How to Avoid Higher Utility Costs During the Summer Heat



Summer activities can be costly, and the last thing you want to do is spend your vacation funds on electricity bills. Don’t let the summer heat put a strain on your wallet. With these tips, you’ll be able to save money on utility costs while helping to conserve energy, and still get to enjoy your summer plans!

How Creating a Budget Can Get You What You Really Want



A budget can help you achieve your financial goals by showing you exactly where your money goes each month, and the great news is it’s never too late to start! Spenders and savers alike can benefit from creating a budget!

Step One: How much do you earn and spend?
The first thing to do when creating a budget is to calculate your monthly expenses and income. Determine your average expenses, referring to your previous financial statements and receipts. It’s always great if you plan ahead. Perhaps you’re in the market to purchase a new furnace or a set of winter tires.  Don’t forget to leave room for unexpected bills, such as home or auto repairs. You also should determine how much money you are bringing in per pay period.

Step Two: Ask yourself a few questions
Set realistic goals. Ask yourself a series of questions to determine how you can allocate your funds when setting up your budget. Why do you want to budget? Are you saving for something special? Are you paying off a credit card? Do you have short or long term goals? It’s also helpful to identify your needs versus wants.

Step Three: Time to prioritize
Now, it’s time to create your budget. When you add up your expenses, make sure you are not spending more than your monthly income. Setting spending and saving priorities for each paycheck can help ensure you remain financially safe and secure.

Seek Guidance: We’re here to help!
Creating a realistic budget and sticking to it can be hard at first. If you need help deciding how to create a budget that works, there are a variety of free online budget calculators and resources. For example, Mint, the free online money manager, creates budgets based on your spending habits. MSUFCU also offers free seminars and events to help you achieve financial success!

3 Steps to Starting an Emergency Fund



When emergencies strike, are you prepared? Can you cover the expenses that life unexpectedly might throw at you? It is always a good idea to start saving for emergencies if you haven’t started already.  Here are some steps to follow when getting started.

You Have Graduated! Congratulations! What's Next?



Graduation is a major turning point in your life. The relationships you build, the skills you acquire, and how much you learn from the mistakes you make will help form the kind of professional you will be and the professional options available to you.

You Can Make a Difference: How to Encourage Savings Habits



Passing financial knowledge will teach others important lessons in responsibility and how to make sound financial decisions. Here are some ways to start.

It's Not Too Late For One More Tax Deduction: IRA Contribution



Looking for a last minute tax deduction? Consider an IRA contribution. With only 53% of working-age families participating in retirement plans, according to a 2013 report from the Economic Policy Institute, it’s important to save as much as you can. Take advantage of your tax deductions by contributing to an IRA — boosting your retirement savings.

3 Pointers for Ballin' on a Budget



Here at MSUFCU, we LOVE March Madness. In fact, each year, hundreds of employees compete in our all-company bracket challenge to celebrate the tournament. Do we even need to mention we have a lot of Spartan fans here? 

While only one team can walk away with the championship title, everyone can benefit from applying the traits and behaviors that made it possible for these athletes to make it to the tournament. Trying get rid of debt? Saving up for a rainy-day fund? Here are three takeaways we’ve learned from March Madness athletes to create a positive financial future for yourself.

A Valentine for Our Members



It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air. At MSUFCU, we love helping our members. For the past 81 years, we have provided financial opportunities to help them make their dreams come true. Here are just some of the ways we show love to our members.

How to Follow a Certificate Ladder to Reach Your Savings Goals



Did you make building your savings a 2019 New Year’s resolution? Making a savings goal is not only one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, it’s an important key to financial success. If you’re looking to get more out of your savings goals, laddering Certificates is a great way to effectively reach your goals.

Your Savings Plan for 2019: 10 Ways to Save Money and Reduce Costs At The Same Time



Make 2019 your year to get ahead in your savings goals. Follow these tips to set yourself up for success in the coming year by starting a savings plan and reducing costs to save even more.

4 Fresh Ideas for Redesigning on a Dime



Has the overwhelming need for change ever pulsed through your veins? Or has the less romantic realization that the paint is beginning to chip off the walls, inspired your next DIY project? Either way, this post is for the dreamers and the doers. While I believe that restlessness inspires creativity, I’ve concluded that home redesign projects should be more of a plan and less of a 2:00 a.m. epiphany.

How Meal Prepping Can Save You Time and Money



I always thought meal prepping was a good idea to save money and eat healthier, but I also believed it was time-consuming and I never really got into the habit. After many nights of coming home from work hungry and ready to eat dinner, but too tired to make it, I found that meal planning can actually save you time and money, and you can more easily make sure you are eating well-balanced meals.

How to Break Up with Your Subscriptions



As we enter the season of heart-shaped chocolates and Mylar balloons, an unavoidable anxiety sinks in the stomachs of those who realize their relationships are coming to an end. With sweaty palms and shaky hands, I whisper, “I love you, I’m just not in love with you,” as I click the Cancel Subscription button. Yes, the time has come. I’m breaking up with my subscriptions. Ending a subscription service isn’t easy. Nevertheless, these services can often chip away at budgets and detract from long-term savings goals. To take a step toward a more positive financial future, consider following this three-step breakup process.

It's a New Year for Money Resolutions. How Much Can You Save in 52 Weeks?



New year. New resolutions. Or maybe your resolution is the same one you made last year. Either way, if you’re looking to boost your savings this year, you’ve come to the right place. In 2016 and 2017, we kicked off the 52-Week Savings Challenge, in which you increased your savings by $1 each week, growing your savings by $1,378 at the end of the year. Based on previous experience, this challenge becomes quite tricky in the second half of the year when your weekly contributions grow to $30, $40, and $50 or more a week! 

It doesn’t matter how you save. It matters that you’re saving. Take a look at these savings ideas to help reach your 2018 goals.

6 Sweet Ways to Save This Summer



Are your utility bills climbing with all of this summer heat? Are you spending too much on summertime adventures and activities? Check out these six ways to help you easily save money and still have fun this summer!

Find Out If Your Finances Are In Good Shape



As many of us aim to be physically and emotionally healthy, we may lose sight on how important our financial health is to have a comfortable lifestyle. Good financial health is much more than just budgeting and saving — every financial decision you make has an impact on your financial health today and in the future. Determine if your finances are in good shape by asking yourself these five questions.

52-Week Challenge Wrap Up



Well, we’re almost done with the year, which means the 52-Week Savings Challenge is coming to a close.  How did it go for you? For me, overall, it went well, but I did need to reassess my money management style as the weekly savings amount grew. But, I’m still on track for success (so far).

How Much is Your Coffee Really Worth?



Did you know September 29 is National Coffee Day? Millions of Americans drink coffee every day, in fact, more than 80% of American adults drink coffee! No wonder there is a holiday to celebrate the beverage many pour into their cups first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, many times before the coffee is being poured into your cup, your money is draining out of your wallet. If you can’t go without a daily cup of Joe, consider finding ways to cut down on your coffee expenditures.

Find Financial Freedom This Fall



Happy first day of autumn! After summer vacations have ended, back-to-school shopping is done, and student loan payments begin to arrive, this season is a great time to start freeing yourself from the financial burden you may be feeling from large credit card or loan balances.
 
Paying off loans is not always easy, but there are little things you can do to pay off your debt without making huge financial sacrifices. Here are some tips to help you find financial freedom this fall.

20 Free Things You Can Still Do This Summer in Michigan



As August quickly approaches, we try to prepare ourselves for the last days of summer. Before the summer fades, weekends become filled with football, and Halloween decorations begin lining store aisles, here are 20 things you can still do to make the most of the warm, sunny days, as well as the rainy ones.

52-Week Challenge Mid-Year Check-in



July 1 marks the mid-point of the year. Can you believe it? We’re halfway through 2016!

Spring Cleaning Can Save (or Even Make) You Money



Spring is my favorite time to clean out my home! I’m not alone: spring cleaning is extremely popular, especially after Michigan winters. The stores are filled with fun new organizational items and every magazine and website is telling you their perfect way to spring clean your life. Before you go out and spend a lot of money on new containers and cleaning products, consider these ways spring cleaning can actually save (or make) you money.

Starting an Emergency Fund



Are you prepared for a financial emergency? A recent survey showed that 40% of respondents has an unexpected expense in 2015. If you own a car or house or have children or pets, you know you can’t plan for every expense. Keep reading for tips on building your own emergency fund.

How Should I Be Saving for My Child's Education?



College is getting more and more expensive every year. If you have children and want to help pay for college, the best thing to do is start as soon as possible. But what is the best way to save? Let’s take a look at a few different plans you can choose.

Individual Retirement Accounts and Your Taxes



Do you think about your retirement on a daily basis? I know I don't. Retirement seems so far away for me. It’s easy to just contribute to a 401(k) at work and forget about it, but there are other options to explore. Let’s talk about one of those options today: an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).

2016 Money Resolutions: Building Your Savings



January is a great time to start building new habits to make 2016 the best year yet. A lot of people make New Year’s resolutions about money. Today and next Thursday I’ll be talking about the two most common money resolutions: saving money and reducing debt.

Take the 52-Week Savings Challenge



Saving just a little bit every week can make a huge difference! Take the 52-Week Savings Challenge in 2016 and see your small savings add up to over $1,300 in a year.

Plan Ahead for 2016: Savings



It’s almost time to ring in the new year! 2015 has gone by so fast, and I know there were a few expenses that caught me off guard this year. I’m ready to start fresh in 2016 armed with a savings plan so I am ready for anything. Here’s how I’m preparing.

6 Easy Tips to Save Money on Your Utilities This Winter



With the holidays right around the corner, it feels like I have already blown my December budget. When I spend more in one area, I look for ways to save in others. One of the ways I try to cut down on costs in the winter is by cutting costs on my heat and electric bill. Below are some cool tips to keep your home warm for less!

5 Tips for Frugal Holiday Cheer (Free Download)



If you're exchanging gifts this season, it’s never too early to start planning your shopping list. I know some people who plan their gifts so far in advance that they are done shopping in July! I’m not that organized, so I usually start planning right around Halloween. If I don’t plan out my gifts, I end up spending way too much money on just a few things.  This year, I’m using these 5 tips (and this downloadable budget planner (PDF 454 KB)) to stretch my budget.

www.msufcu.org
Michigan State University Federal Credit Union savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 by the NCUA and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. APR is Annual Percentage Rate. APY is Annual Percentage Yield. View our Privacy Policy and read our disclaimer regarding links to other sites. Copyright © 2019 Michigan State University Federal Credit Union. All Rights Reserved.