In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
The concept of “energy burden” has recently emerged as a helpful way to understand the impact of energy costs on a household. It’s a relatively simple calculation: the annual cost of energy bills divided by the household’s annual income. But this simple calculation can lead to new insights about how Vermont families experience energy costs and how energy programs can support those families.
ESG investing is not a new idea but it has become increasingly popular in recent years, and possibly more so lately due to the social and health issues we are facing as a nation. ESG is an investment method that grew out of the philosophy of socially responsible investing (SRI). The letters “ESG” stand for environmental, social, and governance. Those who invest in ESG are interested in supporting companies that prove, through their internal and external operations, that they are committed to taking responsibility for their impact on the world around them.
Estate planning may not be something you think about every day but as you get older and accumulate assets, it should become a part of your overall financial plan. You may have started out with nothing, but now you’ve got a house, maybe a vacation home, rental properties, vehicles, precious heirlooms that were passed down through the family, and investment accounts. The more you accumulate, the more you have to safeguard so that everything makes it into the right hands after you pass. It’s easy enough to procrastinate; more than 50% of American adults don’t have a will. Hopefully, after considering the information outlined in this article, you can begin to move forward with a plan or tune up the documents you already have in place.
“This is the moment credit unions were invented for. Or at least should have been...” This message from author, speaker, and former VSECU consultant Douglas Rushkoff hit my inbox in July earlier this year. VSECU had benefited from Douglas’s insights before and MIT named him one of the world’s top ten influential thinkers, among other accolades, so his words had weight. He was simultaneously praising of the foundations of mutual aid and shared values that credit unions are built upon and issuing a challenge for credit unions to rise to the many difficulties we are facing in 2020. So, on International Credit Union Day, a day when we celebrate the contributions of credit unions, we ask, “What is it about credit unions that makes them meaningful in this moment?” and “What are credit unions doing to meet the challenges of today?
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Buying gifts for the holidays can be daunting if you don’t have a strategy in place to help you set aside spending money. Even if you have been careful with your money throughout the year, best intentions to spend wisely can fly out the window once the holiday season starts. Overspending during the holidays can cause some people to feel extra guilt and stress, taking away from the enjoyment of the season. If you’re unsure how to start saving for the holidays, here are a few ideas to help you get started.
This is an exciting time for plug-in electric vehicle (EV) buyers. Manufacturers are producing a wide array of models. The value of going electric has increased as electric driving range goes up, performance improves, more affordable models are available and off-peak charging costs from several Vermont utilities offer the equivalent of $1 per gallon of gasoline. Plus, purchase incentives are available that can reduce up-front costs by $10,000 or more. If you’re on the fence about buying an EV, this article may help you pick a side.
Growing up, I was given a register to keep track of my checking and savings accounts. As time moved on and technology advanced, I began relying on online resources to do my banking and manage my accounts. Using online tools to help me track my finances has saved me a lot of time and money over the years, and now that I work at a financial institution, I have fine-tuned my habits to save even more. So, how can simple technology save you time and money? Here are some ideas...
If you’ve ever purchased a vehicle, you probably know that you can spend almost as much time shopping for rates as you do picking out your new car. But what if I told you that you didn’t have to spend so much time finding the best interest rate? Yes, sometimes getting the lowest interest rate is extremely beneficial when it comes to your car payments. A difference of a couple of percentage points—0.9% compared to a rate of 3.9%, for example—can lead to huge monetary savings on your auto loan in the end, particularly on a higher-cost vehicle. However, often times, focusing on the interest rate does more harm than good.