Creating a Financial Plan

Build Your Money Roadmap

Like many people, you may be juggling multiple priorities. For instance, do you pay off all your credit card debt before saving or investing? Or, should you funnel more dollars into your retirement fund? And what about purchasing big-ticket items like a house or car? The truth is—the answers to these questions depend on your individual circumstances, your dreams and goals.

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It’s a Money Thing: Bank or Credit Union?

01_F_Social_03_USWhat was the very first financial choice you ever made? Think about it.

It likely took place before your first job, even as far back as when your annual income consisted of Tooth Fairy money and lucky pennies. The very first financial decision you ever made is also one of the most important choices, it’s where to keep your money.

When you first made that decision, piggy banks, sock drawers, and “buried-in-the-sandbox-like-pirate-treasure” all seemed like perfectly acceptable options. As it turns out, they aren’t nearly as super-secret as you might have hoped. Opening a bank account is the best solution, but in order to do that you first need to choose a financial institution—and so the choice becomes “bank or credit union?”

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It’s a Money Thing: Emergency Fund Bootcamp

An emergency fund is an essential part of your personal finances. Its importance is stressed in almost every personal finance book and budgeting blog, and yet 26% of Americans currently have no emergency fund in place. Of those who do have an emergency fund, up to two-thirds do not have the often-recommended six months’ worth of expenses saved up.

If an emergency fund is, in fact, so important, why doesn’t it seem that way? Why is it so easy to procrastinate on emergency-fund saving? Learn more in this video.

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It’s a Money Thing: It Pays to Start Saving Now

In case you haven’t heard, compound interest is the best.

You may remember it as an equation you had to memorize for math class, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the concept that powers all sorts of savings and investment products and, over time, allows you to turn your money into, well, more money!Even though compound interest is easy to understand—compound interest = more money for you!—those who can potentially benefit most from it (those in their teens and 20s) don’t seem to be taking advantage of it. Savings contributions and retirement savings participation rates are falling among young adults.

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