Designate No Spend Days

How many times a day do you swipe your credit card? It’s common for most people to do this without thinking twice about it. From the coffee you pick up on your way to work to dining out for lunch, you may not realize just how often you’re spending money. The problem is, spending so frequently makes it difficult to save. From tapping your mobile device to making a purchase online, how much are you spending?  Spending Made Easy Makes Saving Difficult  Back when you had to pay in cash for everything, spending was much harder. These days, it’s too easy. You don’t even need to have your card in hand while shopping online, right now! While this helps you…

February 22, 2021Wallet Wins No Comments

How many times a day do you swipe your credit card? It’s common for most people to do this without thinking twice about it. From the coffee you pick up on your way to work to dining out for lunch, you may not realize just how often you’re spending money. The problem is, spending so frequently makes it difficult to save. From tapping your mobile device to making a purchase online, how much are you spending?  Spending Made Easy Makes Saving Difficult  Back when you had to pay in cash for everything, spending was much harder. These days, it’s too easy. You don’t even need to have your card in hand while shopping online, right now! While this helps you…

4 Reasons Your Credit Score Changed

Your credit score carries a lot of weight in your ability to get credit. Not only that, it affects the interest rate you’re approved for, the cost of your insurance premiums—even your ability to be employed in certain occupations.    Many people don’t realize small actions cause ripple effects that can lower your credit score. If you monitor your credit score routinely, you may find these changes perplexing. These are four reasons why your credit score may have changed.  You made a large purchase on your credit card. If you make a big credit card purchase, it increases your Credit Utilization Ratio (CUR). The credit utilization ratio is the amount of credit you have available compared to the amount of credit you use. Ideally,…

February 22, 2021Borrowing Basics, Wallet Wins 1 Comment

Your credit score carries a lot of weight in your ability to get credit. Not only that, it affects the interest rate you’re approved for, the cost of your insurance premiums—even your ability to be employed in certain occupations.    Many people don’t realize small actions cause ripple effects that can lower your credit score. If you monitor your credit score routinely, you may find these changes perplexing. These are four reasons why your credit score may have changed.  You made a large purchase on your credit card. If you make a big credit card purchase, it increases your Credit Utilization Ratio (CUR). The credit utilization ratio is the amount of credit you have available compared to the amount of credit you use. Ideally,…

Does Closing a Credit Card Affect Your Credit Score? 

Your old credit card. It has plagued your thoughts and haunted your monthly bottom line for years—even decades. That exhilarating moment you FINALLY pay it off gives you such relief that you want to cut the card up and bid the credit card company good riddance forever.   But is this really the best move for your credit score? Starting off with a clean slate might feel good, but sometimes holding on to an “old friend” is better. Let’s dig a little deeper.  Anatomy of a Credit Score  Before we get too deep, it’s wise to explore the anatomy of a credit score and how closing a credit card may affect it.  Your credit score consists of five factors:  Payment history  Amount owed  Length of credit history (how long accounts…

February 15, 2021Borrowing Basics, Wallet Wins No Comments

Your old credit card. It has plagued your thoughts and haunted your monthly bottom line for years—even decades. That exhilarating moment you FINALLY pay it off gives you such relief that you want to cut the card up and bid the credit card company good riddance forever.   But is this really the best move for your credit score? Starting off with a clean slate might feel good, but sometimes holding on to an “old friend” is better. Let’s dig a little deeper.  Anatomy of a Credit Score  Before we get too deep, it’s wise to explore the anatomy of a credit score and how closing a credit card may affect it.  Your credit score consists of five factors:  Payment history  Amount owed  Length of credit history (how long accounts…

Which Savings Options Are Right for YOU? 

When it comes to saving money, most people begin with a basic savings account. Then, they move directly into market-based investments, like stocks and bonds. However, before you jump into higher-risk market-based investments, know that PEFCU offers many investment options that have great returns with little to no risk. Let’s review these options in more detail so you can choose some that will help you live your best financial life.  PEFCU Prime Share Savings Account  Savings accounts are your first step to saving money. This option is good to use as an emergency fund account; if an unforeseen event occurs, you have the money available to pay for any costs. Another use of a savings account is to save for the holidays or vacations,…

February 2, 2021Future Planning, Wallet Wins No Comments

When it comes to saving money, most people begin with a basic savings account. Then, they move directly into market-based investments, like stocks and bonds. However, before you jump into higher-risk market-based investments, know that PEFCU offers many investment options that have great returns with little to no risk. Let’s review these options in more detail so you can choose some that will help you live your best financial life.  PEFCU Prime Share Savings Account  Savings accounts are your first step to saving money. This option is good to use as an emergency fund account; if an unforeseen event occurs, you have the money available to pay for any costs. Another use of a savings account is to save for the holidays or vacations,…

5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Romance Your Valentine

The chocolates. The hearts. The flowers! Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year, right?  It can also be one of the most expensive, especially if you’re wining and dining your sweetheart.  We’ve got a secret for you: Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be pricey. There are plenty of fun, romantic, cute things you can do to romance your honey on that date without wondering if your card will be declined at the end of the night.  Cook Dinner Together.  It’s popular to dine out at an expensive restaurant on Valentine’s Day. However, having more diners means that restaurants get crowded and that their employees are pushed to their limits. Plus, the price of the…

February 1, 2021Wallet Wins No Comments

The chocolates. The hearts. The flowers! Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year, right?  It can also be one of the most expensive, especially if you’re wining and dining your sweetheart.  We’ve got a secret for you: Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be pricey. There are plenty of fun, romantic, cute things you can do to romance your honey on that date without wondering if your card will be declined at the end of the night.  Cook Dinner Together.  It’s popular to dine out at an expensive restaurant on Valentine’s Day. However, having more diners means that restaurants get crowded and that their employees are pushed to their limits. Plus, the price of the…

4 Ways to Stop Impulse Buying

Right now, you can easily buy anything with a quick swipe, tap, or click at any online or brick-and-mortar store. All these stores constantly push impulse buying on you by design, and that makes it hard to say no. But you can take control of impulse buying once you stick to a few of these rules.    1. Don’t Go Cold Turkey. Cutting yourself off cold turkey from impulse buying is not always the right move. This makes many people feel like they’re being punished, and they may want to rebel against their self-imposed restrictions. Be realistic and admit that everyone deserves a fun treat occasionally, even you. Allow yourself a couple of impulse purchases.   To stay in control, give yourself a weekly or monthly allowance, but don’t spend more than that. This helps you balance your need to enjoy the fruits of…

January 25, 2021Wallet Wins 1 Comment

Right now, you can easily buy anything with a quick swipe, tap, or click at any online or brick-and-mortar store. All these stores constantly push impulse buying on you by design, and that makes it hard to say no. But you can take control of impulse buying once you stick to a few of these rules.    1. Don’t Go Cold Turkey. Cutting yourself off cold turkey from impulse buying is not always the right move. This makes many people feel like they’re being punished, and they may want to rebel against their self-imposed restrictions. Be realistic and admit that everyone deserves a fun treat occasionally, even you. Allow yourself a couple of impulse purchases.   To stay in control, give yourself a weekly or monthly allowance, but don’t spend more than that. This helps you balance your need to enjoy the fruits of…

11 Smart Ways to Protect Your Personal Data

Fraud prevention can take some effort, but it’s worth it. Especially when your financial security is on the line. These days, you can’t confuse a constant awareness of fraud risk with paranoia, because it’s easy to fall victim to scams. However, common sense goes a long way toward keeping your accounts secure.  Remember, YOU are the first line of defense in protecting your data. Learn about new threats, stay current, and take necessary precautions to keep your personal information secure.   Here are eleven common-sense tips for protecting your personal data:   1. Think twice.   From the clerk asking for your email address at your favorite store to the food delivery website requiring your address, there’s always someone asking…

January 25, 2021Wallet Wins No Comments

Fraud prevention can take some effort, but it’s worth it. Especially when your financial security is on the line. These days, you can’t confuse a constant awareness of fraud risk with paranoia, because it’s easy to fall victim to scams. However, common sense goes a long way toward keeping your accounts secure.  Remember, YOU are the first line of defense in protecting your data. Learn about new threats, stay current, and take necessary precautions to keep your personal information secure.   Here are eleven common-sense tips for protecting your personal data:   1. Think twice.   From the clerk asking for your email address at your favorite store to the food delivery website requiring your address, there’s always someone asking…

3 Strategies for Improving Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a number you need to know. Lenders, insurance companies, and even some employers use this score to decide how reliable you are. It pays to do your best to make sure it’s as high as can be.   There are many ways to find out your credit score. As a PEFCU member, you can access your score with the FICO feature in our mobile banking app. Your FICO score, the most widely used credit scoring tool, specifically details what affects your score. If you need more details, you can order a free copy of your credit report through www.AnnualCreditReport.com. From there, you can check to see if the information on your report is correct and file a complaint if necessary.   If you’re ready to boost your score, take these three steps to…

January 19, 2021Borrowing Basics, Wallet Wins 1 Comment

Your credit score is a number you need to know. Lenders, insurance companies, and even some employers use this score to decide how reliable you are. It pays to do your best to make sure it’s as high as can be.   There are many ways to find out your credit score. As a PEFCU member, you can access your score with the FICO feature in our mobile banking app. Your FICO score, the most widely used credit scoring tool, specifically details what affects your score. If you need more details, you can order a free copy of your credit report through www.AnnualCreditReport.com. From there, you can check to see if the information on your report is correct and file a complaint if necessary.   If you’re ready to boost your score, take these three steps to…

Building Good Financial Habits for Life 

Where do you see yourself a year from now? Hopefully, you see yourself better off financially. But resolutions and goals with no plan are bound to fail.   While it’s reported that around 73% of Americans plan to start the new year with resolutions, about 12% of them don’t even think their goals are possible. In fact, an average of 80% of us don’t meet our resolution goals.   But failing to meet your resolution doesn’t make you a failure. In fact, you’re an amazing person who might not have an amazing plan. We want to see you live your best financial life as much…

January 4, 2021Borrowing Basics, Future Planning, Wallet Wins 3 Comments

Where do you see yourself a year from now? Hopefully, you see yourself better off financially. But resolutions and goals with no plan are bound to fail.   While it’s reported that around 73% of Americans plan to start the new year with resolutions, about 12% of them don’t even think their goals are possible. In fact, an average of 80% of us don’t meet our resolution goals.   But failing to meet your resolution doesn’t make you a failure. In fact, you’re an amazing person who might not have an amazing plan. We want to see you live your best financial life as much…

Why Shopping Local Matters

We know that COVID-19 has had an impact on our economy. When we use the word “economy,” we often think about how the national economy is affected. But what affects us the most are the impacts on our local economies and communities.   As a credit union that supports local economies, we understand how economic downturns affect each of our member’s financial lives. We know that the mom-and-pop pizzerias and bakeries are more real to you than the market value of the good because you can smell and taste the care that goes into each batch. We understand how brilliant the colors are at the farmer’s market you stroll through…

November 16, 2020Wallet Wins No Comments

We know that COVID-19 has had an impact on our economy. When we use the word “economy,” we often think about how the national economy is affected. But what affects us the most are the impacts on our local economies and communities.   As a credit union that supports local economies, we understand how economic downturns affect each of our member’s financial lives. We know that the mom-and-pop pizzerias and bakeries are more real to you than the market value of the good because you can smell and taste the care that goes into each batch. We understand how brilliant the colors are at the farmer’s market you stroll through…