Jess

Recent Posts

Financial Fitness Friday: Happy Birthday, USA!

Posted by Jess

Jul 4, 2014 12:00:00 PM

Happy Fourth of July! While I’m busy burning hamburgers, bathing in sunshine and watching my kiddos chase each other around the yard today, I hope you’re enjoying America’s birthday in your own favorite way. July 4th is possibly my favorite day of summer. It’s a great time to enjoy what matters most: good food, family and friendship – plus the celebration of the nation we’ve built together.

While I could go into a long list of things I’m grateful for today, I’ll keep it focused on thankfulness for financial freedom. While at times I may feel constrained by my monthly bills, debt load or income, we all have the freedom to make positive financial changes in our lives. For example – how cool is it that you have the power to pick and choose your financial institution, and that banks and credit unions want to earn your business? I love knowing that my credit union cares about my goals (and progress toward them), because this gives me the freedom to enjoy so many other areas of life.

I watched a pretty interesting re-run of “Undercover Boss” the other day (don’t judge), and a gas station worker on the show was talking about how he moved his family to America because

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: Give More to Get More!

Posted by Jess

Jun 27, 2014 11:25:29 AM

I visit the grocery store nearly every single day, and each day in the checkout line, I’m asked if I’d like to contribute to a charitable cause. Despite my frequent visits, I still feel caught off guard. Oh! A donation? I hadn’t really planned for that. I see the customers in front of me feeling surprised and unsure as well, and this often results in a “No, not today” response. However, there are lots of social and financial benefits to GIVING, so let’s change that habit!

First, most of the charitable causes that Alaskans fundraise for are local. This means the money stays in your area, benefits your friends and neighbors, and thereby benefits you. Healthier family structures and happier people mean a more productive community. WIN! By donating a few pennies toward positive community change, we’re saving money on the long-term effects (and costs) of distress amid our fellow Alaskans.

Charitable donations are also good for your tax return! I know, it’s June – so who wants to think about taxes? But each penny you put toward charity today could save you money with the IRS next April. Just something to think about. I mean, who doesn’t want a bigger tax return?

Some charitable causes hit closer to home than others. Personally, I find it easier to donate toward causes that

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: How Do You Spend Your Time?

Posted by Jess

Jun 20, 2014 2:07:00 PM

The summer solstice is almost here! If you’re like most Alaskans, you’ve been grocery shopping and mowing your lawn in the wee hours these days, all out of whack by the midnight sun. I’m so PRODUCTIVE this time of year! Who needs coffee with this much Vitamin D?!

Yeah, I still need coffee. But late at night, I feel amazing! My favorite part of solstice time is 

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: When Bad Luck Beats You

Posted by Jess

Jun 13, 2014 12:48:00 PM

My Friday the 13th came early this week. Yep. Yesterday, my three year old got hold of a permanent marker and graffiti-ed our car’s interior! AHHHHHHH! Bad, bad-bad luck.

Maybe you’ve laughed at online snapshots of toddler’s who color their baby siblings. Maybe you’ve even gotten a kick out of friend’s children who take crayons to their bedroom walls. Well, let me tell you – when it’s permanent marker on your vehicle’s upholstery, it’s not so funny.

OK, it’s a little bit funny.

Here’s the thing about bad luck. It doesn’t fall out of the clear blue sky! Mine, for instance,

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: My Money Love Story

Posted by Jess

Jun 6, 2014 12:27:30 PM

I met my husband ten years ago, when I was a green, small town girl just visiting home for summer break from college. Dan was living the bachelor life, which meant frozen dinners, dirty socks, and not knowing how to monitor his bank account. He spent his money like a free bird each month, and when his card was finally declined, he lived on Ramen noodles until payday!

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: Fancy Pants vs. an Empty Wallet

Posted by Jess

May 30, 2014 2:25:21 PM

I’ve traveled down a dark path these past few days. While absent mindedly surfing the web, I read an article entitled “Why it’s SO worth it to buy designer brands!” This article lauded the cut and quality of fancy pants, purses, etc. – of course claiming that each piece of apparel was well worth the price of the designer’s name. Is this true? Do I need fancy pants and an empty wallet to look and feel my best?

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: How to Starve Your Grocery Bill

Posted by Jess

May 23, 2014 11:45:19 AM

My couch has peanut butter on it. Underneath, there are remnants of a Raisin Bran breakfast, and I can almost guarantee that a half dozen utensils have been eaten by the overstuffed cushions. My house is a messy eater. Or is it my family?

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: Summer Fun on a Budget!

Posted by Jess

May 16, 2014 1:59:00 PM

FFF_5-16Yesterday I packed my car full of kids, swimsuits and sunblock and high-tailed it to the beach. We sunbathed on blankets, waded in icy water and swatted at mosquitos – all with the broad smile of Alaskans who appreciate any shade of summer we get! This beach visit was my "brain break" for the week, where I relaxed after a long day and didn't think of anything important.

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: Your Financial Serenity Prayer

Posted by Jess

May 9, 2014 4:03:33 PM

Most days, I feel pretty on top of my to-do list. Certain tasks are on deck each week, and if I follow my project road map, I can reach the weekend with a grand sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, when it comes to finances, I don’t feel as “in control.” Unexpected expenses arise, interest rates fluctuate, and it’s tough not to splurge on take-out after a long day. What’s a girl to do?!

Well, I have some ideas.

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: Grow Your $Green$ Thumb!

Posted by Jess

May 2, 2014 11:07:37 AM

Have you noticed all the greenhouse goodies filling up stores these days? Starter plants and flowers are out in full bloom, waiting for you to liven up your living space or grow a greenhouse of your own. I’m a sucker for pretty plants, and each year I spend a bit too much on foliage for each corner of my house. Problem is, I tend to kill them. And that gets costly.

This spring, I have a new resolution. I’m going to set a plant budget, and I’m going to fund it via “spare change.” Maybe plants don’t inspire you to overspend like they do me, but this week, give my method a try with your personal shopping weak spot!

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Welcome to Credit Union 1’s One for All Alaska blog! Each week, you’ll find a healthy mix of ways to reach-out to your local community, ways CU1 is helping change Alaska, and an every-Friday blog to improve your financial fitness. Enjoy! 

Stay tuned for:

  • Community activities and outreach.
  • Ways to get involved.
  • A fresh perspective on financial health.

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