Saving for a “rainy day” is good advice, but building an emergency fund seems an impossible task if your paycheck just doesn’t stretch beyond monthly expenses. Then the pandemic hit and we all experienced how important an emergency fund really is. Now that Hawaii is heading into a new normal, it’s the perfect time to hit the reset button on our personal finances. Hawaii Federal Credit Union offers these tips to help you get started.
Build an emergency fund – Financial advisors recommend setting aside an amount equal to three to six months of your living expenses. The higher interest paid on Hawaii FCU’s Preferred Management (Money Market) Account or Certificate Account can help you reach your savings goal faster.
Save for retirement – It’s never too early to start an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Saving even a little bit over a long period of time will put compound interest to work for you. With the average monthly Social Security benefit payment currently at $1,522.70, you can estimate how much cash you’re likely to need in retirement with inflation added.
Manage your debt wisely – Pay down high-interest credit card balances. Refinance auto, home or home equity loans. Utilize a low-interest bill consolidation loan. Check out our Home Equity Line of Credit or Personal Loan and save with low-interest loan rates and affordable monthly payments.
Overhaul your fixed expenses – Housing costs, utilities, food, insurance and property tax are all necessary expenses, but there are still ways to save. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. Comparison shop when you buy insurance. Consider all the ways you can put your money to better use.
Control discretionary spending – Pay closer attention to how much you spend on clothing, entertainment, dining out, recreation and elective shopping. It’s okay to reward yourself every now and then, but remember that unnecessary spending today pushes your future dreams further down the road.
Plan out short and long-term goals – From a family vacation or new car to college tuition or your dream boat, set aside some money from every paycheck in separate savings accounts and resist the urge to “borrow” from these funds for other reasons. Set your goals and don’t stop until you reach them!
Hit the reset button on your finances and get going! And if you need assistance, our financial counselors are ready to assist you. Call us at 847-1371 to schedule an appointment.