Skip to content

Plan for Your Best Life

Developing your financial goals and determining how they will be achieved is essential. If they work together, the probability of achieving your best life is greatly enhanced.

Set Up an Effective Financial Plan

A financial plan can help you reach your long-term goals and give you a focus for your short-term goals. It can help you stop making financial decisions based on fear or want and help you determine the order of your major life steps. Financial plans vary from individual to individual, and a financial advisor can help you solidify the plan, especially when you are ready to start investing.

USSFCU has partnered with Fellows Financial Group to bring our members world-class financial management and planning services. 

Fellows Financial Group is a financial services firm focused on improving the lives of individual and business clients through financial independence and carefully planned futures. Learn More

Your financial plan will help you to make the best financial choices, so you can set yourself up to win financially by really managing your money. Keep reading for more tips. 

Budget Successfully

In order to truly manage your money, you should have a working budget for each month. A budget allows you to give each dollar you make a purpose. It puts you in control of your money. It lets you track your spending and helps to measure whether or not you are meeting your financial goals. A good budget will prepare to make each financial step as it comes.

If you need help budgeting, you can use software or the envelope method to help you control your spending and find money to help with the rest of your financial plan. Here are some free online budget tools for charting a course to financial freedom:

Mint | BudgetPulse | Buxfer | Moneytrackin’

Eliminate Your Debt

The second step is to get out of debt. This is important because it does not make sense to save or invest money when you are paying a higher interest rate on the money that you owe to others.

Once you are out of debt, you need to set up systems that will help prevent you from going into debt again. This means setting aside money for big purchases like your car and carrying the right amount of insurance so you do not take on unexpected medical debt. Carefully consider each major financial decision and stop using your credit cards.

Build an Emergency Fund

Once you are out of debt you should build an emergency fund of six months' worth of expenses that you leave in the bank. This cushion will allow you to leave your investments alone in case you fall on hard times. It should only be used for real emergencies such as a job loss, and it is set up to protect your investments and retirement savings.

If you dip into your emergency fund you should focus on bringing it back up to the full amount as quickly as possible. If you have an unstable job, you may want to consider saving up a year's worth of expenses. 

Save for the Future

After you have built your emergency savings you should work toward building your retirement and investing savings. Many financial advisers, such as Dave Ramsey, recommend putting 15 percent of your gross income into retirement each year. However, if you have specific retirement goals you may need to increase this amount.

You should talk to a financial planner who can help you determine the amount you need to be able to retire comfortably. You can use your 401(k) at work as part of your plan, but you should also use a Roth IRA and other investment tools to increase your investments.

In addition to saving for retirement, you should begin to plan and save for future expenses like your child's education or a down payment for a home if you have not yet purchased one. You may be thinking about a dream vacation home in the future or retiring earlier than normal. All of these take a different saving and investing strategy than typical retirement savings. However, it is an important part of your overall financial plan.

Invest and Diversify

Once you max out your eligibility on your retirement accounts you can use other tools such as mutual funds, annuities, or real estate to increase your investment portfolio. It is important to diversify your types of investments. If you are consistent and careful with your investments, you will reach a point when your investments generate more income than you do. This is a good thing and you should have this in place by the time you retire.

As you draw closer to retiring, you will want to change the way you invest. It is important to have safer investments that will not be as affected by the market going up and down. This way you will still have the money you need if the economy crashes, whereas when you are younger, you will have time for the market to recover.

Plan Grow Save

CLICK HERE if you aren't a USSFCU member and are interested in joining.

Members' Voice Testimonials

I feel my money is safe, the service has always been top-notch and we've found it easy to use even though I probably haven't set foot in one of the branches in five years. Joining the credit union is one of the smartest things I've done.

USSFCU has been my first banking option for over 40 years - no fee atms - my grands are now members of the credit union and value their credit union membership also.

USSFCU staff continues to be the best and always has my best interest.

The USSFCU has been an important part of my financial situation and has provided outstanding service.

Every experience with USSFCU has been extremely good right from the start. Our main account with USSFCU is a HELOC with zero over prime rate, which is almost unheard of. The customer service has always been excellent. And when we asked for a temporary payment break to navigate and reorient professionally due to the sudden and temporary financial im...

I've always been treated very professionally and the person caring for my financial needs always listened to me and helped me in a way that was not stressful and beneficial to me.

USSFCU has never failed us in its' role of being the best bank ever. All the personnel are professional, friendly, efficient and have more than earned our trust, appreciation and admiration. We admire the way they are constantly evaluating, adapting and growing their services for the benefit of its' members. We are very grateful to have had this im...

Magnificent people, great help during the hard times.

I've been banking here for over 20 years it's the best customer service. Credit card interest rates don't gouge at USSFCU. It's a wonderful place to bank.

Very personable, solution based and takes an interest in your situation.

Unfailing service by dedicated staff. I feel that USSFCU has my back. Staff has gone to bat for me whenever needed. I'm not aware on any mistake or inconvenience in my 30 years of membership. Excellent long term leadership, continuity and service by board.

Easy to become a member and superb customer support. I dealt with two different USSFCU representatives and they were fantastic. I was able to reach them immediately or if they were tied up they contacted me as soon as they became available. They helped me open an IRA and answered any and all questions with great attitudes and professionalism. They ...

The credit union provides relatively good services and the security updates to the system are noticeable.

It took a matter of minutes to open the account and purchase a CD. The credit union that I have done business with for about 40 years took more than a week to close a joint account and transfer the funds to a new account when my husband died.

Outstanding online and mobile banking services. Professional, Courteous, knowledgeable responsive staff!

I am very satisfied to belong to this institution and whenever I need support it is good to know that I count on you.

This credit union is the best, I love the customer service and you can?t beat the interest rates. And I?m happy to be a member of this great credit union.

Great staff helping all the time. Just a very well run company always good service.

Always good service, especially when I telephone in. I have another credit union where, every time I call in, I have to wait a considerable amount of time before reaching a representative. When I worked on the Hill, it always was a pleasurable experience coming to the credit union office, whether to make a deposit or apply for a loan.

Customer service via the phone is very helpful and easy to accomplish requests.

Care about their clients and concerned about making sure they have the best rates and packages.

Read More testimonials.
Sorry, content not available.