Five Steps from Houston Police Federal Credit Union Can Ease Financial Stress
Recent studies find financial anxiety is more prevalent than ever, making people physically sick
HOUSTON, July 6, 2016 – If you have concerns about your family finances, you have a lot of company. Three recent studies found more Americans are anxious about money than ever, and the stress is threatening everything from health to happiness to home life. In response to this growing problem, Houston Police Federal Credit Union (https://hpfcu.org) is offering a roadmap for achieving greater financial peace of mind.
Houston Police Federal Credit Union (https://hpfcu.org) is a non-profit organization that manages the financial resources of active and retired Houston Police Officers, Houston Police Department Civilian Employees and their families.
The 2016 Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress Study found that 85 percent of Americans report feeling financial anxiety today. Among those feeling stressed-out, about seven out of ten say it is negatively impacting their health, their happiness and their moods. A separate survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 41 percent of Americans age 50 and older say the thought of retirement makes them more anxious than excited. More than half say they are anxious about having enough retirement savings. And researchers at the University of Virginia made headlines recently when they determined that financial stress lowers pain tolerance, which may be contributing to increased use of painkillers.
“Feelings of financial anxiety can be debilitating, and the sense of losing control – whether it’s keeping up with the bills or being hit by unexpected expenses – can cause ripple effects throughout all aspects of a person’s life,” said Angela Berry, Vice President of Lending with Houston Police Federal Credit Union. “We offer five easy steps that anyone can take to seize control over their money and their future.”
Houston Police Federal Credit Union offers the following recommendations:
Set goals. Define what you want to achieve and set a timetable for getting it done. Stick with short-term achievable goals. Nothing beats the feeling of making progress.
Put a plan in place. Creating a budget is as simple as totaling up the money coming in and planning where every dollar goes. The 50/30/20 rule suggests 50 percent go toward necessities such as housing, utilities and transportation, 30 percent go toward discretionary items such as groceries, clothing and hair, and 20 percent go toward savings and debt repayments.
Establish an emergency fund. Setting aside three to six months of living expenses in a savings account can help your family be ready for unexpected life events such as losing a job or incurring medical expenses.
Live within your means. If you have more going out than coming in, it will catch up with you eventually. It may be time to cut down on eating out. Instead, teach the kids to cook a favorite dish!
Save regularly. You work hard for your money, so keep some of it! If your employer offers a 401-K plan and matches a percentage of what you put in, contribute at least what they will match. It is free money!
Houston Police Federal Credit Union can help establish a habit of saving with its Share Account, which is a savings account that offers dividends compounded daily and paid monthly, and no penalty for withdrawal. Another option is the Term Share Account, which is a fixed rate certificate of deposit with terms of either 6-, 12- or 15-months. Houston Police Federal Credit Union’s one-time membership fee is $0.25 and a minimum deposit can be as little as $5.
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About Houston Police Federal Credit Union
Houston Police Federal Credit Union was established in 1937 as a non-profit organization to serve Houston's Finest – the men and women in the City of Houston law enforcement profession, and their families – with a commitment to the needs of members and prudent management of their financial resources. Today, Houston Police Federal Credit Union is a major financial institution with over $611 million in assets and over 25,000 members. We have 3 convenient office locations along with over 110 free ATMs in Houston and the surrounding areas. Learn more at www.hpfcu.org.
Photo by Sander van der Wel.