Posted by Victor Corro on January 23, 2019
Every new year brings new opportunities to create healthier lifestyle habits, establish goals and objectives for the coming year, and in some ways start life over. Unfortunately, most new year’s resolutions focus on physical health, rather than fiscal health. That’s an oversight few credit union members – or anyone, for that matter – can afford on their journey to long-term financial well-being.
Now is an excellent time for credit unions to help their Hispanic members improve their financial practices, foster wise money spending decisions and more effectively manage their own financial futures.
The first step is to help Hispanic members identify their financial goals for the new year. Here are a few questions credit unions can ask their members to help them chart the right course.
- What dreams do you have for yourself or your family? This is the first and most basic question to ask. In order to establish an effective financial plan, it is important to help the members visualize what they are working towards and what small steps they can take to someday achieve their goal.
- Are you ready to purchase a new home? Current renters may face an uptick with monthly mortgage costs, but they also will start building equity, giving them a stronger financial foundation.
- Are you carrying an unusually heavy debt load? Paying off loans and reducing debt is one of the best ways members can improve their financial position and credit scores, both of which can lead to greater financial security and lower future loan rates. This is an opportunity for the credit union to promote their credit building products in a way that is relevant to the Hispanic community.
- How do you plan for your monthly bills? Over time, our lives change, yet many people’s budgeting habits do not. Provide a monthly budget template that can be adjusted based both on what people need and can afford. New financial options arrive constantly, some of which may enable them to live as well or better on less.
- Is there a big purchase you can start saving up for? The idea of saving more and spending less can become more appealing if the member is aware that they will need the funds later. This is a concept foundational to financial security. Merely asking the question may spark some creative thinking and set members on a better financial course.
Is there anything you would like to stop or start doing financially? It is a simple yet powerful question that could make a member ponder. It is worth asking.
Asking these and other questions can be important in helping members set the course for a brighter financial future, one that might even give them the opportunity to take that long awaited vacation they have always wanted or make a larger purchase of something they need. It is difficult for credit unions or their members to understand or know how to reach their financial goals until those questions are answered.
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