By Kathy Morris, CCUFC
Go Ahead! Give Yourself a Raise!
Many of us made New Year’s resolutions for 2017. Hopefully we are still honoring those promises we made to ourselves. I wonder how many of those resolutions included improving your financial health? While we are still relatively in the newness of 2017, let me offer a challenge.
Did you know you have the power to give yourself a raise by paying yourself first? We hear that term tossed around a lot but how many have truly taken this step? There are multiple ways to accomplish this task to include seeking out expertise in wealth building, starting a rainy-day savings account or at the very least stashing some cash away in an area of your home. If you have not done some of these options, now is the time to get started! You are the best person to take care of you! If you have done some of these options or others, then it is time to step up you game!
I often equate building a better financial future with getting into shape. You must start somewhere and you must take it one step at a time. Pretty soon, it becomes part of your life and you no longer have to force yourself to do it, you find yourself doing it naturally and with a smile on your face I might add. Whether you are just beginning to consider paying your first or the experienced individual who has this covered, now is a good time to give yourself a raise! Here is a list of ways just to get you started.
- Open a separate savings account and have a certain amount automatically deposited into that account. Do not tie that account to your debit card but keep it untouchable. Set it and forget about it! Whatever you can afford to start with will work. A suggested amount is $25 or $50. You will be surprised how fast that adds up. Award yourself with this raise! It feels good!
- Determine a percentage of your monthly income to be deposited into a separate savings account.
- Start a change jar. Throw all your loose change in the jar at the end of the day. Make it a contest with your family members. At the end of the year, deposit the entire amount into your savings. With ten more months to go….it will turn out to be a nice bonus! Guess what? You deserve it!
- Increase your 401K contribution amount. You work hard! Save hard! You deserve it!
- The amount already allotted to go in your savings…Raise it! You deserve it!
- When you sit down to pay your bills, add yourself as a bill that must be paid! Why? Because you are the reason why the other bills can be paid. Take care of you!
I must confess, my husband and I did the loose change game and we are competitive with each other! With items we needed to purchase, we used cash. I could not wait to break a dollar and always looked forward to having that loose change. At the end of the day, we would “ring the bell” with the sound of the change going into the jar. At the end of the year, we had enough to go on a short staycation for the weekend with meals and activities included. While we did not put it into savings, we used it to pay ourselves for sticking to our budget! We have been doing this for several years now.
As a member of MVFCU, we know that you value a fast and convenient way to securely manage all your payments! That is why we excitedly announce a whole new Bill Pay service! Easily pay your bills, send money via text or email, transfer money to and from your account at other institutions, and even receive your bills from participating billers.
For more info, please visit www.mvfcu.coop/billpay
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By Al Strawn
When I was in college many years back I worked in the evenings and weekends at a gas station in Salem, Oregon. We were more than just a place to fill your gas tank, we were a true service station. Mechanics were busy with maintenance and repairs while all of us helped with tires, batteries and accessories. When a car pulled in a bell would ring and one or more of us would greet the customer. We’d wash windows, check wiper blades, oil levels, tire pressure and anything else of concern. Most of our customers were loyal patrons; we knew their personalities and needs. They relied on us to take good care of their vehicles.
A sound business should be built on relationships with trust, respect and integrity. There must be a commitment to doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
During this same time I had a friend working at a gas station just off of Interstate 5. Most of their customers were traveling through, and it was unlikely they would ever see them twice; no relationship and certainly no loyalty. He shared a story of someone whose vehicle was acting up and needed the fluid checked in his rear differential. He got underneath the pickup truck with a wrench, but could not break the bolt loose. After a few minutes of trying he gave up, squirting some oil on the outside of the bolt and sending the unsuspecting customer down the freeway. There was no concern about the customer’s welfare, it was strictly a transaction and the quicker the person left, the better.
The service station I worked for is no longer there. As a family owned business, they decided to sell rather than make the necessary investments to continue to grow and prosper in a rapidly changing marketplace. I’m not sure if the place next to I-5 is still around. It was a good location with lots of traffic, and if your only need was to fill your tank, it was convenient.
There are many financial service providers who simply want to “fill your tank.” They push products rather than focusing on needs. Driven to maximize profit, they charge excessive fees for services with little concern for the consumer’s well-being.
At MVFCU there is a difference. Our desire is to be a trusted financial partner now and into the future. We value relationships, offer a fair deal and a helping hand in times of need. As a member owned cooperative 43,000 strong, MVFCU has a passion and commitment to understand your needs and to provide value with convenience, especially when no one is watching!
Upon reflection, I now see clearly how much that part-time job as a gas station attendant helped me to prepare for a career at MVFCU.
The Annual AVIS Sale
Saturday, September 16, 2017, will be the Annual Avis Sale!
Be sure to watch our Facebook page and www.mvfcu.coop/avissale, for more details! We look forward to seeing you there!
Join us and the Mat-Su Miners Friday July 7, 7:00 p.m. at the Hermon Brothers Field.
Your free tickets will soon be available for pickup at any Alaska Community Office!