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Money Matters Blog

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Make Your Road Trip Budget Friendly

With many indoor attractions still operating only at a limited capacity, there’s never been a better time to pack up the car, RV, or camper van and set out on the road trip of a lifetime. However, without careful planning, a road trip can get pricey. Especially with soaring gas prices and the rising costs of food! For this reason, we’ve put together seven solid tips for a budget-friendly road trip. This should help you hit the road in style without breaking your budget.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

We Want to Hear From YOU!

We’re gathering up member testimonials and we want to hear from YOU! Tell us what you love most about Community Financial or how we’ve helped you build a stronger financial future. Five lucky members will win $100!*

All Stories Welcome

Do you have a story about your experience banking with Community Financial? How about a great experience with one of our representatives at a community event? Is there a team member who always goes above and beyond or a mortgage representative who snagged you a great interest rate on your last loan? We’re looking for all of these stories and more! Whatever your story is, we want to hear it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Back to School Scams

As the store aisles fill up with pencils and crayons and the frantic back-to-school shopping season begins, scammers are ready to strike. Whether you’re a college student preparing for the fall semester, a high school student ready to make the most of the coming school year or the parent of a student of any age, beware of these trending back-to-school scams.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Six Reasons to Switch to eStatements

Are you constantly dealing with a barrage of junk mail that clogs up your mailbox? Drowning in papers needing sifted through? Are you always afraid to throw out any paper from your financial institution, fearful that you’ll be throwing sensitive material into the trash and making it an easy steal for would-be scammers?

If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from switching to electronic account statements.

Electronic statements (eStatements) are similar to paper statements, except for the fact that they’re delivered electronically. At the end of each statement period, which is generally monthly for checking accounts and quarterly for basic savings accounts, you’ll receive a notification informing you that your statement is ready to view through the online banking portal or app. Once you access the eStatement, you’ll find it has all the information you’re used to receiving in your paper statements. You can also access your eStatement by logging into the Community Financial eBanking or app at anytime, anywhere.

Quick, convenient and clutter-free, eStatements are the way of the future. Here are six reasons to consider switching to eStatements today!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Shred Your Confidential Documents on September 11th

Your personal information is often buried throughout your paperwork and mail, leaving you and your finances vulnerable to fraud and theft. One search through your mailbox or trash could garner enough evidence for a thief to take control of your identity — and your finances.

Thieves can use credit cards, financial statements, or utility bills to obtain and exploit your personal information. Your first line of defense to keep this theft from happening in the first place is to destroy documents containing your personal information before anyone can access it. Private documents and credit/debit cards, which contain sensitive information, should be destroyed as soon as you no longer need them.

Join Us for Community Financial’s Annual Shred Day!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

College Degree Scams

For many young adults, obtaining a college degree in their desired field is the key to a secure financial future. Unfortunately, scammers are exploiting this crucial time by offering fake diplomas and bogus degree programs to the unsuspecting college-bound crowd. Here’s what you need to know about college degree scams.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Tips for Caregivers: Home Safety

In 2021, approximately 40 million individuals in the United States will play the role of caregiver. Caregiving can come in many forms, but when it comes to caring for an older relative or friend, it may be time to check out how safe and accessible your home is. Let’s take a look at how to make your home safer from the outside in: 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Summer of Sharing Donation Supports Veteran Housing

Community Financial’s 11th annual Summer of Sharing campaign is under way and thousands of dollars have already been donated to local charitable organizations throughout Michigan! Running through September 3rd, Community Financial is donating $70,000 to organizations that make a difference in their communities--$10,000 more than previous years as we celebrate the credit union’s 70th anniversary! 

Recipients are chosen based on nominations submitted at SummerofSharing.org, where we ask you to consider: “What GOOD could you do with $1,000?” This year, one of these amazing recipients was The Fallen and Wounded Soldier’s Fund (FWSF), which was nominated for their work with veterans’ housing at the Village Arts Factory in Canton, MI.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Promises and the Perils of Buy Now, Pay Later

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) programs almost seem too good to be true. You can actually walk away with that overpriced exercise bike, entertainment system, sectional sofa, or anything else that caught your eye without having the money to pay for it now. And there are almost no eligibility requirements to qualify. However, upon closer inspection, BNPL isn’t really as great as it may appear. Let’s take a look at these programs, how they work and what to be aware of before you sign up.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

5 Steps to Take Before Making a Large Purchase

Have you been bitten by the gotta-have-it bug? It could be that popular exercise equipment that’s caught your eye, or maybe you want to spring for a new entertainment system, no matter the cost. Before you go ahead with the purchase though, it’s a good idea to take a step back and follow the steps outlined here to be sure you’re making a decision that you won’t ultimately regret.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

How to Save on Landscaping

For the green-thumbed homeowner, there are few things as pleasurable as running fingers through soft, moist earth, catching sight of the first flowering buds of spring and inhaling the scent of freshly cut grass. However, tending to a lawn and garden can get expensive. Between seeds, fertilizer and gardening supplies, costs can be high enough to take the pleasure out of lawn care.

Here are 9 creative ways to save on landscaping, so you can have your well-tended lawn without ruining your budget.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Tips for Grads: Making the Most of Your Summer

Congratulations on graduating! Whether its from high school, college, or a trade school, finishing up this part of your life is an exciting achievement. After the glitz and glamour of the diploma, grad party, and constant congratulations starts fading, you may find yourself thinking: what now?

Here are 5 tips on how you can make the most out of your summer and set yourself up for success in the future.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Tips for Retirement: Staying Stress Free

Retirement comes with a lot of great benefits, like being able to sleep-in and spending your days exploring instead of sitting behind a desk. But just because you no longer need to get yourself dressed and out of the door for work every morning doesn’t mean you don’t have any stress.

Financial worries, family needs, health concerns and even boredom can cause stress after retirement. Not only does stress affect your mental health, but it also can wreak havoc on your physical health. High blood pressure, heart disease, fatigue and stomach issues are just some of the many health problems attributed to stress.

Taking some “me” time every day can help you relax and clear your mind so you are better able to take on what life is throwing at you.

Here are some stress-relief activities to help you get started:

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Essential Tools for Every Homeowner

A well-stocked toolbox is important for every homeowner, but choosing which tools to pack inside that kit can be confusing. Here’s a compiled guide for stocking a homeowner’s toolbox at every skill level. Happy fixing! 

Basic tools

If you’ve never pretended to be a handyman, but you’d like to have basic tools in the house in case something needs minor repair, here’s what belongs in your toolbox:  

Friday, June 18, 2021

School Spotlight: Connecting and Interacting During the Summer

Community Financial is a proud sponsor of “Tuesdays are Terrific”
at Heritage Park in Canton this summer. 
Just one of our many summer sponsorships!
Community Financial’s Student-Run Credit Union program continues to offer financial education in the summer months. Partnerships with YMCAs, parks and recreation programs, summer camps, and libraries provide endless summer fun and engagement for Education Partnership Coordinators and other Community Financial staff.

YMCA “Character Cash” Deposit Days

YMCA summer camp students earn “character cash” for helping others, being kind, and doing “the right thing” during camp. Students can then purchase different prizes with their character cash throughout their summer camp experience. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Credit Union Strong for 70 Years

In the past 70 years, our communities have grown and changed along with the times, and Community Financial has evolved with them. While the styles may have changed from poodle skirts to skinny jeans, and our Friday nights from soda shops and drive-ins to delivery and Netflix, Community Financial remains as committed as ever to providing exceptional member service and educational experiences.  

This year, Community Financial celebrates its 70th anniversary with a look back at where everything began.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Micro-Deposit Scams

Scammers are always upping their game, and they’ve recently pulled out an old trick: the micro-deposit scam. Unfortunately, too many people have already fallen victim, and we don’t want anyone else getting caught in the trap. To that end, we’ve compiled this guide on micro-deposit scams, how they play out and what you can do if you’re targeted.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Summer of Sharing is Here!

We’re excited to announce that Summer of Sharing is back again this year and better than ever before! To celebrate Community Financial’s 70th Anniversary, we’re donating $1,000 a day Monday – Friday from June 7, 2021 through September 3, 2021, with 5 bonus Double Donation Days! That’s a total of $70,000 in donations and we can’t wait to start giving it away—with your help!

Nominations begin on June 1st. At that time, you are invited to visit SummerOfSharing.org to submit an essay-style nomination explaining how your favorite nonprofit helps the community it serves. These nominations will stay live on the site for others to learn about how each of the organizations are making a difference.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Thriving in a Multigenerational Workplace

As the years go by, so do workplace certainties. Gone are the days of getting a job right out of high school and working there for 40 years before you’re given a party and a gold watch and sent off to live off your pension and IRA. Whether it’s for financial reasons, or to fulfill a desire to remain productive, workers are remaining employed way past the “traditional” retirement age.

According to Business Insider.com, U.S. census statistics report that as of February 2019, about 20% of Americans over age 65 — a total of 10.6 million people — were either working or looking for work. This information, plus the fact that many Americans are starting work and careers earlier, resulted in today’s multigenerational workplace—and the conflicts that may come with it. From work ethic to biases and technological know-how, the large age range of the workforce can ruffle some feathers—but it can also result in amazing successes.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Lewiston Elementary Volunteers Celebrate Perseverance

Lewiston Student-Run Credit Union
volunteers hard at work!

As another school year nears an end, Community Financial’s Student-Run Credit Union reflects on the progress that students have made. Even during a pandemic, many Student-Run Credit Union members successfully set money goals, saved for their futures, and learned valuable money skills.  Lewiston Elementary, located in Montmorency County in Northern Michigan, showed a lot of perseverance this year in particular. Student members and volunteers at Lewiston were great savers, workers, and goal setters, even while wearing masks and striving to stay healthy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Understanding Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants a designated agent the authority to act on behalf of the principal agent in financial matters. The designated agent is often referred to as the attorney-in-fact and the principal agent is often referred to as the “principal.”

Here’s all you need to know about financial POA:

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

5 Senior Discounts You May Not Know About

One of the many perks of advancing in years is scoring great deals on all kinds of purchases and expenses. Here are five places you may not already know about where older adults can save big money*:

1. Amazon Prime

Older adults who have valid EBT cards, or are on Medicaid, are eligible for Amazon Prime at just $5.99 a month. Compared to the $12.99 regular cost, that saves you more than half at just $84 annually.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Creative Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day

Though families are scheduling their COVID-19 vaccines, quarantined-celebrations are still in full-swing, and Mother’s Day is no exception. While some vaccinated families may opt for a dinner out at Mom’s favorite restaurant, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Mom’s special day inside your bubble.

Check out our list of creative ways to celebrate Mother’s Day to make Mom’s day even more special:

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Preparing Financially for a New Baby

Congratulations! You’re expecting a baby and you’re breathless with excitement — and nerves. Whether you’re pregnant, adopting, using a surrogate, or something else, a baby means big changes, and a part of those changes is lots of new expenses. How will you pay for it all?

We’ve got the tips you need to prepare financially for a new baby.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Tips for Empty Nesters: Downsizing

Quiet. Calm. Clean.

And empty.

These are just some words that may come to mind when your youngest kiddo leaves the nest. No stray sneakers cluttering up the foyer. No trail of school papers. You may even get the TV remote to yourself! Now that the house has emptied out, though, it’s time to sift through the “stuff” that has piled up over the years.

Here are some tips to help you downsize as an empty-nester:

Friday, April 16, 2021

School Spotlight: Celebrating March and April with Our Community Partners!

March and April are busy months for our community partnerships! Both months provide great opportunities for Community Financial to assist with educational events at local schools and libraries within the community. 

Students in Ms. Danaher’s fourth grade class at Kennedy Elementary
in Livonia listened to Education Partnership Coordinator, Amy Fava,
read as a guest for “March is Reading Month.”
“March is Reading Month” Fun

Community Financial has been actively supporting local libraries, school media centers, and classrooms for “March is Reading Month” for many years. This year, Education Partnership Coordinators have “zoomed” into classrooms to read some of their favorite books to students, as well as creating book read-aloud videos for teachers and media specialists alike. Prizes were also sponsored and given out to exceptional readers at Community Financial’s partnering schools. “March is Reading Month” was a fantastic month, full of reading fun for everyone involved.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Free Financial Literacy Month Resources

While it’s always a good idea to put your finances first each month, April is extra special because it’s Financial Literacy Month! Whether you’re looking for new techniques to teach your children about money or you’re eager to brush up on your own financial literacy, there’s always something new to learn. Here are a few of our favorite financial resources to help build your financial knowledge this month!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

How to Get the Most from Your Online Banking

With the release of our new and improved Online and Mobile Banking platform last month, it’s time to get acquainted with some of the exciting features available! Whether you’re new to the platform, or have utilized online banking for years, there’s something for everyone. Take a look at some of our tips and tricks on how to get the most from your eBanking experience below:

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

What Type of Saver are You?

We all know the benefits of saving money and how having a nest egg can help us down in the road in case of emergencies. We know the age-old adage that you should generally have about 1-2 months’ worth of living expenses in your checking and another 3-6 months’ worth in your savings. For some, following these savings guidelines is as easy as butter. For others, trying to put away five dollars is a struggle. We’ve put together a list of 5 different types of savers and how to best utilize your membership to get the most from your money!

So… What Type of Saver are You?

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Data Private

With many families still working and attending school online from their homes, we are using more and more data. While the flexibility of being able to do so much from home is an amazing leap in communication technology, it also increases the possibility of our personal information getting into the wrong hands. The last thing you want at the end of the day is to find out your information has been stolen.

To protect you and your family while online, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission offers these tips:

Friday, March 19, 2021

School Spotlight: Orchard Hills Students Continue to Be Money-Smart!

Orchard Hills Elementary School in Novi has been a partner with Community Financial for eighteen years! Throughout these years, students have been exposed to the importance of saving money monthly at the Student-Run Credit Union. This year, however, students at Orchard Hills have been encouraged to visit the “drive-thru” at our near-by Community Financial branch locations. Orchard Hills students remain money-smart in spite of the challenges the past year has thrown at us! Although the Student-Run Credit Union hasn’t been able to operate within Orchard Hills just yet, it’s fun for students to watch their money and prizes “ride the tube” to and from their car!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Save Money When Shopping Online

It’s time to replace that rush you get from filling your virtual cart with the high that comes from saving a ton of money. Online retailers are experts at getting you to go from “I-gotta-have-it” to “It’s-on-the-way-to-my-house” quicker than you can say “buyer’s remorse.” Using these handy tips, you can beat them at their own game and get the best prices for the items you really want.

Ready to start saving?

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Beware Coronavirus Vaccine Scams

Believe it or not, there is a light at the end of the socially-distanced tunnel. After months of trials, the FDA has approved three vaccines for the coronavirus. While it may not be a quick process—due to the rules and regulations about who will be getting the vaccine first—scammers may have you thinking otherwise.

In order to stay far away from vaccine scams, keep in mind the information below and stay safe as you navigate this process.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Thumbs Up for Charity is Back March 8th!

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 8th annual “Thumbs Up for Charity!” program! So how can you get involved? 

Starting Monday, March 8th, 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 26, 2021. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Five Steps to Take After a Financial Disaster

As we continue into 2021, many Americans are still struggling with the aftershocks of financial disaster. Whether it’s due to a layoff, a smaller workload, medical expenses or a change in family circumstances, the financial fallout of COVID-19 continues to be devastating.

Recovering from a financial disaster, due to a pandemic or any other reason, is never easy; however, with hard work and the ability to look forward, it can be done. Here’s how.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Wayne-Westland's School Partnerships with Community Financial

Community Financial’s Westland branch opened to our members in 2018. Since then, our school partnerships within the Wayne-Westland School District have grown. Student-Run Credit Unions are offered at Wildwood and Edison Elementary Schools. We have also brought financial education to the William D. Ford Career and Tech Center, as well as John Glenn High School.

Assistant Manager/Community Relations, Mary Kerwin,
braves the cold weather to provide students the opportunity
to save their money at Wildwood Elementary.
Student-Run Credit Union Comprehensive Program Offerings  

The Student-Run Credit Union program offers many different types of financial education experiences to its school partners. In addition to bringing access to saving money at schools, financial and business presentations are offered as well as “Reality Fairs” and budgeting simulations, mock interviews, and interviewing etiquette skills. Education Partnership Coordinators are hard at work each day providing these lessons and skills to students in the Wayne-Westland School District. They’ve even found imaginative ways to engage these students during an ever-challenging pandemic!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

How to Make Meals at Home Easier (and Cheaper!)

With many Americans tightening their budgets and working to stay healthy with COVID-19, meals out and restaurant purchases have become one of the first things to go. While meals at home can save hundreds of dollars a month, the switch over can feel overbearing. Grocery shopping, meal planning, prep-time, and long cooking times often feel daunting.

To ease your mind, we’ve compiled some of our favorite tips and tricks to making meals at home even easier—and cheaper to boot!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

All You Need to Know About Checking Accounts

The most obvious things in life are often overlooked, and your checking account is just one of them. Most people hardly give a thought to this important account and how to best manage it effectively. We’re here to change that.

Here’s all you need to know about checking accounts:

Friday, February 5, 2021

Celebrating Black History Month in 2021

Now more than ever it’s important to celebrate and educate ourselves on the amazing diversity of the world. In honor of Black History Month, Community Financial Credit Union would like to share four little-known facts about African American history, along with some great ways to commemorate black history and culture. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

5 Reasons We Overspend (and How to Overcome Them)

We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s that I-gotta-have-it urge that overtakes us when we see a pair of designer jeans. Maybe it’s that shrug as we reach for the $6 cup of overrated coffee that says “I deserve this.” Or maybe it’s that helpless feeling as the end of the month draws near and we realize we’ve outspent our budget — again.

What makes us overspend? Let’s take a look at five common reasons and how we can overcome them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Beware Heartbreak with Romance Scams

With COVID-19 forcing more singles to connect online, America’s most expensive scam is on the rise. Romance scams are all over the internet and can be difficult to spot. Here’s what you need to know about these scams to keep yourself from heartbreak.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

With holiday stress in the rearview mirror, there’s no better time to try out new recipes for the whole family to enjoy. Set-it-and-forget-it meals, like this delicious slow cooker teriyaki chicken recipe, are the best way to try new dishes without the extra hassle of spending hours in the kitchen. With only 15 minutes of prep and a low cost per serving, this recipe has it all!

 

Friday, January 15, 2021

School Spotlight: Plymouth Scholars Charter Academy Students Grow Their Savings Early!

Education Partnership Coordinator, Amy Pashukewich,
arrives ready and eager for a socially-distanced, masked deposit day! 
Students at Plymouth Scholars Charter Academy (PSCA), in Plymouth, are exposed early on to money management skills through Community Financial’s Student-Run Credit Union program.  Students in all grades at PSCA are able to make deposits to their Community Financial savings accounts once a month, and are given fun incentives to do so!  This year, Education Partnership Coordinator, Amy Pashukewich, worked with PSCA administration to devise a plan for students to continue to save their money at school, even during a pandemic! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

5 Ways to Destress After the Holidays for Less

For many, the holiday season brings not just cheer, but stress as well. Thankfully, we’ve got your post-holiday destress covered! Check out these 5 ways to destress for less:

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

January is National Blood Donor Month, 5 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: