The day may not be as well-known as Christmas or Thanksgiving, but Aug. 14 is a milestone day that could change your life. National Financial Awareness Day is celebrated Aug. 14. This date reminds us to be aware of how to build financial stability and to be prepared for our financial future. After all, ignoring your financial situation can be scarier than Halloween. So here’s five pieces of good advice to consider on this Financial Awareness Day. Recognize these sayings? They apply to finances as well:
- Slow and steady wins the race. The turtle plods along at a sluggish but sure rate while the rabbit zips by, but stops to rest, overconfident, and loses the race to his more constant opponent. Finances are like that, too. Rather than having periods of serious savings, only to cash them out routinely, save a steady amount, even if it’s small, and leave it untouched. Invest $10 a week for 20 years at a 7 percent return and you will have $22,667. That’s a lot of rabbit food for that foolhardy hare! You could also consider opening a CU Thrive automated savings account with Hanscom FCU, which pays a terrific rate on as little as $5 a month up to $500!
- Be prepared. The Scouts are right: The more you can prepare for the unexpected, the smoother your situation will flow. Saving six months of living expenses is recommended to tide you over in an emergency. Another smart step to stay prepared is to keep all your account information in a secure location, such as a waterproof/fireproof vault or even a password-protected digital vault. This makes it easier to track down what you have saved, and what you owe.
- Little things mean a lot. That was a hit song in the 1950s and has been recorded by artists as diverse as Julie London, Cliff Richard, and the Teddy Bears. Those words also apply to finances. Small steps can add up to big savings. Alcohol, for example, is far less costly at your local liquor store than at a white-tablecloth restaurant. So sip water with your meal and have a leisurely glass of wine at home. Use those reward cards that migrate to the bottom of your bag. Buy greeting cards in bulk at a discount store and spare the dash to the more expensive boutique for a pricey birthday or thank you card.
- A change would do you good. Speaking of songs, this is one of Sheryl Crow’s best-known numbers. It’s also good advice on how to make a painless profit. Here’s a tip for making change: Drop all the coins out of your wallet or pocketbook at the end of the day. You’ll probably be surprised at how much you dig out. The average exchange of change at coin machines results in $56, according to one estimate. Many of our branches have self-service coin counting machines that are free for members (10% service fee for non members). No fees mean more change that can be deposited into your savings...and that’s a good kind of change! Visit our locations page to locate the nearest branch with a machine.
- An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Benjamin Franklin was incredibly wise, a major reason we still quote him today. You don’t have to be Warren Buffett, but some basic understanding makes finances less overwhelming and more workable. When it comes to finances, ignorance is not bliss...it’s often loss. Have you considered joining an investment club? At these clubs, members pool their money to make investments after studying potential investments as a group. This can reduce the fear of making a bad decision on your own and is a great way to start better understanding the markets. Money clubs have similar goals but are broader in scope: Members gather to discuss their financial goals, fears and situations, providing insight and support to the entire group. Or visit a financial specialist.† If you make an appointment, let them know you're celebrating the day that gave you some enlightenment...and, by making the right moves, financial enrichment.
Others are reading:
- 6 Tips for Better Password Protection
- Is Your Estate Plan Keeping Up With You?
- Be Prepared for Changes in Social Security
- Multiple Ways ID Theft Targets Seniors
- Become Scam Proof: Tips From Our CU Senior Safeguard Panel
†Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. Hanscom Federal Credit Union is not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using Hanscom Investment Services, and may also be employees of Hanscom Federal Credit Union. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, Hanscom Federal Credit Union. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:
Not Insured by NCUA or Any Other Government Agency / Not Hanscom Federal Credit Union Guaranteed / Not Hanscom Federal Credit Union Deposits or Obligations / May Lose Value