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Jeff and Sue's Journey:

TOOLS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Some of our followers have asked us “How do you keep track of all of your stuff?” Well, that is easy if you are currently a Summit Credit Union member! Even though we utilize our own “system” for keeping track of our weekly spending, Summit’s Climbr offers so much. All of these features work together to help you stay on track to meet your financial goals. Let us briefly explain the features we use.

DASHBOARD

Cash: Dashboard shows you where your cash is and how much you have in your individual checking and savings accounts. You have the option to link up other accounts you may have at other financial institutions, too!

Credit Cards: Link up your dashboard with various credit card companies and in real-time, it will show you your balance on each of your credit card accounts. Anything you charge will immediately show up as an expense on your dashboard.

Debts: You can see the balance owed on any loan you may have such as a car loan, mortgage, HELOC (home equity line of credit), or even a refi.

Investments: Again, you can link up various 401Ks and IRAs from your employee programs or lending institution.

Assets: This shows you the value of certificate that you may have.

Dashboard also shows every expense or purchase you have made and you have the ability to “tag” it for a certain category such as groceries, clothing, gas, dining out, etc. You can even “split tag” certain expenses such as getting $40 out of the ATM and using $20 of it for gas and the other $20 for that quick lunch at Culver’s. This is extremely beneficial when tracking your expenses! No more wondering where that extra $20 went.

BUDGET

This is a very important section that should not be overlooked. This can be very time consuming, but very beneficial once it has been completed. This is where you set up your individual categories such as gas, groceries, dining out, entertainment, day care, etc. along with a spending target for each category. You also have the ability to set up alerts to notify you when you have met a certain percentage of your monthly spending target. We have set up alerts to be sent when our spending targets meet 80%. It is very eye-opening (and discouraging) to get an alert half-way through the month telling you that you have already met 80% of your grocery budget! However, if you didn’t have this alert system, you would probably never know until the end of the month and then it’s too late to make any adjustments.

CASHFLOW

This is another great feature which we like since it keeps track of the cash that we have available throughout the month. In this system, you enter your paychecks along with any bills or debts, the amount due and the payment date. When a bill has been paid, you go in and check the “paid” box. With this, you can organize your entire month to know when you will have extra cash for that special purchase or night out that you may want. AWESOME!

GOALS

Everyone has goals don’t they? We are no different but now we have all of our financial goals right in front of us and we have complete control of it! We set up both short- and long-term goals. One of our short-term goals is to save $3,500 in our vacation fund (looks like we will be heading back to Mexico soon). Other short-term goals are our holiday savings and property tax savings. We also set a goal for our emergency savings where we want to have at least three months of wages saved. Everyone needs this, believe us! We have experienced this first-hand and you would be surprised how fast your savings can be depleted when life hits you head on. With this feature, we are able to see how much money we have put aside and how much more we have to go before reaching these goals. We have a more challenging long-term goal which is to pay off our recent 8-year refi by the end of 2022 (that is only 3 years). We are notified how much we have to put towards our refi every month in order to achieve this goal, plus it lets us know our progress. This is pretty aggressive, but we are committed to making this happen.

NET WORTH

This is a straight up ASSETS - DEBTS = NET WORTH. Your total assets are listed as well as your total debts. You can add in the value of your home and other IRAs or pensions that are not able to link up to Summit’s Climbr. It’s really cool to see everything together on one screen!

RETIREMENT

There is a section for retirement, but to be honest, we haven’t utilized this as we have our own financial advisor. Like all of the other Summit Credit Union programs, this would be of great value to those individuals who do not have their own advisor.

All of this may seem overwhelming to some people. Some may not be committed to jumping on the band wagon, but all we can tell you is how well this has worked for us. Like we have said before, we wish we would have known of this years ago! We are so in-tune with our finances now and we are so much happier because of it. Our worries are gone and the days of not talking about finances are gone…at least in our house.


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