You can make your own budget worksheet using either a pen and paper or a computer spreadsheet program. Think of your budget in terms of two things: money and time. Money, of course, is divided into its own two categories: Income and Expenses.
Follow these steps to make your budget worksheet:
Remember: Use your budget as a tool to help you achieve your goals. Once you set up your categories and make it a point to record the appropriate dollar amounts, you’ll see how easy it is to continue recording your income and expenses.
The most difficult part is getting started. But once you have your plan in place, you’ll recognize the power of the information that you have at your fingertips!
The details of our financial lives can be tricky, and without a clear road map it’s easy to feel lost. Changes in tax laws and the family structure offer potential complications in how we handle our money, so heed these tips as you make financial plans for the future.
Invest. If you have extra money after paying the bills and funding tax-deferred retirement plans to the max (and perhaps socking away a few dollars for your kids’ college tuition), think about investing what’s left. In the long run, you’re likely to find compounding returns far more rewarding.
Assess your financial relationship. As your financial relationship with your spouse matures, consider combining more of your assets, opening investment accounts for retirement purposes or your kids’ college costs, and diversifying your investment strategies. It doesn’t mean that you have to merge all of them (and remember that 401(k) and IRA plans can’t be) so you’ll still have some financial autonomy.
Save for college. The right strategy to save for your children’s higher education depends on several factors—your tax bracket, the investment flexibility that you require, and the amount you have to save. You may think your kids can apply for financial aid, but know that many colleges are taking education savings into account when calculating a family’s need for grants or loans. Explore 520 savings plans, Education IRAs, or taxable investment accounts.
Protect yourselves. There’s no such thing as total job security, so financial advisers recommend an emergency fund. While you may find it difficult to start a “just in case” fund, plan for one by knowing what your fixed expenses are, guessing how long you may be unemployed, and by starting to make regular deposits into a dedicated “lost job” account.
A huge misconception about credit unions is that you’re limited on where you can do your banking. Sure, many credit unions have only a couple branches, but that doesn’t stop us from serving members wherever they are.
Thanks to something we call shared branching, credit unions share facilities across the country. What this means for you is that you can go to more than 4,500 participating credit unions nationwide to make transactions.
Look for the CU Service Centers logo and you’ll be able to:
Family Service Centers
There are hundreds of Credit Union Family Service Centers nationwide. Run by CO-OP Financial Services, Family Service Centers are owned by credit unions that have pooled their resources and allow you to:
Branch Access – Everywhere you go.
Download the Free – Find A Branch iTunes App
Here’s how some folks do it. First, there’s the frantic hunt for the bills, which have been stashed away in a drawer or on top of the fridge.
Then there’s the frenzied search for the checkbook, which has mysteriously disappeared from the desk. Next, the futile quest to find a pen that works. Also stamps – let’s hope someone remembered to buy them after last month’s bill-paying marathon.
Sorting through the bills, writing the checks, and addressing the envelopes take up more precious time. Finally, there’s the trip to the nearest mailbox or post office, in hopes of catching the day’s mail pickup.
Does any of that sound familiar? Fortunately, there is an easier way.
When you sign up for online banking with WWFCU, you can use the online bill payment system to send money to almost any company or individual.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of online bill pay.
The process of online bill payment is designed to be quick and easy. Making a payment is as simple as logging into the WWFCU website, typing in a few numbers, and clicking the mouse.
Once you have set up the bills to be paid, it will take you literally seconds to make a payment.
All you need is your computer and an Internet connection.
You have great flexibility in the way you pay your bills, too. For example, pay bills manually by going online and selecting the ones you want to pay right now.
Or schedule payments in advance, and set up automatic payments for recurring bills. This reduces the chance of late or overlooked payments.
Have you ever mislaid a bill or forgotten to make a payment? Paying all or most of your bills online can help you stay organized and keep track of your finances.
With online bill pay, your account and billing information is stored in one location. You have an electronic record of every payment, showing the date and the amount. You can easily refer back to it at any time and print out the information.
Online bill pay is safe and secure. In fact, online banking is considered safer than paying by check through the mail. It’s also a good way to guard against identity theft.
Fraudsters can use the information from discarded bills and lost checkbooks to steal your identity. When you switch to online bill pay and receive your bills electronically, you eliminate those documents and reduce your vulnerability.
Take the Stress Out of Paying Bills
Paying bills may never be one of your favorite pastimes, but switching to online payment can make the process a little more enjoyable.
We know that once you discover the benefits of online bill pay at WWFCU, you’ll never want go back to the old way of doing things.
You’ve probably heard by now that Wayne Westland Federal Credit Union offers mobile banking services to its members. You can check account balances, pay bills, review transactions, transfer funds, and perform other account management activities through your mobile phone.
You won’t pay extra for these essential services, either. Mobile banking through WWFCU is free. (Your mobile carrier may charge you for Internet access – be sure to contact them for details.)
All you need for mobile banking is a web-enabled mobile phone or device. Use the web browser on your device, or download and install the WWFCU mobile banking app, whichever you prefer. Either way, your personal data and transactions are always secure.
Every day, more WWFCU members are discovering the mobile banking advantages, such as convenience, control, and peace of mind.
Mobile banking is supremely convenient. Once you’ve set it up, you can access your account from anywhere, at any time.
There’s no need to visit a Credit Union branch to perform everyday banking tasks. You can do most of your banking whenever you have a few spare moments. Pay some bills or move money between accounts while you’re waiting in line at the supermarket, watching your child’s softball game, or taking the dog for a walk.
Even when you’re traveling or on vacation, mobile banking provides you with instant access to your Credit Union account.
In addition, if you need to withdraw cash from an ATM, you can find the nearest one through your mobile phone.
Mobile banking has another important advantage. It gives you an extra degree of control over your money. Because mobile banking makes it fast and easy to view your account balances and transactions, you can keep a closer eye on your financial situation.
You won’t ever have to wonder whether a check has cleared or a pre-authorized withdrawal has been made. Take out your mobile phone, wherever you are, and you’ll have the answer within a few moments.
Mobile banking can help you avoid late payments and service charges, too. If you suddenly realize you forgot to pay a bill, you can take care of the problem immediately.
Peace of Mind
Convenience and control are undeniable mobile banking advantages, but here’s one more benefit that sometimes gets overlooked. Mobile banking can offer you peace of mind.
Some people sign up for mobile banking specifically to reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft. Many cases of fraud are caught by the account holder, not by the financial institution. You are the one most likely to notice suspicious withdrawals or transactions, but only if you are paying attention.
Mobile banking allows you to monitor your accounts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can even set up e-alerts that send you an e-mail whenever there is activity on your account.
Get Ready to Enjoy the Advantages of Mobile Banking
You will need to be enrolled in WWFCU home banking before you can sign up for mobile banking services. Why not get started today? Be sure to check out our website for more information.
Unless you’ve been hiding out in the mountains with no access to the Internet, TV or radio, you are aware of what’s been going on with Wall Street. Namely, the stock market has been up and down like a drunken yo-yo. Such volatility is nothing new, but it’s definitely not for the faint-of-heart – and unless you are quick and willing to be ruthless, chances are you are going to lose a lot more than you’ll make.
There are other, more stable investment vehicles available, of course, such as municipal and government bonds. These are essentially “loans” that you make to a governmental body, which is paid back to you when the bond “matures” – usually many years later (those who are old enough may remember that the U.S. financed World War II in part by issuing bonds). While these are extremely safe investments, they lack liquidity. This means, if you need access to quick cash, you won’t be able to draw on these instruments.
Other, similar safe investment vehicles such as IRAs can be drawn on – but only with substantial penalties.
What you need is an investment vehicle that offers both stability and flexibility – such as a Money Market Account from Wayne Westland Federal Credit Union. Unlike bonds and other types of investment accounts, there are no maturity terms on money market accounts. This means that if you need quick access to emergency cash, you can get it without having to worry about having to pay penalties.
Like a savings account, you earn dividends on your money market account based on a percentage of the balance. Best of all, your account is insured by the NCUA for up to $250,000 – just like your other accounts.
It’s easy to get started with a money market account – and you can open one for as little as $2500. To learn more, log on to http://www.wwfcu.org or call one of the knowledgeable Member Service Representatives at Wayne Westland FCU at 734.721.5700 today.
Creating a plan for managing finances is important at every stage of life. It is not always easy to implement and follow because unexpected expenses can crop up at any time, and job situations can change, especially when the economy takes a downturn. Financial guidance can assist you in changing your habits by offering various strategies that can help you save money.
Wayne Westland Federal Credit Union (WWFCU) is that alternative to banks. Financial counseling is a first step, and it will come form someone who understands the principles behind dealing with finances.
Budgeting properly can be easier by receiving guidance and understanding how a personal credit report works. Financial troubles can be addressed, and it is often possible to avoid bankruptcy, repossession of assets, and even home foreclosure.
Professional advice is just one benefit to joining a Credit Union. It could very well save you from financial troubles down the road.
Many people have set goals for their retirement. Others don’t even want to think about it. It is important to consider what sources of income and savings will be available when planning for retirement.
Building a money reserve is one of the most important aspects of this planning process. Experts advise people to start as soon as they can. Many financial institutions, including Credit Unions, offer programs and assistance for people who need to manage their savings in order to improve their chances to live comfortably in the future.
Retirement planning is easier if you set goals. When you know what kind of lifestyle you want, it becomes easier to plan because there is an idea of how much it will cost. No matter what or how many sources of income you may have, planning with an expert is good advice.
Living expenses can always be adjusted, mortgage options are often available, even part-time work can be considered and enjoyed. By making smart choices beforehand and along the way, you can live comfortably and enjoy life, hobbies, and some luxuries throughout your retirement.
If you fall into a typical income bracket, then most likely you have a limited amount of money to spend. Budgeting can be a challenge, and unanticipated expenses can regularly come up, tacking onto rent, car payments, and other financial obligations most people have. What you have left of your income for spending can be managed smartly; it just takes planning and an analysis of how some purchases can affect your budget.
It has long been suggested that writing out your monthly budget can help. Most people have a tendency to spend to spend as much as 10% more than their total earnings, so a more sophisticated means of planning should be considered. There are several types of financial software designed for use, not by corporate expense departments, but by the average person. Such programs can help you decide on ways to spend income, track spending, and point out where overspending occurs so adjustments can be made.
Financial software can also be used to calculate the effects of a major purchase on the budget. Changes in income can also be factored in to see how they alter overall budgetary needs. The advantage of such software is that you’re not limited to mind-boggling numbers. For many people, numerical analysis is confusing, but a program that can put all the information onto visual graphs and charts can help make sense of things. It is therefore easier to track spending and set up a budget in a short amount of time.
Overspending does not mean you are financially irresponsible. It often occurs because money can be difficult to track. With the right software, you can be smart in managing your budget because it is easier to track spending and even take advantage of professional tips built into the program. These can also guide you in building and managing a savings account. These functions can be aided by wizards and financial calculators designed for managing and even customizing a budget based on your lifestyle and financial needs, so managing your money in a smart way becomes simple.