For six months, Connex Credit Union will be working closely with five participants to see who can become the most fiscally fit to win a $3,000 grand prize. Each participant has been paired with a Connex Financial Advocate who will offer real-world, practical advice on how to reduce debt, build savings, and many other helpful financial tips and advice. Connex received over 100 applications for the fifth annual ConneXfactor competition! Below is our update on Alyssa W.
Alyssa W.: Where’s My Money?
Coach: Hannah Dewey, Guilford Assistant Branch Manager
July was a busy month for Alyssa when it comes to expenses. She had car taxes and homeowner’s taxes that were due, and she threw a couple of parties. All of this could have thrown her budget off, but – thanks to factoring these anticipated costs in and picking up some extra hours at work –Alyssa was able to make all her payments and continue to save towards her ConneXfactor goals!
After we met last month to brainstorm ways to find more room in her budget, Alyssa began using the “Gift card budget” method for her morning coffee runs. She budgets out a specific amount onto a gift card, only allowing herself to purchase treats when there are funds remaining. This is proving an effective way to take control of the daily mini-purchases that can eat away at an otherwise good budget.
In an effort to really tighten up the household budget and get a better understanding of where her money is going, Alyssa started using Connex’s Money Management tool. This helpful tool is found in the online banking portal, and is great for tracking your purchases. It also categorizes those purchases and presents the spending breakdown in colorful easy-to-read charts. After a month of use, Alyssa noted that while many aspects of the family’s budget were doing very well, the food bill was still higher than she would like it to be. To minimize this, she is working on a two-week challenge to create two meals for each week using ingredients that are on sale at her local grocery market. This style of meal planning flips traditional meal planning on its head, where you choose the meals and then search for coupons. Alyssa is instead doing the opposite of what most people do, which should lead to some truly creative and cost-effective culinary creations!
Do you need creative ways to find room in your budget? Join our ConneXfactor contestants and let our Financial Advocates work with you to create a financial plan to help you stay on track! Stop by any branch or get started online today.