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Financial and Lifestyle Resources for Vermont

VSECU Blog

In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.

By: Anne Bijur

September 17th, 2019

Eat Up! Save Money & the Environment by Reducing Food Waste

Americans throw away about 40% of the food that we produce in this country. Don’t believe it? Start paying attention in your own home. Track your food waste for a week and you’ll be surprised—the cottage cheese that turned moldy, the half-bunch wilted cilantro that you didn’t need for a recipe, the leftovers that you never felt like eating again, and the kale you bought because you want to start eating healthier but never cooked. And it’s not just in our homes, but in restaurants, groceries, on farms, and in institutions, like hospitals and schools. It’s a big problem, not only because food is being wasted but for other environmental, social, and economic reasons as well.

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By: Sarah Kearns

August 27th, 2019

Simple Business Plan Template for Entrepreneurs

Business Development

Business planning for startups often happens well after startup. Despite how important planning is to the success of a growing business, entrepreneurs often put off the task because they believe it will take a long time to complete the plan. There is a good reason for this, of course—a fully-fleshed business plan is comprehensive and often requires some research and relatively detailed planning.

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By: Heidi White

August 13th, 2019

National Financial Awareness Day: Focus on Finance

Credit and Debt | Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day—a good reminder to take personal stock of your financial awareness. What does it mean to be financially aware? Financial awareness is akin to financial literacy and both refer to the knowledge and skill sets that support solid financial decisions and overall financial health.

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By: Elizabeth LaPerle

August 7th, 2019

What is a Mortgage Rate Lock & How Does it Work?

Homebuying and Mortgages | Credit and Debt

If you’re buying a house, you want to get the best deal possible, which means you want the lowest interest rates—the lower your interest rates are, the less you’ll pay over the life of the loan. Buying a house can take a while, though, and in the time it takes you to find the house and go through the buying process, interest rates could rise or fall significantly.

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6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

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By: Alicia White

August 2nd, 2019

How to Pay for College Using Your Home's Equity

Homebuying and Mortgages | Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

If you’re a parent, you may find that as the school year gets closer, figuring out a game plan to pay for college gets more overwhelming by the day. For most, funding education from a savings alone is not an option.

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By: Brian Bristow

July 23rd, 2019

The Skinny on Financial Advisor Fees & Commissions

Investing in the Future

If you have a financial advisor, it’s important to understand how he or she is charging you and how that affects your investments and the advice you receive. Not all advisors charge in the same way, and how they charge has an impact on the type of relationship you have with your advisor.

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By: Laurie Fielder

July 20th, 2019

Hiking Tips and Tricks for Enthusiastic Beginners

Learn Something New | Lifestyle

I love to exercise outdoors, especially in the summer. I’m not much of a runner or biker. I like to walk, but I get bored on my typical route. Hiking gives me the complete experience—lots of exercise, views, fresh air, sunshine, companionship, and a sense of challenge and accomplishment. I’ve hiked all my life, starting as a little girl on Mount Mansfield’s Sunset Ridge Trail, the Tetons in Wyoming in 1990, and the Hunger and Elmore Mountain trails in central Vermont in the last couple of decades.

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By: Michelle "Shelly" Duprey

July 9th, 2019

What is Private Mortgage Insurance?

Homebuying and Mortgages

Private mortgage insurance (PMI), mortgage insurance (MI), private MI—these are all different names for one insurance product, which I’ll refer to as PMI for the purposes of this article. PMI is required when you take out a home loan with a down payment that is less than 20% of the purchase price or appraisal value, whichever is lower.

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