The Journey to Financial Well-Being

By Matt Stephenson, President/CEO 

As we close out one year and look ahead to the next, it’s a great time to pause and reflect on where we are in life, including on our individual financial journeys. Those financial journeys are very important to us here at Rogue Credit Union. We were organized in 1956 by a handful of teachers striving to partner with each other on the next steps of their journeys to financial well-being. The credit union’s purpose remains the same today!

Financial well-being is highly individual, which means it comes in many forms and will look different for different people in different stages of life. It could be a single parent securing a loan to get reliable transportation to drive a child to soccer practice. It could be a grandparent looking to save a little extra money to support a grandchild’s college fund. It might be a family looking to save for a down payment on their first home or an outdoor enthusiast looking to finance their dream RV. Wherever people are on their personal paths to financial well-being, there’s almost always a next step in their journey or a new milestone to work toward.

Setting goals for that next step is a great way to start the new year. For those just starting on their journeys, a first step might be learning about finances and defining what financial well-being looks like for them. Maybe they want the financial security that comes with an emergency savings account, the freedom to travel, or to funnel as much money as they can toward a nest egg to retire early. Knowing your priorities can help you decide your personal breakdowns for saving, spending and giving.

Alternatively, others farther along in their financial journeys might already know what financial well-being looks like for them, and they’re ready to set new goals to get there. Perhaps it’s a budget reset to reduce or even eliminate credit card debt or setting a specific retirement date to work toward. There is always a next step.

My personal financial journey started very early in life with wonderful parents who taught me about finances and setting related goals. I remember as a young boy going to my father because I wanted a new bike. He explained that I could have one after mowing our lawn 10 times. That was ok, but I wanted the bike right then. He said we could go buy it right away, but that I would have to mow the lawn 13 times. When I told my dad that I thought his plan was completely unfair, he explained how interest on loans works. I was still very grouchy about it! But, it’s a lesson that has helped me greatly on my personal journey as I set appropriate goals for everything from paying for my education to buying a home.  

Wherever we are on our journeys, let’s all be intentional about engaging in our personal next steps as we head into this new year. And if the opportunities arise, let’s all help others on their journeys as well. At Rogue, we know that when our members are doing well financially, our community is doing well too. When you’re ready to get started, you can explore our free financial education resources. If you don’t see what you’re looking for or have specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We want to partner with you on your journey to financial well-being, whether you’re just starting out, need help defining your goals, or are well on your way and need support in other ways.