While most of of think about our finances on a daily basis, how much do any of us really know about getting the most for our money and protecting it?
Your neighborhood banker at Homewood Federal Savings Bank can provide you with a wealth of experience in financial literacy and help you make choices that are personalized to your life. We’re not a one-size-fits-all bank; we’re YOUR bank.
Financial literacy means developing an understanding of the fundamentals of your finances: Earning, Spending, Saving and Investing, Borrowing, Protecting. Here’s a tip sheet to provide you with some insight into each of these areas.
This seems pretty simple, right? Get a job. Get a paycheck. Sometimes we’re shocked to see our paycheck is much smaller than we were expecting. It’s important to understand the deductions, both pre- and post-tax, that are taken out of our earnings each pay period. Those deductions will include taxes, of course, but may also include insurance, retirement contributions, and other payroll deduction items. Maximizing the benefits your company offers by taking advantage of pre-tax deductions will make your paycheck go further and serve to protect your family. However, it is important to note that some benefits are optional and you shouldn’t be paying for benefits that you don’t need.
Creating a budget is critical to financial success. Once you have determined what your net income is (your income after deductions) you should budget how you’re going to spend that money. There are usually fixed expenses in your life like housing and utilities, so set that money aside first, then consider how much you’d like to have available for those items that are non-essential, like a new phone, new clothing,, or dinner out at a nice restaurant. You may want to consider regular charitable contributions for each budget cycle. Finally, determine how much you want to save and/or invest. Check in on your budget on a regular basis to ensure you’re not exceeding your limit in any are or to see if there are adjustments that could be made to allow for more savings, or other purchase goal.
Saving and Investing
First, it’s important to understand the terms. Savings is that money you have instant-access to. Generally a savings account with a bank. Investments are usually meant to be less liquid and more long-term, thereby generating a higher rate of return and an additional income stream. Homewood Federal Savings Bank offers you many options to save including traditional savings accounts and money market accounts. These will provide you with the easiest access to your money should you need to use it quickly. They also have the lowest rate of return. We also offer some investment options with our Certificates of Deposit (CDs) and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Most people will have a combination of savings and investments to ensure they are protected for unexpected expenses and long-term goals.
Even if you’re a great saver, at some point you may also have to be a borrower. It’s important that you trust the lending agency you’re working with. A local, neighborhood bank like Homewood Federal Savings Bank is a good lending option because the bankers are your neighbors. They know you and want to see you succeed. They will help you borrow responsibly. Your local banker can help you understand credit scoring, repayment options, and additional expenses you may not have considered, like fees.
Monitoring your money has never been more important than it is in today’s era of cyber crimes. It’s easier now than ever to have your identity stolen or your ATM card skimmed and used fraudulently. A banker who knows you will help you find the tools you need to protect yourself from these types of crimes. We offer online tools that allow you to check your accounts daily. Our friendly bankers are always willing to help you check balances and transfer funds at our local office. Depending on your situation, we may even recommend insurance to protect against fraud. Protecting your unique identity and financial future is just one more service we at your neighborhood Homewood Financial Savings Bank are proud to provide.