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Financial Education

January 14, 2021

You would never run a marathon without building up the strength, endurance and mental stamina needed to cross the finish line. Reaching fitness goals requires training and dedication. The same is true for financial fitness. If you have financial goals, you’re much more likely to reach them if you acquire and practice the fundamentals of financial fitness.

Set a training plan with a sound budget. Creating a budget is an important step because it helps you to understand where your money comes from and how you spend it. Once you understand your finances you can make choices that help you reach your goals.

Fitness tip: Tackle one adjustment at a time. If you’re trying to save money, begin by looking for ways to cut spending that you won’t notice — like canceling unused subscriptions. Once you gain a little momentum, try setting up direct deposit from your paycheck to a savings account at PeoplesBank.

Build strength by improving your credit score. A strong credit score is important to overall financial health. Your credit score is a number based on your credit history. The score, tabulated by three major credit bureaus — Experian®, TransUnion® and Equifax® — is based on aspects of your financial history like paying bills on time, how much money you owe and how many credit cards you have. A good credit score gives you more power to finance major purchases like a car or a home.

Fitness tip: You can view your credit score free of charge every year from each of the three credit bureaus. Check your credit report for discrepancies and look for ways to improve your score.

Increase endurance by paying down your debt. Sometimes borrowing money is necessary but debt, especially if it’s held on a high interest credit card, can keep you from going the distance.

Fitness tip: One strategy to pay down debt, called debt consolidation, is to transfer the balance from one or more high interest credit cards to a lower interest personal loan.

Improve your flexibility with an emergency savings account. An emergency savings account gives you the flexibility to clear unexpected financial hurdles. Experts recommend you save enough money to cover your basic living expenses for three months.

Fitness tip: Consider the recommended amount a guideline, but any amount of savings is better than nothing. Start building slowly and work toward a goal that you are comfortable with.

Protect yourself with adequate insurance. Insurance is an important element of financial health because it protects your money and assets when unexpected things happen. A health crisis, auto accident, fire or natural disaster can threaten your savings or create challenging debt. While you may hope that none of these things ever happen, insurance provides you with the peace of mind that if they do, your finances are protected.

Fitness tip: Insurance products can be complex, and finding the right balance of monthly premiums, deductible and coverage varies depending on your financial situation and needs. Talk to an insurance expert at PeoplesBank to see what insurance you need to protect your family and finances today.

When working on your financial fitness goals, remember that you can always talk to a PeoplesBank Financial Mentor to help determine the best products and services for your unique needs.

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