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2024 | WINTER

Building Financial Resilience

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Kenyetta Stroud


2024 | WINTER

Building Financial Resilience

Kenyetta Stroud

Financial resilience is an important but often an overlooked aspect of our health. As a member of the justice and law enforcement community, financial stress can directly impact your ability to serve and protect. Ensuring that you achieve financial stability and security is not only a matter of personal comfort but also a means to reduce stress and distractions that can affect your line of duty performance. Building financial resilience is essential towards enhancing your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Financial Emergencies

Nearly one in four Americans report having no emergency savings. The definition of a “financial emergency” isn’t limited to a job loss. It can include a sudden medical expense, a trip to the vet, essential car repairs, the need to replace major household appliances, and so much more. These events can occur anytime and cause significant stress. Typically, having three to six months of expenses in savings provides a buffer to help you offset an emergency, whenever it arises.


Create a Spending Plan

Take a moment to measure your debt to income, (DTI). When you understand where your money goes and how savings and debt affect you financially, you can then begin to take control of your financial outlook.


    • Know your monthly net Income, which is the money you take home after taxes.
    • List your expenses. Categorize your expenses into fixed (rent, essential groceries, daily commuting, utilities), and variable (entertainment, clothing, travel, etc.). Track your actual spending – it may look different than the expenses you list from memory. It’s important to understand just how much of your money is spent on fixed and varied expenses so you can accurately assess your spending habits.
    • Create spending categories and allocate your income. By organizing your expenses into categories, you can then assign a portion of your income to each expense category, prioritizing your essentials first. This is where you can make decisions on what you deem necessary and what spending you can reduce.


Challenge yourself to track every purchase for one month to see exactly how much you spend per week. You might be surprised how much you spend on items that can be scaled back or eliminated giving you greater flexibility with your spending plan.


Build an Emergency Fund

After you’ve created a spending plan, you’ll have a better picture of your financial position and how you can begin to save. Even if you start small with an automatic deposit every pay to a savings account, you will be on your way to building an emergency fund.


Saving is not just for emergencies. You work hard for your money and deserve to enjoy life. Perhaps you have been dreaming of a getaway vacation, a new car, or a major purchase. You can accomplish these goals.


Simply, calculate how much you will need to save, and when you’ll need the money. Then, set up an automatic transfer to directly deposit an amount each month to your savings account to help you reach your goal.


Choose the Right Savings Account
A key component of building healthy savings is choosing the right savings account. There are many diverse types of accounts that earn dividends―traditional savings accounts, certificates with short and long terms, and money market accounts that allow a limited number of withdrawals per month without penalty. No matter the type of savings you select, you’ll earn money on your money based on the account’s annual percentage rate.


Justice Federal recently introduced Freedom Direct Savings. The savings account offers an annual percentage yield of 4.20%* when you establish a Freedom Direct Checking account with direct deposit.


The national average yield for savings accounts was 0.59% as of November 2023, according to Bankrate’s survey of institutions. In addition to a high-yield rate, Freedom Direct Savings provides you with freedom from fees, and no minimum balance requirement. You have flexibility to access your savings whenever you need, without penalty.


We Understand What It Means to Serve

Justice Federal has proudly served the justice and law enforcement community since 1935. To us, the real meaning of service is more than the use of a simple word, it is a life-long dedication and commitment to helping our Members and their families to a better life, to higher standards.


For us, the only way to provide service is to totally commit our heart and soul into looking after our Members as though they are our own family. We promise to do the same for you and everyone who places their trust in us. That’s what we believe true service really means.


We realize that achieving financial wellness is essential to enhance your physical, mental, and emotional resilience. Our team of certified Credit Union Financial Counselors stand ready to assist you with creating a spending plan, restructuring your debt, and more. For assistance, please call 800.550.5328 and request to speak with a Financial Counselor.


We look forward to welcoming you and your family to our Justice family.

*APY= Annual Percentage Yield. APY is subject to change without notice. Rate effective November 1, 2023. Freedom Direct Savings will earn 4.20% APY on balances up to $10,000 if the accountholder has direct deposit(s) of at least $500.00 to their Freedom Direct Checking Account during a month. Balances over $10,000 will earn 0.150% APY and all balances in a month when qualifications are not met will earn the standard Share Savings APY starting at 0.100%. One Freedom Direct Savings per Justice Federal membership. Justice Federal reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time. See a representative for details.

Kenyetta Stroud 2

Kenyetta Stroud

Kenyetta Stroud is a certified Credit Union Financial Counselor, and Branch Manager IV with Justice Federal Credit Union with branches located in the Georgia Department of Public Safety Headquarters, and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Kenyetta has over 15 years of experience in the financial industry and embodies the Credit Union philosophy of “People Helping People.” She is passionate about helping Members align financial products and services to achieve financial wellness and lead a more enjoyable life.


Justice Federal Credit Union serves over 62,000 Members of the justice and law enforcement community, with branches in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, as well as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. To establish membership, learn more about a product or service; seek confidential financial counseling, or explore a partnership with Justice Federal, please contact Kenyetta Stroud at 800.550.5328 extension 42301, or visit, or your nearest branch location.  

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