Main Menu

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: 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!

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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?

Read More
6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Cultivate and Maintain an Excellent Credit Score

Sign up for our blog and get Six Tips for Improving Your Credit Score free!

By: Oliver Ames

February 23rd, 2021

Meal Planning to Save Money

Youth and Finances | Saving and Budgeting | Learn Something New | Lifestyle

I’m a big fan of the envelope method of budgeting, and I’ve written about it in the past. Essentially, whenever money comes into our household, it immediately gets divided up into specific “envelopes” that denote what it’s for. We call this giving every dollar a job, and it makes managing expenses and saving extremely efficient. Once you’ve become good at it, a lot of the usual stress that comes with trying to stick with a budget goes away. Part of the reason I think this philosophy works so well for my family is that it lifts the mental load of spending and worrying that you can’t afford something. Rather than guessing how much you can spend on a given category, you just check its designated “envelope.” If there is enough money in there to buy what you need, you’re good to go! It might sound like a minor difference, but in practice, it revolutionizes budgeting. This method is amazing for nearly every type of spending, save one: groceries!

Read More

By: David Tepfer

February 16th, 2021

How to Start a Side Hustle and Make Extra Money

Business Development | Youth and Finances | Learn Something New | Lifestyle

You’re thinking about starting a side hustle. It’s a topic that comes up in conversation more and more. And while you may be in a standard 9:00 to 5:00 position rather than working the gig economy, you are still looking for something more. You have a hobby, and you’re looking to finance your interest by making a profit from an activity you enjoy. You could be looking to supplement your income. Finding a skill to turn into a side business could help you reach your financial goals You may want to start your own business and a side hustle could help you test the waters before making a plunge into the entrepreneurial world. No matter what you’re looking to make your side hustle, you’re about to start a business. You can no longer take a passive stance once you have the expectation of profiting from your side hustle. And since this is your side job (with an emphasis on side), making money is easier said than done while also managing your full-time job.

Read More

By: Jacey Fountain

February 11th, 2021

15 Black-Owned Businesses Where You Can Buy Locally for Black History Month

Local Investing | Learn Something New | Lifestyle

February is Black History Month, a time to reflect on the contributions and accomplishments made by African Americans in the U.S., while also recognizing that there is still work to be done to achieve racial equity. In Vermont, shopping local and supporting small business is a way of life. We like to know that our dollars are staying in our communities, and one fantastic way to put our dollars to work this month (and year-round!) is to celebrate and uplift the accomplishments of our Black neighbors.   The U.S. Census estimates that just 1.4% of Vermont residents identify as Black or African American, a statistic which I found to be reflected in my search to highlight businesses from around the state. Finding Black-owned establishments in Chittenden County was noticeably easier than in other counties, and many of the towns represented here are online shops, rather than traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts. This makes it even more important for all of us to do our part to support and boost the visibility of Black businesses across Vermont.     To get you started, here are 15 businesses you should check out!

Read More

By: Oliver Ames

December 29th, 2020

What Vermonters Need to Know About the $600 Stimulus Check

Credit and Debt | Learn Something New

The latest $900 billion relief package includes a second stimulus check for Americans. Here’s what you need to know!

Read More