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If you’re having a baby…

Your family is changing and so should your spending plan. You’ve got to sit down with your partner to create a new family budget. Remember to factor in items such as: increased healthcare costs, clothing, diapers and baby products, as well as insurance. Keep in mind that this may mean that some of your other expenses will need to decrease such as, your entertainment and dining out expenses. Talk to your member service representative about starting Minor Savings Accounts to start saving for your children.

If you will be sending a child to college…

Know that the cost to educate children has grown rapidly in the past 20 years and you will need to determine how you will take care of the bill. This may take some time and research so, develop a plan as early as possible. Take time to learn about the various options for financing your child’s education. Here are some things you might look into: Student Loans (check out the Smart Option Student Loan offered by SallieMae http://www.salliemae.com/smartoption/pgafcu) Private Scholarships (talk to a member service representative about the PGAFCU college scholarship), Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, Financial Aid (visit www.fafsa.edu.gov). Talk with your student and their high school guidance counselor for more college funding options. Make sure your child understands the importance of maintaining a high Grade Point Average GPA, and the involvement of extracurricular activities.

If you are preparing for a divorce…

This may be a difficult time, and there are a few things you will need to do to move forward financially. Start out by obtaining a copy of your credit report (try AnnualCreditReport.com.) Make sure that all of the accounts listed on the report are indeed your financial responsibility. Also, set up a procedure to pay the debts on your own, determine what types of withdrawals and deposits you will be making, and how to file your taxes. Using PGAFCU Bill Pay may be a simple solution to organize your monthly payments and we are always here to assist you.

Any upcoming changes to your household?

If you will be getting married…

Before marriage, you and your fiancé should sit down to discuss your financial situations. It is wise to discuss any debt or credit issues that each of you may be bringing to the relationship. During these discussions you should develop mutual goals by writing out your short-term and long-term financial goals. Go over similarities and differences and work together! Discuss your feelings about money, including how you would like to retire, how you’d like to prepare for financial emergencies, and how you want to contribute for college if you decide to have children in the future. Review your personal accounts and talk about whether the two of you should combine your credit union accounts or credit accounts. Keep in mind that we offer FREE joint checking accounts with free debit cards, online bill banking, and online bill pay.

– Remember to respect and value each other’s point of view and compromise.
– Share financial histories, including credit card, loan, and financial accounts.
– Order copies of your credit reports and credit scores.
– Calculate your combined net worth.
– Create a spending plan and a savings plan.
– Identify the pitfalls that drain your budget.
– Set up direct deposit for your payroll.
– Discuss which accounts to keep separate and which accounts to merge.
– Review and update your beneficiary forms for insurance policies, IRA’s, pensions, and 401(k)’s.
– Update your wills, power of attorney documents, property deeds, and auto titles.

If you are looking to buy a new home…
Remember these steps to become an OWNER:

O-Organize. Set a goal to save a certain amount of money each month, and stick to it!

W-Watch Spending & Savings. Prioritize your family’s spending needs so that saving becomes second-nature.

N-Negotiate. Speak often with companies/banks you owe money to so that you can work out problems before they grow larger.

E-Elevate your credit score. Know your credit score and what it means to banks, credit card companies, and your future.

R-Read & Understand the fine print. Consider all of the options, educate yourself, and be informed before you sign on the dotted line.

Cover the basics

  1. What part of town (or country) do you want to live in?
  2. What price range would you consider? No less than……..but no more than…….
  3. Are schools a factor and, if so, what do you need to take into consideration (e.g., distance to school, programs available, specific type of school etc.)?
  4. Do you want an older home or a newer home (less than 5 years old)?
  5. What kind of houses would you be willing to see (1 story, 2 story, split foyer, bi-level, tri-level, townhouse or condo, mobile home)?
  6. What style of home appeals to you (contemporary, traditional, southwestern, colonial, no preference)?
  7. How much renovation are you willing to do?
  8. Do you have a need to be close to public transportation?
  9. Do you have any physical needs that must be met, such as wheelchair access?
  10. How many bedrooms must you have? How many would you like to have?
  11. How many bathrooms do you want?
  12. What size of home are you looking for (square feet)? No less than……..No more than……..
  13. What features are you looking for (air conditioning, carpet, hardwood floors, ceramic tile, eat-in kitchen, separate dining room, formal living room, family room, den or library, laundry room, basement, workshop, fireplace, steps or no steps, fence, patio or deck, garage, driveway etc.)?
  14. What about the neighborhood (noise level, traffic, safety/security, age mix of inhabitants, number of children, convenience to supermarkets, work, shopping, hospital etc.)?
  15. Are there any other special features or needs that you will need to consider in the shopping process?