This is a sponsored article for Alliant Credit Union.
I want to remind you that if you haven’t already done so, there’s still time to enter Alliant Credit Union’s contest for a chance to win $5000 — and all you have to do is share an example where you made a smart money decision that impacted your life in a positive way. It’s easy!
But, Len, I can’t think of anything I’ve ever done that would be worth writing about.
Frankly, if that sounds like something you’d say, then you’re being too modest. The trick is working backwards. For example, do you have a budget? After all, we all know that keeping a budget helps impulsive spenders control their spending!
Maybe you bought a used car instead of a new one — if so, I’ll bet a lot of good resulted from all the money you saved.
Heck, if you need more ideas to help jog your memory, feel free to reference my list of 50 great financial habits.
By the way, if you missed my submission, which I shared with you last week, here it is again:
Like most people who require a mortgage to buy a brand-new home, I was hamstrung with a very tight household budget after the homebuilder finally handed me the keys. Keep in mind, this was back in 1997; the Honeybee was a stay-at-home mom to our Matthew, who wasn’t quite one year-old and our daughter, Nina, wasn’t even born yet. Of course, our goal was to do everything we could to make ends meet on a single income, but it was difficult at first because our mortgage payment consumed a significant portion of my take-home pay.
We originally had a fixed rate mortgage at 7.25% with a monthly payment of approximately $1400. Then, not too long after we first moved in to our home, interest rates began to fall. So I refinanced into a new fixed rate mortgage at 6% — but here’s the key: unlike our friends, we didn’t take any cash out so we could splurge on a new car or fancy vacation. That allowed my monthly payment to fall by almost $200. Let me tell you, back then, that was a financial godsend!
Over time, interest rates continued falling so a couple of years later we did the same thing and knocked another $200 off our mortgage!
Then we did it again. And again!
Meanwhile, my salary continued to increase every year, taking even more pressure off the household budget.
Fourteen years after first moving in to our new home, that $1400 mortgage payment had fallen to just $640 and an almost-insignificant portion of my income. Over time, those smaller payments allowed our kids to have the stay-at-home mom that my wife and I so badly wanted for them and as a bonus, it also increased our discretionary income so my family could enjoy a better quality of life.
So there you have it! That’s the smartest money moment I’ve experienced. What’s yours? Alliant Credit Union really wants to know — and they’re giving away $5000 to one lucky person who’s willing to share their story in 300 words or less. As one of the largest credit unions in the US, Alliant places a high value on those who make smart money choices because they know what a positive impact those decisions make on people’s lives.
After you enter the contest, you’ll receive a referral bit.ly link; and sharing that link with the hashtag #SmartMoney on Facebook, Twitter and/or other social media could pay even more, because if you can get two people to use your unique referral link, you’ll also be entered for a chance to win an additional $500!
If I can do this, so can you — and you may just end up $5000 richer too!
Photo Credit: TaxCredits