MADISON, Wis. (12/31/15)--With 2016 right around the corner, credit unions are setting themselves up as the New Year’s resolutions resource--especially when it comes to saving.
Members trying to get into the saving habit can leverage challenges from their credit unions.
Community Financial CU, Broomfield, Colo., is sponsoring a 12-week savings challenge during which members pledge to save $1 per day during the first week, scaling up $1 per day as the weeks go by. By the end of week 12, members should be putting aside $12 per day, bringing the grand total of savings to $546.
To prep participants, the credit union is holding a goals and priorities seminar Monday to share strategies and tips on using online banking to set up recurring deposits. Community Financial also has a Facebook page where it will post motivational tips and encouragement.
A more aggressive savings approach is the 52-week challenge, such as the one that Maine State CU, Augusta, Maine, is sponsoring. The credit union’s printable challenge chart begins with saving $1 on Jan. 3, and increasing the amount $1 per week. After the final deposit of $52 on Dec. 25, the account should hold $1,378.
Just days before the year ends, FORUM CU, Fishers, Ind., offered savers an incentive of a $10 deposit to the first 10 new challenge accountholders.
And New Generations FCU, Richmond, Va., added a twist to the challenge: Members choose how much they save each week--ranging from $1 to $52--but can never save the same amount twice. Its tracking sheet includes a scorecard to check off amounts so there is no duplication.
A four-week quest to build a savings foundation includes a personal financial trainer, courtesy of Unitus Community CU, Portland, Ore. For every “Money Quest” challenge completed beginning Jan. 11, savers earn a chance to win $500 at the end of the challenge.
Regardless of the method, the payoff is some cash tucked away and a new savings habit formed.