Credit Union News

Fans of Finance

We live in Texas, which means whether you like it or not, you're probably going to be surrounded by sports, sporting events and sports fans, especially during the biggest season of the Texas sports calendar – football season.

Football season typically brings excitement, spirit and fervor to our communities throughout Texas. Fans become engaged and excited about high school games, college rivalries and epic NFL matchups. But, along with the fun and memories of the season, there are definite personal finance lessons we can gain from our football fixations.

Be diligent. Watching a game is almost always more fun if you know something about the players. That requires some study and review of online sites, the local newspaper and radio or television programs. You'll become more familiar with the players, their styles and their coaches, and you'll gain insight into your favorite teams and their opponents.

In the same way, the more you put in to enriching your personal finances, the more you'll get out of it. Regularly review your account and your transactions using NetBranch Online. Get a financial "big picture" by using the Debt in Focus tool to analyze your financial situation. The more time you spend familiarizing yourself with your financial options, the more likely you'll be to make good financial decisions.

Prioritize. There are many fans who take their spectating to the next level with a recreational activity called fantasy football. These fans monitor the market of players and learn to "budget" their selections to get the roster picks that they want. In fantasy football, not every single player on your team will be a superstar, but by choosing good players for strategic positions, a fantasy manager can build a great team.

Similarly, by prioritizing items in your budget, you'll get the things you need and cut out some of the unnecessary "wants" that may be draining your resources and causing you undue stress.

Prepare yourself. You won't have as much fun at a game if you don't bring the supplies you need. Whether that means change for the concession stand, ponchos for rainy weather or school spirit themed attire, if you've got everything in order before the pre-game coin toss, you'll be a much happier spectator and much more ardent fan.

Using this same strategy, preparing your finances can make your life flow more smoothly and can alleviate a lot of stress, worry and concern. If you're preparing for the future with a smart retirement plan in place, you won't have to worry as much about financial security. If you have a low-interest-rate credit card (and the discipline to use it appropriately), you won't have to worry about getting trapped in debt.

So, put on your cleats and jersey, or your band uniform, or your cheer and dance team ensemble – or just your very best fan attire – and cheer on your team this fall. But, don't forget to find an accountability partner to cheer you on as you work to budget, save and spend appropriately. Then, no matter the outcome of the game, you'll be a winner when it comes to personal finance!