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Get a Head Start on Your Next Vacation

Going on regular vacations is essential for your mental health. A relaxing break in your day-to-day routine soothes the soul and reduces stress. However, if you pay for that vacation with credit, especially at a cost you can’t comfortably pay off in 1 or 2 months, then the vacation could cause even more stress.

Here’s a great idea one credit union member, Steve N., and his family uses to pay for a vacation. It enables them to save up money before the trip and save them from financial stress after the trip. He writes: 

“Every year we start saving for our next vacation as soon as we return from one. Each month we transfer a fixed amount out of our checking account into a credit union money market ‘vacation account’ that receives a higher rate of interest. My wife and I agree to use this account only for vacation savings.” 

Steve emphasizes getting agreement from the family. For any successful family budget goal, you must have buy-in. He continues: 

“In addition to our monthly transfer, we have an agreement to deposit every gift of money we receive—from Christmas, birthdays, whatever—into this account. The same goes for any rebate checks we receive from product purchases during the year. Basically, every little ‘extra’ check we receive goes directly into this account.” 

Every so often, Steve and his wife pull money out of their money market account and put it into a short-term share certificate/CD (certificate of deposit) to get an even higher yield. He says they have CDs maturing almost every month that they can then deposit into their money market vacation account.

Steve and his family are doing several smart things that you can apply to any savings project:

  • They have a goal—to vacation without borrowing money.
  • The goal has a deadline—the date of the next vacation.
  • They automate their savings—it’s easier to save when it’s done automatically and not randomly.
  • They agree on the strategy and work together.

This is just one way to save for a specific goal. If you’re interested in learning other ways to reach your savings goals, stop in at one of our branches or call us at 765-644-3623.

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Building an Emergency Fund: Simple Steps to Financial Security

An emergency fund is essential for financial security, helping you manage unexpected expenses without stress. Here’s a condensed guide to starting and growing your emergency savings:

Start Small with Savings:
If you’re struggling with debt, start your emergency fund by saving one month’s living expenses while paying the minimum on your credit cards. Focus next on paying off credit card debt, then return to enhancing your emergency fund. If debts are too high, alternate monthly between saving and debt repayment.

Adopt Lifelong Savings Habits:
• Treat Savings Like a Bill: Set a small, manageable amount to save regularly, such as $75, $50, $25, or even $10. Increase this as your finances improve.
• Live One Raise Behind: Use any salary increases to bolster your emergency fund instead of increasing spending.
• Automate Savings: Set up automatic transfers to your emergency fund, making saving effortless and consistent.
• Boost Savings with a Garage Sale: Clear out unused items and host a garage sale to add to your savings.
• Visualize as a Life Jacket: Consider how you would manage financially if you lost your job tomorrow to motivate saving.

Support is Available
For further assistance in setting up savings plans that suit your needs,
contact your local team at Madison County Federal Credit Union.