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How to Build a Better Financial Future for 2018

Idahoans can look at their spending habits to help them save money in the New Year.  (stevepb/Pixabay)
Idahoans can look at their spending habits to help them save money in the New Year. (stevepb/Pixabay)
December 28, 2017

BOISE, Idaho – While many people will make working out and physical fitness their New Year's resolutions, folks should also consider becoming more financially fit.

Getting your money in line may not be as glamorous as getting a gym membership, but it could help you survive times of financial stress.

Lyndsey Brown is the marketing manager for Pioneer Federal Credit Union, with branches in southwest Idaho. Brown says Pioneer Federal uses a credit score analysis to help people come up with a game plan for saving money.

"It's a really great tool to dive a little deeper into our members' credit scores and have conversations about where they're spending their money, and how we can save them money and save them interest over time in their loans,” says Brown. “We take a really good, hard look at the whole picture."

Brown says everyone's spending habits are different, so it is important to tailor financial paths for the individual. For instance, the best way for some Idahoans to start saving may be to have it taken from their paycheck each month and deposited directly into a savings account.

The cooperative model of credit unions allows members to save in other ways, too. Because they don't pay stockholders like for-profit financial institutions, they're often able to provide lower fees and loan interest rates.

According to Informa Research, each Idaho credit union member saves about $150 compared to bank customers. Collectively, they saved nearly $10 million on credit card interest rates last year, compared to bank customers.

Brown says credit unions also provide what she calls a personal touch.

"The finances are just one part,” she says, “but we really want our members to feel successful and comfortable with their financial standings, and help partner with them any way that we can, to really build that lifelong partnership and relationship."

Nearly 1 million Idahoans are members of a credit union.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID