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Catholic Federal Credit Union Financial Fitness Blog

Back-To-School Savings

Posted by Bethany Dutcher, VP Marketing on Aug 2, 2017 9:42:53 AM

Q: Back-to-school shopping kills my budget each year. Is there any way to start the year off right...without spending a small fortune?

A: Rows of freshly sharpened pencils, an unopened box of crayons and a pair of shiny, new shoes will provide a thrill for any child.

As the parent, though, you're the one footing the bill. If the thought of all that back-to-school spending makes your head pound, you're not alone. The National Retail Federation reports that parents of children entering kindergarten through 12th grade plan to spend nearly $700 per child on school supplies, new clothing and shoes this season. That's enough to fill any budgeting parent with dread.

No worries - as always, Catholic Federal has your back! Let us help you navigate the second-largest shopping season of the year with your budget and sanity intact. Read on for 12 ways to save on back-to-school shopping.

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Topics: Saving, back to school, budget, School Shopping

7 Ways To Save Without Suffering

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Jul 11, 2017 9:31:33 AM

We all know we should save more money than we do. Whether we need to pay down debt, build an emergency fund or save for retirement, we need to cut spending and increase our savings. It’s the only way to build financial security.

Yet before considering what to cut back on, try these handy tips to save money without noticing the difference.

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Topics: Saving

6 Ways To Save On Your Summer Vacation

Posted by Tiffany Blossey, Member Service Representative on Jun 28, 2017 4:07:53 PM

The ocean is calling - and so is the open road. Your dream vacation awaits! But first, you need to work out the financial details. How are you going to pay for your getaway? How much can you realistically spend? Where is the money for your vacation going to come from?

Ideally, a plump vacation fund that's fed throughout the year is the way to go. Unfortunately, though, we often don't think about how to pay for vacation until it's a few weeks away. To make things even worse, according to LearnVest, an alarming 74% of Americans go into debt to pay for a vacation.

Don't become part of that statistic! Be proactive in planning your vacation by saving up for it in advance. Forgo some luxuries in the months or weeks leading up to your vacation and save the extra cash for your getaway. Consider running a yard sale featuring all of your forgotten treasures and use the profits to fund your trip. Skip your weekly dinner out for a while and put the money in your vacation budget.

Now it's time to plan your vacation! When you've got the money saved up, create a realistic vacation budget. These six vacation saving tips will help you plan the perfect getaway while staying well within your budget.

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Topics: Saving, Vacation, Summer, travel

How to Get a Summer Job

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Mar 27, 2017 10:45:58 AM

Temperatures are rising, days are getting longer and kids are dying to get out of the classroom! This can only mean one thing: Summer is just around the bend. It's time to start planning trips, summer camps, and summer jobs.

Despite the fact that school won't end in most places for another few months, it's still a good time to start thinking about summer work. The timeframe for hiring can be as long as a month, so waiting until school is officially out isn't a good idea. Not sure where to start? Try these four tips to jumpstart a summer job search for yourself or a young adult.

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Topics: Saving, Summer, job advice

It Costs How Much To Get Married!?

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Mar 1, 2017 11:11:01 AM

According to a new report by a leading wedding magazine, The Knot, the average American wedding cost has eclipsed $35,000. That's more than half of the yearly median income! Most of that spending isn't on lavish luxuries for bride and groom - it comes from the guest list. Couples are inviting more people and doing more for them, trying to create an unforgettable experience for their loved ones.

If you've got an event planned for the coming year, read on. Your bill doesn't need to be that extreme. Here are five ways to save on the cost of your big day!

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Topics: Saving, wedding, Budgeting, planning

Keep Your Wallet Insulated From Winter Heating Costs!

Posted by Kris Morse, Senior Information Systems Analyst on Feb 9, 2017 9:45:19 AM

Q: Winter's here in full force! Every time the furnace kicks on, I feel like it's burning up money! How can I keep my house cozy while keeping the heating costs low?

A: There's nothing better than being toasty warm when it's cold outside. Unfortunately, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature isn't cheap. Heating a house can easily eat $300 out of your monthly budget, depending on where you live and the thermostat setting.

If you're looking for ways to cut costs, check out these five handy tips for cutting your heating bill this winter.

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Topics: Saving, Winter, Heating

Fitness For Your Body And Wallet

Posted by Melissa Pashak, Marketing Specialist on Jan 18, 2017 12:33:06 PM

New Year's resolutions can be fantastic motivating tools, and many of us use that motivation to improve our health. Thirty-seven percent of Americans resolved to lose weight, while another 32% resolved to stay fit and healthy in the New Year. No one knows that better than the weight loss industry, which ramps up its marketing this time of year. You've no doubt seen offers for free months and other discounts at local and national gym chains.

What these advertisements leave out is that gym memberships are still very expensive. Nationally, gym memberships average $58 per month. That's bad enough before you start adding in contract initiation fees and other upfront charges. If you want to get fit, but don't want to pay those exorbitant fees, there are a few strategies you can try. Give these budget- and body- friendly ideas a chance. It might help you along the path toward a happier, healthier 2017!

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Topics: Saving, finances, health

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

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

Inexpensive Summer Fun With Your Child

Posted by Bethany Dutcher, VP Marketing on Aug 8, 2016 10:41:30 AM

Want to keep your kids engaged this summer without breaking the bank? Try out one (or several) of these low-cost, high-fun ideas.

Community programs

Community centers typically organize free programs in conjunction with the school system for preschoolers on up. It’s not uncommon for the programs to offer both breakfast and lunch as well as crafts, athletics, field trips (these do have a small fee), and a variety of educational “mini-adventures.” Some YMCAs and similar organizations also offer these kinds of opportunities.

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Topics: Saving, Summer, family

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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