Aug 3, 2011
The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (www.nafcu.org) believes “back to school” time is a great opportunity to sharpen your budgeting skills and stay on course for your financial goals. Everyone can benefit from these helpful hints:
- Make a List and Budget – Make a list of everything you truly need to buy and do a quick review of what you already own before hitting the stores. Determine how much you can spend on supplies or clothing. If you are in college, check out used textbooks or borrow the necessary books from friends and family who may have taken the class previously.
- Shop Smart – Surf the Web for bargains. Look for online coupons and specials from area retailers. Take advantage of “back to school” tax holidays; over 15 states have already published their schedules for August. Also, if you have a credit card through a credit union, many have reward programs that will allow you to get a rebate on purchases or other valuable benefits. Don’t forget to ask for discounts or promotions at retailers.
- Keep Your Focus on Finances – No matter if you are away at school or not, do not lapse in managing your finances. If you have never managed your own money, take a class on financial literacy. Many credit unions offer these classes.
- Make Saving Money Fun – Staying on a budget is easier if you and your friends can plan activities that are budget-friendly. Sign up for e-mail alerts of free events through your local news outlet or discounts from your favorite retailers. Trade bargain tips/sites with friends. Host or attend a clothing swap. Create a recession-friendly supper club and share money-saving recipes.
- Avoid Needless ATM Fees – Use ATMs affiliated with your financial institution to avoid costly fees. If you don’t already belong, check out a credit union. Credit unions are known for low fees and great service because they are not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions. Many credit unions offer online banking and are affiliated with national ATM networks that give you surcharge-free access. Go to www.culookup.com and find out what credit unions you are eligible to join. There might even be one on campus.
For the latest in credit union information, visit our Web site @ www.nafcu.org