Sally’s Story: How She Purchased an RV and Her Big Plans for Giving Back!

Sally is a long-time member of Casco Federal Credit Union. And yesterday, she stopped by the credit union to share the start of her exciting new adventure!

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After courageously overcoming a history of medical issues, Sally decided that she wanted to find a way to give back. She turned to the credit union for help. Her dream was to purchase an RV so that she could travel to families in need and offer them support.

Patty, Casco’s Branch Manager, sat down with Sally to help her get approved for a loan. The cost of an RV is incredibly high, but with a great unfolding of events, Sally was able to find an RV for sale by an older gentleman, who had been the sole owner of the 2007 Winnebago – which was still in excellent shape.

With Patty’s help, Sally was able to get a loan, which she used to purchase the RV. Two weeks ago, Sally closed the deal and drove home in her gorgeous, tan and cream colored Winnebago!

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With its own kitchen, bed, and even washer and dryer hookup, she’s well-equipped to hit the road. She says driving it will take some getting used to, but despite that, she’s excited to give back, and have fun while she’s at it.

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We’re so glad we could be a part of Sally’s journey, and we wish her the best of luck as she takes off in her new adventure.

Congratulations, Sally!! 

 

Thanks for reading,
Mallory

 

Who Should You Turn to with Questions about Buying Your First Home?

No doubt, buying your first home is a huge financial decision! There are many steps involved in the process, and that’s why you should turn to your local financial experts first.

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Credit unions can empower you to feel confident about the home-buying process. More specifically, they can help you understand the various financing options, and advise you as to what would be the best fit.

If you’ve already started your home-buying journey, you’re probably aware of the abundance of available loan products. Know that you don’t have to sort through everything yourself. There are people who can help you make sense of the mortgage world!

At Casco Federal Credit Union, our experienced Mortgage Officer has helped countless people finance the homes of their dreams. Pat’s area of expertise is in mortgages – and she has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to pointing you in the right direction whether you’re just thinking about buying a home, or whether you’re in the middle of your search.

Give Casco FCU a call at 839-5588, and ask to speak with Pat, our Mortgage Officer! Learn more about Casco FCU’s home loan products here!

Take care,

Mallory

 

 

 

Sneaky Expenses to Keep on Your Radar

Sneaky expenses. They can be the downfall of a great budget. When you think sneaky expenses, think little things:  the coffee run at work, the random trip to Rite-Aid, the dinner out with friends, the gas station snack break.

When you’re creating a budget, it’s easy to remember large expenses:  rent, car payment, electricity bill, student loan bill. But, it can be tricky to remember, or know how much you spend, on the little things.

If you’re hoping to cut back on your spending, the best way to do it is monitor your purchases for a couple of weeks. Take inventory. Where is your “extra” money going? Are you a frequent coffee buyer? Do you rent movies from Red Box and forget to return them? Do you go out for lunches during the week? Pinpoint where your money is going, then decide on where you can cut back.

Here are some ideas of other “extra” spending that you may be able to cut back on! 

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Once you know where to cut back, saving money becomes a whole lot easier!

By cutting back on your spending, you’ll have extra cash to stash away in a savings account! Check out Casco FCU’s Kasasa accounts to learn how you can get paid to have your checking account here.

Take a look at this Budgeting Infographic for more sneaky expenses to keep on your radar.

Take care,

Mallory

 

 

Earn Money with a Kasasa Checking Account!

Earn money with your checking account? It seems like a crazy idea – maybe even too good to be true. Actually, the truth is, with a Kasasa checking account at Casco Federal Credit Union, you get paid for everyday transactions.

Yup. That’s right.

With a Kasasa checking account, you can earn 2.00% cash back every month on up to $300 in purchases. The maximum you can earn per month is $6. Although that doesn’t sound like a huge chunk of change, it adds up quickly. And, it’s better than paying a $6 account maintenance fee at the bank down the road…

Let’s break down what it would look like if you had a Kasasa checking account at Casco FCU versus a regular checking at a bank.

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The smart choice seems obvious, right?

Even qualifying for Kasasa rewards is super easy. Just use your debit card 12 times per month, check your online or mobile banking at least once per month, and sign up for e-statements (instead of paper). All things you’d probably do anyway!

So the question is…

Why pay for a checking account when you can GET PAID!

Check out Casco FCU’s Kasasa checking account options!

Take care,

Mallory

Time for 2017!

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There is tremendous hype building up to the new year, with resolution-making and exciting plans to fulfill goals. We are bubbling with motivation to achieve our audacious ideas. You might be telling yourself, “2017 will be the year!”

When the new year does roll around, our strong-will and determination are quickly lost to excuses:  busy schedules, financial constraints, self-doubt. Something always seems to be standing in the way of us and our resolution.

The truth is, WE are usually our own obstacle. We all have what it takes to make good habits stick and bad habits go away. All it takes is willpower.

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So, how will you stay committed in 2017?

First, you must commit.

Get specific about your goal. Do you want to improve your finances? Be clear! Maybe you want to save $25 a month, every month, for the next year. Maybe you need to save $1,000 for a vacation that you’re planning. Write down your specific goals.

Make a plan (and stick to it, no excuses).

The most important part of making a plan is sticking to it, especially when you don’t feel like it! Imagine the end result. Maybe you want to lose 30 pounds. Think about how happy you will be when you reach your goal! The more often you visualize your goals, the more likely you are to stick to them and stay motivated.

Be reasonable.

Sometimes breaking down your goals into achievable steps encourages you to stay on the right track. Don’t set goals that are too lofty. Be reasonable about what you can expect to achieve.

Stay positive!

If you fall off track, forgive yourself, and get back in the routine! Life happens, but it’s always possible to pick back up where you left off.

If you are interested in revamping your finances in the new year, Casco FCU has a great resource! You can speak with our financial counselor (free for members)! It’s a great way to kick off the new year!

Thank you for taking time to read this final 2016 blog post! See you in 2017!

Happy New Year!

Mallory

How to Save During the Holidays!

Americans plan to spend an average of $936 this year on holiday related expenses. With all of this planned spending in mind, you might be telling yourself that it’s impossible to save  any money!

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Let’s face it. It’s easy to get carried away. During the holidays, we overspend with the intention of spreading holiday joy. However, if you’re on a tight budget, you can pull off all of your holiday spending, plus save a little money, too!

Spreading Holiday Cheer Can Be Heartfelt

Getting in the holiday spirit doesn’t have to mean giving big, expensive gifts. In fact, it doesn’t have to mean giving a gift at all! You can spread holiday joy by volunteering, offering to help with cooking or preparing for a holiday get-together, sending holiday cards, or letting someone know you’re thinking of them!

My friends and I used to buy gifts for each other for the holidays. Now that we’re scattered across the state, we don’t do the gift exchange anymore. Instead, we send each other holiday cards, and it’s just as meaningful! And, much more cost-friendly.

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Plan Ahead

It’s smart to check your budget before you begin shopping. Know how much you have to spend. Then, make a list of everyone you plan to buy for, and write out your gift ideas. Doing this will help you figure out how much it will cost you to get your holiday shopping done.

Shop with Cash, Save the Change!

You’ve probably encountered this savings tip before…save your change! It’s a great idea. Especially for the holidays, you can withdraw the amount of cash that you want to spend on the holidays. Then, save your save from each purchase.

Shopping this way will force you to think about how much you’re spending, and how much you have left over. It puts a limit on what you can buy. Plus, you can save the change from every purchase. This way, you’ll be saving while you’re spending!

Avoid the “Shop & Dine”

Shopping at the mall gets exhausting, so afterwards, it’s nice to grab a good meal! Avoid this, if at all possible. You’ll save an extra $15 to $20, or more! Plus, if you go out shopping more than once, “dine-out” meals can add up quickly.

Look Outside for Decorations

The best decorations are in your backyard!

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Lastly, if you’re in a situation where you must borrow money to finance the holidays, shop around for low interest rates! Casco Federal Credit Union has a great Holiday Loan that let’s you borrow up to $2,500 for 12 months at a rate as low as 7.99% APR. This rate beats the rate of the average credit card, which means you could save tons of money by going with a Holiday Loan! Visit CascoFCU.com to learn more or apply!

Enjoy the holiday season!

Thanks for reading, 

Mallory

 

How to Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner!

Are you planning a get-together this Thanksgiving?

If so, it will probably involve lots of food…and of course, turkey! If you’re expecting a large crowd, you can expect to spend around $50 on Thanksgiving dinner. That’s the estimated average spending from the American Farm Bureau Federation for 2016.

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Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and showing appreciation for our loved ones, so of course, sharing a great meal is important! But, if cost is a concern, here are 5 quick tips to show your appreciation over a delicious meal, while saving money!

1. Plan Ahead

Know what you will prepare early, and know how many people you will be serving. This will help you to determine what you need to purchase, and estimate how much to buy. Creating a shopping list will prevent you from over-spending.

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2. Shop Your Pantry

Take inventory before heading to the store. Do you have the ingredients you need at home? If so, you can cut down your grocery bill by using what you already have.

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3. Make it a potluck! 

If you’re in charge of the main course, ask your guests to bring the side dishes. If each guest brings one side item (salad, casserole, rolls, dessert), you can significantly decrease your Thanksgiving bill. Plus, it’s a great way to get everyone involved in the holiday meal-prep!

4. Keep it simple

Limit the choices. If you’re making turkey, don’t feel the need to also bake a ham or beef. Choose between making regular or sweet potatoes, and make only two pies instead of four! Having too many options is not only overwhelming, but also leads to a heftier grocery bill. Not to mention, lots of over-stuffed guests!

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5. Cook from scratch

Baking rolls, desserts, and potatoes from scratch is significantly less expensive than buying boxed or pre-made items from the store. Plus, cooking from scratch is generally better for your health, with benefits like less sodium, more vitamins, and less preservatives.

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For example:

  • A pre-made box of Idahoan Mashed Potatoes is $3.14 at Walmart
  • A 5lb bag of Russet potatoes is $2.97 at Walmart

Chances are, you will need more than one box of the pre-made potatoes. One 5lb bag, a little milk and butter, will work for your homemade mashed potatoes!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thanks for reading,

Mallory