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Saving money is important for everyone, regardless of your income. WSECU believes that small changes add up to long-term benefits. It may take practice and a bit of patience, but reaching goals and being ready for opportunities and emergencies are powerful reasons to learn more about the ease and value of saving.

2 WSECU workers sitting at their desks looking at their computers and smiling
The friendly team at WSECU can assist you with many of your financial concerns. You can talk with knowledgeable people about saving, investing, budgeting and more. Photo courtesy: WSECU

Lisa Beach is the WSECU Tacoma-James Center branch manager. She keeps the big picture in mind when it comes to saving. “Any amount is okay. You start where you are,” she assures us. Lisa suggests people to do a financial check-up twice a year, like you do with your dentist. WSECU has a team of people who can go over your accounts, goals and budget.

“Some people have no experience with savings,” explains Lisa. She is happy to connect with people whatever their saving’s history – or lack thereof. “We can give them tools to save for a car, a down payment of a property, or an emergency fund.” Money is not a topic people are often comfortable talking about. It continues to be a taboo subject in many families.

Starting Young with Savings at WSECU

Ideally, people would get an early start on their financial health, meaning when they were children. Going into a branch can be an adventure for your young ones. They can bring their change and put it in the coin machine for counting.

“We encourage people to start at a young age,” coaches Lisa. WSECU has an account specifically created to help parents talk about money, the value of a dollar and saving with a purpose. Youngsters can receive a wire-bound book to keep track of their financial journey. They’ll get their own Munny Bunny, an adorable stuffed rabbit who is also in the book. There’s a special pocket for the first deposit into the savings account.

little boy holding a white rabbit stuffed animal and a piece of paper
It’s fun to learn about the value of saving, which can start early at WSECU. Get your own cuddly Munny Bunny and track your savings journey. Photo courtesy: WSECU

Savings for Young Adults with Flexible Certificate Accounts

With $100, people from the ages of 18-25 can open a JustU Share Certificate.  This holds your money at a guaranteed rate for a predetermined number of months. Rates are typically greater than with a regular savings account. This special certificate allows holders to add money along the way. Usually, certificate accounts are closed until their maturity date, meaning the account holder can’t continue to add funds. You could even set up an automatic deposit to coincide with your paycheck. A nominal amount, say $25, really adds up over time. “We want to encourage young adults to save,” says Lisa.

Those over 25 can open Share Certificates, too, with an initial deposit of $250. When you are ready to open a Certificate account, consider a staggered approach. “Break them into smaller amounts,” says Lisa. That way, if you happen to need extra funds, one may be ready to roll over, or you’ll only need to dip into one.

little girl hugging a white rabbit stuffed animal against a green background
When you open up a special savings account at WSECU, you and your child will receive your own Munny Bunny and a guide to saving. Photo courtesy: WSECU

Plugging Financial Leaks Saves Money

Do you know your credit card interest rate? A single percentage lower on a card rate puts more money towards debt reduction than on paying interest. It makes a real difference. WSECU offers several cards depending on your goals. You may want a cash-back program, one that offers rewards or one with low interest if you tend to carry a balance. “If you have balances on multiple credit cards, you might want to consolidate them,” suggests Lisa. One option could be to consolidate by transferring balances to a card with a 0% interest promotional period. Keep in mind these kinds of offers have more details to review before you take the plunge. Some institutions include a fee to transfer the balance. At the end of the six months, you’ll have interest rates that range based on your institution’s rates.

Keep Your Goals in Sight with Help from WSECU

“We want to partner with people,” Lisa adds. There’s no judgment about what you have or haven’t done. WSECU is local, so when you need to tend to your financial concerns, they are here. You can go into a branch office and talk face-to-face with a person. When you have a home loan, your lender is right here in your community.

WSECU originally opened to serve public employees. Now, the credit union can serve anyone who lives, works, or worships within Washington. Maybe it’s time for your financial check-in. Being honest with yourself and getting a better handle on your goals and plans makes both the sunny and rainy days better. “We just want to help you,” Lisa says.

For more information, visit the WSECU website.

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