Are you ready to stretch those financial muscles? We hope so, because it’s time to get financially fit!

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by debt, tight budgets and other financial setbacks. Like physical fitness, you can beef up those fitness muscles a little bit more each day to gain a more well-balanced, stress-free life.

Northern Credit Union is here to help with some tips and tricks to get you on the path to Financial Fitness!

♦ Expand your financial knowledge – check out the resources on our website like our blogs, articles on budgeting and saving, attend financial education seminars and stay informed of the evolving state of the economy. This will enable you to make monetary decisions from a position of knowledge and power, leaving much less up to chance or luck.

♦ Stick to a budget – Tracking monthly expenses is key to financial health. Start setting aside money from your monthly income for all fixed and discretionary expenses and stay within a budget for each spending category. Need help getting started? Here are 5 Habits Every Budgeter Should Develop.

♦ Minimize debt – Be committed to paying down debts. Constant budgeting, ongoing financial education and planning ahead will help you to make it through the month, and through unexpected expenses, without spiraling into debt. Check to see how long it will take you to pay off your card or set a payoff goal and we’ll tell you how much to pay each month using our Payoff Calculator.  Have multiple loans and credit cards? Discover how much you can save by consolidating all of your debt into one payment with our Debt Consolidation Calculator.

With Online & Mobile banking you can pay, track and organize all your bills with Bill Pay to help you stay on track! Check out the video below to setup one time or recurring bill payments.

♦ Maximize savings – It’s important to prioritize adding to your savings. Adding a fixed dollar amount to your monthly budget for savings will allow you to build an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses or to use towards a nest egg. Try out the calculators below to get started towards your savings goals!

Emergency Savings Calculator Life happens. That’s why you should know how much savings you should have to protect you during the unexpected.

Savings Goals Calculator Whether it’s for something specific or a personal ambition, this calculator will tell you how to reach your savings goals.

Check out the video below to learn how to set savings goals in Online & Mobile Banking.

♦ Maintain complete awareness of the state of your finances – It’s important to know how much money you owe, the accumulated value of your assets and the complete sum of your fixed and fluctuating expenses. This awareness takes the stress out of money management, allowing you to make better financial choices.  With Online & Mobile banking you have instant access to all your accounts with Northern. Sign up for free eAlerts and get notified when payments are due, low balances, direct deposits and more! Watch the video below to learn how to customize your free eAlerts in Online & Mobile banking.

♦ Maintain a healthy credit score – Credit history and score are a crucial component to long-term financial health. Make sure to pay all bills on time, hold onto your credit cards for a while and keep credit utilization low. This will enable you build better credit and to qualify for long-term loans with favorable interest rates.  You can check your credit score in Online & Mobile banking, watch the video below to learn how.

♦ Create concrete financial goals – Create long-term and short-term financial goals. This will help you to focus on the big picture when making everyday money choices.

Being financially fit means living a life without battling anxiety about getting through the month or stressing about the future.  Whether you’re continuing your path to financial fitness or just beginning, here are some important questions you should go over throughout your journey to stay aligned with your goals.

  • Am I meeting all my expenses?
  • Do I stick to my budget?
  • Do I have a savings cushion for emergencies, and could I contribute more?
  • Am I debt free or do I have a strategy for paying down my debt?
  • Do I have a plan in place for retirement?

Next you could refocus your attention on the goals you are not meeting and determine if you need to reevaluate your budget.