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Catholic Federal Credit Union Financial Fitness Blog

7 Resolutions For A Richer 2017

Posted by Kate Luttenberger, Member Experience Specialist on Jan 5, 2017 10:58:00 AM

The New Year is a great time of renewal. That makes it a good time to make bold, decisive changes in your life. Leave behind the baggage that was 2016 and start fresh with a blank slate in 2017. If you’re looking for some resolutions to improve your personal finances, we’re pleased to offer seven ways to make 2017 the year of the dollar!

1.) Track your spending

If you’re looking to take your first steps toward financial literacy, figuring out where your money goes should be at the top of your list. If you don’t know where your money goes, it’s going to be tough to follow through with any other money plans. You may have a general sense of how much you spend, but after a month where you’ve recorded every dollar, you’ll have a much better picture. Using apps like Mint, Quicken or Personal Capital can automate the process. You might even find that keeping track of what you do with your money encourages you to spend a little more judiciously.

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Topics: budget, debt, savings, Retirement, Direct Deposit, New Year's

Help! I Overspent On Christmas.

Posted by Bethany Dutcher, VP Marketing on Dec 29, 2016 2:16:05 PM

It’s so easy to go overboard on Christmas. If you have kids, you want everything to be perfect for them. You want to build priceless memories, so spending any amount seems worth it. If you’re just getting started, you want to impress your family with how together you have things. Giving extravagant gifts to your family members seems like a great idea … until you’re staring at a huge credit card bill in January.

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Topics: finances, budget, debt

How To Be The Host With The Most Without Draining Your Account

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Dec 15, 2016 9:49:09 AM

Q: It's my turn to host my family for Christmas. How can I entertain the crowd without spending a fortune?

A: Hosting a holiday meal is one of the most stressful parts of any holiday. Sure, it's great to help everyone get together under one roof as part of a fantastic tradition. On the other, though, feeding many people can put a serious strain on your budget. With Christmas gifts to buy, a strain like that really can't come at a worse time!

Fortunately, it's possible to be a great host and a great saver at the same time. It's not easy, but you can put on a great Christmas meal without breaking the budget. Try these 3 handy tips to save this year!

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Topics: Saving, Christmas, family, Budgeting, Hosting a Party

4 DIY Solutions to Help your Christmas Budget

Posted by BALANCE on Dec 8, 2016 11:41:25 AM

 

Christmas spending can be a budget buster. The expenses are numerous: presents, wrapping paper, food, travel and more. However, if you don’t have the funds to buy everything you want, there is no need to despair. With a little DIY creativity, you can get through the Christmas season without draining your checking account.

1. Get crafty

Why spend $40 to buy a scarf if you can knit it yourself with $15 of yarn? If you have a knack for crafts, making your own gifts is a great way to save, since supplies usually cost less than the finished product. Not only are homemade gifts cheaper, but many people appreciate them more than store-bought presents because of the personal touch. Don’t know your way around a glue gun? A framed photo always goes a long way.

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Topics: budget, Christmas, diy

How to Stay Safe When Shopping for Christmas Gifts Online

Posted by NerdWallet on Nov 22, 2016 9:11:04 AM

Want to avoid long lines and large crowds this Christmas season? Shopping online lets you zip through your list with just a few clicks.

Before whipping out your plastic, however, you'll want to make sure you're shopping on a secure site. Use these tips to keep your data safe.

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Topics: Christmas, Shopping, Security

Get These Things Out Of Your Wallet Now!

Posted by Bethany Dutcher, VP Marketing on Nov 5, 2016 11:23:07 AM

It's time to think about what's tucked into your purse or wallet. What items make your "essential carry" list and what can you safely leave behind?

Your wallet can become a lot like a junk drawer you carry around. It's cluttered with loyalty cards, coupons, cash, checks, store credit cards, credit cards for gas, credit cards for everyday purchases and a host of identification cards. That much bulk can make your wallet or purse a serious hassle to carry. Even worse, though, you may be setting yourself up for identity theft.

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Topics: finances, organize

Staying On The Job: Four Practical Ideas For Making Yourself Indispensable

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Assistant on Oct 25, 2016 2:39:03 PM

Wondering if it will be your last day on the job every day is emotionally taxing. Trying to be productive, let alone happy, with the constant threat of job loss is an impossibility. On the other hand, security in a position can do wonders for your morale. Sadly, though, that goal is out of reach for many Americans. A recent Pew Forum study shows that 40% of Americans fear they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months.

That's bad news both for companies and their employees. Workers who worry about their job security are less likely to be effective. At the same time, low job security tends to exacerbate the effects of work-related stress, resulting in poor sleep, feelings of hopelessness and fatigue. In short, it's exhausting to worry about your job constantly, and when you're exhausted, your work suffers.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your position at work. While they won't fix a toxic workplace or calm an easily angered manager, they can make you feel better about your skills and more secure in your position. Try these four steps to boost your value to your employer!

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Topics: careers, job security, job advice

Good Ideas, Bad For Credit: How Your Responsible Choices Can End Up Hurting Your Credit Score

Posted by Bethany Dutcher, VP Marketing on Oct 14, 2016 11:00:40 AM

Q: I've had some trouble with credit in the past, but I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. I think I'm doing everything right, but my credit score still isn't rising! What gives?

A: Credit scores can affect you more than you know. Employers look at credit scores. Landlords look at credit scores. Bill providers look at credit scores, and they might decide to charge you if yours gets too low. With all this pressure, you've no doubt started working on some good habits for improving your credit score. You pay your bills on time, are sure to not max out your credit line and work hard not to default on a loan. You might be surprised to find out that some actions you take to improve your credit score are actually hurting it.

If your credit score isn't where you want it to be, it might be due to one of these habits. Read on for four good ideas that might actually be hurting your credit score:

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Topics: credit, debt management, credit score

Bring Back The Brown Bag: Saving Money On Lunch The Old-Fashioned Way

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Assistant on Sep 30, 2016 1:58:52 PM

Although it's been said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, there may be a new contender rising. Recent studies are showing that employees who take a designated lunch break are more likely to be productive in the afternoon and avoid long-term burnout. Breakfast has clearly been shoved out of its once-coveted role of "most important meal," and the reign of lunch has begun.

Lunch's sudden rise to popularity hasn't come without one or two negative side effects. The most worrying of these is how often Americans are dining out for lunch per week and how much they're spending when they do. If you're looking for an alternative to eating gourmet sushi five times a week, the best option is one that's been with us since we were children: the brown bag lunch.

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Topics: Saving, Lunch

Is A Personal Loan The Answer To My Urgent Money Need?

Posted by Bethany Dutcher, VP Marketing on Sep 1, 2016 9:07:12 AM

Q: I need to get money together in a hurry. What can I do? Help!

A: There are times in your life when you need cash fast. It may be hospital bills, car trouble or crushing debt. A personal loan is for times like these. Personal loans range from $1,000 to more than $50,000, and are not secured with collateral. That means there’s no property that backs the value of the loan. Personal loans may seem attractive, but they do come with some downsides. Is a personal loan right for you? And if so, how do you go about getting one?

Let’s take a look at four critical questions to ask before getting a personal loan.

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Topics: loans, money, finances

Welcome!

We're happy you're here. Our blog gives us another way to communicate with you in a fun, relaxed way. Don't worry; we won't be selling you anything. We just want to share a more personal part of ourselves so you can get to know the lighter side of the credit union. Our goal is to improve your financial well-being, we'll also share helpful financial tips and recommendations covering everything from students loans to retirement planning, and dream vacations to budgeting, many from our own personal experiences. After all, we're still people helping people, as we have been for 60 plus years. Now we just have more ways to reach out and help. 

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