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Managing Your Money 101

 

 

Don’t know how to manage your finances? Class is in session. Watch as Levo Credit Union gives you the accounts, tools and apps you need to improve you financial planning game.

Hello esteemed colleagues. In order to graduate from this prestigious institution we call life, you’ll need to take a few introductory courses before you turn that tassel to the other side of the cap, shall we say. When it’s time to learn to drive, you practice, take the test and get licensed. When you’re ready to learn to swim, you take lessons, you learn the techniques and you pass the class! Well, getting better at money management is similar — if you don’t learn the basics, you might be more likely to sink than swim.

So all right—let’s say you just landed your first full-time gig, and you need to know what happens when that paycheck hits your bank account. What should be your priorities, and what can you rely on to meet your goals? Well, for starters, you’ll want to make sure you set yourself up with the right credit union—we happen to be partial to one called Levo, for what it’s worth. Now, one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a first-time money-managing machine is to restrict yourself to just one type of account—the classic free checking. It’s a great place to start, but you’ll want to diversify your portfolio a bit if long-term saving is a goal of yours. Ask the folks at Levo Credit Union about interest-earning savings options. What might seem like a few spare pennies of extra earnings here or there can sure add up in the long run, particularly as your balance grows. A Money Market Savings account, for example, is a great way to earn money just for carrying a balance. And who doesn’t like a budgeting tool that takes literally no effort, right?

So how about borrowing tools? When you’re first getting used to managing your finances and fully adulting, it might be best to give yourself a monthly spending limit—especially when it comes to credit cards. If you’re someone who tends to pay your balance off like clockwork every month, a rewards-earning card might be just the ticket. If you’re a spender who might carry a balance across billing periods, then prioritize a lower interest rate. Beyond short-term borrowing, you might find yourself with a few long-term situations as well—namely, a vehicle loan, student loan or a mortgage. The important thing with these types of accounts is to know your options—make a list of your obligations and rank them by interest rates. Say your car loan has a pretty sizable interest rate—check with a Levo Credit Union loan officer to see if they might be able to refinance your outstanding balance into a lower-rate loan. It’ll free up extra cash every month to put toward another loan or toward your savings!

All right, so how about budgeting? It turns out there are plenty of great tools for keeping your budget in check, from mobile apps that categorize and prioritize your spending, to simple bookkeeping tools that integrate with Levo’s online banking portal. The first thing you should do is secure the banking app - Levo Credit Union has a great one. This will allow you to quickly check balances on the go and deposit paper checks as soon as they’re in your hands. Next, check out a handy budgeting app, such as Mint or QuickBooks, or, a more niche option, such as Honeydue, for those in relationships with shared finances, or Personal Capital, if you’ve started to add retirement savings and 401(k)s to the mix.

All right, so you’re maybe a few more steps away from graduating into fully adulting. But this 101 breakdown should’ve at least gotten you to sophomore year of managing your money. Until next time! Meanwhile, I’m going to go see if I can finally pass this swim test.

Let’s Make the Next Move

As you can see, there’s a lot to love and learn when you join Levo Credit Union. And that doesn’t stop here. Join today and live your best life – the Levo way!

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