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Welcome to the Financial Wellness Center

New resources each week for the South Metro Federal Credit Union community.

This Week

Avoiding Common Financial Pitfalls

Each stage of life brings new financial responsibilities and challenges. Let's take a look at some common financial pitfalls people experience in each decade.

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Articles and videos from the South Metro Federal Credit Union team.

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Credit Reports and Scores
Credit reports and scores determine the rates you pay when borrowing and can affect your ability to...

Hand running credit card through credit card machine.

Credit vs. Debit Cards
Credit and debit cards each have pros and cons. When should you use each?

Pile of different credit cards.

Risks and Benefits of Credit Cards
Credit cards offer benefits for many consumers, but it's important to understand the risks of...

Credit Report with Score

Building Credit
Understanding the decisions and behaviors that can lead to improved credit scores.

Printed Credit Report with Pen next to it.

Reading Your Credit Report
A detailed description of what to expect and look for when viewing a credit report.

Pencil eraser taking the

Simple Steps to Debt Reduction
Regardless of how you got into debt or how severe your debt problems are, these seven steps can help...

Financial Wellness Courses

Make real progress in less than an hour.

Coach Writing Play on Chalkboard

Budget Basics

36 minutes

Get Started

From setting goals to paying off loans, the basics of effective budget management.

  • Setting Goals
    Setting financial goals offers the chance to step back from everyday pressures, allowing us to think about how we’d like to be rather than as how we are.
  • Debt and the Pressure to Spend
    It’s wonderful to have the freedom to buy so many products, but unless you’re rich, the key to happy spending is planned spending.
  • Nudging Yourself Toward Your Goals
    No matter what your financial goal, it's important to have an accountability system in place.
  • Introduction to Budgeting
    Why budgeting is important, no matter how much money you earn.
  • Income and Expenses
    A big part of budgeting is identifying income and listing expenses.
  • Evaluating Your Budget
    After you've identified your income and tracked your spending, it's time to compare the numbers, gain perspective, set priorities, and make changes.
  • Tracking Your Spending
    Tracking your money can be a powerful way to spot unplanned spending.
  • How to Improve Cash Flow
    Cash flow is a key indicator of your financial health.
  • Money Saving Ideas
    Looking for ideas for ways to save money? Almost everyone can find a way to save using at least one of these tips.
Kid on a bike heading down a long road. Word START is next to boy.

Financial Basics

35 minutes

Get Started

A money management course that outlines the basics of financial health - from budgeting to insurance.

  • Financial Health
    The concept of financial health is the foundation of any financial plan.
  • Introduction to Budgeting
    Why budgeting is important, no matter how much money you earn.
  • Choosing a Bank or Credit Union
    Key factors to consider when choosing a financial services provider.
  • Credit vs. Debit Cards
    Credit and debit cards each have pros and cons. When should you use each?
  • Credit Reports and Scores
    Credit reports and scores determine the rates you pay when borrowing and can affect your ability to get certain jobs.
  • Managing Accounts
    Account management strategies for checking and savings.
  • Building Credit
    Understanding the decisions and behaviors that can lead to improved credit scores.
  • Identity Theft
    Understanding ID theft and how to prevent it.
  • Financial Goals Exercise
    A goal-setting exercise that includes weekly, monthly, yearly, and long-term goals.
Person putting last piece of a jigsaw puzzle down.

Financial Planning

33 minutes

Get Started

What you need to know to start making a long-term financial plan, from getting married to planning for retirement.

  • Financial Planning
    Learning the "how" and "why" of short, medium, and long-term financial planning.
  • Medical Care Planning
    How to make sure your wishes are followed in a medical crisis.
  • Estate Planning
    Wills, trusts, and other end of life issues.
  • Creating a Will
    A will is the cornerstone of the legal framework of an estate plan, and everyone should have one.
  • Powers of Attorney
    Everyone faces the possibility of temporary or permanent incapacitation. Make sure your wishes are followed.
  • Talking About Money
    A look at some of the financial considerations of getting married.
  • Planning for the Unexpected
    Planning for unexpected events, including accidents, death, and even the possibility of divorce, are all part of a responsible marriage.
  • Generic Post-Course Survey
    This five-question survey measures general satisfaction with any course.
  • Investing Survey
    Questions about member experiences with investments and investment advisors.
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Financial Trouble

36 minutes

Get Started

What to do if you're in financial trouble, from creating a debt reduction plan to your rights when dealing with debt collectors.

  • Spotting the Signs of Financial Trouble
    Many Americans find themselves in debt, but for some, debt turns into a serious problem with lasting consequences.
  • Dealing with Financial Trouble
    If you ever find yourself experiencing financial trouble, there are steps you can take to get back on track and to minimize the damage to your credit.
  • Debt Reduction Plans
    Whether you do it yourself or work with a credit counselor, creating a debt reduction plan is an important first step for those with financial trouble.
  • Credit Counseling
    The role of credit counseling organizations and how a debt management plan works to restore credit over time.
  • Choosing a Credit Counselor
    The best way to find a good credit counselor is to know what questions to ask.
  • Credit Repair Scams
    There's a big difference between a non-profit credit counseling service and a credit repair scam. Learn how to tell the difference.
  • Debt Collection
    Your rights and responsibilities when dealing with debt collectors.
  • Debt Collection and Legal Actions
    What to expect if you are sued over debt.
  • Understanding Bankruptcy
    The types of bankruptcy and why bankruptcy should be used only as a last resort.
  • Alternative Financial Services
    Understanding why payday loans, check cashing services, and similar services may be bad deals for consumers.
Dad tossing baby in air.

Having a Baby

34 minutes

Get Started

A look at the financial challenges of raising a child.

  • Introduction
    Having a baby is not just a family decision, it's a financial decision too.
  • Babies and Budgets
    How to get your finances in shape before a baby arrives, including a budget review, paying down debt, making sure you're getting the best on any long-term debt, and creating an emergency fund.
  • Paying for the Baby Years
    The non-childcare costs you can expect when having a baby, from cribs to health insurance.
  • Managing Risks
    Life is filled with unexpected events. Learn how to ensure the financial security of your child in the worst case scenario.
  • Children and Taxes
    A review of the tax benefits that can help you manage the expenses incurred with children.
  • Childcare Choices
    An overview of different childcare choices and the financial implications of each.
  • Growing Up - Childhood and Beyond
    A look at the additional costs of raising a child beyond the first few years including the indirect costs.
Computer screen with many numbers in green and shadow hand grabbing the word

Identity Theft

21 minutes

Get Started

An overview of identity theft, including strategies for preventing it and what to do if it happens to you.

  • Identity Theft
    Understanding ID theft and how to prevent it.
  • Avoiding Identity Theft
    The three Ds of identity protection: Deter, Detect and Defend.
  • Protecting Your Digital Information
    There are many data backup solutions available designed to protect personal information that vary in their security and ease of use.
  • Dealing with Identity Theft
    Understanding the different types of identity theft and what to do in each scenario.

About South Metro Federal Credit Union

Our suite of Financial Education Services (FES) is founded on providing a thorough education and consistent guidance with a confidential personal representative. With this relationship in place, we’ll work with you to determine your broad goals and set tactics for direct outcomes that build credit and help manage debt. We’ll empower you with the mindset, tools and products it takes to make an impact on your financial health.


A photo of Alyssa Walford.

Have a question? Contact Alyssa Walford at:

952-358-9738
fes@southmet.com

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