Savings can help you achieve any financial goal. Whether it’s a comfortable retirement, a down payment for a house, or a new car or stereo, you can get there by setting money aside. And best of all, you can have what you want without getting bogged down in debt.
Yet if you’re like most people, you don’t save as much as you’d like to. Or you don’t save at all. Americans spend more than we earn. Consider that the national personal savings rate has dipped to the lowest point since the Great Depression. Today’s high energy, home and food prices may make saving seem less possible than ever.
But the time is now. And with a little forethought and effort, saving money is not only possible, it’s easy.
Make Saving a Priority
You’ll be more likely to save money if you make it a priority. Sit down and figure out what you’d like to save money for – retirement, a house, car, college, dream vacation –and how much it will cost. Then make your plan:
- Set a timeline for when you’d like to reach your goal.
- Set a schedule by dividing the total goal amount by the number of weeks, months or pay periods between now and your goal date.
- Be vigilant by treating your savings contribution just like any other must-pay expense, such as rent or groceries.
Find Money to Save
While it may seem difficult sometimes just to make ends meet, chances are you have extra money you didn’t even know about. Here are some ways to find it:
- Keep track of everything you spend for a week. You might be surprised what you’re buying, and what you can do without.
- Make purchases with cash. This can help you stick to a budget and avoid impulse purchases. Simply decide ahead of time how much you want to spend and then set aside that amount in cash before you go shopping.
- Lower your bills. Many creditors will give borrowers a lower interest rate if they’re asked. Also, conserving electricity and gas can make a big difference.
- Rank your nonessential expenses. Keep the ones you like the best and cut the items on the bottom of the list.
- Pack a lunch. Or cook more dinners at home. Eating out at restaurants can eat up a lot of money that could be saved.
Pay Yourself First
You’re probably inclined to pay everyone else first – whether it’s your landlord or your grocer or the electric company. But it’s vital to start paying yourself first by saving money. Once you’ve made a contribution to your financial longevity and well-being, then you can divide up your money to cover everything else. Don’t worry. You’ll more than likely have plenty left over to cover everything you need.
In fact, most banks make this easier. You can have them automatically transfer funds from your checking account to your savings account, money market, mutual fund and other accounts. You might also check with your employer. Companies will often deduct savings from paychecks if asked.
To be eligible to apply for an ACFCU Scholarship, the following criteria must be met:
- Current ACFCU member
- A graduating high school senior (in 2020) or a current college student
- Applicant must have a GPA of 3.0 or greater
- Applicant must provide verification of acceptance or enrollment in an accredited college, university or technical school.
- Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen
- Completed and signed application form
- Official copy of transcripts provided for review
- Two (2) letter of reference/recommendation
- One from a high school or college instructor
- One from someone not related to the applicant
- Typed essay (300 words or less) describing the applicant’s
- Education goals
- Personal goals and expectations
- Describe how your membership at ACFCU has benefited you. Please give specific details of your goals achieved, along with the framework for your future success.
Application Procedure and Deadlines
Applications are excepted January through March each year. The next opportunity to submit your Scholarship Application for consideration will be January 2020.
Mail applications to:
Attn: Marketing/Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 2026
Amarillo, Texas 79105-2026
Disbursement of Scholarship Funds
Funds will be disbursed by check made payable to both the Scholarship recipient and the accredited school.
Scholarship recipient agrees to appear in person at a predetermined time and place to receive their scholarship.
For additional information, contact Marilyn Welborn at (806) 358-7561, ext. 3912 or toll free at (800) 365-2328 or visit www.acfcu.org. ACFCU staff, the Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee members and their families are not eligible to apply. After selection of scholarship recipients, the judges’ decision is final. Scholarships awarded based on the information obtained solely from this application and those specific materials requested. ACFCU Scholarships are not based on the applicant’s financial situation.