In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
“Stop! Back up!” I shout enthusiastically to my spouse Ryan every time we drive or bike past a pile of free stuff on the side of the road. Next comes a debate between us over whether the discarded items are worth taking home or not. Most often, I say “yes,” Ryan says “no,” we take it home anyway, and Ryan ends up thanking me later for grabbing it. I find a lot of satisfaction in giving objects a second life, but is this obsession truly saving me money?
[5 min read] Credit unions and banks offer a similar experience but operate from a very different structure and philosophy. One is not necessarily better than the other, but one may be better for you, depending on your values and your needs. Which one makes the most sense for you? To determine that, here is a list of questions you can ask, and some answers to help you consider the options.
Do you feel like your finances are a mess? What exactly qualifies your finances as a ‘mess,’ anyway? There are lots of rules of thumb and general advice out there—you should have two months’ worth of wages saved as an emergency fund, you should have three times your salary saved for retirement by age 40, and the like. What if you don’t; are your finances a mess? If you’re like most Americans, that may be the case. The truth is that about 63% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and 30% of Americans struggle to come up with $400 to pay for an emergency expense. Regardless of your personal circumstances, here are five steps to consider taking to improve your financial situation.
It is never too late to improve your financial situation, and it is never too early to start thinking about financial planning, retirement, or saving up for a large purchase like your first home. While I am not a financial advisor, there are some basic tips and strategies to begin moving in the right direction. Having taken these steps myself, though, I can help provide some firsthand advice to improving your financial health.
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Prior to entering the adult world, personal finance was not a topic I had learned much about. More recently, it has become a topic of conversation among family and friends out of both necessity and curiosity. I get the sense that there are a lot of people out there, like me, who would love to learn more about how the world of finance works, and more specifically the implications for their own personal finances. There is a myriad of options for your listening pleasure out there, some that tackle the financial world in broad strokes and others focused on personal finance. Here are a few of my favorites.
Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial fraud has been on the rise as scammers look to take advantage of how financially vulnerable many of us have become. The Federal Trade Commission has reported large spikes in phishing emails, phony websites, social media scams, and more over the past thirteen months. We’ve written extensively about fraud in the past, but this blog will focus on one type of scam that has become more and more common: the social media scam.
April is Financial Literacy Month, and I’m taking the concept very literally with some finance book recommendations. There are many books on finance out there, of course, but here are a few of the best books about personal finance, money management, and our financial system that I’ve read.
People have been lending for thousands of years, even before money. The grain banks of ancient Egypt bought and sold commodities based on their value in grain. It feels natural for the concept of a “loan,” something that is so integral to modern everyday life, to be almost as old as civilization itself. Surprisingly, some aspects of lending that we take for granted today are relatively new. Although lending itself has been around longer than written history, the first credit bureaus were created less than 300 years ago, and credit scores are only about 30 years old.