Catholic Federal Credit Union Financial Fitness Blog

How To Prepare Your Home For Winter

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Oct 23, 2018 9:25:10 AM

Q: Help! I know I need to prepare my home for the upcoming cold weather, but I don’t know where to start. What do I need to do?

A: As soon as you see the seasonal aisles at your favorite superstores filling with Halloween paraphernalia, you know “Old Man Winter” will be creeping up on us before you can say “Boo!”

This year, be prepared. Keep your home warm and safe this winter by following our comprehensive to-do list before the real cold sets in.

1. Seal your home

Don’t let those brutal winds inside! Your home is your fortress against the cold, so make it as airtight as possible. Give your home a quick run-through, checking for visible and hidden drafts. You can do this by holding a lit candle near the following areas:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Vents and fans
  • Plumbing areas
  • Air conditioners
  • Mail chutes
  • Electrical and gas lines

If the candle flickers, you’ve got a draft.

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7 Halloween Hacks

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Oct 12, 2018 10:56:52 AM
Halloween is coming – and so is the fun! Everyone wants to win the prize for creepiest costume and the most frightening yard décor in the neighborhood.

But all that spookiness comes with a scary price tag. The average American will spend $169 on Halloween costs this year. And, if that’s not enough to terrify you, consider this: Most people spend close to $70 just on their Halloween getups. That’s a lot of money for a costume you likely won’t wear again.

Ready to save big? Read on for 7 awesome Halloween hacks that are just too good to miss. From DIY décor that will scare the living daylights out of your guests to effortless costumes that look great without costing a bundle, we’ve got you covered!

1. Is that real ketchup?

No Halloween costume or party is complete without some sickly-looking crime scene splatter. And there’s no need to blow big bucks on whatever concoction the party store’s got in stock. Make your own fake blood with this quickie recipe. All you need are 3 ingredients:
  • 4 cups corn syrup
  • Red food coloring
  • Blue food coloring
Pour the corn syrup into a large bowl and start adding the red food coloring a few drops at a time. Stir your mixture with a whisk until you reach your desired consistency. To darken the “blood,” add a few drops of blue food coloring while continuing to stir.

You’re all set – now go scare someone silly!

2. Whose hand is floating in the punch bowl?

For a super-scary addition to your Halloween party, fill a rubber glove with water and seal it shut. Stick it in the freezer and just a few hours later, you’ll have an iced severed hand to drop into the punch bowl and really freak your guests out.

3. Stick ‘em up!

For a ridiculously easy costume that will make people laugh, go as a stick person!

Dress in black from head to toe. Use white masking tape to add stick lines to your legs, arms and torso. Put some lines in the back, too. For a full-body costume, take a paper plate and paint it black. Use your tape to draw a stick-face on the plate and glue a popsicle stick onto the bottom so you can hold it up.

Don’t forget to do the stiff stick-walk and you’ll really crack people up!

4. Is that a witch sticking out of your snake plant?

Got some spare pool noodles lying around? Dress them up to go as witch legs!

Take two pool noodles and stuff them into a pair of striped leggings. Top it off with black witchy-looking shoes and you have yourself a pair of witch legs! Stick them upside down into the plant on your front porch, or make them look like they’re coming out of your garbage can.

Now sit and watch your visitors’ reactions and you’ll have the last cackle!

5. Would you like some spiders with that?

Have fun with a cheap bag of plastic spiders! Here are some ways to use these creepy crawlies to add the fear factor to your Halloween party:
  • Stick them in your ice cube tray for floating critters that will terrify your guests.
  • Drop them inside your soap dispenser to frighten anyone looking to wash up.
  • Scatter them inside the popcorn bowl for a scary surprise.

6. Did you really just kill a box of cereal?

Looking for a funny-scary costume you can make yourself? Go as a serial killer! Err … a cereal killer, that is.

Take an old white T-shirt and decorate it to look like your favorite cereal box. Then take a dress-up dagger and carefully cut off its tip. Glue the blunted dagger to the middle of your cereal box so it looks like it’s piercing it right in the heart. Then use your fake blood to add splatters and drippings all over your shirt. Make your face look menacing with some dark costume makeup and add an ominous scar across your cheek, too.

You’re ready to hunt down those no-good cereals!

7. Anyone care for some fresh worms?

Serve up an entrée from the dark side that will have your guests completely grossed out!

Drip a bit of black food coloring into boiling pasta and it will instantly turn your dinner into a dark, horrendous-looking creation. Drain your pasta as usual and then bring it out to the table, asking if anyone would like some delicious hot worms for dinner.

Don’t let Halloween costs scare you. Follow our hacks for a frighteningly fun time that won’t kill your budget and will still terrify the entire neighborhood!

Your Turn: What’s your favorite Halloween hack that’s easy on the budget? Tell us all about it in the comments!

SOURCES:
http://www.the36thavenue.com/halloween-hacks-and-diy-ideas/
https://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/last-minute-halloween-hacks?utm_term=.oo7EPKBAN#.xn4VMabN8
https://www.littlethings.com/diy-halloween/
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Checking Accounts for Teens

Posted by Bethany Dutcher, VP Marketing on Oct 5, 2018 3:37:39 PM

According to StatisticBrain.com, teens spend more than $258 billion annually, yet many young adults enter college without any practical financial guidance or accountability. It’s now more important than ever for young adults to arm themselves with information on how to manage their money. And that’s why it is also important to educate students about their most important personal financial tool: the checking account.

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Topics: teens, Checking Account, debit card

3 Healthy Financial Habits to Start Now

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Sep 25, 2018 11:39:57 AM

Developing healthy financial habits can do wonders for helping us achieve our goals, and the earlier you start, the better! Here are three habits to start today:

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Back to School Shopping Hacks

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Aug 8, 2018 1:08:42 PM

You may be deep into your summer routine of lazy afternoons at the beach, family day trips and bedtimes postponed in favor of firefly-chasing, but back-to-school season is already in full swing. And, any way you slice it, it’s going to be expensive! Between new backpacks, textbooks, a long list of supplies and a fresh autumn wardrobe, most parents are looking at a bill of close to $700 for school-related expenses this season.   

Be proactive and save big! Read on for our handy list of back-to-school shopping hacks that will help you keep more money in your wallet. 

1.) Plan to shop 5 times 

To take full advantage of the sales and clearance events throughout the summer, don’t buy everything at once. Plan on making 5 shopping trips this season, and you’ll get the best prices out there. 

2.) Stock up 

No, your child doesn’t need a 6-month supply of No.2 pencils for the first day of school or five spare pocket-folders. But, if you buy enough school supplies while prices are low to last through the first half of the year — or even all the way into June — you’ll save big. 

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How to Recover from a Financial Setback

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Jul 26, 2018 3:55:11 PM

The financial trajectory in our life is full of ups and downs. As the saying goes, “That’s life.” We are all going to experience times when we feel like the wind is at our back, and other times when we feel like our financial world is caving in on us.

If you find yourself in the second category, it will be okay. First, know that you’re not alone. Many people have been in your shoes before and have come out on the other side.

Second, know that there are tangible steps you can take today to get yourself back on the path to the financial wellness. So dust yourself off, take a deep breath, and read on for some strategies to get you back on your feet.

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How Many Credit Cards Should I Own?

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Jul 17, 2018 3:17:21 PM

The importance of maintaining a good credit score is old news. As you likely know, the higher your score, the more attractive you will be to potential lenders, making larger loans and the best interest rates more accessible. 

Hopefully, you’re working hard at keeping that score high by using your cards and paying your bills on time. You may be wondering, though, if more is better. Should you open a few more and get more available credit? Or, are too many cards a liability to your score?  

Read on for the answers to all your questions. 

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Don't Drink Your Wallet Dry

Posted by Bethany Dutcher, VP Marketing on Jul 9, 2018 1:32:09 PM

You probably already know water is the best beverage choice for your health and for your money. But did you know bottled water may be costing you a fortune? 

It’s true: Many people pay exorbitant amounts of money for bottled water without even realizing how inflated the price is. 

So, let’s take a look at the costs of bottled water when compared to ordinary tap water. 

For 1,000 gallons of tap water, it will cost you approximately $11. With that amount of water, you could fill 7,570 bottles of water at 16.9 fluid ounces each, with each bottle costing you just $0.0014! 

Assuming you drink three 20-oz bottles of water a day, you’ll need 1,095 bottles a year. If you’d fill those bottles with tap water, you’ll only pay $1.53 a year! 

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Topics: Budgeting, health

7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Making A Large Purchase

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Jul 9, 2018 11:30:15 AM

You're convinced: You really want that Coach handbag. Or maybe you just know that gigantic entertainment center will transform your weekends. So you swipe your card and the dream item becomes yours. You're thrilled!

That is, until a few weeks later when the credit card bill comes, and buyer's remorse hits. You can't help wondering: Was it really worth the price?

Don't get sucked in again! Before you say "yes" to a large purchase, ask yourself these 7 questions:

  1. Do I have cash to pay for this item?

This question will help you determine if you can really afford the purchase. You need to have liquid funds that can cover the cost of your item. Putting it on credit means you'll be hiking up the price once interest is tacked on, and you'll be reminded of a possibly regrettable purchase for a long time to come.

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Topics: Shopping, planning, Saving

How To Buy A Boat

Posted by Sue Hale, Loan Representative on Jun 21, 2018 10:24:53 AM

Get ready to set sail this summer! Read on for the ultimate boat-buying guide.

Step 1: Choose your boat type

Like automobiles, boats should be purchased with their intended uses in mind. Determine which water activities are most important to you. Also, research different boat types and ask your boat-owning friends to share their own impressions and tips.

Also decide where you’ll keep your boat. If you’re choosing to self-store your boat, you’ll need to purchase a trailer-able boat.

Step 2: Decide if you want to buy a new or used boat

Visit boating sites like Boats.com and Discoverboating.com to check out what kind of used boats are on the market. You might be pleasantly surprised!

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Topics: loans, Summer

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