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.

When You Support Local Businesses, You Support the Local Economy. Here’s How You Can Make a Difference



You’ve heard the statement: Buy local, eat local. But what is the impact of shopping at local, small businesses? Here is why supporting community businesses is important and worth encouraging others to do so, too.

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.

The Lab at MSUFCU Helps Members Achieve Financial Success



To replicate the interaction a member might have with an MSUFCU employee through a digital channel, The Lab at MSUFCU was established to identify technologies and partner with fintechs to produce viable apps. Learn more about The Lab and the innovative solutions that have been introduced to help employees and members achieve financial success.

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.

Providing Innovative Solutions for Members Resulted in The Lab at MSUFCU



With more MSUFCU members interacting with the Credit Union digitally, we’ve created additional ways to connect beyond the mobile app through The Lab at MSUFCU. Established in 2020, The Lab team identifies, creates, and executes opportunities for innovation at the Credit Union. By devoting resources to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset, collaborative ideas are generated for pilot programs and eventually introduced as new products and services for members and employees.

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.

Fraud Prevention Series: 5 Tips to Avoiding Online Shopping Fraud



Online shopping is fun, but does not always go as planned. In 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Internet Crime Complaint Center received 791,790 complaints from the American public including reported losses of more than $4.1 billion, according to its annual report. This was a 69% increase in the number of complaints over 2019. Here are five ways to protect yourself from online shopping fraud.

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.

It Might Be Time to Change Financial Institutions; Here’s How



There are many reasons for wanting a new financial institution, such as paying less fees, having digital account management options, or accessing more in-network ATMs. When selecting a new financial institution, these steps can help make the transition a smooth one. Here’s where to start.

If Finances are Tight, Here’s What to Pay First



If you are having financial difficulties, it may become challenging to pay all of your monthly bills. While everyone’s financial situation is different, here are general guidelines for how to prioritize payments.

Fraud Prevention Series: Recent Graduate? What’s Changed with Your Financial Account



When entering college, many students open a free student checking account with a local financial institution, but often lose those benefits upon graduation. This can lead to fees and overdrafts. If your current financial institution charges account fees now that you’re out of college, it’s time to start shopping for a new checking account. Here is what to look for.

Selling Your Home? Making Small Improvements Can Add to Resale Value



If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, it may be a good idea to make a few small improvements before listing it. Some improvements add resale value, while others are not worth the cost or effort. Here are some home improvements that would be worth your time and some that wouldn’t.

Watching a Financial TikTok Video? Why Doing Your Own Research Matters



You can learn a lot from TikTok, such as popular dance moves, the latest cocktail creations, and how to make hot cocoa bombs. You may also see unsubstantiated financial information and advice from unreliable sources. Just because Financial TikTok (also known as “FinTok”) videos happen to go viral, doesn’t mean that they are the best (or the only) source of financial information you should rely on to make financial decisions. Here are some guidelines to viewing FinTok videos.

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.

Become a Car Buying Expert: 5 Tips to Getting the Most Car for Your Money



Ready to hit the road this summer? If you are in need of a car, you can prepare yourself for the purchasing process with these five tips.

Fraud Prevention Series: Your Password May Be One of the Weakest at Protecting Your Information



Every year fraudsters are successful in gaining access to consumers’ personal information, costing millions of dollars in losses. Unfortunately, many of these hacks are successful because of weak passwords.

Make a Difference in Your Community By Supporting Small Businesses; Here’s How



National Small Business Week, May 2-8, 2021, is a celebration and appreciation of small businesses. It highlights the role they play in the U.S. economy with an emphasis on shopping local and supporting entrepreneurs. Here are some ways you can support local businesses and why it matters.

Video Tellers Provide Face-to-Face Account Access from Comfort of Your Vehicle



As you look for more efficiency and flexibility from your financial institution, consider using a video teller to receive personalized-service on the go. Here are ways video tellers are making account management quick and easy.

Financial Account Alerts You Should Activate Today



Monitoring your financial accounts can help you in many ways, including keeping track of your spending, and alerting you to possible fraud. Here are some eAlerts you should activate to help automatically track your accounts.

Fraud Prevention Series: How to Avoid the Latest COVID-19 Scams



According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as of March 16, 2021, more than 388,000 complaints related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments have been reported, costing consumers $372.6 million.

Thinking of Adopting a Pet? Consider the Costs First



National Pet Day is April 11! As many as 68% of U.S. households own a pet, and you may be looking to become one of them. Before adopting a pet, evaluate your financial situation to ensure you can afford to take care of your pet’s needs.

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.

Buying a car? Here’s how to be more prepared to hit the road.



If you are thinking about buying a car, there are many things to take into consideration, such as what type of car you can afford, where to shop for your car, and what financing you will qualify for. There are also pitfalls you should avoid in the process to make sure you get the best deal you can. Here are a few to consider.

Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Your Credit Score



Having a good credit score has many benefits, including helping you receive competitive interest rates for cars loans, credit card offers, insurance premiums, mortgages, and more. Maintaining a high credit score is worth the effort because it can save you money. Here are a few tips to improve your score.

Fraud Prevention Series: COVID-19 Scams Continue to Happen. Here's How to Protect Yourself



As the pandemic continues to change everyday life, scammers remain hard at work trying to access personal information and gain access to financial accounts. Here are some ways to protect yourself from ongoing COVID-19 fraud.

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.

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.

How to Set and Stick to a Budget



We are continuing our financial New Year’s resolutions discussion with how to set up and stick to a budget. Read on to learn some tips to create and stick to a budget.

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.

Be Aware of a New Online Scam: E-Skimming



Although the increased use of credit and debit cards with chip technology has resulted in a decrease in fraudulent purchases, this technology offers no protection for online purchases. A newer and expanding threat to online shopping known as E-Skimming is occurring more often. Here is more information about E-Skimming and some ways to protect yourself from this latest form of fraud.

Three Fraud Trends to Watch for this Holiday Season



Due to the ongoing coronavirus, holiday shopping will look different this year. However, fraudsters are poised to take advantage of consumers who may be more distracted dealing with unprecedented change.

Five Myths about Credit Cards



A good credit score can help you do more than be approved for a credit card, auto loan, or mortgage. Credit scores demonstrate your bill and debt paying history to those who provide services or loan you money. Learn more about credit scores and five myths about credit cards.

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.

On-The-Go Tips to Keep Your Accounts Safe



When you are out and about, you should not need to worry about security for your financial accounts. Here some ways to keep your accounts safe when you are on the go.

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.

Three Ways to Improve Your Credit Score



Having a strong credit score can mean saving money, earning perks, and more. It is considered by lenders before you are approved for a loan. Employers and landlords may also check your score before deciding to hire you or rent you an apartment. If you want to improve your credit score, here are three steps to take.

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.

Value of Using a Digital Wallet



Our smart phones can allow us to make safer, contactless purchases using digital wallets, eliminating the need to use a physical credit card and reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Learn more about using digital wallets as a way to make purchases with minimum exposure.

Protecting and Building Your Credit in 2020



As the economy gradually continues to reopen, consumers’ credit will play an important role in the recovery. Here are some strategies to protect and build your credit in 2020.

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.

Video Chat Increases Account Access for Members



During these times of social distancing, digital technology has made it possible for consumers to continue interacting with each other as well as the organizations they do business with. For example, video chat has allowed financial institutions to help maintain and improve a personal connection with their members. Learn more about how video chat is changing the way consumers are accessing their financial accounts.

Video Tellers: Enhancing Member Service and Engagement



Video Tellers are becoming a more common part of many financial institutions’ digital portfolios. With this technology, members can quickly and easily access their funds on-the-go. Learn more about the services Video Tellers provide.

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.

We’re In This Together: Helping Our Members Through COVID-19



Communities worldwide are struggling with the temporary closing of businesses, schools and public facilities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As many people continue to cope with these drastic developments, the Credit Union is here to help its members during this time of uncertainty.

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.

Ready for a New Home? Here Are Some Factors to Consider First



With spring right around the corner, it’s a good time to begin your house search if you’re in the market. But, there are many factors to consider when looking for a home. Here are some tips to help get you started on your search.

Taking an Entrepreneurial Leap? Here's What to Look for in a Business Loan



Have a new idea you would like to put into action? You may need some help to get your idea off the ground. Once you create a functional plan, applying for a business loan could be your next step.

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.

 


 

5 Ways to Start the New Year on the Right Financial Track



January is a great time to start something new. When it comes to your finances, the New Year also is a good time to set goals and strategies. Here are five ways to help you start 2020 on the right financial track:

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.

Break a Sweat, Not Your Budget



Being healthy shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Gym memberships, protein powder, and workout accessories can be useful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but the price you pay for them add up quickly. Luckily, there are several ways you can focus on your fitness while being friendly to your wallet.

How to Start Financial Management Conversations with Kids



It’s never too early to start teaching kids about money. Good financial management skills learned at an early age can have a lasting impact on the rest of a child’s life. Educating your children about financial wellness will help them build healthy spending habits for the future.

4 Ways to Find Financial Freedom



Paying off loans and credit cards can take a long time and often feels like the biggest financial burden. However, if you prioritize your debt and stay motivated, you may be able to be debt free sooner than later. Here are four debt payoff methods to consider when planning your journey to financial freedom.

The Best Financial Advice Credit Union Employees Received From Dads



In celebration of Father’s Day, we asked Credit Union employees to share the best financial advice they’ve received from the dads in their lives. Here’s what they had to say.

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.

5 Ways To Eliminate Travel Fees



As the travel industry continues to tack on fees to nickel and dime your every move, we’ve come up with five fees the jetsetters out there could avoid. While a dollar or two here and there may not seem like a big deal, the charges add up overtime. Spring Break is just around the corner, so take a look at these tips to eliminate travel fees.

Tax-planning tips for 2019



It is January 2019, and although it may seem too early to start thinking about filing your taxes, the process may feel more complicated this year because of the multiple changes to tax rules that have gone into effect.

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.

Spring Clean Your Finances



Spring is finally in the forecast in Michigan (at least a little bit). I don’t know about you, but I’m most motivated in the spring. The sun and warmth and melting snow makes me ready for anything. But, there’s definitely still some cold weather ahead. Why not take a cloudy afternoon or evening and spring clean your finances?

Achieve Financial Success with These Five Traits of Olympic Athletes



Have you been watching the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang? It’s inspiring to see the world’s best athletes achieve their dreams. Whether I’m watching first-time Olympians or three-time Gold medalists, I’ve noticed we can learn a lot from these athletes to help us achieve success in many aspects of our lives, including our financial goals. But don’t worry! Athletic ability is not one of the Olympic traits you need for a successful financial future. It’s about the mindset they have to accomplish their goals. Take a look at these traits, practice them, and you’ll be on the right path to financial success.

A Smart Shopper's Guide to Mobile Pay



I consider myself to be quite trendy, but I’m also that friend who regularly uses checks to pay bills. I am aware that there are plenty of innovative payment options available, but something about paper checks seems so irresistibly simple. The intangibility of online money transfers, amongst a myriad of mobile apps, just seems untrustworthy to me. With this wave of skepticism, I set out to learn about the latest trend in financial services: mobile wallets.

6 Finance Terms You Need to Know



Do you remember your first financial milestone? Whether it was opening a checking account or buying your first car, the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies successful financial planning is unparalleled. As time goes on, the way we manage our money becomes increasingly important. Our purchases and investments become larger, and greatly shape our financial future.

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.

2017 Money Resolutions: Creating a Budget and Sticking to It



It’s the beginning of a new year, which means, it’s time for more money resolutions! This year, I am going to share how to make a budget that works best for you.

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.

Student Loans: Managing Your Refund Check



A new semester is approaching, which means student loans are being processed by colleges and student refund checks will soon be disbursed. If you’re a student receiving financial aid, check out this post to understand if you’re handling your refund money wisely.

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!

Student Loans: How Do I Pay Them Back?



If you just received your college diploma, you are most likely among the many graduates with tens of thousands of dollars in federal student loan debt. That means in about six short months, whether you have a job or not, you’ll have to start making repayments. As the average 2016 graduate with debt has about $37,000 in student loan debt, it is understandable that you’re stressed—that much debt is hard to fathom! Before you have a breakdown, or even if you already did, know that there are many options to give you flexibility when repaying your loans. Let’s take a look at a few of your possibilities.

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.

Tax Time: What Should I Do with My Tax Return?



The word “taxes” strikes fear into a lot of people. But that doesn’t have to be you! Between now and Tax Day, we’ll be covering some common tax questions we get at the Credit Union, including options for IRAs. But first, let’s talk about something fun: tax returns.

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.