We have covered physical and social wellbeing on The UVM Medical Center Blog. This October, we will tackle financial wellbeing — which has a big effect on our personal health. Our friends at New England Federal Credit Union have some great advice for us.

Woman holding crumpled dollar note in cupped hands

It’s easy to postpone starting to save for a later day, but a solid plan is key to achieve success. By following some basic guidelines, you’re more likely to achieve financial security.

  1. Think of it as a freedom fund. If you can’t find that initial “spark” to get started, ask yourself how you’d pay your bills if you got a pink slip tomorrow, or if your car needed major repairs. If you know the money is there when you need it, the burden of worry is lifted.
  2. Give savings a garage-sale boost. Schedule an emergency-fund-dedicated spring-cleaning event. Go from room to room and purge stuff you no longer want and need. You’ll clean house, feel refreshed, and boost your savings.
  3. Pay yourself first. Use automated transfers to get in the habit of saving. Money will be transferred from your account without you seeing it, which makes you less likely to miss it. Simply complete a form authorizing [name credit union] to receive a portion of every paycheck and deposit it directly into your savings account.
  4. Save 10 percent of your paycheck. The general rule of thumb is to save about 10 percent of each paycheck. If that seems too high, try 5 percent and work your way up to saving 10 percent of your earnings. Add 1 percent every year you get a raise until you reach 10 percent.
  5. Know yourself. Examine your goals to determine which savings plan will work best for you. For example, don’t invest all your money in an aggressive stock or mutual fund if you’re conservative with your money. If you’re saving for retirement, select a plan that will fit your financial needs down the road.

Courtesy of New England Federal Credit Union. Copyright 2010 Credit Union National Association Inc.

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