Your credit union will be issuing new credit and debit cards that will sport not only a new look, but a new feature as well. The new look will make reading your numbers for online purchases easier. They will also get a security upgrade with the addition of an EMV chip. These changes will offer convenience while also making it more secure.
By Jean Chatzky
Have you ever wondered why so many lottery players and pro athletes go belly up? Because they were never given the financial tools to defend their finances from bad spending habits.
According to Sports Illustrated, 78 percent of former NFL players are bankrupt or under financial duress within two years of retirement. Likewise, 60 percent of former NBA players were reportedly bankrupt five years out.
It’s hard to grasp that people who earn hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars a year can find themselves broke so quickly. However, there’s a tried and true coaching adage that goes: “Great defense wins games.” This applies just as much to our finances as it does to sport!
Many of us think that if we can just play good enough offense and make enough money all our problems will be solved, but this example would suggest otherwise…even a tremendous income isn’t enough if you don’t play defense and watch your spending at the same time. Here are five moves to make.
Buy less house than you can afford Housing expenses are the biggest part of our budget and it’s hard to keep things in alignment if it eats up too much of your cash flow. For too long many of us maxed out on housing, going up to the limits of what people would lend, but that sometimes that’s like your local rec basketball team playing the Lakers—a game they can’t win. We’ve all heard the expression “house poor”—don’t let that be you.
Control your fixed, recurring costs Gym memberships, school tuition, child care, gardening and housecleaning, phone bills, utilities, internet, subscriptions…life’s little (okay, medium-sized) expenses mount up. Every time you commit to spending in this category, you’re actually committing to hundreds of dollars per year. Before signing up, consider the annual cost.
Make your day-to-day spending only from one account Spending from multiple checking accounts and credit cards makes it harder to know exactly where you stand. In basketball, this would be like playing 5 simultaneous games of one-on-one rather than a single, coordinated game. Clean this up by creating a dedicated checking or prepaid debit account (not credit card) for all your daily spending. Agree with your spouse to put a fixed amount into the account and then simply manage your spending to the balance. You can set up daily balance alerts so you always know where you are. With this approach you won’t have to worry about complicated category-level budgets…just manage your spending to what you have.
Follow the 24-hour rule If you see something you like but you know is not a necessity, wait for 24 hours before buying it. Sleep on it, talk about it with your spouse or partner, then come back and get it if you decide you really can’t live without it. You’ll make better decisions.
Write things down in advance In sports, most coaches create a game plan that they communicate to the players and then stick to during the game. It helps them focus on the important keys to victory and not get distracted by the noise. You can create your own financial game by deciding what you need in advance of going to a store and writing it on a list. If you’re at the store and an item isn’t on the list, don’t buy it. This ensures that you only buy things you need. If you see something great at the store, think about it at home, decide if you need it, and write in on the next shopping list.
Finally, embrace the defensive mindset. Sports defenders love the effort and exhaustion of playing tenacious D. They always just give slightly more than the others and they’re the ones who come away with steals, blocks, or rebounds. If you can learn to love playing defense, you’ll watch your own financial score and notice you’re winning. You’ll see how your actions help you succeed. And you’ll feel accomplishment every time you exercise your defensive spending muscles. Learn to take pleasure in saying “no” and become a great defender.
We have been working diligently on an exciting update to our online account access solution. MVFCUonline is now MV ONLINE that sports a new look and feel. Register today!
By Al Strawn
All the time people refer to the credit union as a bank and I always correct them by saying “we’re not a bank, we are a credit union!” Then I ask if they know the difference and unfortunately many do not. This lack of understanding is something that needs to change!
On the surface banks and credit unions do many of the same things. We both make loans, we offer savings and checking accounts, as well as many other financial services. But this is where the similarities end.
Credit unions are member owned financial cooperatives with a mission of helping each other build a better future. Unlike banks, credit unions are democratically controlled with each member having a voice. Regardless of how big or small your account, each members has one vote in electing the credit union Board of Directors. Board members and other credit union volunteers serve without compensation. Most are motivated by a strong desire to give back to the community where they live.
Credit unions by their very nature are community focused. The basic idea is to pool member savings and use this money to make loans to other members who need to borrow for provident and productive purpose. With the help of your credit union, money is circulated throughout the local communities in which we serve. Also, because of this unique cooperative model it is more likely that loan rates are lower, earnings on savings higher and fees for other services significantly reduced.
At Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union we work hard each day to earn your continued membership. Our desire is to help you achieve your financial goals. We are honored to have the opportunity to be your trusted financial partner. We must always manage the affairs of the credit union wisely and build upon a solid foundation. Rather than maximizing profit, we are motivated by a strong desire to maximize service to you. Through your membership in the credit union you are part of something meaningful. Together with other members we are building a stronger community.
My hope is that you will take some time to recognize the uniqueness of credit unions and be prepared to explain the credit union difference to your friends and family. Don’t get bogged down in the details, just remember that credit unions are “people helping people.”
Come learn some of the important “rules of the road” for receiving Social Security benefits and how to evaluate the possible routes you can take to manage social security benefits.
October 12, 2015 | 6:30 - 8:00
Eagle River Ale House
October 13, 2015 | 6:30 - 8:00
Palmer Train Depot
Women and Investing
This workshop will help you learn to be a competent long-term investor and can help you attain financial security for yourself and those you are close to.
October 14, 2015 | 6:30 - 8:00
Seward Meridian Community Office Training Room
These no-cost, no-obligation workshops are hosted by Jodie M Smith, the Matanuska Valley Financial Services Representative located at Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union. Space is limited, so make your reservations today.
Please give me a call at 907-745-9182 to reserve a seat or contact me by email at email@example.com. I look forward to meeting with you soon.
Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with a financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF.FDIC insured, May lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc., is a registered broker/dealer in all fifty states of the United States of America. Representatives are not tax advisors or Social Security Experts. For information regarding your specific tax situation, please consult a tax professional. To discuss your specific SSA benefits questions, please contact the SSA office in your area.
As an MVFCU Member, you are most likely familiar with our Annual Adventure Sale. that takes place every May. Well, we are excited to announce our Second Annual SNOWSOON Event happening Saturday, October 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the MVFCU Seward Meridian Community Office. As a member of Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union, you’re part of a much bigger movement, the credit union movement, that works towards global financial good.
As an MVFCU Member, you are most likely familiar with our Annual Adventure Sale. that takes place every May. Well, we are excited to announce our Second Annual SNOWSOON Event happening Saturday, October 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the MVFCU Seward Meridian Community Office.
As a member of Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union, you’re part of a much bigger movement, the credit union movement, that works towards global financial good.