Your Savings Plan: Balancing Long- and Short-Term Goals

How many savings goals does your family have? Many Wisconsin consumers have a long list of needs and wants. Retirement, college education, a new(er) car, and an emergency fund might top the list of needs. The list of wants is more varied: charitable giving, a boat, a Harley, a snowmobile, an ATV, or maybe an Alaskan or Caribbean cruise. How can you ever fulfill these wants and get ahead?

Whatever your dreams, some goals require a longer period of savings (retirement, college), while others are short-term: adding a deck to the house, taking a fishing trip on Lake Superior, or buying a camper.

Consider tackling them one at a time in 2015. Begin with an emergency fund. Financial experts suggest saving at least three months of expenses as a cushion in the event of a layoff, or to handle a major car or furnace repair. Determine how much you need to meet expenses if your major source of income suddenly ended.

Next consider retirement, college education, or other long-term goals. Depending on your age, available employer programs, and the age of your children, this number will vary.

Then, decide how much to set aside for each goal monthly, beginning in January. If your emergency fund is nonexistent, you may need more than a year to build it up before tackling short-term goals.

Finally, prioritize your short-term goals. If everyone in the family would enjoy camping in Wisconsin state parks, maybe a camper is a higher priority than an item that only one family member will use.

Once you know what you want, its’ easier to strategize how to fulfill your goals. Count yourself lucky if an employer offers a retirement savings plan that can leverage the funds you set aside. Visit your Wisconsin community bank to set up a regular transfer of money into your emergency fund, so that savings happens automatically.

This planning exercise may reveal that your income is too low – or your monthly expenses too high – to meet your savings goals. If that’s the case, revisit your budget to search for costs that might be cut or consider ways to increase your income.

When your emergency account reaches your goal, set up a separate account for your priority short-term goals and have your automatic deposit go to this new account. Whenever you withdraw funds to pay for something from your emergency account, you can return to making deposits to it until it again reaches the level you set. Eventually you will have both an emergency fund and an account to use for some of the items on your “most wanted” list.

Family financial management is an art as well as a science. Your financial plan impacts your daily life, reflects what’s important to you, and shapes your legacy.

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About Union State Bank

Honesty, integrity, commitment; hometown values that are our way of doing business. At Union State Bank our mission is to be the preferred, locally owned bank committed to providing exceptional service to achieve long lasting customer relationships. The Union State Bank has been serving the banking needs of our community since 1911, when the Farmers and Merchants State Bank was formed in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. The Bank’s slogan was "A Bank of the People, By the People and For the People - A Bank For All The People," and invited the community "if you are not a customer, become one, and we assure you that your interests will be protected in every legitimate manner." In 1934 the Farmers and Merchants State Bank consolidated with the Dairyman’s State Bank, which was located across the street, and the Union State Bank was formed. It was reported in the local paper that "The union of two banks is particularly for the benefit of depositors. All the experience, ability and training gained through many years of banking service is combined here primarily for your protection. The confidence that has been cultivated over past years is now being strengthened." We have continued to grow through the years, and slogans used include "Union State Bank, where rail and water meet" and "Union State Bank, the bank and a half, we give you our all and then some." We currently have four locations. We have two offices located in Kewaunee, Wisconsin which is along the shores of Lake Michigan, approximately 20 miles east of Green Bay. We also have an office in Green Bay, Wisconsin and an office in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Our main office is located at 223 Ellis Street in Kewaunee. Our second Kewaunee location was established in 1996 and is in the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. Our Green Bay office was established in 1987 and in September of 1999 we completed an addition to that location. In April 2004 we opened our office in Two Rivers. Originally situated inside the Pick 'n Save grocery store, the Two Rivers office was relocated to a brand new building at 2221 Lincoln Avenue on April 21, 2009. We have certainly grown and changed over years, but one thing remains constant - our commitment to our customers. We are proud to be the only independent bank in Kewaunee, which allows us the ability to offer a wide array of services that are designed to meet the individual needs of our customers. We offer full-service banking from an experienced, dedicated staff of full-time employees. We still believe in the "personal touch," and enjoy getting to know our customers. Even though we are a small, locally owned bank, we offer the latest in technology services, including our website and 24-hour account access via our "Union Access" line. We are proud of our long history of high-quality, personalized service, and invite you to become a customer of Union State Bank. See how "We Make the Difference" for you.
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