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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Complete Guide to Prioritizing Bills During a Financial Crunch


If you are one of the millions of Americans on furlough—or just getting back to work—due to the coronavirus, you may be scrambling to cover your bills. Let’s take a look at what some financial experts are advising so you can make an informed decision about your finances going forward.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

All You Need to Know About Closing Costs


With stay-at-home orders being gradually lifted, realtors have started work back up in many states. So if you’re in the market for a new home, don’t forget to budget for closing costs! This includes all fees and charges incurred while officially transferring a property from one owner to another.

Here’s all you need to know about closing costs:

Friday, June 19, 2020

School Spotlight: New School High Learns Real-Life Skills with the Student-Run Credit Union Program

Education Partnership Coordinator, Kristen La Forest,
brings financial education to NSH students via the
Student-Run Credit Union program.

New School High (NSH), a charter high school located in Risen Christ Lutheran Church in Plymouth, is in their fifth year of partnership with our Student-Run Credit Union program.  Education Partnership Coordinator, Kristen La Forest, works with teachers to provide financial education to students throughout the school year.  Presentation topics include: checking, money management, and credit.  Kristen also helps facilitate the Student-Run Credit Union once a month at NSH during lunch. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Creative Dine-In Cooking: Spaghetti Pizza


With families home more often, cooking the same meals can get boring. So give your classic spaghetti a fun new twist with this creative, budget-friendly recipe!

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Cost per serving: $1.75

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Why Is There Still a Shortage on Some Goods?


As the calendar turns from April to May to now June, Americans are finally getting used to living with the new reality of the coronavirus pandemic. And part of that reality means empty store shelves.

Customers’ growing frustration has reached such extremes in some places that it has escalated into physical confrontations and actual larceny — over rolls of toilet paper. In mid-March, Florida sheriff’s deputies arrested a man for allegedly stealing 66 toilet paper rolls from a Marriott hotel. In early April, Beverly Hills cops found 192 rolls of toilet paper in a stolen SUV. Customers are clearly fed up with seeing empty store shelves.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Summer of Sharing 2020: 10 Years of Sharing


2020 has been a year of unprecedented firsts. And while many things have changed and our summer activities may not be the same, Community Financial remains committed to the community now more than ever. Summer will be here soon, and with it the return of Community Financial Credit Union’s 10th annual Summer of Sharing campaign.

This year, we’re celebrating 10 Years of Sharing and we’re excited to support another 60 great organizations this summer—with your help! Community Financial will donate $60,000 to nonprofit, educational and community organizations throughout Michigan! That's $1,000 a day every Monday – Friday from June 8, 2020 – August 28, 2020.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Creative Ways to Save on Energy Costs


With being home more often during the COVID-19 stay-at-home measures, you might find your energy bills skyrocketing. Community Financial wants to help you find creative ways to “beat the heat” while you stay safe and healthy at home this Spring.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Ways to Kick the Quarantine Blues


If you’re having a hard time with the quarantine during these unprecedented times, you’re not alone. The COVID-19 outbreak has changed a lot of things, including our daily routines, which can trigger stress and health problems for many individuals. While we at Community Financial are always available to help with your financial stressors, we have also come up with a variety of ways to help kick those annoying quarantine blues.  

Friday, May 15, 2020

School Spotlight: Hillman High School Students Learn about Budgeting

While Community Financial can’t be in the schools right now due to stay-at-home measures put in place throughout the state, we are grateful to look back on the financial education our school partnerships have provided throughout the year.

Community Financial’s school partnerships provide financial education to many students in Northern Michigan.  Our school partners include: Gaylord Intermediate School, Lewiston Elementary, and Hillman Elementary School.  Hillman High School has enlisted Community Financial’s help with providing financial education to their students as well.  Hillman High School’s eleventh and twelfth grade students last year participated in a Community Financial sponsored “Reality Fair,” where students were asked to navigate the world of finances as adults!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

COVID-19 Texting Scam


The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been raging on American shores for several months, but scammers are still finding new ways to exploit the panic, fear and uncertainty surrounding the virus to con people out of their money. The latest in a string of coronavirus scams involves a simple text message with criminal intent.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

How Should I Spend My Stimulus Check?


The stimulus checks promised in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act are starting to land in checking accounts and mailboxes around the country. The $1,200 granted to most adults is a welcome relief during these financially trying times.
Many recipients may be wondering: What is the best way to use this money?

To help you determine the most financially responsible course of action to take with your stimulus check, here is a list of advice and tips from financial experts and advisers on how to use this money.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

How to Build Up Your Credit From Scratch

If you’ve never had a credit card and your credit history is non-existent, where do you start? Building
a credit history from the bottom up can be tricky business. It may take a while until you see results. But, with time, effort and responsible financial choices, you can build an excellent credit history, which will positively impact your financial health for years to come.

Here are 5 steps you can take to get the ball rolling on your credit file.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

How to Care for Your Car During a Lockdown

With stay-at-home orders imposed in many states, millions of cars are sitting motionless in garages and driveways across the country. While staying home is the best way to stay safe these days, it might not be the best thing for your car.

David Bennett, manager for repair systems at AAA, says cars won’t need any major maintenance during a lockdown, but there are several important steps drivers can take now to ensure their vehicles don’t deteriorate due to non-use.

Friday, April 17, 2020

School Spotlight: Plymouth Scholars Partnership Goes Beyond Saving Money

PSCA Student-Run Credit Union middle
school winter volunteers.
Schools may be closed for the year, but that doesn't mean celebrating our partnerships with them is! During these unprecedented times, it's more important than ever to look back at the way we teach our youth, the educational tools at our fingertips, and the way our future leaders have grown this school year.

Community Financial’s school partnerships extend to several National Heritage Academies within the Plymouth, Canton, and Westland areas. Our NHA partners include: Plymouth Scholars, Achieve, South Canton Scholars, and Grand River Charter Academies.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Ways to Productively Spend Your Time at Home

For many people, navigating the COVID-19 crisis successfully means being stuck at home as they
wait out in quarantine. Sitting at home without much to do can quickly get old. If you’re waiting out the crisis at home, be proactive about spending your time productively. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Call an old friend.
Socializing in person may be out, but the old-fashioned phone still works just fine. A leisurely chat with an old friend can be a wonderful way to pass the time. You can also set up a video conference to talk face-to-face and reconnect.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

April is Financial Literacy Month

“April showers bring May flowers,” goes the saying. It’s also a great lesson about the importance of saving – where weathering some showers can pay dividends during the nicer days that are to come.

April is Financial Literacy Month, and a great time to think about some important lessons everyone can learn about finances. Whether you’re a parent looking to make talking money with your kids easier or a professional looking for a few tips, there’s always something to learn. Here are a few Community Financial Resources you can use to build your financial knowledge this month. Plus a few ways to get your kids involved!

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Fun Activities for Kids at Home

It isn’t always easy to be holed up at home with just your family for company. After a few days, you may be running out of ideas on how to keep your kids busy and engaged. As the parent, you have the unique opportunity to set the tone in your home and decide if these weeks will be a nightmare for everyone, or filled with precious memory-making and family-bonding activities.

Here are some fun activities to keep your kids busy while you wait out the pandemic at home:

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tips for Working at Home

The coronavirus pandemic has taken the world as we know it and turned it upside down. As part of this upheaval, millions of Americans have been sent home from work with laptops in hand and strict instructions to remotely tend to their usual workload.

Unfortunately, this can prove to be a lot harder than it sounds. If you find yourself struggling to complete your workload from home during the outbreak, we can help!

Here are some tips on how to stay focused, on-task and productive as you work from home.

Friday, March 20, 2020

School Spotlight: Gallimore Volunteers Multitask at the Student-Run Credit Union!

Gallimore Elementary Student-Run Credit
Union winter volunteers with Education
Partnership Coordinator, Julie Blaylock.
Gallimore Elementary School in Canton has been a partner with Community Financial for ten years! Since the Student-Run Credit Union’s program introduction in 2010, Gallimore has evolved from being a standard K-5 elementary school, to a 3-5 district school for talented and gifted students. Community Financial’s involvement at Gallimore has evolved as well.

Education Partnership Coordinator, Julie Blaylock, works with student volunteers who typically embrace challenges with open arms.

Julie finds creative ways to challenge Gallimore students’ abilities and thinking, usually by multitasking. Here are some pictures of student volunteers multitasking on the job!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Beware of Coronavirus Scams

Scammers are notorious for capitalizing on fear, and the coronavirus outbreak is no exception. They have already set up fake websites, bogus funding collections and more in an effort to trick the fearful and unsuspecting out of their money.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published on its website a warning against email scams connected to the coronavirus. The agency claims it has received reports from around the world about phishing attempts mentioning coronavirus on an almost daily basis.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Why You Should Never Abbreviate 2020

It may be a new year, but scammers are still looking for ways to con you out of your money. Experts are warning of a new scam that involves changing the date on important documents.

Most of us are accustomed to abbreviating the date by using just the last two digits when we need to write it. While it was fine to do in the past, continuing this practice in 2020 can be problematic. With the two sets of digits that make up the new year being identical, abbreviating the date on documents opens us up to multiple scams.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

"Thumbs Up for Charity" Starts March 9th!

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 7th annual “Thumbs Up for Charity!” program! So how can you get involved?

Starting Monday, March 9th, 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 27, 2020.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

9 Germy Places to Avoid or Disinfect This Winter

As winter settles in, it’s time to brush up on your disinfecting smarts. Harmful bacteria can lurk in places you’d never suspect, and knowing which places to be wary of can help you avoid getting sick this winter.

At home 

There are harmful microbes all over our homes-and most are found in the kitchen. 

Kitchen sink
According to microbiologist Charles Gerba, there is more fecal bacteria in your kitchen sink than there is in your toilet after flushing it. Gerba recommends regularly scrubbing your sinks with diluted bleach, or with a kitchen cleaning product that contains bleach. For best results, allow the cleaning solution to sit for a bit before wiping, or use wipes for a more targeted cleanup. Be sure to clean the entire sink and all nearby surfaces, as well.

Friday, February 21, 2020

School Spotlight: Hillside Middle School Students Continue to Save

Hillside Middle School Student-Run
Credit Union first semester volunteers
Hillside Middle School in Northville provides students with the continued opportunity to save their money at school with Community Financial’s Student-Run Credit Union program. Many students have been saving their money since elementary school at Thornton Creek, Amerman, and Moraine within the Northville School District.

So, what are middle school students saving for these days? A phone, a down payment on a car, video games, college, and clothing are just a few examples. Although the list is wide-ranging, maintaining good money-saving habits during middle school is important for a student’s future financial success.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

How to Create a Budget in 6 Easy Steps

If you’re always wondering how you’re going to pay the next bill, feel guilty when you indulge in overpriced treats and you just can’t find money to put into savings, you might need a budget.

A budget will help you gain financial awareness, which will help facilitate more responsible decisions. Here are 6 easy steps to create a budget:

Step 1: Gather your financial information
Collect all your financial documents and receipts for three consecutive months. This includes all account statements, bills, pay stubs, receipts and more.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Create Your Own Photo Shoot

Professional pictures can cost a pretty penny, but captured memories are priceless. Have your pictures and your money, too, by creating your own photo shoot.

Where should you look for props? 
  • Your best bet for cheap props is your local dollar store 
  • Try discount shops like Five Below 
  • Most box stores have an aisle of clearance or 5-and-under items 
  • Make something at home! Take empty boxes, paint, scissors and glue and create something new 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Beware of the Fake Check Scam Targeting College Students

Making the transition from high school to college isn’t easy. Unfortunately, scammers are making it even more challenging. In fact, there’s recently been an uptick in fake check scams targeting new college students. Don’t be the next victim! Here’s how you can recognize a fake check scam.

How does the scam play out? There are several variations of the fake check scam, but all of them ultimately lead to the victim cashing an extra-high fake check and returning the difference to the scammer.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Making Your Own Luck

We all can point to that one person in our lives for whom everything seems to come easily. He or she has a good income, great house, beautiful children and the checkout line they choose always moves the quickest. You probably really wonder about that person. Why are they so lucky? Why not me?

Well, why not you? Research has confirmed that we have more power over our own luck than we think.  We can make ourselves into the type of successful, powerful, happy people that everyone else will wonder about with these three easy tips:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

All You Need to Know About Home Loans

If you’re in the market for a new home, you’ll likely need to take out a home loan or mortgage. Let’s take a closer look at this product and its application process.

What is a home loan?
A home loan enables you to buy a home without having to pull all the cash directly from your pocket at the time of purchase. You’ll need to make a down payment, which is typically between 3.5-20% of the home’s value, along with closing costs and some other fees. The home loan will finance the rest. You’ll then repay the loan, along with interest, generally over the course of 15 to 30 years.

Friday, January 17, 2020

School Spotlight: Wildwood Elementary Students are SMART!

Wildwood Elementary Student-Run
Credit Union fall volunteers.
Community Financial’s Westland branch opened to our members in 2018.  Since then, our school partnerships within the Wayne-Westland School District have started to develop.

Wildwood Elementary joined in partnership with Community Financial last year.  Here are some pictures of Wildwood’s Student-Run Credit Union.



Tuesday, January 14, 2020

January is National Blood Donor Month, 3 Reasons to Donate Today


With the holidays behind us and thoughts of gratitude and kindness fresh on the brain, let’s talk about donation! Specifically blood donation because January is National Blood Donor Month.

Why should you donate? Take a look at these blood supply statistics from the American Red Cross and the Community Blood Center:

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Don’t Get Scammed at the Gym

If you’re looking to make good on your New Year’s resolution by joining a gym, make sure to keep your eyes out for these five subtle gym scams.


The Free Trial
Free gym trials can end up costing you a pretty penny. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns against sharing your credit card information with a gym that’s offering a free trial, since many will start automatically charging you a monthly fee unless you remember to cancel your “membership” within a certain time-frame.

The Fix: Read the fine print on free trial offers. If possible, only take advantage of a free trial offered without asking for any financial information.