3 Free Tools to Help Better Understand Your Finances

3 Free Tools to Help Better Understand Your Finances

By Oscar Cordoba, External Affairs Specialist, Affinity Federal Credit Union

Date: March 17, 2022

An informed relationship with your finances is essential to maintaining your financial wellbeing. Improved financial literacy can equip you with the tools and knowledge to make sound decisions. Your relationship with money is important so we put together a toolbox for you to better learn, understand and maximize your finances.

Father teaching his son how to manage finances online

  1. Budgeting & Saving — Creating a realistic budget and having the discipline to stick to it is difficult, but crucial to successful money management. Enrich1 is a personalized online educational platform that contains modules, articles, and tools to help you create a plan for managing your monthly expenses, everyday spending, savings and more.
  2. Hear From Our Experts — No one wants to work forever, but saving for retirement doesn’t happen overnight. The same can be said for saving for a home or car purchase. Our team of experts share tips for building credit, saving for retirement, home buying and more on our webinars. You can access the full, on-demand Webinar Library2, which includes past recordings covering different financial topics. The calendar3 for upcoming events is listed on Affinity’s website, where you can sign up and tune in live!
  3. Conquer your credit - Our free consumer credit counseling services4 provide access to a financial coach who can help you understand credit and set up a strategy to improve or grow it. Understanding your credit score and your credit history is a vital part of long term financial wellness.

In my experience, there is a gap in financial knowledge when it comes to understanding debt and emergency savings. People often find themselves facing a large amount of debt due to some combination of auto loans, credit cards, personal loans and mortgages. Adding to the issue, many don’t realize that borrowing against their assets can have a negative impact in the long run. For example, you may not know the penalty for early withdrawals from your 401(k) and face larger tax bills later on.

It’s common to not have an emergency fund, and if you do, it may not be enough to pay for more than a month's worth of expenses. For this reason, many Americans are turning to more creative ways to generate extra income for themselves and their families. Some turn to the gig economy, taking on a second job to provide themselves and their families with financial stability.

Individuals leverage gig economy jobs for multiple reasons. Some want to try new things and explore different industries. Others seek a temporary job that helps them balance their other demands– whether it be school, family life or their primary occupation.

No matter where you are on your individual path to financial education and wellness, Affinity offers the expertise and resources to help fill in the gaps. Smart financial decisions and continued education will lead to less stress and improved financial wellness. Don’t hesitate to take action — utilizing these resources will bring you one step closer to reaching your financial goals.

 

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.