How Hercules First Federal Credit Union can help those in our community achieve financial success
By Savannah Heiner
As a student that will be graduating from high school in a few short months, it would be an understatement to say that it’s a little nerve racking to enter into the “real world.” I will be experiencing many new and exciting things, but it can also be intimidating. For example, I will be going to college, getting and maintaining a job, learning how to be responsible for myself, and most importantly handling my own finances. Throughout my life I’ve witnessed many people including family members, friends, and neighbors fall into the deep hole of debt, make faulty loan decisions, be unable to pay off those loans, and get involved in money scams they can’t escape. On the flip side, I’ve seen many people achieve financial success, and that’s mainly because they’ve been smart handling their money and they’ve gotten a good education about finances. Hercules First Federal Credit Union has been doing an incredible job at helping and continuing to help their customers, and there are many ways they can help me and my community achieve financial success as well.
I am not a member of Hercules First Credit Union, but I am a member of a credit union. I think credit unions are a lot better than banks because their whole existence is to help their members. Since it’s member owned, I think it’s a lot safer to save and borrow money at a better rate. These qualities of a credit union give Hercules First Credit Union an awesome advantage in being able to help the surrounding community. Since I am not a member of this particular credit union, I did some research about the programs they provide and I was pleasantly surprised. They are very invested in the care of their customers and members and have many programs that already help people achieve financial success. For example, the Cash For Grades resource is great because it teaches kids how to work hard, care about their grades, establish a habit of saving their money, and help them learn about the banking system. Another great program they provide is EverFi Financial. When I was looking at it, they had information on almost everything I would need to know about how to get started financially, be smart with loans and savings, and the different terms and definitions banks use.
Including these great programs, I think that there are other ways Hercules First Credit Union can help people in our community achieve financial success. I think that by providing more one on one financial assistance (in person) to customers, members, or just the community in general would be very beneficial because a lot of people are very uneducated about finances. I learned a little bit about finances when I took a financial literature class my junior year, but I still have a lot of questions and am unsure about some things. Some ways this credit union could help educate the community would include holding personalized classes that people could come in for and learn about their finances, a one on one explanation/pamphlet for young adults or college students that are opening up an account, or having a live questionnaire online where people can ask questions and receive answers.
Another thing that could help the community achieve financial success is by educating elementary and junior high school aged kids when they are young, so they are prepared to be smart financially. This could include an activity put on by the credit union where kids could come and learn the basics of finances in a fun, educating, and stimulating way. There could be games, prizes, and/or crafts to engage the kids, all while teaching them the importance of saving and using their money in the right ways. There could also be an in person class with parents teaching them about savings, loans, college funds, etc., so they can help their children become successful and be more educated themselves. The credit union could also hold free seminars or classes for people in the surrounding areas once a month so they can learn and practice better financial habits. I think the main idea or way to help the community is to correctly educate them, be hands on, and give examples on how they can be financially successful.
In conclusion, the best thing Hercules First Federal Credit Union could do to help those in our community achieve financial success is to educate in an interesting way about finances. This would include tips on how to save money, what loans you should use, the basics of finances, healthy and smart financial habits, how to get out of or avoid debt, the terms and definitions of finances, and so much more. I think that by doing these things, Hercules Credit Union could make a huge impact on our community and change a lot of lives.
Achieving Financial Success
By Bridger Brownlee
Achieving financial success is not easy. Many people these days have trouble holding on to their money and knowing when and where to spend it. However, you do not have to do it alone. That’s why the people at Hercules First Federal Credit Union are here. As Hercules says, we should be “Growing stronger together.”
In my eyes, the biggest problem with achieving one’s financial goals is first to save money. Many people have a very hard time doing so. Whether it be barely making enough income or spending your paycheck before you realize it’s all gone, it gets in the way of our financial goals. It doesn’t have to be this way; people can change their ways and Hercules can help them. Hercules should act as a teacher, teaching people the true value of the dollar and how to save it. The easiest way to help people save, as stated by many financial experts, is to create a budget. Hercules can teach its customers how through setting up one on one appointments with a professional or by integrating a budgeting system into their online banking app. Hercules can also help their members visualize and identify their goals, aspirations, and what steps they can take to achieve them.
To grow stronger together requires interaction. Hercules could help with this by implementing more outreaching programs. I myself appreciate when companies are willing to check up on me rather than me having to go to them. This does not mean a heavy and unwanted ad campaign, but rather subtle reminders. A great example of this is the famous language learning app Duolingo. In the past I have always tried to learn a new language, but kept finding myself forgetting. Duolingo, however, will send you little reminders via your smartphone, helping you to stay motivated and on track. I believe Hercules can accomplish the same thing, and these subtle reminders can be about their goals and whether or not they are on track. They could even be easily sent through text message. To achieve financial success you have to stay motivated and determined to do so. I believe Hercules should be the one to help its members to do this.
Despite all attempts made to help people achieve their financial goals, there will be some people who can’t find the self-control to comply with the strategies that are being presented to them. Hercules can implement certain systems such as a type of auto-save account. These accounts will split their money for them and essentially keep them from spending their money blindly. This will help people make sure they are saving as well as making sure they have enough money to go around each month. This will begin to teach people the importance of saving and how to do so.
There are many other small strategies and systems that Hercules could implement to help people grow and achieve their financial goals, such as opportunities for customers with no credit, or a reduction of overdrafts. Hercules can go through all these programs, and more, with their customers. They have to be willing and patient towards their customers, to help them see into their future and visualize what it is they want. Hercules must act as a bridge between them now and their financial goals for their future, even if it means helping them every step of the way. To grow stronger you must first have a goal, then work towards that goal, and Hercules Credit Union will provide its customers the necessary materials and devices to most effectively and precisely achieve their goals. The hard working people at Hercules can offer guidance to a complex financial world for its customers, help them achieve their financial goals, and grow stronger together.
Hercules First Federal Credit Union Can Help Those In Our Community Achieve Success
As I look forward to the life milestone of graduating from high school in six months and pursuing an education, I find myself reflecting on what I can do to have a successful future. Since I come from a family of bankers, savers and hard workers, I can’t help but think that planning financially for my future is one of the things at the top of my list. I believe Hercules credit union can use the characteristics of my family to help others in the community achieve success.
The first thing Hercules Credit Union can do is teach people to work hard. My grandpa, whom I never knew, was an employee of Hercules for 35+ years and it was always important for him to wake up everyday and give his all to his job. He was a “blue collar” worker, but nonetheless, he was dedicated. I think that our community needs to know that our society needs all kinds of workers; those with college degrees, those with “skills” and those who just want to work hard.
The second thing that can be done is to teach people the importance of saving. Because my grandpa worked at Hercules, he and all of his children had savings accounts. My mom was taught at a young age to save money and so as she worked her teenage jobs she put money into savings in her Hercules Credit Union Account. Saving money can be for something in particular or it can be saving for a “rainy day”. My mom was able to use some of the money in her Hercules account to help her when she went to college and little did she know, it would also be there for a “rainy day.” When my mom and dad got engaged my aunt was also getting married (my mom’s sister) and my grandparents had to pay for 2 weddings within 4 months. My mom was looking for some money to help pay for things and she realized she had “rainy day” savings in her Hercules account which would be able to pay for her wedding dress. She was so happy and grateful that she had been taught to save at a young age and continues to save money for life events.
I realize not everyone may have someone in their life to teach them the importance of saving so the third thing Hercules Credit Union can do to help our community is TEACH others. My mom is an educator and her favorite class to teach was Financial Literacy. I’m lucky enough to have taken the class at school myself, but at the same time I get that education at home as well. One of the things that can be done is giving $50 to each middle/high school student who opens their first savings account. That will get them started and then they can be off to a good start.
Another great way to reach out to the community is to partner with local schools to do presentations to the younger generations about saving. You wouldn’t need to “advertise” your institution, but as you teach about saving, credit & loans then they might come to a Hercules Credit Union to learn more. Hercules is not known to all. I know that Hercules opened a new branch in Riverton, Utah, where I live and where there is a high school and several middle and elementary schools nearby. An educational outreach would benefit this community greatly since they see Hercules Credit Union as the drive to the stores, gas stations & freeway.
Learning from others is powerful. My dad, who is a banker, grew up with 7 children in his family, a father who was on disability in his 50’s had very little growing up and was not taught how to save. He wanted to have a different future for himself and his future family. My dad learned how to save and build his credit from others. He began working at a bank as a young adult to help him through college and as he worked as a teller, he would watch those who had good savings habits and tried to figure out what they did that he didn’t. It was through this experience that he created good habits of saving.
Hercules Credit Union has the ability to affect a whole community here in Riverton and their financial future by becoming involved in the schools, City and Chamber of Commerce. I’m lucky to have had great examples of hard work and savers in my life and I am hopeful that Hercules Credit Union can create and be that example to others for their sound financial future as well.