Glossary Terms:

The ABCs of Saving

Glossary terms from:


A sum of money paid regularly to a person, often by a parent to a child; sometimes paid in compensation for services rendered.


A financial institution that provides various products and services to its customers, including checking and savings accounts, loans and currency exchange.


Decision made or course of action taken when faced with a set of alternatives.


Government-issued pieces of metal that have value and are used as money.


The opportunity to borrow money or to receive goods or services in return for a promise to pay later.

Credit Union

A nonprofit financial institution owned by its members; offers various financial services including accounts and loans; regulated by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA).


The money in circulation in any country.


Something a person or organization plans to achieve in the future; an aim or desired result.


Tangible objects that satisfy economic wants.

Long-Term Goal

Something a person or organization plans to achieve at least five years in the future.


Anything that is generally accepted as final payment for goods and services; serves as a medium of exchange, a store of value and a standard of value. Characteristics of money are portability, stability in value, uniformity, durability and acceptance.

Opportunity Cost

The second-best alternative (or the value of that alternative) that must be given up when scarce resources are used for one purpose instead of another.


In a credit arrangement, the total amount spent during the billing cycle.


The basic kinds of resources used to produce goods and services: land or natural resources, human resources (including labor and entrepreneurship), and capital.


To keep money for future use; to divert money from current spending to a savings account or another form of investment.


Disposable income (income after taxes) minus consumption spending.


Money set aside for a future use that is held in easily-accessed accounts, such as savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Savings Account

An interest-bearing account (passbook or statement) at a financial institution.


Activities performed by people, firms or government agencies to satisfy economic wants.


Use money now to buy goods and services.


Effort applied to achieve a purpose or result, often for pay; skills and knowledge put to use to get something done; employment at a job or in a position; occupation, profession, business, trade, craft, etc.