Catholic Federal Credit Union Financial Fitness Blog

Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist

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5 Ways To Pay Off A Loan Early

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Mar 8, 2019 5:42:32 PM

If you’re like most Americans, you owe money on a large loan. Whether that’s credit card debt, a mortgage and/or a car loan, loan debt is part of your life. And that means you’re looking at hundreds of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. There’s also the mental load of knowing you’ll be paying on the debt for years to come.

Did you know there are simple tricks you can employ to lighten the load? With a carefully applied technique, you can pay off your mortgage, auto loan, credit card debt and any other debt you’re carrying sooner than you thought possible. These tricks are light on your finances, but they can make a big difference to the total interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan and get you debt-free faster.

A note of caution: Check with your lender before employing any approach, as some loans have penalties for making extra or early payments.

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7 Ways to De-Stress for Less

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Feb 20, 2019 1:03:36 PM

Winter doldrums got you down? The empty calendar making you feel blue? Don’t pull out your wallet for some “retail therapy” just yet! 

Right now is the time of year when the blues hit the hardest, so many people turn to their favorite foods, a round of shopping or some other costly means of escape. However, you can get the same results without spending a penny. Let Catholic Federal show you how to de-stress for less and send that down mood packing! 

Read on for 7 pick-me-ups that are absolutely free. 

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8 Valentine’s Day Hacks

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Feb 8, 2019 10:24:49 AM

It’s time to celebrate the significant other in your life! If you’re thinking that means pricey gifts, expensive dates and blowing an entire day’s salary on a restaurant meal, think again. There’s no need to drain your wallet while trying to create the perfect Valentine’s Day. Instead, use these eight hacks for a dream Valentine’s Day that doesn’t break the budget.   

  1. Dine In

Restaurants typically up their prices when the whole world is going out to eat, so you’ll likely be paying extra just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Plus, trying to carry on a conversation in a noisy restaurant while keeping your elbow out of the soup on the next table is hardly a recipe for a romantic evening. 

Instead of shelling out big bucks for a sub-par experience, cook up a gourmet meal at home. You can easily spend less than half of what you’d pay for the same food in a steakhouse by opting to DIY. If you both like puttering around the kitchen, prep your delicious dinner together. Don’t forget to set the ambiance with scented candles and soft music! 

  1.  Explore the great outdoors
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6 Mistakes People Make In Their 20s And How To Fix Them

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Jan 24, 2019 8:57:38 AM

Like many people, you may have blown through your 20s making financial decisions that served you well in the moment, but may not have been particularly responsible. Dinner out several times a week, credit card bills you barely looked at and luxury cars way beyond your budget—life was practically a party!   

But now, the party’s over. You’ve woken up in your 30s and realized that all that overspending is going to cost you big—and it’s going to cost for years to come. 

Luckily, there’s hope. It’s not too late to fix the financial mistakes we all make when we’re young and blissfully ignorant. 

Here are six of the most common mistakes people make in their 20s and how to fix them: 

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Do I Need An Emergency Fund And A Rainy Day Fund?

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Jan 4, 2019 10:06:11 AM

Q: Do I need to have a separate rainy day fund and emergency fund? 

A: In an effort to simplify their money, people sometimes consolidate accounts. This is OK in many instances, but it’s important to remember that rainy day funds and emergency funds serve different purposes. Additionally, it’s important to have not just one, but both funds available to tap into as needed. 

Read on for all your questions on rainy day and emergency funds, answered. 

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8 Reasons to Shop Local on Small Business Saturday

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Nov 19, 2018 3:03:05 PM

Here at Catholic Federal, we believe in supporting the community and helping local businesses flourish. Join us in our important goal by shopping local on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season. 

Here are 8 reasons to shop local: 

  1. Help create jobs in your community

The money you spend at local retailers goes back to your community. When you support these small businesses, you enable them to grow, thus creating more jobs and helping the local economy thrive. 

  1. Keep your tax dollars in the community

When you spend your money at local retailers, approximately $68 of every $100 spent will be reinvested into your community. That money will go toward better schools, libraries and parks—in your own neighborhood. 

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9 Ways To Break Up With Your Phone

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Nov 8, 2018 12:45:48 PM

Dearest phone,

It feels like we’ve known each other forever. You’ve been there for me through everything and I can’t imagine life without you. But this relationship has to end. I can’t do this anymore. It’s not you; it’s me. I’m not myself when I’m around you and you turn me into someone I don’t recognize or like.

I need to move on. But don’t worry; we can still be friends.

Are you ready to pen this breakup letter to the love of your life?

You may not think you’re addicted to your phone, but they were created to keep us completely absorbed and captivated. In fact, the average American adult checks their phone every 12 minutes, spending more than 4 hours on their phone daily. For teens and young adults, those numbers are even higher.

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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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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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