High levels of financial stress can impact more than just your bank account. However, according to Colleen Shepherd, community outreach director at Purdue Federal Credit Union, there are solutions to lessening that financial stress level. She said that if you manage bills and expenses, pay debts, withstand unexpected financial emergencies, and plan for long-term financial goals, you can help to prevent stressful situations.
“I believe some of the main keys are creating a monthly budget and holding yourself accountable to the budget and your everyday spending behaviors,” Shepherd said. “Set goals for yourself that are realistic and attainable with a deadline so you can continue to push yourself to make your set goal.”
To find the keys that work for each individual, it is important to work with a partner that understands financial literacy, she said. Financial literacy is the ability to save, budget, and achieve short and long-term goals.
Help is right around the corner. Purdue Federal Credit Union was founded in 1969 by a group of university employees. Headquartered in West Lafayette, Ind., Purdue Federal is a member-owned financial cooperative with 83,000 members worldwide and assets exceeding $1.7 billion. Its mission is to earn the trust of its members and become their financial partner for life.
Through its 10 full-service branches, three satellite branches, and digital banking services, Purdue Federal offers members a full menu of financial products. These include locally serviced mortgages, home equity loans, vehicle loans, credit cards, and business loans. Purdue Federal also offers valuable banking solutions including checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgages, credit cards, business solutions, student banking, and much more.
Through the years, Purdue Federal has remained strong because it has stayed true to its original purpose of people helping people. A healthy attitude and confidence around money can empower a person to utilize complex concepts such as investing and how to make better decisions to make more money.
“Purdue Federal has several tools available to reach out to members to help attain or enhance their financial wellness,” said Evelyn Royer, CPA, vice president of operations. “This includes tips provided to members on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, marketing financial literacy resources available on our website, and blogs on financial wellness topics as well as community presentations on the same topics. We also have a Financial Wellness department made up of financial counselors available to meet with consumers to help them attain or enhance their financial knowledge and practices.”
According to Shepherd, financial health translates into having the ability to reach goals, taking advantage of opportunities, and providing the flexibility to pursue dreams.
“Some of the main keys to these goals are creating a monthly budget and holding yourself accountable to the budget and your everyday spending behaviors,” Shepherd said. “Be honest with yourself about where you are spending your money by tracking all of your spending for at least 30 days to get a good monthly financial snapshot. You also have to be okay with setbacks on your budget. It will never be perfect, especially in the beginning stages, and budgets are intended to change as life events change. If you have setbacks, dust yourself off and get back in the saddle. Giving up is not an option for achieving a financially healthy life. It is very important to pay yourself first by adding to your savings monthly just like it is a utility bill that needs payment.”
Shepherd offers the following tips to help individuals improve their financial wellness:
- Create a budget
- Pay off high-interest debt first
- Stop overspending
- Set up automatic savings deposits (out of sight out of mind)
- Build emergency savings to avoid using high-interest loans or credit cards
- Pay bills on time to avoid fees and damage to credit
- Check your credit periodically throughout the year to monitor your improvement efforts as well as to ensure there is no fraudulent activity
When it comes to financial matters, Purdue Federal Credit Union’s staff understands the importance of financial wellness. To get started on your goals, contact the team online at purduefed.com or visit one of their conveniently located branches in Crown Point, Lafayette, La Porte, or West Lafayette.