As young people transition from living at home to living on their own, they visualize a life of promise and fulfillment. Along the way, the difficulties of navigating toward that dream often pop up. Some of the most common dilemmas revolve around money and finances. Here’s a few that resonate with many young adults: How am I going to finance my education? How can I buy a car? I haven’t saved much and my rent is due?
The key to successful navigation in these often uncharted waters is to become aware of your situation, develop a good and actionable plan, create a savings fund, use credit wisely, and partner with trusted professionals. We’ve put together some of the best financial advice for young adults Continue reading »
The earlier that you make your financial goals a priority, the better off you will be. However, it is never too late to get started on a detailed financial program. Below we will list a few time-sensitive goals that you may want to consider setting for yourself at each stage of your life.
Financial Priorities for Your Pre-Twenties
If you are prioritizing your financial life in this stage of your growth, then you should congratulate yourself. You have great opportunities here that many other people would gladly turn back the clock for. You have the ability to take financial risks that may pay off a great deal; at the same time, you can also begin a conservative program of saving and safe investments that will help to ensure your financial stability later on in life. Most people your age will just be starting out in the workforce. If you have a job that allows you to save any money at all, begin to save it with the goal of removing yourself from the so-called “rat race” – that is, being in a position where you have to trade your time for an income stream.You want to bolster a savings account that can serve as an investment core – from these savings, you will be able to secure lines of credit for large asset purchases such as real estate and business. You will also be able to invest in securities and businesses that will give you dividends and other passive income streams. In short, you will building a savings account that will eventually work for you. Continue reading »
School loans, car payments, credit cards… the list of potential debt areas is pretty extensive. We’re all aware of the benefits of paying off debt, and if you’re like me, you probably get a kick out of paying a little extra or finally wiping out a credit card or loan from your list of monthly bills.
So what’s the hack? In order to get the best bang for your buck, follow these 2 steps: 1. Always make your monthly payments. Pay on time to avoid late fees, and where possible, keep credit cards as close to a $0 balance as possible. 2. When you have the freedom to do so, pay down your HIGHEST INTEREST debt first. Focusing on the debt that’s costing you the most money over time will save you money in the long run. Don’t pay above and beyond the required amounts into your other loans.
Interested in learning more about managing your finances? Why not give us a call at 409.276.2525 or come in and visit with a friendly Eastex representative today!
Eastex Credit Union brings its members the first Interactive Teller Machine in Southeast Texas.
What is an ITM?
ITM stands for Interactive Teller Machine. An ITM is innovative technology that offers the convenience of self-service transactions with the personal touch of a teller. Members can receive the same devoted, consistent service, with the efficiency of a machine.
Eastex CU is proud to be the first in our area to provide this convenient service to our membership.
Our New Interactive Teller Machines, will be called “Connect on the Go” and will be installed and ready for use beginning October 2015. The locations will be at 525 Hwy 62 in Buna and Hwy 69 & Maplewood in Kountze… While these ITMs look like an ATM machine, they allow you to have a real-time, face-to-face conversation with an Eastex CU Member Service Representative (MSR) at the machine. This MSR can guide you through every step of your transaction and answer any questions you may have about your account.
Using a two-way video, built-in speakers and a microphone, the Eastex CU Connect on the GO allows you and the MSR to interact as if you were speaking in person. All transactions are safe, private and secure. Most importantly, you can complete almost any transaction that you can with an MSR in our lobby; make deposits, withdrawals, transfers, loan payments, cash checks and more.
Impatient consumers are led by their hearts and have trouble avoiding impulse spending.
We all know that patience is a powerful virtue. It helps us get ahead in our careers, be better parents and partners, and avoid unnecessary conflict in nearly every area of life. Patience can even save us money. Here are eight examples of how having a little patience can help your budget:
1. You Have Time to Check Consumer Reviews
Informed consumers are smart consumers. Patience gives buyers a chance to compare features and prices, read online consumer reviews, explore product ratings on non-profit sites like Consumer Reports, and get the very best deal possible. It may sound cynical, but some manufacturers have built their livelihoods on selling junk to uninformed “gotta-have-it-now” buyers. Don’t be one of them.
2. You Have Time to Decide If You Really Need It
Impatient consumers are led by their hearts and have trouble avoiding impulse spending. How many times have you purchased an item on impulse only to later ask yourself “What was I thinking?” Being patient gives you time to consider (and reconsider) if you truly need what you’re tempted to buy.
3. You Can Wait for a Sale
Don’t you relish that moment when the stars align and something you really want or need goes on sale? Sadly, impatient folks never get to experience that natural high. They simply can’t wait and their impatience costs them cold hard cash.
As I reflect back on my years in high school and even college, one thing has become readily apparent: learning financial management wasn’t part of the plan.
Admittedly, the constraints on the education system these days are tremendous. Veritably every parent has an idea of what their child should be learning in school. But, when push comes to shove, America’s kids are woefully unprepared for the real world when they graduate with respect to their financial knowledge.
A financial literacy survey conducted by the Financial Industry Regulation Authority, or FINRA, that was released last year demonstrates just how much trouble our nation’s young adults could be in when it comes to their finances. The five-question survey covered relatively basic topics such as interest, savings, and investments. A passing score was considered four or five questions out of five answered correctly. Less than a quarter of millennials aged 18 to 34 passed.
Arguably a lot of these issues could be solved if they taught basic life skills in school as it relates to our everyday finances. Here are six things that I should have learned when I was in school, but didn’t until after I graduated and sought the answers out for myself.
1. How to balance a budget In terms of basic money management skills, nothing is more critical than understanding your cash flow. Most people have a pretty good bead on how much money is coming in via paychecks, but when you ask them where their money went by the end of the pay period you’re liable to get a shoulder shrug.
Students in school should be taught early and often about the basics of keeping a record of their financial transactions. This means recording cash flow into and out of a checking account, and understanding how to properly formulate a budget. Operating on a budget will teach critical money management skills that should allow students to save money and not live paycheck to paycheck — something that could come in handy if they graduate with student loan debt or don’t land their dream job right out of high school or college.
Keeping an emergency fund is a very good idea. Unexpected things are always going to crop up whether it’s a car repair, unforeseen medical expenses or the sudden desire for a weekend away. Some people just stash cash in a cookie jar or under the mattress, but these are not the best places to keep money, for several reasons. Keeping emergency money in cash means that you are not earning any interest on your funds. In addition, if your home is burglarized or there is a flood or fire, your money is just gone and you have no recourse to recover it.
Ideas for Keeping Cash at Home
Luckily, you have options for taking care of your emergency savings. If you still want to keep your money at home, disguise is the way to go. If you have a fish tank that is large, get a waterproof, solid colored jar. To be on the safe side, put your money in a plastic baggie, then inside the jar and hide behind the tank filter or among the vegetation. You could also get a waterproof envelope and put the money inside and lay it on the bottom of the tank, under the gravel.
For book lovers, consider buying a “book safe” that looks like an ordinary book and can be concealed among others on the bookshelf but actually is a hiding place for money and valuables. Of course, you could also just go with a regular safe. To prevent a safe being stolen, consider purchasing a model that is very heavy and can be bolted to the floor.
Take your cash outside. If you have room, consider burying your emergency fund in a small lockbox in your yard or garden. Just don’t forget where you buried it! Also, put money in a plastic bag or wrap before putting it in the box for extra protection from the elements.
This is a classic way to store your money, and for good reason. Banks insure your funds up to a certain amount, and you are guaranteed to get at least what you put in back out when you want your money. Depending on the interest rate and how long you keep money in the account, you will probably get back more than what you put in. It’s simple to open a savings account, and you can link it to your checking account if desired.
We could all use a hand with our finances from time to time, and it’s never too late to change the way you budget or spend for the better. At Eastex it’s our goal to help you manage your finances and achieve financial security through smart financial choices.
A little bit goes a long way
Not every financial decision needs to be a total paradigm shift or complete change of lifestyle… Often a few subtle changes can add up to a very marked improvement over the course of time. That’s where this blog post series comes in to play. Some of our “Finance Hacks” may be more dramatic, but many of them will be small, easily implemented changes to the way you approach your finances on a day to day basis.
Eastex Credit Union now offers Pay By Phone. This service allows you to take care of many expenses with one call – such as paying your Auto Loans, Visa Credit Card Payments or Depositing Money into your account from another institution via ACH/Debit/Credit Card for a low fee of only $15/per transaction.
To start making payments contact us at:
Call Center – 409.276.2525
Toll Free – 866.445.9622
Not only will you have peace of mind regarding the service’s safety, you’ll benefit so much that paying your loan notes will almost be enjoyable:
Be more secure with Pay By Phone
Make payments from anywhere by simply calling into our Call Center
Eastex Credit Union is now offering Mobile Check Deposit. We understand just how busy life can be and that is why we are trying to make things simple and easy for you! Now you can make check deposits anytime, anywhere. The best part is, it is FREE! All you need is a smart phone and our Eastex Credit Union App.
This new feature is secure, easy to use and convenient. Just point, click and deposit… It’s that simple!
You can contact a friendly representative at 409.276.2525 for any questions concerning the app or with help logging in.
Sign into your account through our mobile app under the “Accounts” option.
Choose the “Mobile Deposit” button from the right hand menu.
Enter all required information (account you would like to deposit funds in, amount of check and email).
Capture the front and back of the check by pressing the “Capture Image” tabs and choosing “Yes: Use” after each capture. (Please sign the back of the check and include the words “Mobile Deposit” under your signature along with the account number you wish to deposit the check into.)
Then choose to deposit the funds by pressing the “Submit” button.
Once the image has been submitted you will receive an email showing that your check is pending. Once it is accepted you will receive another email that the transaction was submitted. You will be able to view your “Account Balance” & “History” to confirm your funds were deposited into your account.
If for any reason your check was held, you will receive a notification by email once it has been reviewed.
If your Eastex CU Visa debit card has been lost/stolen or suspected of fraudulent activity, CANCEL YOUR CARD immediately. During business hours call 409-276-2525. After business hours call 1-888-263-3370.
*Annual Percentage Rate. Rates based are based on creditworthiness. Contact credit union for details.
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