MyC1CU News

Rev Up for Our 99th Annual Membership Meeting!

May 27, 2024


Community 1st Credit Union is excited to invite you to our 99th Annual Membership Meeting, which will take place at 4 PM on July 27th, 2024, at the LeMay Family Collection at Marymount, a private classic car museum.

 

Important Information:

  • Date and Time: July 27th, 2024, at 4 PM
  • Location: LeMay Family Collection at Marymount, 325 152nd St E, Tacoma, WA 98445
  • How to Attend: Members can register beginning July 8. There will be a dedicated email/phone number for the event. Please watch for more details soon.
  • Attendance Requirements: Pre-registration and Community 1st Credit Union membership are required.
  • Food! Prizes!

 

Keep an eye on our website and your email for more details on how to register including our very own Credit Union Classic Car show featuring YOUR classic car.

 

Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate with us in a truly classic style. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Smart Credit Card Practices

October 18, 2023


 

For many, a credit card is more than just a piece of plastic. It’s a tool that can help build credit, earn rewards, and even bail you out of an emergency. However, if not used wisely, it can also lead to financial pitfalls. Here's a guide to using credit cards wisely, so you reap the benefits without the burdens.

Understanding Credit Cards

First, let’s get one thing straight: credit cards are essentially short-term loans. Every time you swipe, you're borrowing money with the promise to pay it back. And if not paid in full by the due date, interest is charged on the outstanding amount.

1. Start with the Right Card

Different cards have different perks and pitfalls:

  • Low-Interest Cards: Best for those who might carry a balance from month to month.
  • Rewards Cards: Offers points, cashback, or miles but often come with higher interest rates.
  • Student Cards: Tailored for students with lower credit limits and perks for good grades.
  • Secured Cards: Requires a deposit up front and is excellent for building or rebuilding credit.

Tip: Do your research! Choose a card that aligns with your spending habits and financial goals.

2. Know Your Limit (and Stick to It)

Every card has a credit limit, which is the maximum amount you can owe at any given time. Regularly maxing out your card can hurt your credit score.

Tip: As a good practice, try not to exceed 30% of your credit limit. For a card with a $1,000 limit, that means keeping your balance below $300.

3. Pay More Than the Minimum

Only paying the minimum amount due can keep you in debt longer and cost you more in interest. Aim to pay your balance in full each month. If you can't do that, try to pay more than the minimum amount due.

4. Set Up Alerts and Stay Informed

Most credit card companies allow you to set up alerts for things like:

  • Transactions over a certain amount.
  • When your balance approaches your limit.
  • A few days before your payment is due.

5. Avoid Unnecessary Fees

  • Late Payment Fees: Always pay your bill on time. Set reminders or automate payments.
  • Cash Advance Fees: Avoid using your credit card to get cash. It often comes with fees and higher interest rates.
  • Annual Fees: Some cards charge an annual fee in exchange for perks. Make sure the benefits outweigh the cost.

6. Protect Your Card Information

  • Always check your statements for suspicious transactions.
  • Don't give your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
  • Shop on secure websites (look for "https://" in the URL).
  • Report a lost or stolen card immediately.

7. Avoid Impulse Purchases

It's tempting to make impulse buys when you don't feel the immediate pinch from your wallet. Before a purchase, ask yourself if it's a need or a want. If it's a substantial expense, maybe sleep on it.

8. Understand Your APR

APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the interest rate charged if you carry a balance on your card. The higher the APR, the more you'll pay in interest. If you're shopping for a card, look for one with a lower APR.

9. Limit the Number of Cards

Having too many cards can make it challenging to keep track of payments. It’s better to have one or two cards you manage well than several cards you can't keep up with.

10. Seek Help if Needed

If you find yourself in over your head, don't be afraid to seek help. Many nonprofit organizations offer credit counseling services.

Conclusion

Credit cards, when used correctly, can be a valuable financial tool. The key is to be mindful of your habits and proactive in your approach. Always spend within your means, pay your bills on time, and stay informed. Remember, it's not just about avoiding debt but building a bright financial future.

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Setting Financial Goals

October 17, 2023


Achieving financial stability and success starts with setting clear goals. However, not all financial goals are created equal. They can be divided into short-term and long-term targets. Let’s dive in and explore the differences, and how you can effectively prioritize and pursue them.

Understanding Financial Goals

At its core, a financial goal is a monetary target you're aiming to hit within a set timeframe. Whether it’s buying a new pair of sneakers or retiring in the Bahamas, it’s essential to set and work towards these objectives.

Short-term Goals: The Immediate Future

Short-term financial goals are targets you want to achieve in the immediate future, typically within a year.

Examples:

  • Saving for a vacation.
  • Paying off a small debt.
  • Buying a new gadget or piece of furniture.
  • Building an emergency fund.
    • Why They’re Important:
      • Short-term goals are motivators. Achieving them gives you a sense of accomplishment and reinforces good saving habits.

Long-term Goals: Looking Ahead

Long-term financial goals are bigger objectives you hope to accomplish over an extended period, typically more than a year.

Examples:

  • Buying a home.
  • Paying off large debts like student loans or mortgages.
  • Saving for your children's college education.
  • Retirement planning.
    • Why They’re Important:
      • Long-term goals shape your future. They require patience, commitment, and strategic planning but promise substantial rewards.

Striking a Balance

While both short-term and long-term goals are essential, it's crucial to strike a balance between the two. Think of it as maintaining a financial seesaw. Too much emphasis on one side can leave the other hanging.

Steps to Prioritize Your Financial Goals

1. List All Your Goals: Start by jotting down all your financial goals, both short-term and long-term. Be specific. Instead of writing “Save money,” write “Save $500 for a new laptop.”

2. Categorize Them: Once you have your list, categorize them into short-term and long-term goals.

3. Rank Them: Rank your goals based on urgency and importance. If two goals seem equally important, think about which one will have a more significant positive impact on your life or financial well-being.

4. Set Deadlines: Assign a realistic deadline to each goal. It will serve as motivation and help you track your progress.

5. Budget Accordingly: After ranking your goals, allocate your resources (time, money, effort) to start working on them. Remember, while it's essential to save for a vacation, it's equally crucial not to do so at the expense of your retirement fund (your future).

6. Regularly Review: Periodically, go back and review your goals. Life is dynamic, and priorities can change. Adjust your list and strategies as needed.

Tips for Achieving Your Financial Goals

  • Start Small: Don’t get overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Start with small steps. For instance, if you aim to save $5,000 in a year, break it down to saving around $96 every week.
  • Automate Savings: Consider setting up automated transfers to your savings account. It ensures you remain consistent.
  • Avoid Debt: While it might be tempting to take on debt for immediate gratification, it can hinder your long-term financial goals.
  • Stay Informed: The world of finance is continually evolving. Stay updated with the latest trends and advice. It can help you make informed decisions.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you're unsure about how to prioritize or achieve your financial goals, consider seeking help from financial advisors.

Conclusion

Setting and prioritizing financial goals gives direction to your saving and spending habits. By distinguishing between short-term and long-term goals and ranking them based on their urgency and importance, you set yourself up for a balanced and bright financial future. Remember, the journey to financial success is a marathon, not a sprint. So, plan wisely, stay committed, and watch your dreams turn into reality.

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