PORTLAND, OR (KTVZ) — April is Financial Literacy Month, and communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington continue to grapple with growing economic complexities, soaring food and energy prices, and the first increase Federal Reserve interest rates since 2018.
To support communities in these complex financial times, OnPoint Community Credit Union released a free eBook, the OnPoint”Guide to financial well-being.” The eBook shares detailed, actionable information to help people achieve better financial results and protect their future.
“In an era of rising interest rates, gas and grocery prices, financial education is more critical than ever,” said Rob Stuart, President and CEO of OnPoint. “Our goal is to build strong communities through financial well-being, and we have a duty to ensure that our neighbors know how to protect their budgets and their families. Regardless of experience, everyone can benefit from greater financial education.
According to a 2018 study by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 48% of Oregonians don’t have an emergency fund to cover three months of expenses in case of emergencies like illness, job loss or economic downturn, showing why financial literacy is more important than ever.
OnPoint’s e-book includes simple, actionable steps to increase financial literacy. Here are some of the tips:
- Find out about yourself. Your culture, religion, education, and experiences are just a few factors that influence your financial decisions, sometimes in unexpected ways. Better understanding your relationship with money can help you move towards your goals. Free “Your financial personality” can help you identify how your experiences influence your decisions.
- Understand your financial situation. The first step in setting financial goals should be a “gap analysis,” a process of grasping the difference between where you are now and where you want to be. Here are some questions to help you with your gap analysis: What outcome do I want? What resources do I need to achieve my goals? How will I track my goal?
- Set realistic and achievable goals. After a gap analysis, use the “SMART” goals framework to create meaningful goals and give you a roadmap to achieve them. Smart goals are: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
- Understand your loan options. To achieve your financial goals, you may want to assess whether borrowing money is the right path for you. Consult your financial institution to determine the type of loan best suited to your situation. To fully understand what you are undertaking, be sure to educate yourself on the elements of the loan, including principal, term, interest rate and fees.
In addition to its free e-book, OnPoint strives to build financial literacy by providing access to local in-person financial advice at its 55 branches, financial education workshops, personalized financial education tools through of Enrich and his Blog. Each resource aims to provide practical advice and tools that people can implement today to achieve their financial goals and build sustainable habits.
ABOUT ONPOINT COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION
OnPoint Community Credit Union is Oregon’s largest credit union, serving more than 476,000 members and with assets of $9.4 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of Oregon’s 28 counties (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas , Gilliam, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler, and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark) and their immediate family members. More information is available at www.onpointcu.com or 503-228-7077 or 800-527-3932.