A Little Goes A Long Way

Who doesn’t look forward to not having to work when they’re older? But to make that happen, you must start right away. The sooner you begin saving money, the more comfortable you’ll be in your retirement – or the earlier you can retire. Get your long-term savings ready now so you can relax later!

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Add to your long-term savings every month. Start as early as possible, so your money will have more time to work for you. If you’re in your 20s and save $200 a month, you can make your goal more easily, while if you’re in your 40s when you start, you might need $600 a month to meet the same retirement goal. You don’t want to have to deal with a huge drop in your allowance when you retire and then have to tighten your budget suddenly, so plan now.

You should also be depositing money into your 401k every month. You decide how much money you want moved from each paycheck to your 401k – even starting with 2% could make a huge difference in the long run. Some employers will match your contribution. Take advantage of that offer and sign up for it right away! The difference between this and a savings account is that you can’t easily take money out of your 401k for emergencies, as it’s intended to stay there until your retirement. It’s a great way to make sure you stick to your plan!

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Beginning your savings journey by setting aside a little at a time can make all levels of saving much less daunting, and much easier to manage. Watch our Ask SunWest episode on Long-Term Savings, then check out the rest of our series. Have more questions on savings or other financial topics? Send us a message or leave a comment so we can answer it in a future video!

Navigate Life With Confidence

Your extended family is going to go on a long cruise vacation next year. You and your spouse are planning on buying your first house together. Your doctor has recommended you get laser eye surgery to help improve your sight. What do all these have in common? They require medium-term savings!

Your extended family is going to go on a long cruise vacation next year. You and your spouse are planning on buying your first house together. Your doctor has recommended you get laser eye surgery to help improve your sight. What do all these have in common? They require medium-term savings!

Be sure to have your emergency fund set up first. Once you’ve amassed enough short-term savings, you’re ready to start saving up for bigger, planned purchases! We all have some kind of big-ticket item we’ve been thinking about that will take a while to get to because of the large amount of money it requires.

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These purchases add value to your life. Sure, you could survive in your small apartment as you start your family, but why not save up for a nice house in a good neighborhood that has an extra room or two for the kids? You might be fine taking the bus to work every day, but wouldn’t your own car save you time you could spend on something more fun or productive? Not waiting in the heat, rain, or cold winds would be an added bonus!

So, once you’ve built up your short-term savings to a comfortable level, start on your medium-term savings. Preparing to cover your tuition so you don’t have to work as much during college, getting ready for that surgery so you don’t have to take out another loan at the time of the procedure, or wanting to be able to pay your own way through your adventure in another country are all solid reasons to begin planning now.

Start out by determining the total cost, then split it up to see if you can save that amount in the time you have. If your vacation will cost $6,000, and you wanted to go in a year, you would need to save at least $500 a month. If that isn’t doable for you right now, you might want to put off your vacation until you’re sure you can pay for it. The same applies to any other large planned purchase. There are other ways to save as well, such as starting with $10 from your first paycheck and doubling the amount you save at each paycheck ($20, $40, $80, $160, etc.). Find the savings plan that fits your goals and way of thinking best so you will feel motivated to keep it up and not be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of money you are building toward.

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Setting aside a little money at a time will help you navigate through life with more confidence and less stress! Watch our Ask SunWest episode on Medium-Term Savings, then check out the rest of our series. Have more questions on savings or other financial topics? Send us a message or leave a comment so we can answer it in a future video!

Don’t Let the Unexpected Sneak Up On You

It’s easy to look at a seemingly daunting task and think, “That’s too much to tackle right now – I’ll do it later when I’m ready.” More often than not, we end up putting it off again and again until it’s too late. By that point, things are worse than if we’d accomplished the difficult task in the first place.

When it comes to finances, a lot of us put off saving because those goals seems highly unattainable. We know saving is important but we aren’t sure how to put aside money when there’s so much that you have to spend your money on right now. It’s time to end the cycle!

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Starting with short-term savings, you should be making sure to set aside enough to cover emergency expenses. You don’t want to get stuck with a flat tire or broken A/C unit and not be able to pay for repairs. Some emergencies, like not being able to drive your own car, can lead to more expenses the longer you can’t fix the problem!

Some say that you should set aside three to six months of income, or have enough to cover three to six months of bills. Of course, the more you save, the better. But the most important thing to do is just start! Even if it’s just $10 from each paycheck, that’s better than nothing. Try to increase it every time – maybe next you’ll put $20 in savings, then $40, then $80… Soon you’ll find that you’ve got a good amount ready for emergencies, when it seemed like it would be so hard to get to.

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Think of it not just as putting money into a backup stash, but as investing in your future self. When your next unexpected expense sneaks up on you, you’ll be thanking your past self!

Watch our Ask SunWest episode on Short-Term Savings, and stay tuned for more in this series! If you have any questions on savings or another topic you’d like us to cover, send us a message or leave us a comment!

Paving the Path to Stability

Navigating the chaos of everyday life is not for the faint of heart. Throw managing your finances into the mix and now you have the perfect storm for stress and burnout. That is, unless you are a member of a credit union that has your back during some of the most difficult times in your life. Here at SunWest, we know just how overwhelming things can get when it comes to your finances and we strongly believe everyone needs a partner to help them on their journey.

Navigating the chaos of everyday life is not for the faint of heart. Throw managing your finances into the mix and now you have the perfect storm for stress and burnout. That is, unless you are a member of a credit union that has your back during some of the most difficult times in your life. Here at SunWest, we know just how overwhelming things can get when it comes to your finances and we strongly believe everyone needs a partner to help them on their journey.

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Take control of your future with our financial education series called “Ask SunWest.” This program was designed with you in mind. The student who just graduated high school and is now approaching the daunting task of shifting from carefree teenager to college student, on their own for the first time. The 22-year-old who just secured that beloved first job and is on the way to learning how to adult. Or perhaps you’re the new parents trying to find enough money for bills, diapers, formula, food, date nights, and house repairs (since the roof will inevitably start leaking). Whoever you are, and whatever walk of life you are from, SunWest wants you to know that we see you and we are here to help!

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Send us your questions via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the comment section right here on our blog and we’ll do our best to guide you through all things money related.

Our first series will discuss the importance of establishing a solid financial foundation through saving money and investing in your future self.

Check out our first video brought to you by our very own Joseph Folan, and stay tuned for the next video in the series. Here’s to dodging obstacles, jumping hurtles, and living life on your own terms!