In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
With the holidays coming, you’ve probably already pulled out the credit card and are ready to wield it in whatever way necessary to put smiles on the faces of your family and friends. With the pandemic ongoing and winter creating greater challenges for shopping, you may be considering shopping online as a general rule. But whether you choose to shop online or prefer to brave the stores, I’ve got some solid advice you can use to protect your card and your finances this holiday season.
The holiday season is fast approaching. After you’ve made your list and checked it twice like a proverbial Santa Claus, the next step is to purchase gifts. The crafty folk among us may be able to make personalized handmade presents, but even supplies cost money. Other than clipping coupons, there are several creative ways that you can save money while doing your holiday shopping.
For most of us mere mortals, saving money is difficult at best. It’s easy to begin with the best of intentions only to give up due to forgetfulness, frustration, or exhaustion. To help you get started and keep going, here are three sets of creative ideas for saving money on a tight budget. The first set will help you get going. The second set will keep you motivated. The third set will help ensure long-term 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.
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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?
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.