Get Financial Advice

A membership at Gallup-FCU gives you more than just a bank account. We care about the person behind the account, and we want to see you achieve financial success - no matter how you measure it! Below are some hot topics around managing money, making large purchases and planning for the future. We are always here to help so please set up an appointment if you would like to talk one on one.

Budgeting

Keeping a budget is the secret to staying financially afloat. Developing a spending a plan - and sticking to that plan - will improve your financial condition, no matter your situation. Here are some budgeting basics to get you started:

  • Purposefully spend all of your monthly household income on paper before the month begins.
  • Create a new budget every month. Some aspects of your budget will remain the same each month, but there will also be month-to-month differences. A big part of gaining control of your spending is knowing and planning for these differences.
  • Use a Zero Balanced Budget approach. This means there will be no "slush fund" or surplus at the end of the month. We all know what happens to leftover money - it is spent.
  • Find the right budgeting method for you. Whether you use Excel forms, Core Financial Well-Being forms, Money Desktop, or old-fashioned pencil and paper, there is no wrong way to keep track of your spending.
  • Establish an accountability person. If you are married, it should be your spouse. If you are single, find someone you can trust who can give you honest feedback, even if it is hard to hear.

Buying a Car

Before you make a difficult car-buying decision, contact us! We have nearly 30 years of experience in helping our members purchase vehicles - there is much more to it than getting a loan. We can help you narrow your choices based on your needs and budget, sharpen your negotiating skills, and guide you through the purchasing process from start to finish.

Buying a Home

Whether you are buying your first home or you are an experienced home buyer, purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you will make. Let us help you through the process, from deciding whether you should buy or rent, to how much you can afford, to what type of loan is right for you. You can never be too prepared!

Paying off Debt

Get your finances in order and start paying down that debt. Everyone's debt situation is different, from student loans, to car payments, to credit cards. We can help you put together an action plan to get you on the path to financial freedom.

Failing to plan for the unknown in life is how most people end up in debt. The most important step to paying off debt is having an emergency fund. Using a credit card "for emergencies only" is like saying you would rather allow MasterCard, Visa, or American Express to be your backup plan instead of taking the time to make a plan of your own.

The second-most-important step in paying off debt is to have a spending plan (i.e., a budget) every month. The lack of a monthly plan is what leads to paycheck-to-paycheck living (also known as "crisis living").

The basics of the debt snowball - the best plan of attack on debt!

Start by listing your debts in order, from the smallest balance to the largest. The idea of the snowball is simple: Pay minimum payments on all of your debts and attack the smallest one to pay it off as quickly as possible. Every extra dollar you can get your hands on should be thrown at that smallest debt until it is gone. Then, you attack the second-smallest one. Every time you pay a debt off, you add its old minimum payment to your next-smallest debt payment. So, as the snowball rolls over, it picks up more snow.

Credit Reports

Credit scores can have a financial impact on things like your next mortgage interest rate and your insurance premiums, so it is important to know where your credit stands. There are two free services available for you to monitor your credit report and scores, keeping you up to date on your credit history at all times.

  • CreditKarma.com is a free service that provides you with your credit score. Because there are three different credit bureaus that continually measure scores (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), each of which provides its own score, we have found this site to provide an accurate estimate of what your score would be. Please note, however, that CreditKarma cannot guarantee the score will be exact.
  • Annualcreditreport.com is a source that will allow any individual to obtain one free copy of their credit report from each of the three credit bureaus individually within a 12-month period. We would highly recommend staggering your copies from each of the three entities over several months to help you view an updated version throughout the year.

Financial Planning and Wealth Management

Sound financial planning is an important step in achieving long-term financial stability. If you want to create a personal and detailed financial plan and start managing your investments for the future, Guide Rock Capital Management, the investment arm of the Credit Union, is here to help!

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Congratulations to this month's Save to Win winners: Blake Lohnes, Pooja Chitral, Amanda Pemble, Phuong Winchester, and Melissa Moreno

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