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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.

Nick Bohlen

Nick Bohlen is a communications specialist at VSECU, sharing ideas and information with staff, members, and Vermonters. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, traveling, and exploring Vermont’s great outdoors with his wife and dog.

By: Nick Bohlen

April 15th, 2021

Four of the Best Finance Books to Read for Financial Literacy Month

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

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.

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By: Nick Bohlen

March 26th, 2021

You’re Under Contract to Buy a House. Now What?

Homebuying and Mortgages

Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions you’ll make, if not the largest. As a result, it can be a complicated, time-consuming, and stressful process. Though it might not feel like it during your search, eventually the right home will appear, your offer will be accepted, and you’ll find yourself in contract to buy a house. (Having just become a first-time homeowner after a year-long search, this is a promise I feel comfortable making.) While it is a relief to finally be under contract, you’re not quite out of the woods. Here is what you can plan to do between going into contract and closing on your new home.

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By: Nick Bohlen

February 26th, 2021

10 Books to Read for Black History Month (and Beyond)

Learn Something New

Although Black History Month ends on February 28, we can continue to recognize and reflect on Black history in the United States. Here are ten books by Black authors that I have read and would recommend for learning about Black American history, culture, and experiences.

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By: Nick Bohlen

September 3rd, 2020

The Four Best Budgeting Apps Worth Paying For

Saving and Budgeting

How much would you pay for a budgeting app that helps you save money in the long run? As we did with the best free budgeting apps, we’ve created an overview of some of the more popular personal finance apps available for a monthly fee: You Need a Budget, Simplifi, Mvelopes, and Acorns. We’ll cover how they’re best used, highlight a few handy features, and outline the pros and cons for each. But before we get into the details of each budget app, we have to address the elephant in the room…

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6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Cultivate and Maintain an Excellent Credit Score

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By: Nick Bohlen

August 27th, 2020

The Best Free Budgeting Apps to Help You Save Money

Saving and Budgeting

Budgeting can feel hard. Although the concept and the steps are simple enough, it can still be intimidating to figure out where to start or know if you’re budgeting correctly. But it doesn’t have to be. As with everything in our digital age, there’s an app for that. Actually, there are several personal finance apps to help you manage your money. (And that’s just one type of budgeting tool you can use.) But what’s the best budgeting app for saving money? To help you save time (and money), we’ve created an overview of some of the more widely used money management apps out there, starting with a few of the best free budgeting apps on the market. We’ll cover how they’re best used, highlight a few handy features, and outline major pros and cons to help you choose for yourself. Let’s log in.

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By: Nick Bohlen

August 12th, 2020

Seven Ways to Think About Money So You Stop Wasting It

Saving and Budgeting

How do you think about money? In many ways, our psychology of money determines what we do with it. Before you can build better spending habits, you may need to change the way you think about money. For all the budgeting tactics and money-saving life hacks there are, they may not help you stop wasting money if you don’t have the proper money mindset. Whether you’re just starting to independently manage your finances or are looking to escape a money mentality you inherited from your family, here are seven ways to adopt a healthier mindset and a wealthier savings account.

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By: Nick Bohlen

June 30th, 2020

Your CARES Act and Families First Act Cheat Sheet

Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future | Lifestyle

COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our day-to-day lives. Among other things, our personal finances, 401(k) accounts, job security, food security, social lives, and family lives have all been impacted. To mitigate the pandemic’s effect on our personal lives, the U.S. government enacted new laws to help Americans deal with the novel coronavirus. Passed at the end of March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response (FFCR) Act made notable changes in how we take care of our health, our work, and our finances. Here are the key impacts both the CARES and FFCR Acts have had on these areas of our lives in 2020.

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By: Nick Bohlen

May 5th, 2020

How to Save Your Small Businesses from Coronavirus

Alternative Banking | Business Development | Investing in the Future

Loans and Grants for Now and Later Whether it’s starting curbside pickup at restaurants, pivoting manufacturing facilities to produce masks and other necessities for frontline workers, creating online ordering systems, or developing remote work infrastructures on the fly, one silver lining the pandemic has shown us is the innovative power of small business owners and entrepreneurs.   But the reality is that the small business sector is still in need of help—specifically financial help. If you are a business owner, here are the two major categories of finance that you can turn to, both during the COVID-19 crisis and after.

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