Financial Fitness Friday: Choose Your Best Banking Buddy

Posted by Jess

Aug 15, 2014 1:27:36 PM

I’ve moved from place to place over the last few years, and in the process, I picked up a number of bank accounts. A convenient checking account here, a low interest rate loan there – and now I have a mish-mash of places my money hides. Why? I have no idea. It’s inconvenient to juggle funds between them, confusing to remember what’s what, and I never seem to have the right debit card on hand. Since today’s a pay day at my house, I’m determined to cure this headache!

Interest rates have the biggest impact on your budget when choosing a bank or credit union, so the first step in consolidating accounts is to choose a place with great rates. Do your research by visiting different financial websites, and decide which institution has the most affordable options for loans. By refinancing your auto, toy, credit card loans and more, it’s possible you’ll save money on interest – which in turn saves you money over the life of your loan. Great rates on your loans are a BIG DEAL when choosing where to keep your funds!

Once you’ve found a possible new home for your loans, examine what they have for extra accounts. Do their checking/savings options meet your needs? Most of these basic accounts offer similar features, but the “extra perks” of electronic services (like e-Statements, Bill Pay, account alerts, etc.) can make a big difference in how easily you manage your funds.

Finally, once you’ve found a financial institution that meets the basic nuts and bolts of your needs, it’s time to consult your inner “mushy-gushy feelings” monitor. Does the place you’ve picked make you feel valued? Do they listen to what you need and find new, unique ways to help?  Do they put YOUR financial success before their own?

It’s true that each person’s financial success is in their own hands. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Instead of diluting your time and attention between several different banks and credit unions, it’s time to choose your best partner for success. The right financial institution will save money, time and effort when managing your funds – which is well worth the research of finding your perfect match! 

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: Back to School Doesn't Have to Mean Back to Debt

Posted by Rachael

Aug 8, 2014 4:31:00 PM

Contemplating about whether or not I wanted to return to school to complete my college degree has reminded me of the great memories from my freshmen year – the friends I made, the professors who inspired me, and the financial missteps I took all within a 9 month period.
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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: Where’s Your Team Treasure Chest?

Posted by Jess

Aug 1, 2014 1:55:25 PM

The arguments one has with a three year old will teach you a thing or two about humility. This morning, I found myself head-to-head with a steaming, blond-haired pirate child who insisted I’d stolen his treasure. The treasure in question? Spare change from a stray pair of my husband’s blue jeans.

“This treasure isn’t for playing with, little man. It’s small and dirty, and if little sis gets ahold of it, it could make her sick.”

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: Survival vs. Living Richly

Posted by Jess

Jul 25, 2014 1:27:39 PM

My favorite Friday of the month is HERE! Why the excitement? Well, I’m part of a Book Club (which as any woman will tell you, is code for “eating/gossiping/generally not discussing any book” – and tonight, this serious literary event is at my house. I chose a book that’s staged in the Alaskan wilderness, with a family of pretty hardcore survivalists. Although I don’t plan to swap my house for a sturdy tent any time soon, I did take a page from this book (figuratively!) when it comes to simplicity and simple happiness in life.

Here’s your food for thought on this grey, rainy day!

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Dollar Dog Kids Marketplace - Summer 2014

Posted by Paul

Jul 22, 2014 2:21:26 PM

Friday was the annual Summertime Dollar Dog Marketplace here in Anchorage. Kids come to our Abbott branch and sell off homemade treats and crafts that they made, all while getting a healthy dose of financial education (and some hard-earned cash!). Here are some of my favorite photos from Friday. Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments, and we’ll see you this winter for the Holiday Marketplace!

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Topics: Photo Gallery

Financial Fitness Friday: Have Fun While the Sun Shines!

Posted by Jess

Jul 18, 2014 2:14:30 PM

Like so many of my fellow Alaskans, I’m an implant to our state. My hubby and I both hail from the Lower 48, and this week, we’re lucky to have family visiting from down there! Summer is a great time for guests in Alaska, because there are so many fun and affordable things to do. Can’t stretch your cash for an airplane tour or charter fishing trip? No problem! Go for a hike to Flat Top, the Matanuska Glacier, or any of the other AMAZING foot-accessible spots in our state. Good, cheap, fun.

Yesterday, we took my aunt-and-uncle-in-law to a “pick your own produce” farm in the Valley. Tons of sunshine, fresh air and great-looking greens made the trip an excellent, budget-friendly adventure. We went home with bags and bags of locally grown produce – which in turn saves us money on restaurant bills while relatives are in town!

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

CU1 at the Mobile Food Pantry

Posted by Aaron

Jul 17, 2014 2:11:58 PM

Yesterday, team CU1 was at it again – volunteering to make our Alaskan community a better place to live! We helped distribute food from the mobile food pantry sponsored by the Food Bank of Alaska to the residents of Chickaloon Landing.

Chickaloon Landing is a Cook Inlet Housing Authority rental community for seniors or persons with disabilities. We arrived about 30 minutes prior to the “opening” of the pantry and had a chance to meet the residents waiting in the already-growing line. We chatted about the weather (it was a beautiful warm day), learned a bit about their life history, their families and some of the great things Chickaloon Landing does for their residents. Residents go on outings four times a week, have weekday lunches sponsored by the Salvation Army, and of course the monthly food pantry. Their excitement was evident – not only for the food pantry, but also for the chance to interact with new, smiling faces. At CU1, we’re pretty good at providing those!

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Topics: Volunteering

Financial Fitness Friday: Be a Winner. It’s Easy!

Posted by Jess

Jul 11, 2014 12:41:00 PM

When I was in the eighth grade, I won a poster contest during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and had my artwork turned into a billboard. It’s the only contest I’ve ever won, IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! No hard feelings though – I still love the thrill and possibility of winning the lottery someday (or maybe just a free sandwich at my favorite lunch joint). Winning is fun, free stuff is fun, and I’m especially fond of contests that don’t require significant skill. Can I get an amen?!
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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

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

CU1 at the Mountain View Street Fair

Posted by Paul

Jun 30, 2014 2:46:00 PM

This weekend was the Mountain View Street Fair, which was started six years ago by Credit Union 1. I’ve been to every single one of them and have taken tons of pictures! As always, CU1 was out in full-force volunteering, painting faces, styling some crazy hair and manning the prize wheel. Saturday was so nice, and it was such a great event I just had to share some of my favorite photos. Be sure to let me know which one was your favorite in the comments! Enjoy! 

 

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Topics: Volunteering, Photo Gallery

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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