example, the individual may want to reevaluate the expenses to see if there is a way to save.

22 Once you have a feel for your budget, begin saving. Most people pay their bills first, then try to save instead try putting some money aside first It s a known fact what you don t see you won t miss! Here are some ways to save ~ Saving 10% is ideal, but it s tough start with 2% and build from there. Use automatic transfers or payroll deduction. Take advantage of your employer s retirement plan.

23 For more information If you d like more information on budgeting or understanding your credit, please sign up for our online seminars at Service Credit Union

24 Questions? For more information on products or services, please contact your local branch, or contact center. US International

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