In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
When we were younger, many of us were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well-intentioned adults may have been excited to get a sneak peek into our little minds and identify what we were passionate about. If you had asked me, I would have said a naturalist (think Steve Irwin); if you asked my brother, he would have said a dragonfly. What makes this innocent question quite layered, actually? Following our passion implies that we have a clear calling that will not only make us happy but will also be lucrative.
One of the many messages of 2020 was that our country is still far from the equality our foundational documents aspire to. Access to freedoms, protection, safety, and opportunity in the United States is unequal and falls along lines of gender, race, class, and more. After the killing of George Floyd, as the country reeled in protests and examined the historical and systemic nature of racism, the holiday of Juneteenth became one way to focus learning and actions. For many, especially those of us in New England where the holiday is celebrated by few, it was new and unfamiliar.
As of May 13, over 35% of Americans have been fully vaccinated thanks to the hard work of scientists, medical engineers, and state government officials. The result is a declining number of positive COVID-19 cases and death rate, leading many states to slowly begin reopening. Here in Vermont, we currently rank first in the nation for rate of vaccine administration! With all this good news, it might soon be safe to travel again and perhaps reschedule that trip you canceled in 2020. In fact, CNBC reports that 65% of Americans plan to travel more in 2021 than in years prior to COVID-19! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your post-COVID adventures out in the world.
Prior to entering the adult world, personal finance was not a topic I had learned much about. More recently, it has become a topic of conversation among family and friends out of both necessity and curiosity. I get the sense that there are a lot of people out there, like me, who would love to learn more about how the world of finance works, and more specifically the implications for their own personal finances. There is a myriad of options for your listening pleasure out there, some that tackle the financial world in broad strokes and others focused on personal finance. Here are a few of my favorites.
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Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial fraud has been on the rise as scammers look to take advantage of how financially vulnerable many of us have become. The Federal Trade Commission has reported large spikes in phishing emails, phony websites, social media scams, and more over the past thirteen months. We’ve written extensively about fraud in the past, but this blog will focus on one type of scam that has become more and more common: the social media scam.
People have been lending for thousands of years, even before money. The grain banks of ancient Egypt bought and sold commodities based on their value in grain. It feels natural for the concept of a “loan,” something that is so integral to modern everyday life, to be almost as old as civilization itself. Surprisingly, some aspects of lending that we take for granted today are relatively new. Although lending itself has been around longer than written history, the first credit bureaus were created less than 300 years ago, and credit scores are only about 30 years old.
We all lead busy lives and the thought of getting all our tasks done can seem overwhelming, especially when it comes to home maintenance. With spring coming, you may be wondering what projects you need to tackle around the house. The pandemic has spurred a lot of home projects, which means contractors’ schedules are filling quickly (some may already be filled). So, now is the time to start planning and reaching out!
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.