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.

2017-goals

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

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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