Monday, February 22, 2016

Win Money by Saving Money


Exciting news if you’re looking to save money in 2016: Financial One Credit Union will be taking part in WINcentive Savings, an incentive program that repays you for saving!

According to a survey done by in June of 2015, nearly 78% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover them for six months if they were to lose their job. While this may be shocking, it’s even more disturbing that 29% of Americans don’t even have a saving account. Financial One is hoping to reverse this trend by partnering with WINcentive Savings and rewarding members for saving with cash prizes.

So how does WINcentive work?  
Think of this program like a lottery, only you can never lose. For every $25 you deposit into your WINcentive capable savings account, you will be entered into a drawing to win $100 monthly, $500 quarterly and $5,000 annually. Four entries per month are permitted; that means if you deposit $25 per week, not only will you have been entered to win the prize money, but you would have also saved $100 - a complete win-win. Financial One is one of 14 credit unions in Minnesota taking part in this incentive program that started on January 1st. Visit for more information on the WINcentive program.

Not sure how you want to save?
Financial One not only has a well-informed staff that can help you figure out what’s important to you, but we also offer a variety of savings accounts to meet your individual needs. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are ideal for planning for the future, and Health Savings Accounts are perfect for members who want to set aside funds for medical expenses before they arise. These are just a few of the accounts offered; you can learn about more ways to save on our website.

For more information contact us on the web, or give us a call at (763) 404-7600.  The first WINcentive Savings drawing for January deposits begin in February, so now is the perfect time to start saving!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Getting Back on Track After Holiday Spending

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With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, many things can get away from you - especially your spending. Everyone wants to be generous with their gift-giving, but this can really put a dent in your savings. If you have found yourself in this situation, we have a few simple tips to dig yourself out of the holiday hole and get your finances back on track.  
Reevaluate Your Finances
The best place to start is by reevaluating your finances.Take a look and categorize the things you bought during the holidays. This includes gifts, food, travel, decor items, and any other added expenses. Be sure to look at where the money came from, either savings, checking or credit cards. Take a look at your monthly income and compare that to your spending. Doing this will allow you to see how much money you can put towards paying off your debt. By reacquainting yourself with your accounts, you will have a better idea of how much debt you have and you will be able to give yourself an accurate timeframe on paying it all back.

Cut Costs Where You Can
This may sound obvious, but it really is the best way to save money. Since you have already evaluated your finances, you should have a pretty good understanding of where you are spending your money. Even cutting back on small things can really help. For example, make your own coffee rather than buying it, pack a lunch rather than going out, or rent a movie rather than going to the theater. All of these little things can add up to big savings which you can use to pay off your debt or to rebuild your savings account.

Create a Payment Plan
If you want to get out of debt quickly, you’ll need a plan. According to Ann Walter of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS), it should ideally take you no more than three months, however, each person is different. There are a variety of ways to help figure out how much to pay off each month. First, try our financial calculator to help you come up with a plan. You can also contact a consultant for help. Financial One CU has a skilled staff that can help you come up with the perfect payment plan to help get you out of the holiday hole.

If you are finding it hard to stay within your budget, try to use cash instead of a card. This will give you a tangible way to stay on budget; once the cash is gone, you can't spend any more.
If you are serious about getting out of the holiday hole, we recommend asking a professional. Our representatives can answer all of your questions and help you find a payment plan that works best with your budget. Although it may seem hard to save after spending so much on the holidays, we can help guide you through the process and start your 2016 off on the right foot.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Alternative Valentine's Day Ideas That Won't Break The Bank

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Valentine’s Day - that wonderful day filled with chocolate, gifts and celebrating the love between you and your significant other. However, Valentine's day can also be expensive. A fancy dinner, a nice gift (traditionally flowers or jewelry) and possibly a new outfit for a fancy dinner. For those of us on a budget, this day of love can turn into a nightmare. It doesn’t have to be that way. We have a few ideas that you and your significant other can enjoy the day without breaking the bank.

Dinner for Two
Skip the stuffy, undoubtedly packed restaurant and make dinner together at home. Although this may seem obvious and bland, cooking together is a great way to connect and you won’t have to wait an hour to get a table. Also, cooking at home is less expensive. On average a chicken dinner out is about $14-$20 not including drinks, whereas the same dish cooked at home is about $6-$10 and you can take as long as you want to eat since there isn’t a waiter trying to turn over tables.

Creative Gifts
Okay, so dinner is planned - now about that gift… This is where you will have to get creative but if you don’t want to drop a large amount of money on one item, give them the gift of yourself. Make a coupon book for your significant other filled with fun coupons like “You win this fight” or “I’ll do the dishes.” This is a great gift for both men and women, plus there are many different websites where you can print the perfect customized coupons for your partner.

Thinking of You...
On Valentine’s Day, a lot of people have flowers sent to their special someone at their work. However, flowers and delivery are expensive. Here’s an alternative: Plan ahead, write a heartfelt letter to your love and mail it to them. Most people only get work-related mail at their office so this will be just as special and will let them know that you are thinking about them. Also, sending a letter is less than a dollar.

Tradition on a Budget
Still like the idea of a bouquet for Valentine’s Day? A normal bouquet of roses runs about $50, though can be much higher during valentine’s day, and are even more if they come with a vase. Our suggestion - look into alternative bouquets. Dollar stores offer a wide variety of balloons for, you guessed it, a dollar. These balloon bouquets are great and you are able to find the balloons to fit your partner.

If you are still insistent on buying the traditional chocolates and flowers, wait a day. Most stores have huge after Valentine’s Day deals that you can take advantage of. So talk with your love about postponing celebrating.

The most important thing when planning your alternative Valentine’s Day is to remember that the day is about celebrating the love you have for each other in your own special way. If you need more help with figuring out how much you can afford this Valentine's Day give Financial One a call at (763) 404-7600 or check out our website; we can help set you up with a budget and get you on the right track.