Financial Wellness Checkup - Mid-Year Review

As we approach the midpoint of 2024, now is a perfect time to conduct a personal financial wellness checkup. Reflecting on your financial goals and progress can help you stay on track and make necessary adjustments to ensure a prosperous year. Here’s a comprehensive guide to performing a mid-year financial checkup.

Embracing Your Transition to Professional Life with MSUFCU

Congratulations, upcoming graduates! Transitioning from student life to the professional world is an incredible milestone filled with both challenges and opportunities. At MSUFCU, we're dedicated to equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to navigate this exciting new chapter with confidence.

3 Ways to Maximize Your Tax Refund

As tax season approaches, many individuals are either dreading the complicated process of filing or eagerly anticipating the arrival of their refund. Beyond the routine of tax season, receiving your refund each year can provide an opportunity to make strategic decisions that can positively impact your financial future. It can be tempting to spend your refund right away, but if you want to make the most of it, there are steps you should consider that allow your money to grow, earn dividends, and jumpstart your savings journey. 

Beginners Guide to Budgeting

A budget is a tool to help you become financially successful, giving you a way to handle expenses while still enjoying life. With a few simple budgeting principles, you’ll quickly see a difference in your financial management. Here’s how to get started.

Start 2024 Off with the 52-Week Savings Challenge

2024 is upon us, and one of the most common New Year’s resolutions for everyone is to save more and improve your finances in the upcoming year. However, saving money can be challenging, and saving even $500 may sound like a difficult task. So how can you easily save enough money for an emergency fund or meet a savings goal while also not feeling restrained by a budget? There is a strategy you can use to make saving easier this year. 

It’s called the 52-Week Money Challenge. Read on to learn how it works. 

Plan and Prepare: National Preparedness Month

September marks the return of fall weather and sports as well as National Preparedness Month. Disasters and emergencies can happen at any time. Here are our top tips to ensure that you and your family are prepared.

Common Budgeting Mistakes

A budget is a crucial financial tool to use in achieving and maintaining financial stability. It is used to track your spending habits and can help you save for things you need and want without having to suddenly run up your credit card because you ran low on funds. Here are some ways to build a budget and set yourself up for success.

Savings Accounts vs. Certificates

With all the savings options that are out there, from basic accounts to longer-term Certificates, it might seem daunting when you try to choose the best place to put your money.

It all depends on your goals. Are you saving for the short-term – say a few weeks or months – or are you looking longer term as you build your financial future? A closer look at traditional savings accounts and Certificates can help you decide which savings path is best for you.

Your Checklist for Financial Independence

Whether you’re planning to start college soon or in a couple years, it’s never too early to begin building strong money management habits. Taking control of your finances now will help you create a bright financial future long after graduation. Use this checklist as your roadmap toward financial independence.

Hacks for Saving Money While Grocery Shopping

With today’s inflation and rising costs, everyone can benefit by saving a few dollars at the grocery store. Read on to learn some tips on how to save during your next shopping trip. 

Creative Ways to Save Money This Summer

Whether you’re looking to save for a summer vacation or pay down debt, cutting costs doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the way you live. There are many creative ways to save money. Use these tips the next time you’re looking to save money to help you meet your financial goals.

Why You Need an Emergency Fund

No matter what your financial situation is, it’s a good idea to have an emergency fund for those unplanned expenses life throws your way. An emergency fund can help you stay on track financially when the unexpected happens.

Ways To Save More When You Travel

Have you ever taken a trip and spent more than you planned? Traveling can be expensive but it doesn’t have to break you. Here are some helpful tips to make your travels relaxing and cost-effective.

3 Creative Money Saving Habits

Finding new ways to save a little extra each month can be challenging. Thankfully, there are many creative ways to cut costs around the house that will help you grow you savings but won’t force you to dramatically change your lifestyle.

Financial Conversations to Have with Your Partner

When you are planning a future with your partner, many different factors come into play in the equation. But, ask yourselves this, are you having a dialogue about financial matters too?

Apps to Help You Save – Presented by The Lab at MSUFCU

In today’s digital age, it can sometimes be overwhelming to find tools to help you reach your financial goals, from building an emergency fund to saving for your next vehicle. The Lab at MSUFCU allows you to explore trustworthy financial wellness apps and find what works best for you. Here are two apps to help you save.

New Years Financial Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

January always presents an opportunity to make new resolutions to make improvements in our lives. When it comes to your finances, the New Year also is a good time to set goals and strategies. Choosing the right resolutions for you can make all the difference when it comes to improving your financial health. Here are three financial New Year’s resolutions to help you start 2023 off right.

Financial New Year's Resolutions for 2023

2023 is arriving quickly, making now the time to sit down and plan ahead for the new year! Here are a few financial resolutions and tips to consider as you get started.

Budget-Friendly Winter Activities to Entertain Kids at Home

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep kids entertained at home during winter break. If you find yourself in need of some fresh ideas, here are five budget-friendly winter activities to get you started.

How to Prepare for Your Holiday Road Trip

Whether you are taking a vacation or visiting relatives, a road trip might be in your holiday plans. Here’s how to prepare for a holiday road trip and cut down on travel expenses.

How Supporting Holiday Events Can Help You Save Money

Nothing says “holiday spirit” more than attending a local, festive holiday event! Supporting your community’s events is a great way to stay within budget during the holidays; here’s how.

5 Tips for Saving Money on Holiday Expenses

From making Thanksgiving dinner to buying your loved ones gifts, the holidays are generally known for being an expensive time of year. Thankfully, there are many ways to save on holiday expenses this year, starting with these 5 tips.

Debunking Spooky Financial Myths

Ghost stories aren’t the only spooky myths being told this time of year. Below we are debunking four common financial myths.

5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween on a Budget

Celebrating Halloween doesn’t have to cost you. We have 5 tips and tricks to help you keep Halloween festivities under budget.

4 Fall Financial Clean-Up Tips

Autumn is right around the corner and there is no better time than now to give your finances a fall clean-up. Here are some tips to make sure your finances are on track and organized.

Financial Tips When Starting a New Job

Are you starting a new job? An important change like this can stir up many emotions — both excitement and nervousness included. MSUFCU is here to help make your transition as smooth as possible with tips for maintaining your finances through beginning a new job.

Teaching Children Budgeting Basics

Just because school is back in session doesn’t mean your child’s at-home learning has to stop. There are many opportunities for youth to continue learning at home. How to handle and budget money, for example, is a great topic to introduce to children at home.

Financial Education Tools for Different Age Groups

It is never too early – or too late – to learn about money. There are many forms of financial education available to benefit you in whatever stage of life you’re in. Here are a few different financial education tools you might find helpful depending on your age group.

Top 8 Back to School Saving Tips

The new school year is right around the corner and it’s time to start your back-to-school shopping. Follow these 8 budget-friendly tips to help you save on all the essential school supplies this season.

The Best Ways to Save Around the House This Summer

Cutting costs around the house doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the way you live. There are many simple ways to save money this season in your very own home.

3 Steps to Take Before Buying a Home

If you’re in the market to buy a home, there are several factors to consider before putting in an offer. These three steps can help you prepare to better navigate the home buying process and experience. 

Debunking Common Retirement Savings Myths

How’s your retirement planning going? No matter what stage of life you are at, investing in your retirement fund is important. There are many unforeseen challenges that could make retirement planning difficult, including reduced Social Security and Medicare benefits, higher taxes and inflation rates, fewer traditional pension plans, lower market returns, and rising life expectancies and health care costs. Let’s talk about — and debunk — some common retirement planning myths.

Why Financial Wellness Matters

No matter where you are in life, whether newly graduated, buying your first house, or getting closer to retirement, it is important to be knowledgeable about personal finances. When you understand the basics, you set yourself up for success and build a healthy financial future. Here are three strategies to help you be successful with your personal finances.

Celebrate National Small Business Week

This year’s National Small Business Week is celebrated May 2-6. Check out ways you can celebrate your favorite small businesses.

Build Your Rainy-Day Fund

Unexpected expenses can be challenging on many levels, but if you are financially prepared by setting aside savings for a rainy day, you can better weather a storm when it rolls in.

How to Help Your Children Become Financially Savvy Adults

Teaching children about money early in life can help them learn healthy financial habits that will last a lifetime. Children who learn how money works at an early age often make better financial decisions — whether it's budgeting to buy a toy they want or determining which car to buy.

Helping Your Teen Finance the Next Stage in Life

As your children grow older and enter high school, their expenses will grow with them. Buying a car, saving for college, signing up for a camp, or pursuing a hobby all have significant costs associated with them. So, it’s important at this stage of life to teach them how to manage their personal finances in pursuit of their goals and dreams.

Money Lessons from the Pandemic

The pandemic caught many off guard. As the world shut down, uncertainty has been a key theme since. MSUFCU will share what you can learn from this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Why Do Savings Matter?

It’s often much more fun to spend the money you earn rather than to save it. Vacations, home renovations, getting a new phone are fun, but costly. Having a healthy savings account is important and actually makes be able to do fun things easier.

Take The Frugal February Challenge To Save

Need a jump start to get your finances on track in the New Year? Consider starting a Frugal February challenge. Here’s how.

Create a Budget In Three Steps

While there are many methods and tools you can use to establish a budget, it can still be a challenge to stick with it. Here are some steps you can take to learn how much money you have available to spend, and how to decide where to spend it.

How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Quickly

With the holidays behind us, mounting credit card debt can seem overwhelming. Here are some steps to take that can help you pay off your debt quickly.

Financial Resolutions You Can Make and Keep In 2022

Choosing the right resolutions for you can make all the difference when it comes to improving your financial health. Here are three financial New Year’s resolutions to help you start 2022 off right.

Save Money By Refinancing Your Auto Or Home Loan

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your expenses, refinancing your auto or home loan could help drive down your monthly payments and save you money in the long run. Here are the benefits of refinancing.

How to Save During the Holidays

This time of year it can be challenging to stick to a budget with the extra spending for the holidays. Here are five strategies to help you stay on track with your 2021 holiday budget.

Starting A New Job? Consider These Financial Factors.

Accepting a new job offer includes adjusting to a different company, environment, coworkers, culture, and more. This may also include an impact on your finances. If you’re about to start or have recently started a new job, here are some smart money moves to make.

Five Ways to Get Your Finances on Track

Your financial situation includes a combination of your income, expenses, and debt as well as your goals and dreams. To achieve financial wellness, you should have a plan which will help reduce stress and allow you to be more productive. To set yourself up for success, consider following these five steps to improve your financial well-being.

How Saving for the Holidays Now Will Pay Off Later

It may be early to start thinking about the holidays, but waiting until November or December to begin saving for these expenses may result in paying for them — plus interest — into 2022. Here’s how to get started saving now to avoid overspending in a few months.

Three Ways to Rebuild Your Finances After COVID

While the pandemic continues, many people are back to work. But they may still be recovering financially, having used up savings to pay bills or stopped making payments on credit cards and other debt. Here are three ways to rebuild your finances after COVID.

Recently Graduated With a New Job? Time to Budget Like a Rock Star

You have reached financial independence and can now spend money on the things you want. But with this freedom comes questions such as, “Where is all my money going each month?” and “How much should I save?” Creating a budget can help answer these questions and provide a financial framework to help you achieve your goals. Here’s how to get started.

Five Habits of Highly Successful Savers

When planning for your future you should also plan how you will finance it. Understanding how budgeting, saving, and managing debt can help you reach your goals is important. But the key may be adapting habits so you can save as much as possible. Here are five habits of successful savers.

Fraud Prevention Series: 5 Steps to Take to Prevent Identity Theft

Identity theft continues to be a problem in the U.S. With identity scammers targeting relief checks and unemployment benefits in the last year, the Federal Trade Commission recorded a nearly 3,000% increase in identity theft reports over 2019. In this blog, we define identity theft and provide steps to protect yourself.

Five Ways to Create a Budget You Can Live With

What can a budget do for you? A budget helps you manage your spending, track your expenses, and allows you to save more money. It can also help you be more prepared for emergencies, reduce debt, and remain focused on your long-term financial goals. But how do you create a budget you can live with? Here are five ways to do so.

How to Prepare High School Seniors for Financial Independence

If you have a child going off to college soon or in a couple years, being a role model for positive personal financial management is a great way to help him or her be more prepared for financial independence. But there is more you can do. Here are a few lessons to teach your high school student before he or she leaves the nest.

Are Cash Back Credit Cards Worth It?

Cash back cards can help simplify your finances, earn you funds for spending, and allow you to take advantage of extra perks that debit cards don’t offer. But cash back credit cards have both benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your spending habits, another type of card may offer better rewards for your situation or save you more money. Here are some pros and cons to cash back credit cards.

5 Actions That Can Hurt Your Credit Score

A good credit score can mean better lending opportunities, but there are many unexpected ways you may be unknowingly lowering your credit score. Here are five.

5 Financial Steps to Take After College Graduation

If you have recently graduated from college or know someone who has, now is a great time to start building a solid financial foundation. Here are five ways to get started.

3 Tips to Help Your Child Become a Financially Successful Adult

One of the best ways to build a secure financial future for your children is by helping them develop saving skills at an early age. Here’s how to set an example for the next generation by teaching children the importance of saving.

Smart Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Check

If you are in a solid financial place, you may be wondering “what are some smart ways to use my stimulus money?” Here are several ideas to make the most of your stimulus check.

3 Steps You Can Take Today to Get Out of Debt

One of the most satisfying financial decisions you can do for yourself is to create a plan to get out of debt. The problem might be where to start. While it can seem overwhelming, you can take steps to make being debt free a reality.

Savings Is Important Now More Than Ever. Find Out Why.

In 2020, many consumers found it necessary to use savings to help cover expenses, and it became clear why having a financial cushion is important. Clever Real Estate COVID-19 Financial Impact Survey conducted in September 2020 found that 28% of Americans used savings or an emergency fund to cover living expenses.   Now that we’ve been navigating through a pandemic for nearly a year, it’s time to get serious about saving — even if you think you’re in a solid financial position.

Set Financial Goals. Achieve them with a Plan.

Setting financial goals are a common New Year’s resolution. Although following through takes effort, creating a workable plan to achieve them is simple. Begin by setting some financial goals. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Need Some Extra Cash? Refinancing Your Auto Loan Could Be a Place to Start

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your expenses after the holidays, refinancing your auto loan could be a way to drive down your monthly payment and save money. Read on to learn more about the advantages of refinancing your auto loan.

Best Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Check

Although many U.S. consumers have received the second round of stimulus checks, they may not have specific plans for the funds. Because everyone’s financial situation is different, here are some ideas to consider when deciding how to spend your stimulus check.

How to Save More Than $1,300 by the End of 2021

What would you do with an extra $1,378 in your account by this time next year?   Saving money can be challenging and trying to save even $500 may sound difficult. But there is a strategy you can use to make a $1,378 savings easier this year.    It’s called the 52-Week Money Challenge. Read on to learn how it works.

How to Both Pay Off Debt And Save More

Consumers intended to spend just over $1,000 for the holidays in 2019, according to a survey from The National Retail Federation. For those who don’t budget for holiday spending each year, this could mean accumulating debt, and it also could lead to difficulty in trying to pay it off come January. Read on to learn some strategies to pay off holiday debt and save more.

3 Financial Resolutions To Help Make Your 2021 Successful

  Making the right resolutions can make all the difference when it comes to improving your financial health. Here are three financial New Year’s resolutions to help you start 2021 off right.

Getting a Jump Start on Holiday Shopping? Consider Using a Rewards Credit Card

If you are already doing some early holiday shopping, you may also want to use a credit card that offers rewards. Here’s a few things to consider when deciding if using a rewards credit card for holiday purchases may make sense for you.

Hidden Holiday Costs and How to Reduce Them

You may already have a list for the holidays: traditional food, gifts, ornaments, lights, and more. Here are a few expenses you may not have added to your budget and ways to reduce them.

Never Been Able to Save Before? Here's How to Get Started

It’s possible for anyone to begin saving money no matter where you are on your financial journey. Sometimes all it takes is that first step to get things started. Here are some suggestions on how to kick off your savings strategy.

How to Get Your Retirement Savings On Track

Whether your retirement is in 15 years or 45 years, saving for your future is important. Here are some guidelines on how to get your retirement savings on track for your future.

The Secret (and Easy) Way to Build Your Savings

Want to know the secret to increasing your savings? It’s easy: pay yourself first.

How to Clean Up Your Finances

This is a great time of year to clean up your finances and get organized. You will be in a better place to take action on your budget and other financial goals once your finances are in order. Here are some tips to get you started.

September is Disaster Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning. As we all continue to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to become more organized than this September. Learn more about how to be prepared for a disaster.

Give Yourself a Raise: Review Your Retirement Savings

Even if you began saving late or have yet to begin, there are steps you can take to increase your retirement savings. Consider the following tips, which can help you boost your savings — no matter what your current stage of life — and reach your retirement goals.

How to Protect Your Emergency Fund

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, protecting your emergency fund is important. Here are some strategies to keep this crucial fund strong.

Is It Time to Update Your Budget?

Having a budget is a great way to monitor what you spend your money on and keep you on track with your financial goals. But every once in a while, it needs a little TLC. Here are five steps to refreshing your money management system.

3 Financial Red Flags You Should Address

Sometimes life sends you signals your finances aren’t quite where they should be, such as an overdraft fee on an account or a denied credit card application. Here are several common financial red flags you should address — plus easy ways to eliminate them.

Tips for Reducing Debt

If the amount of your debt is overwhelming, there are tools and motivational ideas you can use to reduce it and even eliminate it. Here are some steps to take to start you on the path to being debt free.

5 Low-Cost Ways to Save on Your Electricity Bills This Summer

Keeping your home cool this summer doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some steps you can take — for minimal effort and cost — to reduce your energy bills while also helping to save the planet.

How to Maintain Your Financial Health During COVID-19

Staying healthy is our number one priority, but it’s important to be extra mindful of your financial health — even if your income hasn’t been impacted by COVID-19. Here are some ways to keep your finances in good shape during these unprecedented times.

Preparing for Homeownership: How to Save for a Down Payment Faster

The first steps to take toward homeownership are paying down debt, determining how much money you need, and saving for a down payment. Working toward these goals will help you prepare for purchasing your first home.

5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Stimulus Check

Stimulus checks from the U.S. government have started to be deposited to provide economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic. Eligible taxpayers can expect to automatically receive their one-time payment of up to $1,200, depending on adjusted gross income.

How to Help Children Become Financially Savvy

Teaching children about money early in life can help them learn healthy financial habits that will last a lifetime. Research shows that children who learn how money works, make better financial decisions — whether it's budgeting to buy a toy they want or applying for student loans.

MSUFCU Supports Small Business with Its Local Loyalty Program

MSUFCU’s mission of building dreams together goes far beyond just helping members achieve their financial goals. It also includes supporting small businesses in communities where its employees and members live and work. This helps keep local economies strong, good jobs close to home, and strengthens communities.

Budgeting for New Parents

Becoming a parent is one of the most joyful and exciting times of your life, but it can also be financially overwhelming. You must prepare for everything from buying diapers, to paying for doctor visits and daycare, all while trying to achieve your financial goals and sticking to a budget. Here are a few tips to help build a baby budget into your financial plans.

Create an Emergency Fund
Consider all of your financial needs when trying to prioritize your expenses. It’s important to have an emergency fund with at least three to six months’ worth of expenses. Once you reach this goal, contribute a set amount each month to continue growing your account. Having this fund established will help bring you peace of mind.

Keep Saving for Retirement
Even though you have additional expenses with a new baby, you should continue to contribute to your retirement savings.  According to Investopedia, it's a good idea set aside at least 15% of your income or contribute to a 401(k) if your workplace offers one to help set yourself up financially for retirement.

Reduce Debt
Costs for child care will add up quickly. Work to pay down and pay off credit cards, car loans, student loans or any other debts you may have. These debts will prevent you from focusing on your financial priorities. Paying these down quickly will help you get on the right track and give you more money each month to put toward your savings.

Update Your Budget
When your baby arrives, your household income may be affected. One or both parents may take unpaid maternity leave, or one might stop working. Cutting your expenses or practicing living on less will put more money in your pocket for costs that come with a new child. Getting used to a smaller budget can help you save for daycare and other immediate expenses.

Shop Smart
Most expenses for a new born baby won’t last forever, but new expenses may arise as your child gets older. To help reduce these costs try these options:

• Buy secondhand and shop Mom2Mom sales
• Shop around for different child care providers
• Look for discounts on items such as diapers, formula, and strollers.

Planning goes a long way, even though unforeseen circumstances may arise and you may not be able to contribute to all of your financial priorities every month. Having a baby is a wonderful gift, but there are costs involved. Creating a plan beforehand will help you reach your financial goals and make the transition a little easier.



Ideas for Creating DIY Holiday Gifts

Do it yourself (DIY) gifts are great ways to personalize and save a little money when you are making your list this holiday season. Here are some ideas for simple DIY gifts.