Stressed out couple reviewing bills

If I were to ask you about a vivid childhood memory, would financial services be the centerpiece of that thought? For me, I often think back to a Sunday evening ritual that occurred in my family. After my family sat down to eat dinner and the plates were washed and put away, we would clear the kitchen table. The house became quiet and my parents sat down under dim lights with stacks of papers, pens and the checkbook. It was time to pay the bills and balance the checkbook. Depending on where in the month each Sunday fell, there would be more work, deliberation and stress than usual based on when payday arrived, if they had cashed their paychecks, and if an emergency room bill came because I made some pretty dumb decisions jumping a barbed-wire fence (sorry mom and dad).

In an upcoming Filene report, “The Credit Union of the 21st Century,” Filene’s managing director of research, Taylor Nelms, and co-author, Stephen Rea, describe “financial chores” as cashing checks, paying bills or transferring money. Like my chores of mowing the lawn, taking out the trash and cleaning the house, I know my parents didn’t enjoy this weekly routine. Nelms and Rea stated, “By automating such financial chores and building in added value for members, credit unions can place some of the more onerous – repetitive or confusing – banking tasks out of sight and out of mind, freeing members up to concentrate on other activities.”

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