Are You Spending Too Much Money?

 

 

Money is a complicated issue. It can be a source of happiness when used to do things we love. It can be a source of stress when we don’t have enough. In today’s world, it’s necessary to our survival.

So when it comes to spending it, at what point do you know:  have you spent too much money? Spending money (on things that aren’t necessary) can be a problem when it starts to interfere with other aspects of your life. If you’re struggling to pay bills, feeling guilty, or trying to hide your spending habits from others – especially your loved ones, you may need to stop and take a look at the bigger picture.

Like with everything, there is a balance. If you’re feeling like the scales are tipping too far in one direction, there are some steps you can take to help rebalance your finances.

STEP 1:  RECOGNIZE THE PROBLEM.

You have to recognize the problem in order to fix it. If you spend more than you make, struggle to afford bills, and don’t have financial priorities, these are red flags.

STEP 2: FIGURE OUT WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING.

If you’re not sure what your spending habits are, keep track. Keep receipts, check online banking statements, or carry a notebook for the next two to four weeks.

Then ask:  Do you spend more than you make? Does the majority of your paycheck go to non-essentials, i.e. dinners out, entertainment, subscriptions/memberships, junk foods, etc.?

Over-spending on non-essentials may be hurting your financial health.

STEP 3:  MAKE ADJUSTMENTS

THE EXPERTS RECOMMEND THE 50/20/30 BREAKDOWN.

Can you account for your spending in these three categories? I recommend writing this out to help visualize where all of your spending fits in. If your budget is in the positive, GREAT! If you need to make adjustments so that everything fits, try trimming some of the “extras.” Tip:  The best places to cut are in fixed costs or flexible spending. Cutting in the financial goals category will hurt you in the long run.

50% Fixed Costs – The expenses that don’t change much from month to month, like rent, mortgage, utilities, car payment, gym memberships, Netflix, other subscriptions.

20% Financial Goals – This part of your budget helps you secure a solid financial foundation, for example, paying down credit card debt, or other debt, saving for retirement and building an emergency fund.

30% Flexible Spending – These are day-to-day expenses that can vary from month to month, like eating out, groceries, shopping, hobbies, entertainment, or gas. You can add any miscellaneous expenses in this part of your budget, just be aware that it must account for only 30% of your budget.

STEP 4:  ACCOUNT FOR ALL SPENDING IN YOUR BUDGET

Make sure all of your spending is accounted for in your budget! Doing this will ensure that you don’t dip into other important parts of your budget.

If you want further help with your budget and feeling balanced in your spending, call Casco Federal Credit Union! We’d love to help you! 207-839-5588.

Take care,

Mallory

What Members Say About Casco FCU!

At the 2017 Annual Meeting, Casco Federal Credit Union members shared their stories and their experiences with the credit union. See what they have to say!

Check out the video!

“We like the friendliness of the credit union. People are always willing to help.” -Carol Pedley

“They work hard, if you go in for a loan, they work hard for you to have it. They’re very easygoing and friendly.” – Tom Pedley

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Tom and Carol Pedley, Casco FCU Members for 43 years

“I tried a bank in town first, and it was like arguing with a brick wall. I came [to Casco Federal Credit Union]…it was friendly, simple, and they had free checking. I have a home business, so there’s no problem depositing checks.” -Roland Rhoades

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Roland Rhoades, Casco FCU Member for 16 years

“My dad always was a member of a credit union, and I’ve always heard a lot of good things about credit unions, so it’s something I wanted to do when I got my job. And, I needed to rebuild my credit. I got married 20 years ago, and my wife needed to do the same. The [credit union] gave us a loan so we could put a new furnace in the house, and that was at a time that our credit wasn’t that great. But, they had faith in us and to this day, our credit rating couldn’t be better.” – Linwood Varney

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Linwood Varney, Casco FCU Member for 23 years

Thank you to our members for your continued loyalty to Casco Federal Credit Union! We appreciate your membership!

Thanks for reading,

Mallory

How To Afford Anything!

Making major purchases often feels like an impossible feat. Even thinking about affording a home or big vacation seems impossible at times. If you’ve ever felt this way, I can relate. These major purchases – cars, vacations, a home – can feel out of reach for a lot of us who are facing significant debt mixed with high costs of living.

Although at times it may seem like we’ll never get into a house of our own, there are small things you can do every day to work toward your goals. Number one:  figure out your goals.

Whether you need a new car, or you need to get out of town for a week-long vacation, you have to write this goal down. Trust me, it helps tremendously to see your goal on paper.

Once you know your goals, the rest of the process is much easier.

Number two:  figure out how much to save. If you want to purchase a car, you might save for a downpayment of $1,000. If you’re buying a home, you might need a downpayment of 10% or more. Or, maybe you just want to build up a savings account. You could set a goal of $2,000.

Number three:  set aside money each week. The best way to do this is to set up automatic transfer payments into your savings account. That way, your money gets put aside before you have the chance to see it or spend it!

At Casco FCU, you can give us a call and we’ll help you do this. Plus, cutting out extra expenses, like eating out or monthly subscriptions, could save you an extra $20 or more dollars per week.

Number four:  stick to your plan! I know it gets hard, and other responsibilities get in the way. But, learning to make saving a priority will help you be able to afford ANYTHING!

(P.s. It helps when you can find a great deal! For instance, Casco FCU is offering rates as low as 3.0% on auto loans! Take advantage of the deals!!)

Thanks for reading, 

Mallory

 

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