Economic Freedom

Facebook

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Cover for National Police Credit Union

Happy birthday, K9 Fred! ... See MoreSee Less

19 hours ago
Congratulations and thank you! Stay safe.Image attachmentImage attachment

Congratulations and thank you! Stay safe. ... See MoreSee Less

19 hours ago

The Credit Union is honored to welcome the Laurel Police Department (Montana) and Festus Police Department (Missouri) into our field of membership. We look forward to serving you and your families. ... See MoreSee Less

20 hours ago
Congratulations! Thank you and stay safe!

Congratulations! Thank you and stay safe!PRESS RELEASE: Chief Booth is pleased to announce the hiring of the Roanoke Police Department’s newest Deputy Chief, Michael “Mike” Crawley. Deputy Chief joins the Roanoke Police Department after a nearly 25-year tenure with the Salem Police Department, from which he retired at the rank of Chief.

“Deputy Chief Crawley grew up in Roanoke, and he knows this community well,” said Roanoke Chief Scott Booth. “His education, tenure of service, and commitment to public safety speaks for itself. I am confident that he will be a great asset to us and a leader at the Roanoke Police Department.”

“I am truly fortunate to join the ranks amongst the women and men of the Roanoke Police Department,” said Deputy Chief Crawley. “Being able to serve the citizens of the City of Roanoke in this capacity is an honor as it will allow me to give back to those who provided so much to me and my family over the years.”

Deputy Chief Crawley will begin working at RPD in late July of 2024. You can review his bio below:

“Mike Crawley began his law enforcement with the Town of Vinton Police Department in August 1996 graduating from Cardinal Criminal Academy in November the same year. During his time at Vinton Police Department he held the position of Patrol Officer, Detective, and Patrol Sergeant. Crawley left his position with Vinton Police Department and obtained employment with the Salem Police Department in December 1999 as a Patrol Officer.

“Crawley was promoted to the rank of Senior Police Officer and transferred to Salem’s Detective Division in 2004 where he was assigned to the Special Investigation Unit. In 2006, Crawley was transferred to General Investigator where he rose to the rank of Sergeant in that Division.

“He later served as the Services Division Sergeant handling the central supply and support component of the Department. He returned to the Patrol Division in 2014 before being promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief. He was named Salem’s Department Chief on February 1, 2016. After more than eight years as Chief of Police, Crawley retired from the City of Salem June 1, 2024. At the time of his retirement he was an active member of the International Chiefs of Police, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, in addition to Blue Ridge Chiefs of Police.

“A Roanoke City native, Chief Crawley graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1991 and later attended Virginia Western Community College. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Bluefield College where he majored in Management and a graduate from the prestigious F.B.I. National Academy Class #271. He is also a member of Shiloh Baptist Church.”
... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago
Welcome and thank you! Stay safe!Image attachmentImage attachment+Image attachment

Welcome and thank you! Stay safe! ... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago
Welcome and thank you! Stay safe!

Welcome and thank you! Stay safe!The North Tonawanda Police Department would like to welcome our newest Police Officer Alexander Wagner badge 226. Alexander was sworn in today by Mayor Austin J Tylec and Chief Keith Glass at North Tonawanda City Hall.

Officer Wagner comes to us from the Town of Niagara Police Department. Officer Wagner will be assigned to the Training Division. Congratulations and welcome to our department.

Seen in the photo from left to right are Officer Wagner, Chief Glass, and Mayor Austin J. Tylec.
... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago
Division President Jim Bedinger is honored to be attending the Montana Professional Police Association and Montana Association of Chiefs of Police joint annual conference from June 17-20.

Division President Jim Bedinger is honored to be attending the Montana Professional Police Association and Montana Association of Chiefs of Police joint annual conference from June 17-20. ... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago
Great work!! Thank you! Stay safe.

Great work!! Thank you! Stay safe.🐾 Incredible Teamwork by Harris County Deputies' Organization FOP Lodge 39 and K9 Dudley!🐾

Thanks to the hard work of our brothers and sisters of HCDO Lodge 39, and the incredible skills of K9 Dudley, a lost child was reunited with her family earlier today. Using items belonging to the child, such as pants and a hair band, K9 Dudley led deputies to the intersection of TC Jester and 1960. Deputies later learned that the child had boarded a bus at this intersection and traveled to another location, where she was found safely.

Some heroes wear badges… and on occasion have tails! Fantastic work, HCSO & K9 Dudley!

#TXFOP #HCDA #K9Heroes #CommunitySafety #FantasticWork #LawEnforcement
... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago
Congratulations and thank you for your many years of service! We wish you all the best in your next chapter.Image attachment

Congratulations and thank you for your many years of service! We wish you all the best in your next chapter. ... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago
#FlagDay2024

#flagday2024Happy #FlagDay! Today, we celebrate the symbol of our nation's freedom. 🇺🇸

Thank you Russell A. Taylor III for capturing this great shot!
... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
#FlagDay2024

#flagday2024 ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
#FlagDay2024Image attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

#flagday2024 ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
#FlagDay2024

#flagday2024Happy Flag Day! Today, we honor the symbol of our nation's unity, freedom, and the sacrifices made to uphold it. Let's proudly display our flag and reflect on the values it represents. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
#FlagDay2024

#flagday2024Flag Day is celebrated every year on June 14 in remembrance of the adoption of the flag of the United States in 1777, as it is a national symbol of patriotism and freedom. In 1775, the “Grand Union” flag, also known as the Continental Colors, was flown in the colonies. This photo was taken in west Gastonia with Crowders in the distance. Gastonia Fire Department ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
#FlagDay2024

#flagday2024🎵Oh Say Can You See! 🎵
Happy Flag Day from the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office! Flag Day commemorates the day the United States adopted Old Glory as our national flag on June 14, 1777.
... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
#FlagDay2024

#flagday2024Today we honor the symbol of freedom. Flag Day is celebrated in America on June 14, commemorating the day the flag resolution was passed. This celebrates the anniversary of the Continental Congress approving the design of the United States flag on June 14, 1777. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
#FlagDay2024Image attachment

#flagday2024 ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
#FlagDay2024

#flagday2024Happy Flag Day! Today, we honor the American flag and the values it represents freedom, unity, and sacrifice. Let's proudly celebrate our nation's symbol. #FlagDay 🇺🇸 ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
#FlagDay2024Image attachmentImage attachment

#flagday2024 ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
Welcome and thank you! Stay safe!Image attachmentImage attachment

Welcome and thank you! Stay safe! ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago

Latest Tweets

Feed Them Social: TikTok Feed not loaded, please add your Access Token from the Gear Icon Tab.

Economic Freedom

Arguably, the greatest freedom of all is the freedom of choice, the power to make your own decisions and command your own destiny.

Amongst all of the decisions that you can make in your life, your financial decisions typically have some of the largest impacts, positive or negative, on the quality of your life and the options that you will have available to you.

We recently faced an unprecedented convergence of economic challenges…depreciating home values, a plunging stock market, record levels of consumer debt, unemployment, a rise in inflation, high fuel prices, and restricted access to credit at the consumer and institutional levels.

While there are still issues and concerns that must be addressed, many economic indicators have fortunately stabilized.  Rest assured, however, that we will face further uncertainty and economic turmoil in years to come.

When challenges arise and economic uncertainty looms, virtually all of the volatility that is created in the financial marketplace is driven by two factors, fear and rampant speculation.

If you are somebody who is fearful and full of anxiety about your finances, do you also feel helpless and lost about what to do?  Can you imagine how great it would feel to be free of your fear and to experience peace of mind relative to your finances?

It is more important now than at any time in the last 75 years to make good financial decisions that will help you to achieve your own economic freedom and minimize any restrictions that will keep you from realizing your financial goals.

Make no mistake about it.  You can enjoy economic freedom no matter how much money you make and regardless of what your financial situation has been in the past.  You and your own actions will be the sole determinants of whether or not you achieve financial strength and soundness.   Conversely, if you do not set financial goals for yourself and get on the path that leads to the achievement of those goals, it will be your fault and your fault alone.

The peace of mind that comes with not having to worry about your finances during difficult times can be yours and the tools that will help you obtain it already exist.

When I was researching information for this article and trying to determine how best to summarize the steps you need to take to achieve personal economic freedom, I realized that we had already discussed the ten most important things that you can do to realize your life’s goals and to best prepare for uncertain and challenging economic times.  Because of this, much of what I will highlight in this article will be a summary or a reference to information in previous articles.

If you have been following along and have taken the steps that we have previously outlined, this will be a great time to check your work and fine-tune your plan if necessary.  If you have not taken the steps that you should have to prepare for what you may currently be facing or will possibly face sometime in the future, it is not too late to take the sting out of your current situation and better prepare for the next time.

 

1.   Create a Plan

Begin by honestly assessing your financial situation and determine what you have been doing and what you have not been doing.  Figure out what you know and what you don’t know and then devise a plan that builds on your strengths and addresses your weaknesses.  As an example, if you have not been as organized as you should have been and as a result have not balanced your checkbook regularly, make sure that part of your plan includes a regular review and balancing of your checkbook.  Then,  commit to that plan.  A successful financial plan must contain realistic, attainable action steps as well as measurements and checkpoints to ensure you stay on track.

 

2.   Develop and Follow a Budget

Clearly define your income and your expenses.  For the purposes of your budget, your income is not your gross salary, it is your actual take home pay. For this exercise to be of value, being specific and precise is a must especially as it relates to your expenses.  The more detailed that you can be about your exact expenses, the more confident  you will be about your numbers and what you will have left to save.  Once you have developed a budget, follow it.  It will take discipline on your part, but the reward is great, namely that you will be taking a big step toward commanding your own financial destiny.

 

3.   Become Credit Wise

The single biggest factor in determining your ability to borrow money and qualify for the best borrowing rates is your credit rating, specifically your credit score as reported by the three main credit bureaus.  The credit rating system is notoriously difficult to understand and susceptible to errors and inaccuracies so you will be way ahead of the game if you take the time to understand your credit report, the components of your credit score, and what you can do to ensure that your rating is as accurate and as strong as possible.

 

4.   Perform Credit CPR

To the extent that you identify inaccuracies or legitimate weaknesses in your financial standing, perform the necessary tasks to take corrective action.  In this case, CPR can be defined as strong Communication with relevant parties, sound Planning, and a commitment to Resolve any and all matters.

 

5.   Set Your Financial Priorities

Now that you have taken the steps that form the foundation of your future financial strength and your in-depth financial knowledge, it is time to determine exactly what your priorities should be.  If you have more debt than you are comfortable with, then the first order of business should be to pay off that debt or bring it down to a more reasonable level.  If your debt and expenses are in order, your priority should be to maximize your savings.

 

6.   Establish Goals and Incentives

Once your plan is in place and your priorities are in order, the next step is to establish your goals and the rewards you will reap when those goals are achieved.  As is the case with each of these steps, the goals that you set will be personal to you and will only be helpful if they are meaningful to you and attainable.  Setting the incentives is just as important because they will play a key role in your level of motivation to achieve your goals.

 

7.   Create Reinforcing Habits

Particularly when it comes to saving, but certainly in every aspect of your own financial management, you will benefit from making habits out of the actions you are taking and repeating.  Your plan is in place and it is based on accurate information.  You have set your priorities and established your goals.  The best way to reinforce this behavior is to make it second nature.

 

8.   Build Wealth

When you have realized the importance of saving, the next logical step is to go out and actually build wealth and there remains only two legitimate ways to do it.  You must either obtain ownership of something (i.e., real estate, stock, business, etc.) and/or build passive income; that is income that you generate that is not directly reliant on your labor or task completion (i.e., interest, dividends, appreciation).

 

9.   Insulate Yourself From Recessions

There are several things that you can do to lessen the impact a downturn in the economy can have on your finances in terms of preemptive measures and preparation.  If you have not completed the previous steps then these measures will be a lot less effective.  Once you have prepared for these times, you have essentially completed your path to economic freedom and you will find a peace of mind relative to your personal financial situation that will be both inspiring and liberating.

 

10. Trust Your Instincts and Stay Curious

At this point, you have completed all of the steps and have clearly learned how to make good, sound financial decisions.  You are following your own path and realizing power and command that previously seemed unreachable. You have all of your financial matters in order.  Enjoy the benefits of your commitment to this process by sticking with the decisions and choices that you have made, but do not rest on what you have already accomplished.  Stay curious, keep asking questions and answering your own challenges, and remain open-minded so that you are able to make adjustments to your plans and objectives as necessary.

So, follow these steps and keep the faith. Your Economic Freedom is at hand.

And, don’t forget, members of the Credit Union enjoy free and confidential Credit Counseling and Financial Planning through our Financial Planning and Education Center. We are here to assist you every step of the way.

Scott Arney
Chief Executive Officer
Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union

Share This Post

Recent Posts

A New Use for an Old Cliché
When you hear that it is time to fish or cut bait, it is time to make a decision.  Of this, I am certain.  What I am not certain of is exactly what is being decided.  I think the choice is whether to act or take more time before you act.
Sunglasses-PM
The main difference between a mortgage pre-qualification and a mortgage pre-approval is the fact that a Loan Officer will verify information for a pre-approval. 
A New Use for an Old Cliché
Taken in that context, this is good advice.  If all you do is talk about yourself and your accomplishments, you will eventually have to get used to the sound of your own voice because no one else will want to spend time with you.
STOP!
Before you purchase that new car, check the Credit Union website to see if we can beat that rate!

Subscribe to our Newsletter

We’d love to add you to our mailing list.