How to Save Money: Tips from the Great Savings Challenge Winner

Interview with Thomas Mazdey, April Winner of the Affinity Great Savings Challenge

From January to June 2019, Affinity Federal Credit Union will award $1,000 each month to a different member as part of the Great Savings Challenge (GSC) sweepstakes. This annual event, in which participants work with Affinity to set positive financial goals for themselves and then reach them, is intended to promote healthy financial habits and encourage people to save money. With surveys1 showing a growing number of Americans have no savings for emergency situations – let alone to buy a car, home or vacation – saving money should be a priority for everyone.

GSC Winner

To help our members work toward their own personal finance goals, we’ve sat down with the April winner of the Great Savings Challenge, Thomas Madzey of Basking Ridge, New Jersey2, to find out why he’s such a great saver and how to save money using his outlook and methods.

How would you say your approach to saving has evolved over the course of your life?

    • As you have more responsibility (have children, own a home, etc.) it becomes more important to establish a cushion for unforeseen expenses and save for major events like college, weddings and retirement; so it’s important to set savings goals and do your best to stick to them.  

Have you always been a saver, or have circumstances led you to embracing the need to save?

    • I have always been a saver, from the time I had my first job as a teenager.  My parents taught me to not spend everything I earned, always have money available and plan for big expenditures.  

Have you had any opportunities to instill the value of saving in others? If so, what do you teach them about how to save money? 

    • I have been able to help my children understand the importance of saving and managing how they spend their money.  They have adopted those principles and are doing well with their own objectives.

What’s the main reason you save? How does being a member of a credit union support your savings goals?

    • I would say the main reason I have saved is for retirement. I have always had a target in mind for what I wanted to achieve. I found that as you begin to accumulate money toward a goal, it helps give you a sense of confidence knowing you are preparing for the future and have the ability to also deal with unforeseen expenses. The credit union has helped me by having a broad offering of financial products to fit my needs, like auto loans, home equity line of credit, mortgages and different savings options –  all through one organization and with a much friendlier and relaxed approach, as opposed to many of the large banking institutions.    

What does being a GSC recipient mean to you?

    • I was surprised to be selected but looking back on what I have been able to do through the credit union, I realize I’m on track to accomplish my goal and will continue to keep saving for retirement.

You don’t have to be a GSC winner to set and reach your financial goals. Talk to an Affinity representative today about how you can better secure your financial future!   

1 Retrieved from

2 Retrieved from

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made. - See more at: