President's Blog

by Kerry Wahlen, President/CEO

Are You Financially Healthy?

September 4, 2014

One of my favorite quotes is “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” I believe that statement is particularly true when it comes to managing personal and family finances. My wife and I have always strived to live within a budget. Maintaining a healthy financial situation has provided our family with security and peace of mind.

My enthusiasm for budgeting has increased over the past year as I’ve used the free personal financial management tool within Goldenwest’s online banking portal. I recently logged-in to get a better idea of our spending during the summer months. First, I categorized our spending – how much money we spent on groceries, gasoline, utilities, entertainment and so forth. Then, I segmented our spending by specific retail outlets – purchases at Lee’s Marketplace, Home Depot, Maverik, etc. I compared our spending in the various categories month-to-month, and even looked back at what we had spent during the same time period in the previous year.

If you have a renewed focus on personal financial management, I encourage you to check out the “suggested budget tool”. The system will analyze the past three months of your transactions and suggest a budget in each category that has transactions associated with it. It’s not uncommon for members to be surprised by the amount of money they are spending in each category – most people think their spending is much less than their actual expenditures. After reviewing the “suggested budget”, I recommend you make modifications to meet your individual (or family) needs and goals.

I’m a visual person, so the charts and graphs are particularly interesting to me. There are pie charts for income and expenses by month, and bar charts for spending by category. If you want a deeper analysis of your finances, look at the graphs for cash flow and personal net worth.

One of the advantages of having all of your financial services with Goldenwest is that the personal financial management tool can give you a clearer picture of your financial situation. There are other financial management tools available on the market, but many are not free and most require you to provide information such as account numbers and, at times, personal log-in identifications and passwords. For the security and protection of your personal financial information, Goldenwest strongly recommends you never divulge your online banking username or password.

Why is your financial health important to us? As a member, you are an owner of our credit union. A strong credit union is comprised of financially healthy members. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, we work together to help each other.

In other credit union news, we are excited to announce that Goldenwest has broken ground on a second location in the St George area. The new branch will be located on River Road near the Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm. Also, I extend my congratulations to Shawn Eklund who was recently named our employee of the month. Shawn is a teller at our Clinton office, and has provided our members with excellent service for more than 10 years. Finally, the USU Credit Union Family wishes the Utah State Aggies much success for the 2014 season.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter at @GoldenwestCUCEO for the latest credit union news and updates.


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