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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Springtime Gardening Tips

There’s nothing quite like a garden in full bloom. And nothing says spring like a row of breathtakingly beautiful flowers blossoming in a variety of colors. But all that beauty comes after some serious work. There’s planning, planting, maintenance and more.

Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to turn your own patch of grass into a botanical work of art. Have you always wanted to try gardening, but weren't sure where to start?  Here’s how to make it happen: 

Friday, March 15, 2019

School Spotlight: Coolidge Elementary Starts Early with Financial Education

Education Partnership Coordinator, Amy Fava,
uses the book Arthur’s Pet Business by:
Marc Brown to introduce second grade
to key economic concepts.
Community Financial believes it’s important for all students to receive financial education. The money management skills students learn through our Student-Run Credit Union program and our financially-based classroom presentations set the tone for a positive financial future.

Coolidge Elementary School in Livonia partners with Community Financial to jump-start their students’ financial confidence at an early age. Take a look at these awesome students from Coolidge Elementary learning about opportunity costs, goods and services, and what a business plan is with Education Partnership Coordinator, Amy Fava.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

5 Ways to Pay off a Loan Early

If you’re like most Americans, you owe money on a large loan. Whether that’s credit card debt, a mortgage and/or a car loan, loan debt is part of your life. And that means you’re looking at hundreds of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. There’s also the mental load of knowing you’ll be paying on the debt for years to come.

Did you know there are simple tricks you can employ to lighten the load? With a carefully applied technique, you can pay off your mortgage, auto loan, credit card debt and any other debt you’re carrying sooner than you thought possible. These tricks are light on your finances, but they can make a big difference to the total interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan and get you debt-free faster.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

"Thumbs Up for Charity" Starts March 11!

We often give a “thumbs up” to things we like such as Facebook statuses and Netflix shows. During the month of March, Community Financial is making it easy for you to give a “thumbs up” to your favorite charity with our 6th annual “Thumbs Up for Charity!” program! So how can you get involved?

Starting Monday, March 11th, you can nominate a local organization that's doing great work in your community for a chance to receive a donation up to $10,000! Nominations will be accepted at cfcu.org/thumbsup until Friday, March 29th.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

7 Reasons Not to Skip a Home Inspection

Shopping for a new home can be an exciting blur of listings, neighborhood scouting and open houses. There’s so much to consider! You want a house in the perfect neighborhood with that gorgeous kitchen and great yard, all within your budget. And then, it all finally comes together and you think you’ve found your dream home. But don’t go “under contract” just yet!

First, be sure to have an inspection contingency included in your contract. A professional home inspection can save you a ton of aggravation and thousands of dollars in the long run. The inspector will carefully examine the entire house, checking its systems, structure and equipment for functionality and potential problems.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Celebrating Wixom’s Grand Opening with Guest Blogger Alex

The Wixom Branch is located at
28607 S. Wixom Rd. and is 
Community Financial's 13th location.
In honor of Community Financial’s Wixom branch opening, we asked its new Branch Manager, Alex Hansen, to be our guest blogger. Alex talks about the Wixom team, his excitement for the Grand Opening, and what the new branch will bring to the community. 

About the Branch
The Wixom branch is located at 28607 S. Wixom Road. It is just north of I-96 off exit 159. We are located at the same site of what was the oldest Ford manufacturing plant at the time, the Wixom Assembly plant, which closed in 2007.

Friday, February 15, 2019

School Spotlight: Meads Mill Students are Saving for Their Future!

Education Partnership Coordinator, Julie Blaylock,
with Meads Mill Student-Run Credit Union
2nd quarter volunteers.
At Meads Mill Middle School in Northville, Student-Run Credit Union members often speak to Education Partnership Coordinator, Julie Blaylock, with excitement about the things they are saving their money for. Students mention things like a new phone, video game, vacation, outings with friends, new clothes or a pet. Some students are already saving for a car or college!

When students come to Meads Mill from elementary school, many of them have already been saving at their elementary Student-Run Credit Unions for several years. These students have established some great savings goals for themselves.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

8 Reasons to Love Being a Credit Union Member

As a credit union member, you can expect a much more rewarding and meaningful banking experience. Because credit unions are member-owned and not-for-profit, they are more attuned to the needs of their members and are not driven by investors or their bottom line.

It’s no secret that at Community Financial we love our members! In that same spirit, we’ve compiled a short list of reasons why you should love being a credit union member too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

6 Exercises That Improve Your Focus

In a fast-paced world, it’s important to find ways to enhance your focus. Perhaps you’ve already tried many methods. Just like your abs, your mind muscles need resistance so they can stretch and grow. Challenge yourself with the exercises listed below, all of which have been proven to sharpen the brain.

1.) Practice mindfulness
When your brain is constantly being pulled in multiple directions at the same time, it’s hard to focus on any single task. Defeat this downside of 21st-century life by resolving to do one task a day with complete mindfulness. When brewing your morning coffee, take the time to let the steam warm your skin and inhale the aroma. When tackling a work assignment, power down your electronics and focus on nothing else. Practicing mindfulness on a daily basis will soon turn it into routine.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

7 Ways to De-Stress for Less

Winter doldrums got you down? The empty calendar making you feel blue? Don’t pull out your wallet for some “retail therapy” just yet!

Right now is the time of year when the blues hit the hardest, so many people turn to their favorite foods, a round of shopping or some other costly means of escape. However, you can get the same results without spending a penny. Let Community Financial show you how to de-stress for less and send that down mood packing! Read on for 7 pick-me-ups that are absolutely free.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Your First Apartment

If you’re in the market for your first apartment, you may be feeling a little lost—and more than a little overwhelmed. How do you get started? What should you be looking for in an apartment? How do you check out a building? So many questions, and we’ve got answers!

Let us walk you through the apartment-hunting process from start to finish, so you can get the keys to your new apartment as soon as possible!

Friday, January 18, 2019

School Spotlight: Gaylord Intermediate Students Set Savings Goals

Gaylord Student-Run Credit Union winter volunteers.
For the responsible adult who thinks about being prepared for the future, savings are a fixed expense that is built into the monthly budget just like car payments and insurance. For most people, though, this habit does not come naturally. Community Financial is helping students in our northern communities develop these savings habits from an early age.

In our Northern communities, our school partners include: Gaylord Intermediate School, Lewiston Elementary, Atlanta Community and Hillman Elementary School. Gaylord Intermediate School has been a partner with us since 2004. Here are this winter's 6th grade Student-Run Credit Union volunteers from Gaylord Intermediate School!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Do I Need an Emergency and Rainy Day Fund?

In an effort to simplify their money, people sometimes consolidate accounts. This is ok in many instances, but it’s important to remember that rainy day funds and emergency funds serve different purposes. Additionally, it’s important to have not just one, but both funds available to tap into as needed. Read on for answers to all your questions on rainy day and emergency funds.

Why have a rainy day fund?
Say your washing machine suddenly needs replacing. You’re looking at an extra expense that can run anywhere from $350-$850. Where are you going to get that kind of money?

Monday, January 7, 2019

6 Ways to Help Pay for College

Whether you are paying for college yourself or getting help from family members, college is an expensive endeavor for everyone! With the cost of tuition and room and board increasing each year, it’s important to consider your options when paying for higher education. Here are 6 ways you might have overlooked.

1. Start a 529 plan
Ideally, a tax-advantaged 529 account is opened for a young child, so the savings can accrue over time. While this is an attractive option for families with younger children, experts say it's still worth opening a 529 account even if your student is already in high school.