Financial Fitness Friday: Weekend Fun on a Budget!

Posted by Jess

Aug 29, 2014 3:42:30 PM

Labor Day Weekend, I am SO HAPPY to see you! It’s been a long, exciting and eventful summer. To cap it off, I plan on roasting giant marshmallows around a bonfire tonight, rain or shine. Labor Day Weekend is a great excuse to enjoy yourself and (perhaps) bend your budget – so long as you stay in your “safe” zone.

Set a budget in advance. This afternoon, before you switch to full-on weekend mode, take a close look at your budget. Decide how much money you can comfortably spend. The key word here is COMFORT! Don’t push your financial limits to the point where bill-paying ability is compromised. And certainly don’t put “fun” money on your emergencies-only credit card!

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Financial Fitness Friday: I Killed My Chickens.

Posted by Jess

Aug 22, 2014 3:09:00 PM

Something pretty gross happened at my house this week. We butchered our chickens, fifteen of which now reside in the freezer. Despite the mild emotional trauma and compulsive kitchen-cleaning I’ve experienced since then, it’s SO satisfying to see a freezer full of homegrown food! Not many Alaskans can feed, clothe or shelter themselves without modern day conveniences like Fred Meyer and the utility company. Although I’m FAR from being self-sufficient, growing my own meals is empowering and awesome. Plus, it saves me money.

Lots of everyday expenses seem non-negotiable. Groceries, fuel, utilities – the list goes on! I’ve yet to find a vehicle that runs on good wishes and air, but here are a few everyday ways to cut the bills that come back each week:

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Topics: Financial Fitness Friday

Head and Heart Award: Heather Lewis

Posted by Tom Newins

Aug 18, 2014 5:01:39 PM

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as an employee and now President of CU1, it’s that Credit Union 1 loves to celebrate. When our members land a much needed loan or reach an important savings goal, we celebrate! When we donate funds and volunteer time to our communities, we celebrate!  Today, I’m happy to share a new way we’re celebrating the employees who help make these achievements possible: the Head and Heart Award. Our very first winner? Heather Lewis, a Member Service Officer at Credit Union 1’s DeBarr Branch!

A huge part of our success at Credit Union 1 comes in using our heads to help our members in need. However, smart thinking isn’t the only thing that makes us unique! Each and every day, we help Alaskans with our heads and HEARTS – which is what truly sets CU1 apart. Recently, Heather used her head and heart to help two special members in need:

  • The first, Heather helped with a post-accident auto loan. Her member was without a vehicle and desperately needed to bring her three large dogs to the vet. Heather offered to bring her to the vet, help calm her dogs, and even assisted with some paperwork!
  • The second member, Heather assisted after a bad experience at another institution. With Heather’s help, this elderly member was able to transfer her funds to CU1 with ease and peace of mind. Although this member suffered from severe arthritis, she still delivered a personal thank-you note to Heather for her efforts!
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Topics: From The President

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: Giving Back

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 ways 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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