Getting started

Managing your finances takes work. But the feeling of confidence you get when you know your life is on track, can't be beat. Start out here with learning some of the key basics for managing your finances.

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What can checking and savings accounts do for me?

You'll need somewhere safe to put your money. Checking and savings accounts are the best, safest place for that. You'll be able to write checks, use a debit card, arrange for automatic bill pay online, and have your employer deposit your paycheck directly into your account.

How Everence can help

You can open a checking and savings account with Everence Federal Credit Union – a member-owned financial cooperative. A credit union is different from a bank because our members own us, and because we don't make a profit. We also partner with other credit unions across the country to offer our members ATM services at participating locations, called shared branches.

How is a budget helpful?

First, you need to know how much money you're earning and how much money you're spending. The best way to figure this out is to create a budget, or cash flow plan. Set aside some time and look up your take home income, then calculate how much money you need to pay your bills, buy food, and pay your regular expenses. Once you know how much is coming and going, you can start to make choices about what to do with any left over money.

How Everence can help

Download our free budgeting guide and our digital cash flow plan template to get started with your budget. The guide will walk you through the details of making a cash flow plan, and you can use the template to personalize it with your numbers. Each month, fill in your expenses to check if you're on track.

Do I need emergency savings?

Financial coaches will often suggest people set aside emergency savings, to use for unexpected situations – like a car repair or medical expenses. Some people advise you keep $1,000 and others say you should save three to six months of expenses. Either way, it's good to keep a cushion of funds in your bank account, just in case.

How Everence can help

You can set up an emergency savings account with Everence Federal Credit Union. Setting aside your emergency funds as a separate savings account makes it more difficult to access, which means you'll be less tempted to use it for non-emergency needs.

What's your tip for saving for big purchases?

If you know you have a big purchase coming up – car, computer, college books – start planning for it in your budget. Decide your deadline for reaching your goal, then determine how much you need to set aside and how often. Next, create a line item in your cash flow plan, so that you know to set aside that amount rather than spend it.

How Everence can help

It can be easier to save your money if you don't have to think about it. You can set up a club account with Everence, an additional savings account that you can customize to fit your needs. You can also set up a portion of your paycheck to automatically go to your club account, so you really don't have to worry about it until you're ready to take it out.

What can I do about my debt?

It can be easy to accumulate debt from major life steps like college or buying a house to credit card spending that just got out of hand. If managed well, debt can be useful financial tool, but it can also take over and make your life and finances more complicated. 

The key to getting out of debt is to pay off as much of it as possible, as quickly as possible. List out all your debts and make a plan for how you will pay them off. If you want to pay off your debt early, pay extra payments each month. Some people try to tackle their debts by paying off the highest interest loans first, whereas others try to pay off the smallest debts first. Choose a plan that you like and stick to it.

How Everence can help

If you’re not sure where to start with getting your debt under control, you can call for no cost, confidential budget and debt counseling through our partner, LSS Financial Counseling, (877) 809-0039. A service of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, their certified credit counselors offer up to six free sessions. LSS offers help with money management, budgeting, credit reports, improving credit scores, debt repayment options, student loan repayment issues and more.

Do I need a credit card?

No one needs a credit card – but they can be handy sometimes. Some people use credit cards to help pay for emergency costs, if they don't have the money until they get paid soon. Others use credit cards to track their spending.

Credit cards can make it easier to spend money than cash, since you're not limited by what's in your pocket. That also means it can be easier to spend more than you have. A responsible credit card user takes care to be mindful of their spending and pays off his or her balance at the end of the month.

How Everence can help

The Everence MyNeighbor credit card lets you give back to the community. When you make a purchase with the card, Everence donates 1.5 percent of your transaction to the charitable organization of your choice. Plus, the card has no annual fees and no interest charged on purchases if they're paid within 25 days of the statement date.

What is investing and when should I start?

Investing 101

Investing is when you put your money toward something with the expectation that your money will grow over time. There are a lot of ways to invest, but you can narrow down your choices by determining how long you plan to leave your money in the investment and how much risk you want to take. Markets fluctuate and have periods of gains and periods of declines. You can help balance the good and the bad markets by mixing your types of investments and risks.

A good place to start investing is through your employer's retirement plan – like a 401(k) or 403(b). You can contribute part of your paycheck – even if it is only a little – and choose your investment mix. Over time, this money will accumulate and be there for you when you're ready to retire.

How Everence can help

If you want to figure out your own investments, you could talk to an Everence financial professional. He or she can help you figure out the right balance of risks and the best type of investments to meet your goals.

Ask Everence

Do you have questions or need more information?

Find an Everence financial professional

Or learn more about how a custom financial plan can help you gain confidence and clarity about your finances.

For more information

Call (800) 348-7468 or visit any of our offices to talk to an Everence representative.

Savings goal calculator

Use this calculator to see what it will take to reach your savings goal. Figure out how long and how much you will need to save.

Information and interactive calculators are made available to you as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide investment advice. We cannot and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.

Related news and stories

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Come up with a plan to control your finances

Investing: Where should you start?
Understand the basics of investing.

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It doesn't take a lot.

Five tips to remember when you begin saving.
Don't be intimidated if you don't have much to save.