You may recall that, as a child, or even a young adult, you wanted to do everything on your own. You wanted to be independent and make your own decisions without input from others. You didn’t commonly ask for advice because you didn’t want to hear what others had to say about your decisions. This doesn’t mean that your choices were always rash or ill-considered. You simply wanted to take things into your own hands.
If this sounds familiar, one of two paths probably occurred next. Either you finally arrived at a place where you wanted to ask someone for advice, as it would actually be really helpful to get another person’s perspective every once in a while. Or you’re still clutching tightly to your independence and still have a challenging time accepting advice from others.
No matter which bucket you fall into, everyone can benefit from financial counseling.
Don’t be thrown off by the word “counseling.” All it means is that you’ll be encouraged to discuss your past and current financial situations, as well as share your economic goal.
Is financial counseling right for you? While anyone can benefit from this service, here are four reasons why people reach out:
1. You Want to Buy a Home
If you are looking to purchase a home in the next few years your finances must be in order. But, what does that look like? Yes, you must have a good credit score, funds for a down payment, and enough income to pay your mortgage on time. However, did you consider closing costs, realtor fees, and property taxes?
At InRoads Credit Union, we’ve helped countless people secure mortgages and have prepared just as many for this process. We can help you set the perfect budget, decide how much to put down for a deposit, restore your credit, and ultimately secure an excellent interest rate for you.
Buying a home sounds easy. There are numerous shows on flipping houses and finding the perfect home, but there is much more that goes on behind the scenes. Let us help you prepare for this journey. Our financial counselors are here to help.
2. You Started Your First Job (or Your Fifth)
You filled out countless applications, went to numerous interviews, and you finally secured a first or new job. Congratulations! Now, let’s dig into the finances.
A new job means a new budget, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more “fun” money. Even if you received a raise, do you now have an option to contribute to a 401k employee match, or will you be paying more for health insurance?
Here are some first steps we’ll discuss:
- Creating a budget
- Saving for a rainy day
- Saving for retirement
- Paying off student loans/credit cards
- Catching up on any late bills
While securing a first or new job is an accomplishment, it’s the steps you take next that set you up for a bright future. Don’t sit idle. Make money moves that will set you up for success. And don’t do it alone.
3. You Want to Go to School
Whether you are looking to attend a two-year associate’s or trade school right out of high school or hoping to work toward a master’s degree that will help you move up in your career, we can guide you toward your goal.
Topics we’ll help you cover include whether or not you’ll be working during school and how you’ll pay for everyday living during this transitional period, how you’ll pay for school itself, how this change will economically affect anyone else in your life, and setting up and sticking with a budget.
There is a way to achieve your degree without being riddled with debt for the next 20 years. We can help you avoid this all-to-common scenario through financial counseling.
4. You’re Living Paycheck to Paycheck
If you fall into this category, it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. You might be making $15,000. You might be making $115,000. We aren’t here to berate you for your situation. We’re here to help you move forward in a more positive direction.
You may be thinking that you have a budget, you’re looking at the numbers, and there is no possible way you have any money to spare without securing more income. And you might be right. But it’s possible that you’re just too close to the situation, whereas we can see things with fresh eyes.
We can help you create a roadmap for your future.
Meeting with a financial counselor doesn’t mean you’ll walk out after one session with spare change you didn’t know you had. It does, however, mean that you will have actionable goals to slowly improve upon where you’re at.
5. How Does Financial Counseling Work?
All you have to do is schedule a meeting, come prepared with your goals and finances, and be ready to put in the work to achieve your goals.
Just like anything else, this won’t work if you walk in thinking it’s useless. Similarly, it is unlikely to work if you aren’t candid about your current financial situation.
If you’re not used to looking at your finances on a regular basis and tracking where each dollar goes, it can be jarring and intimidating. Let us take the lead and show you the best way to approach your money. We want to make finance fun and to celebrate little wins on the way toward your goal. Let’s do it together!
Are you ready to catch up on late bills, build an emergency fund, rebuild your credit, or learn about budgeting basics? Then reach out to our financial counseling team today.