Building a Path to Financial Freedom
Early financial lessons can help shape your financial future and, with good teachers and supportive partners, pave the way to financial freedom.
Everyone remembers a moment in their life when they started to grasp an understanding of financial access. Maybe it was when you opened your first bank account, cashed your first paycheck from a new job, or got a loan for school or a car. Such milestones should be the start of building a lifelong foundation on the road to financial success.
As for me, I began to understand financial access and the idea of credit when my parents would visit our neighborhood grocery store run by Mr. and Mrs. Driver. We'd make a weekday visit for the kitchen staples of bread, eggs and milk. Some days, I was allowed to treat myself to candy. I was surprised that no money was exchanged during many of our visits, yet we still left with a bag of groceries. On paydays, at the end of the week, my parents would review the store ledger and settle our weekly bill with Mr. Driver. This allowed my parents to navigate the ebb and flow of our household finances. The store credit helped us put food on our table and allowed us to make it through the week. It also helped my family feel supported by our community.
This childhood story resonates today for many reasons. Whether it be for an individual, family or small business, fair and open access to credit is just one of many critical financial tools. Financial access opens opportunities to build resilience, grow and succeed. The path to financial stability is rarely simple or straightforward. Pain points may arrive at the most inopportune times. All of us have had or will confront the challenges of how to balance expenses such as student loans, credit card debt, housing costs and child care, just to name a few.
The Path to Financial Success
So how should you think about your first car loan or first credit card? How do you learn to make good financial choices and to change course when things don't go so well? Who helps you, teaches you and gives you the grace to sort out your financial troubles? All of these moments can create learning and awareness and can help ensure you have the right partners to support your financial well-being.
At BECU, we are dedicated to "people helping people," and we strive to serve our members by providing superior financial advice, products and services, through good times and bad. Building financial awareness, stability and access for members aligns with our purpose.
The lesson I learned from my family's grocery trips resonates with what we do at BECU. Our approach is to feel like that neighborhood store that supports its clientele. We have the honor and responsibility to provide financial guidance and services with a human touch. The work we do every day is based on helping members build financial capability and develop smart money management habits that are essential for achieving financial stability and security.