wealthE-NEWS Monthly Newsletter

August 2012

Welcome to wealthE-NEWS, brought to you by United Educators Credit Union. Thank you very much for your interest in this service! Our goal through this monthly newsletter is to keep you updated on consumer tips and money management information, as well as credit union news and announcements.

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CONTENTS:

MONEY MANAGEMENT

How to Save on Back-to-School Shopping
Back-to-School Expenses
Did You Know?
August Tip of the Month

WHAT'S NEW CU?

Go Green to WIN to $250 CASH!
Hurry! Summer Off From Your Loan Payment Offer Ends Soon!
Woodbury Shred Day Event
Financial Education Grants Available - Deadline August 31st

MONEY MANAGEMENT

How to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

By Jason Alderman, Practical Money Matters

On the fun-o-meter, I'd probably rank back-to-school shopping right above getting a flu shot and preparing income taxes. Never mind the hassle of figuring out what our kids need for the coming school year and dragging them to the mall, it's just so expensive.

For example, our son insists that we replace his baseball glove and bat as he enters 7th grade. (He's right - his four-year-old mitt has seen better days.) Also, our daughter is starting soccer and needs cleats - good ones aren't cheap and footwear is one area where we refuse to scrimp.

Many years ago my wife and I learned our lesson and started setting aside money each month for the inevitable - and unexpected expenses that crop up each fall. By trial and error - and sound advice from fellow parents - we've developed a back-to-school budgeting checklist:

First, calculate how much you can afford to spend on school-related expenses without blowing your overall budget or racking up debt. Scoring bargains won't help your bottom line if you end up paying interest on unpaid balances.

Next, make a comprehensive list of anticipated expenses for each child and build in a cushion for unexpected costs. Try these strategies:

How to Save on Back-to-School Shopping
  • Examine previous years' bills and compare notes with other, more experienced parents.
  • Ask the school which supplies they expect you to buy. Pool resources with other families to take advantage of volume discounts and sales.
  • Spread clothing purchases throughout the year so your kids won't outgrow everything at once; plus you can take advantage of off-season sales.
  • Review school dress codes so you don't waste money on inappropriate clothing.
  • Before buying new clothing or accessories, look for "gently used" items in the closets of your older kids, friends and neighbors, at garage sales, thrift and consignment stores, and sites like Craig's List.
  • Find out how much extracurricular activities (athletics, music, art, etc.) cost. Account for uniforms, membership dues, private lessons, field trips, snacks, etc.
  • Compare the cost, convenience and nutritional value of school lunches and snacks versus food you prepare yourself.
  • Learn your school's policy on immunizations and see what's covered by your insurance - or which ones you can access free at health fairs or community clinics.
  • Factor in public transportation, school bus or carpool expenses.
  • Although shopping online can save money, time and gas, don't forget shipping and return costs, which could undo any net savings. If your kids are old enough, put them in charge of online comparison shopping.
  • Clip newspaper and online coupons. Many stores will match competitors' prices even if their own items aren't on sale. Plus, many consolidation websites post downloadable coupons and sale codes for online retailers.
  • Mobile shopping apps let in-store smartphone and mobile browser users scan product barcodes and make on-the-spot price comparisons, read reviews, download coupons, buy products and more.

Some parents wrestle over whether or not to take their kids on shopping trips. I think it's worth the effort so they can hear and absorb your decision-making process and understand what's available to spend. My kids are probably sick of hearing me say, "I'm going to buy this brand of underwear because it's cheaper, which will give us more money to buy a better-quality jacket."

Bottom line: Back-to-school shopping can be tedious, but if you plan carefully, you can save time, money and aggravation.

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Back to School Expenses

Whether you're an educator, have three kids in need of school supplies, or are sending your child off to college, Back-to-School time can be rough on the finances.

United Educators Credit Union can ease the stress with a variety of lending options. Consider using our low variable rate UECU Visa® Platinum Credit Card. With its reasonable grace period and no cash advance fees, the card is great way to pay for school supplies, clothing, and more. Plus, you'll also earn points on each purchase to redeem with ScoreCard® Rewards.

The UECU Signature Line of Credit is also available as needs for books, computers, tuition or any other expenses may arise. Once approved, the funds are available whenever you please, no matter what life brings your way. In addition, you only pay interest on the amount you use. You'll enjoy convenient access to your credit line - advance funds to your checking or savings account via Solutions@HOME or CATHY automated teller. Or you can request an advance by phone or in person.

Ease your stress and let us help with your Back-to-School needs. Click here to contact a loan officer today!

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Did You Know?

Your credit union's website has had a makeover. The website now has a more education focused look, and user-friendly navigation allowing you to more easily find information and services. You will also notice the new homepage Member Resources section that features helpful information for your personal finance and financial education needs, along with exclusive UECU member benefits.

Click here to check out the new UECU website today!

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August TIP OF THE MONTH:

August TIP OF THE MONTH

Direct Deposit Offers Financial Convenience

Payday is great - but finding time to deposit your paycheck? Not so great. Fortunately, with UECU's Direct Deposit service you can save time and gain access to your funds more quickly.

Direct Deposit offers:

  • Convenience. According to NACHA, The Electronic Payments Association, Herndon, Va., you can save three work days a year by not spending time depositing checks in person.
  • Security. Direct deposit eliminates risk of fraud and identity theft and assures safety with no loss of convenience.
  • Timeliness. With direct deposit, your money is consistently deposited on time, even if you're not at work on payday.
  • Accessibility. Direct deposited funds clear automatically.
  • Earnings. With direct deposit, your check earns dividends as soon as possible if it's deposited into an interest-bearing account.

Direct deposit also can help you save more. According to the results of a NACHA survey, people who use direct deposit save $390 a month, $90 more than those saving manually.

It's simple to switch to direct deposit, simply request the authorization form from your employer and they will need the credit union's routing and transit number and your member number. Contact us at 651-264-0669 about making the move to direct deposit today.

Copyright 2012 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

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WHAT'S NEW CU?

Go Green to WIN Green...
Sign up for eStatements by August 31st to win $250 Cash!

Go Green to WIN Green...

Looking for an easy, convenient way to help the environment and put some 'green' in your pocket? Sign up for eStatements between now and August 31, 2012, and you'll be entered into UECU's eStatements Sweepstakes for a chance to win $250 Cash.

eStatements are a safe, convenient and environmentally friendly way to bank green.

To sign-up for eStatements, simply click here login to Solutions@HOME and click on the "E-Statements" tab. Hurry! Sweepstakes ends August 31, 2012.

* No purchase or account necessary. Official Rules are available at http://www.uecu.coop/green/. Void where prohibited and subject to all laws. Drawing held on 9/6/12. Winner is not required to be present to win. Other rules may apply. Please see Official Rules for details.

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Hurry! Take the Summer Off Offer Ends Soon!
Vehicle Rates as low as 2.49% APR¹ plus No Payment for 90 days²!

Take the Summer Off

Take the summer off from your loan payment! Whether you are looking to purchase a car, motorcycle or boat - or refinance an existing loan - your summer could be payment free.

Or, refinance an existing loan to save money on your monthly payments. With terms as long as 7-12 years, you'll find a comfortable payment that fits your budget.

Click here to contact a loan officer to apply today. Hurry! This offer ends August 31st!

1. APR means annual percentage rate. The rate you receive may be different than the rate above and is based on the applicant's credit and repayment history, length of repayment period, down payment, and automatic payment. Please ask us for the rate for which you qualify. Vehicle Rates shown are for collateral financed at NADA trade value, for vehicles 75,000 miles or less. Other rates are available for used vehicles with higher mileage.

2. Offer available on personal secured loans. Qualified borrowers may defer payments for 90 days after loan signing. Interest will accrue from the date of loan until payments begin and could result in negative amortization. Contact the credit union for complete details. Refinanced loans must be from another institution. Offer ends August 31, 2012. We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

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Protect Yourself and the Environment with Free Shredding

Protect Yourself and the Environment with Free Shredding

Go Green and shred your personal documents, financial statements and more for free, at Woodbury Shred Day event:

Saturday, September 15, from 9 a.m. - Noon
Woodbury Branch, 6789 Upper Afton Road

Our shredding company Shred-It, will have a truck on-site to shred your documents on the spot. This event is open to the community and non-members can bring up to 2 boxes for shredding. Refreshments will also be served.

Click here to visit our Identity Theft Resource Center for helpful information on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

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Financial Education Grants Deadline Approaching

Financial Education Grants Deadline Approaching

Applications for United Educators Foundation's 5th Annual Financial Education Grant program are due August 31, 2012. The Foundation will provide up to four $500 grants to teachers, departments or schools to support financial literacy efforts with their students.

Click here for information and to download an application.

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