In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
If you have ever tried or looked into the idea of brewing beer at home, you know all the great benefits. You can control the taste, carbonation, alcohol content, and character of what you drink; it makes a great last-minute gift; and by brewing at home, you are saving on cost and won’t have to recycle your own bottles. There is, however, one major drawback to home brewing—the high volume of leftover ingredients you have to deal with after every brew. These leftover ingredients are all the oats, wheat, barley, and other grains that are “spent” during the brewing process.
Nowadays, people make most of their purchases with plastic, so you may wonder if it’s worthwhile to teach your kids how to identify and count coins. The truth is, coins are still in use, particularly by kids, and knowing how to count them is an important, fundamental skill for children.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in April that everyone wear cloth coverings to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, many Vermonters dusted off their sewing machines to make their own or pulled out their winter balaclavas. If your homemade mask is looking a little ragged and you are hoping to buy something professionally made, several Vermont businesses have stepped up to the challenge and are make comfortable, long-lasting face masks! With COVID-19 very much an ongoing public health crisis and the Vermont Department of Health recommending all Vermonters wear cloth face coverings when outside of the home, now might be the perfect time to buy yourself a new mask.
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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The average Vermonter generates almost six pounds of waste each day. Two pounds of that waste is either recycled or composted, which means that every single day we all throw away a four-pound bag of trash. That’s a lot! To help with this burgeoning waste problem, Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, or Act 148, was passed in 2012. The law has two primary goals—to reduce Vermont’s overall waste and increase the amount of waste that is diverted from the landfill through recycling and composting. It has been instituted incrementally over the past six years with the final phase—the complete landfill ban on food scraps—coming on July 1.
If you don’t have a credit union or bank account, you aren’t alone. According to the most recent FDIC survey, “an estimated 6.5% of U.S. households (8.4 million households) were ‘unbanked’ in 2017” and “an additional 18.7% of U.S. households (24.2 million) were ‘underbanked.’ In 2015, an estimated 1.5% of Vermonters (out of a population of 626,299, that’s 9,394 people) were unbanked. 11.6% were underbanked. This is a fairly low rate in comparison to other states, but it’s still a lot of people who live without any or adequate banking services.
It’s 2020 and we are living through a pandemic. We have seen grocery stores with empty shelves due to panic buying, been directed to walk one way down aisles to avoid infection, washed our hands multiple times a day for twenty seconds to kill the virus, struggled to find toilet paper and hand sanitizer (again, due to panic buying), isolated ourselves, maintained physical distance from others in social situations, and donned masks when we entered public spaces.
Fact: Unemployment is at an all-time high Have you lost or left your job recently? If so, you may be wondering how to take control of the money in your 401(k) or other employee retirement account. First, recognize that the crisis of losing your job may also be an opportunity. You can move your retirement funds to a different account and potentially have more options to plan for your future than you did under your previous employer’s plan. With fewer and fewer people staying at one job for the long term, most people experience at least three to four employers during their career, so you are not alone.