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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: Daniel Gauthier

July 29th, 2021

How to Ask for a Raise at Work: Four Questions to Consider

Saving and Budgeting | Lifestyle

“In order to G-E-T you have to A-S-K.” This was the one-liner that stuck with me following Brooks Harper’s keynote address at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Workforce and Talent Summit. He has a fascinating life story which helped set him up for a career as an author and one of the most sought-after career speakers in the country. But he makes a point to emphasize that he never got anything along the way without asking. It’s a modern-day spin on the old adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” It applies to many facets of our lives and, in this blog, we’re going to focus on A-S-K-ing for a raise at work.

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By: Diana Clarke

July 22nd, 2021

Four Things to Consider to Choose the Best Pet Insurance

Pet health insurance can feel almost unnecessary—until it’s not. When my dog, Kelsey, got deathly ill about four years ago, the unexpected veterinary bills wrecked my perfect credit card balance and the modest-but-healthy savings I had built up. Three months of almost-constant vet care put me in a significant debt hole (and emotionally shook me to my core). Had I had pet health insurance for Kelsey at that time, I may have had a markedly different financial experience and a lot more peace of mind. But it’s hard to know when these things will happen. Pets are unpredictable sometimes.

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By: Thomas White

July 15th, 2021

Elder Financial Abuse: How to Prevent Two Common Financial Scams

Identity and Fraud Protection

Elder financial abuse is a problem in Vermont and across the country. Vulnerable adults can fall prey to the scams of strangers and exploitation by family members. According to federal law enforcement data, there have been 200 complaints filed by Vermont seniors in the last 18 months. These complaints represent over $1.9 million dollars in losses. With this type of abuse often being underreported and Vermont having the second-fastest aging population in the country, the true impact is suspected to be much higher. 

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By: Laurie Fielder

July 13th, 2021

What Does Conservation Mean? Is it the Same as Efficiency? And What Are Renewables?

Energy Savings | Saving and Budgeting

The energy efficiency community has something in common with many other industries, including medical, insurance, sports—lots of jargon that can cause confusion. Conservation and efficiency are often used interchangeably, but they are different. And then there's renewable energy, or “renewables” for short. I like to be intentional about these terms and bring clarity around them for others so they can apply real-world solutions to combat the existential challenge of climate change.

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6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Cultivate and Maintain an Excellent Credit Score

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By: Oliver Ames

July 8th, 2021

What You Need to Know about the Child Tax Credit

Saving and Budgeting

To help families get back on their feet after the ravaging effects of COVID-19, the federal government increased the child tax credit of up to $3,600 for eligible children as part of the March American Rescue Plan. Coverage of the much-needed rescue package focused on the increased stimulus payments, but the child tax credit had some significant changes as well. Namely, some families will begin to receive advanced payments starting July 15 (IRS). Here’s everything you need to know about the child tax credit in 2021!

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By: Talithia Bonner

June 30th, 2021

Breaking Generational Curses

Learn Something New

At what point do you decide that the life skills you’ve been taught simply are not enough? At what point is “doing what mom and dad are doing” not enough? Many have been blessed with guidance and amazing lessons from their parents, which they hope to pass down to their own children someday, but can those lessons be deemed harmful?

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By: Stephanie Loscalzo

June 24th, 2021

Is Doing What You Love the Best Career Path?

Youth and Finances | Learn Something New | Lifestyle

When we were younger, many of us were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well-intentioned adults may have been excited to get a sneak peek into our little minds and identify what we were passionate about. If you had asked me, I would have said a naturalist (think Steve Irwin); if you asked my brother, he would have said a dragonfly. What makes this innocent question quite layered, actually? Following our passion implies that we have a clear calling that will not only make us happy but will also be lucrative.

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By: Robbin Figura

June 22nd, 2021

Budgeting for a New Baby

Preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first. Between setting up the nursery, reading every pregnancy book under the sun, and creating a birth plan, your mind is a constant whirl of to do’s. With so many fun mommy-to-be chores like registering and decorating to distract you, there is one much less fun, yet absolutely crucial, task that is often missed: organizing your finances.

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