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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: Emma Hanson

March 18th, 2021

Use Wood to Create an Efficient Heating System

Energy Savings | Learn Something New

Winter is coming to an end, making it a great time to consider upgrades to your heating system that will improve your comfort next winter! You’ve probably heard that the state has a goal of reaching 90 percent renewable energy by 2050, but you may not have heard that part of that goal is to reach 35 percent of our thermal energy needs from wood heat by 2030. It’s true! Vermont has a long cultural history of heating with wood, and already 24 percent of our thermal energy comes from wood heat, but modern advances in wood heating technology have made it easier, cleaner, and more sustainable than ever before.

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By: Charlene Sullivan

March 16th, 2021

Try Something New: How to Make Lip Balm & Lotion Bars

About 40 years ago, consumers began asking for skin and lip products made with natural ingredients. Several companies (like Maine’s Burt’s Bees, founded in 1984; New Hampshire’s Badger Balm, founded in 1995; and Georgia’s Savannah Bee Company, founded in 2002 – to name just a few) were quick to recognize the trend towards quality products that were made with natural ingredients and essential oils. The consumer demand for these products has created a very profitable industry that is growing.

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By: Oliver Ames

March 10th, 2021

What You Need to Know About Your Third Stimulus Check

Credit and Debt | Learn Something New

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan has been passed by both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. It now heads to President Biden’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law as early as this week. Among a variety of economic recovery initiatives, the bill includes direct payments to Americans. Here is what you need to know!

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By: Blair Wolston

March 9th, 2021

Are Low Interest Rates Killing Your Savings? Here's What to Do.

Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

With interest rates at historic lows for loans and deposits, the current rate environment certainly rewards borrowers but what choices are long-term savers left with?

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6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Cultivate and Maintain an Excellent Credit Score

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By: Seth Kerin

March 4th, 2021

Spring is Coming: How to Hire Contractors for Home Improvement Projects

Homebuying and Mortgages | Saving and Budgeting | Learn Something New

We are still in the midst of winter, but now is the time to start planning for spring upgrades, repairs, and projects. Warmer weather will be here soon (I promise!), so it is best to be prepared to take advantage of our limited warm months. Preparation and planning now can make any project go smoother.

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By: Cameron Arnold

March 2nd, 2021

What to Do When You Can't Pay the Bills

Credit and Debt | Saving and Budgeting

What do you do when your paycheck doesn’t cover your monthly bills? This has become a larger problem for people during the pandemic, but it can be a problem at any time. You may just hit a bad month, where expenses got out of control; or you may have lost a job, found yourself caring for a sick family member, or maybe your expenses increased but your paycheck didn’t. Either way, if you’re in a situation where you’re missing bill payments or skipping meals so you can meet other financial responsibilities, it’s time to take action.

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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: Courtney Guyette

February 25th, 2021

People and Movements in Black History that Improved Financial Access

Alternative Banking | Cooperatives | Learn Something New

Navigating our financial system can be difficult, but it has been that much harder for the Black community after the abolishment of slavery. Jim Crow laws made it nearly impossible to get a loan or even open a bank account. African Americans would need a white man to vouch for them to even be considered for a loan. When we step back and examine our financial system, do we truly understand how far we have come in making it more accessible? Do we know how it difficult was for those individuals who helped pave the way?

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