Life can get busy and messy quick. Some of life's major financial events can be prepared for and joyous. Other events will catch us off guard. As individuals, we too have experienced many of these major financial life events. At any time you need help, we are here with industry and hard-knocks knowledge to get you on the correct path. You can speak with someone here at the credit union and/or use the link below to a wealth of knowledge. You can search for financial information about student loans, single moms, preventing foreclosure, aging parents, etc. Just enter your email address for the resources to be sent to you.
If you need help with retirement issues, please click here.
College Kids – furnishing living spaces for cheap.
If you are sending a kid off to college, don’t spend too much the first year. Expenses can add up quickly and 30% of kids don’t finish their first year of college. Instead, consider rewarding them with new items after a couple of years.
Here are a few saving tips:
1. Find them a roommate. Splitting bills and furnishing will save a lot of money. Apartments are usually cheaper than dorms.
2. Consider an RV – they come fully furnished, lot rent is reasonable, and if they don’t finish school you have a camper to travel in. You can find used ones at great prices. FYI - We finance campers.
3. Shop from family. Look for duplicate kitchen supplies, a couch from Grandma, and a chair from Aunt Betty can help the budget a lot. Most people have extra stuff in their attic or would love to have an excuse to buy new furniture.
4. Shop Garage/Estates Sales, Flea Markets, and Canton Trade Days. Haggle for better prices and then look at Pinterest for cute make overs. Paint can make anything look better!
5. Shop Online – Facebook groups and Craig’s List are also great resources.
6. Try to find an apartment with furnished washer/dryer or has a laundromat on-site. This is a true win-win; no expense, less to move up stairs, and hopefully dirty laundry will not come home with them on the weekends.
I hope these get you to thinking thrifty. If you have any other ideas, please share with us.
Shared on Facebook, 9- -17 Crystal Burris
College Kids – Budget Busters
Parents discuss budgets and little expenses that add up quick with your college student. Even upperclassman could use a reminder.
Budget Busters that College Students should look out for:
• Drinks (sodas, coffee, and energy drinks)
• Dinning Out
• Downloading - magazines, music, movies, apps, ringtones
• Bad habits
• Hair, nails
• Mini weekend getaways
College Kids – 6 Budget Tips to help them Succeed
The number one reason students drop out of college is trying to balance school, work, and family*. Helping your teenager set up a budget will help them figure out how many hours and pay they need to make. Most can work about 15 hours a week without lowering their grades. Also having a budget will help them feel more in control of their money. Like Dave Ramsey states “tell your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.” Check into Dave Ramsey Financial Peace program, it’s great and it can help the whole family or ask your credit union for help.
With your support, common goals, and new financial knowledge your student should become a college graduate, who will earn up to 85% more than a high school graduate.*
1. Write down the GOALS – short, medium, and long term
2. Income – write down all income; part-time job, parents allowance, and grant/scholarship $
3. Expenses – write it all down! Keep a 2 to 3 week journal to see where all of your money is going. Make sure to write down yearly or quarterly expenses, divide it out by the month.
4. Calculate the Overage or Underage by subtracting Income from Expenses.
5. Set a Realistic Budget – know the difference between needs and wants; fixed and variable expenses; create categories for everything even for fun/entertainment. You can use our budget at https://telcoplus.calculators.finresourcecenter.com/
6. Financial Institution – Find a local branch or shared branch credit union. It’s important to manage checking and saving account. Look for free student accounts. Telco Plus has free checking for college students, 21 and younger and we have free budget help. We also have CardNav, an app that helps multiple card users keep track, set spending limits, block certain types of transactions, and turn cards off or on. Ask us today, members helping members.
Crystal Burris, *Sources: collegeatlas.org, Nefe.org
Tips to Save on Weddings Cost
Weddings are very expensive and they don’t have to be. The average price tag of weddings in our area is $22,682. That’s a lot of money on an event that last about an hour and outfits that are only worn once. Burdening your parents or beginning your marriage in the hole is not a good idea. If you have saved and budgeted for your wedding, good for you and enjoy your dream day! If you haven’t, then consider some of these tips so you don’t have to take out a large personal loan.
1. Small guest list – saves $ everywhere…food, drinks, venue, centerpieces, invites, and party favors. Guest costs are about $200 per person!
2. Pick offseason – consider another day other than Saturday and August, this will save you thousands $ on a venue. That’s right June is not the busiest wedding month of the year.
3. Don’t serve a meal – serve appetizers or desserts
4. Don’t have a full bar - instead have a limited selection of beer, wine, and maybe one signature drink
5. Buy silk flowers – use coupons/sales and make your own arrangements at your own pace
6. Email invitations - this could save you $400 -$500 on printing and postage
7. Dress - Rent or buy something you could wear again
8. Small bridal party – this saves $ on clothes, parties, and gifts.
Combining Incomes in Marriage
Most people don’t like talking about money, but communication is key! Money stress is the number one reason for divorces. Having combined money creates honesty and transparency that will help couples reach their goals with less stress. Money needs to be seen as a strategy, not as a loss of independence.
1. Discuss the current situation. How much debt does each person have, current spending habits, and what are the goals for short, mid, and long term.
2. Set parameters. Set a limit on how much each person can spend without discussing it with the other person. And how much money each person can have on the side to spend or save however they see fit. Everyone is a spender, they just spend money on different things.
3. Set up a budget. Base the budget off the goals and current expenses and income. Decide how you will pay off debt, save for an emergency fund, and retirement.
4. Combine Accounts. Decide on an institution for a checking and savings account. You will need to have two forms of ID and little a time to move everything around. Telco Plus has a switch kit on our site to help make the process easier. Be sure to set up beneficiaries for the new accounts!
5. Discuss the accounts and spending weekly. This gives you the opportunity to make necessary changes and keep each other on track. It’s wise for both parties to be involved in paying bills. In the event of a death, the surviving person will know what needs to be paid and where all of the money is.
Is Prenuptial Agreements necessary? #LifeEvent #Marriage
If you are getting married soon you might have thought about a prenuptial agreement (prenup). You will need to be certain about this decision before bringing it up with the other person. This financial contract is supposed to take the guesswork out of the property division in the event of a divorce. Here are a few things to consider and you should make decision what you think is good for both parties:
1. Do you have financial assets?
2. Do you live in a community property state? If so, community property belongs equally to both spouses regardless of how much one puts in. Also, property interest acquired before the marriage are the separate property of that spouse. TEXAS is a community property state. Both parties have to have a lawyer. Two attorneys negotiating at an hourly rate is very expensive. Every state has different laws about what can or cannot be negotiated in a prenup.
3. You can’t include child support or custody in a prenup.
Major Purchase Tips
1. Sleep on it. Do you really need it and can you afford it
2. Make sure your credit is in order
3. Double check your card limits, daily and single transaction
Fraudulent Checks are on the rise!
Our tellers and accounting department has seen an increase in fraudulent checks and the quality of these fake checks. Some even contained watermarks, with legitimate financial institutions names and addresses. The institutions and account’s numbers can be real but the CHECK can be a FAKE. They come in many forms; cashier’s checks, money orders, corporate, and personal checks. Fakes are used for foreign lottery scams, check overpayment scams, Internet auction scams, and secret shopper scams.
*Don’t count that money until the check has cleared. You are responsible for any funds you withdraw against that check.
• If it seems too good to be true, it is! Someone in Canada is not going to help you pay bills.
• Never pay for a prize, throw away those offers.
• Don’t play foreign lotteries.
• Never wire money to strangers or wire back funds.
• Don’t accept checks over the selling price!
• If you take a check, accept local institutions. That way you can go to the branch to cash it. Or you can call the bank to verify the funds. Look up the number, don’t use the number on the check!
Tips from the Collection Department
Our Collection Officer has over 30 years of collection experience. Even though she has heard every excuse in the book, she is still a gracious and compassionate person that treats people with respect.
If you ever find yourself in financial trouble please do these...
1. Communicate! Please take the calls and respond to the letters. Be proactive, call your CU to let them know about your situation to discuss your options. There are OPTIONS!
2. Ask to change your loan due date! That way you’re not paying weeks late because of deposits dates.
3. Discuss payment arrangements with your loan officer or collection officer, not the teller department. They talk to 100 people a day, it’s hard for them convey messages to the loan department.
Call us today, we are here to help.
Paying Bills in December
Christmas season is hard for lots of families who struggle with making regular payments. When you add the expense of Christmas...we start to see lots of “late or no payments”.
Here are 3 suggestions from our Collection Officer.
1. Take advantage of Skip-A-Pay
2. Don’t bank on your tax return to catch you up. ***They may be holding tax returns until February due to the rise in fraudulent tax refunds.
3. Call us if you can’t make a payment or might be late. And always return calls from the collection department!
Shopping around for insurance is WISE, you could save $100’s of dollars a year. Now you can use our website to get FREE insurance quotes from a credit union friendly business. Try CUFG today!
INSURANCE WISDOM from one of our loan officers that was in the business for 36 years.
1. Home – Homes should be insured for Replacement Value. If not, you will be subject to the deductible and the Non Recoverable Depreciation Deduction from the claim settlement. This means less money for repairs.
2. Auto – Paid Off vehicles should maintain a $50 - $100 Comprehensive or “Other than Collision” coverage. This is wise in the event of windshield, hail, or collision with an animal damage, etc. The savings of a $500 deductible is not worth it in the long run.
Members helping members...
Turn your Tax Refund into a Better Credit Score.
Having a higher credit score saves you money on insurance and borrowing money and might affect your employment and rentals. To have a higher score you need to pay bills on time and have a good mix of credit. If you need to build good credit we have a Secured Credit Card program.
The Telco Plus secured card is great for people who have no credit, bad credit, or needs a better mix of credit. Responsible use of a secured card can build a better score. Please consider using some of your TAX REFUND to build a better score. Call one of our Loan Officers or apply online today.
Telco Plus Credit Union – Your financial solution.
Death of a Spouse
As fun as the Holidays are, unfortunately it’s also high month for deaths. As your credit union we would like to help with this stressful situation with some information. Just being prepared will save loved ones lots of time and stress.
1. If you have aging parents or sick loved ones, please make sure accounts have beneficiary(ies). Joint accounts also need updated information. Our accounts have rights of survivorship, this supersede wills.
2. After the event of death, the family will need to bring in a copy of the death certificate. If no beneficiary is listed you will also need a Letters Testamentary showing all of the heirs in the family.
You can speak with anyone in Financial Services to update accounts.
Cyber Monday – the smartest shopping day of the year! Great deals, no crowds, shop in your PJs, AND your gifts come in boxes that can be wrapped!
1. Start early, even before Monday, some specials start at midnight on Thanksgiving
2. Research for the lowest prices, try www.pricegrabber.com, www.dealnews.com, or www.offers.com
3. Look for free shipping or “ship to store” for Free
4. Search for coupon codes, try www.retailmenot.com or www.coupons.com
5. If you can, use your credit card over debt card – if you get hacked you have better fraud protection with a credit card
Telco Plus Credit Union is your financial solutions.
Black Friday Shopping - Are you ready for some Black Friday shopping? WE ARE! Be sure to use your Telco Plus plastic and our tips this week!
8 Black Friday Tips:
1. Start early and do your research
2. Create a shopping list and budget
3. Create a plan based off the ads
4. Create a shopping team – Divide and conquer one store or several stores, especially if they open at the same time! There are usually some good door buster deals!
5. Make sure your finances are in order – cash in hand or card limits are set high enough
6. Be Safe – don’t fight over products, be aware of your surroundings, and leave the stores with other people.
7. Be prepared for long lines – make sure your phone is charged, take an iPad, book, and snacks
8. Go back a few hours after the big rush - some items will be restocked!
If you need us, we are open on Friday and online 24/7!
Get Ready for Christmas...6 TIPS to help you stretch your Christmas money.
1. Set an amount and make a list, aka The Budget!
2. Talk to family and friends to draw names and/or set spending limits, or even make a No Gift Pact.
3. Start early to spread expenses out and be ready for good deals.
4. Sell old items on Facebook, have a garage sale, or sell old gold jewelry for cash.
5. Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and internet discount sites.
6. DIY gifts or buy used items that can be spruced up like go-carts, dirt bikes, or bicycles.
Telco Plus CU we are your financial solution.