Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Time to Escape Banking Fees! Time to Join PFCU!

There's no time like the present to escape bank fees and mediocre service by joining a credit union.

Why a credit union?  Why PFCU?  There are LOTS of reasons! 

Suze Orman, Jane Bryant Quinn and numerous financial websites such as CULookup, Find a Credit Union and creditcardconnection.org  to name a few, have been touting credit unions for years.  The clamor reached a fever pitch recently when big banks announced plans to begin charging people to use their debit cards.  When something has been free and suddenly isn’t, people notice.  Actually, there have been more subtle ways that bank customers have been paying more and getting less for several years.  Even as the economy worsened, many consumers saw dramatic increases in credit card rates over the past decade.  Fees of all sorts increased or appeared seemingly out of thin air.  People are feeling it more than ever and are looking for alternatives.

So why a credit union?  There are lots of very good reasons.  First, a credit union is a non-profit financial cooperative owned by members, not stockholders and run by a volunteer Board of Directors from the local community who are also members, rather than a board, which receives compensation and may not otherwise be connected to the people who bank there.  Consequently, credit union earnings which exceed operating expenses are returned to the members in the form of lower rates on loans, higher rates on savings, and fewer fees.  The difference can be quite stark.  The credit union motto is “People Helping People” and we take that very seriously.  That’s why you will see credit union employees out in the community teaching financial literacy, volunteering for community service, and offering sensible, low-cost financial services to our area, including those who under-served by other financial institutions. 

If you are thinking of joining a credit union, Pasadena Federal Credit Union is an outstanding choice!  It’s no accident PFCU was voted “2011 Best Bank/Credit Union in the San Gabriel Valley” by the readers of the Pasadena Star News, Whittier Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and LA Times.  We have outstanding loan and deposit products and exemplary service our members rave about. 

Take credit cards for example.  Suze Orman refers viewers and readers to www.creditcardconnection.org, a site that has ranked all of the credit cards for banks and credit unions nationwide.  PFCU has received five out of five stars and made the “Dean’s List”.  Our card has no annual fee, no cash advance fee, no balance transfer fee, no over-the-limit fee and no default rate.  Wait until you see our low APR, which is well-below even the low end of the national average quoted in a recent AP article

PFCU has the same low rate for new or used car loans.  We allow deposits of at least $1,000 at a time to Share Certificates.  We don’t charge you to use your debit card.  You can use our Coinstar™ machine to deposit up to $100 in coin each day for FREE as a member

PFCU is also more convenient than you might think!  Although there is one branch with our name on it, it’s like we have more than 4,000 branches nationwide because we team up with other credit unions.  Go to www.cuswirl.com to find a shared branch location near you that allows you to deposit and withdraw from PFCU accounts and make PFCU loan payments as long as you have your account number and ID with you.  There is also an iPhone or Droid app to make finding a branch even easier. 

PFCU does not charge to use ANY ATM machine.  You may incur charges at a bank ATM, but with more than 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide including 7-Eleven, Costco and Bank of the West, you won’t need to use one of those machines.  Just text an address, intersection or zip code to 692667 (MYCO-OP) or go to the locations tab of our website.  There are free phone apps and navigation apps as well. 

What are you waiting for?  The time is NOW to join a credit union.  PFCU is a smart choice you will be happy about for years to come.

Sammy Rabbit Blog: Do You Have the Right Rhythm?

Hello to All My Friends!

It is time to head back to school and I have a question for you – do you have rhythm? According to the dictionary, the word rhythm can mean a typical pattern of movement or an activity in which some action repeats regularly. Now compare that definition to one of my favorite words, habit! The dictionary defines a habit as a pattern of behaving that has become fixed by repeating it often. The definitions are very similar, aren’t they? Basically, a rhythm and a habit are ways of behaving we repeat again, again, and again.  

When it comes to the 3 BIG “S’s,” school, saving and spending, we all have rhythms and habits. Do you know what your rhythms and habits are when it comes to school, saving money and spending money? For example, what is your daily rhythm or habit – do you play or do your homework first? If you are not sure what your rhythm or habits are when it comes to school, saving and spending, you will want to find out. Why? Because, being aware of and picking the right rhythms and habits helps a person achieve their dreams and goals.

Here are two tips to help you with school, saving and spending rhythms and habits:

  1. Keep a journal of how you choose to use your time and money
  2. Review your journal with your mom, dad, teacher and a manager where you save your money. Ask them if you are practicing the right rhythms and habits to achieve your dreams and goals.

 

I know you can do it. Now, go get to it!

Your friend,

   

Learn more about Sammy and his mission to help kids get in the habit of saving money and make dreams come true at www.itsahabit.com

© 2011 The It’s a Habit Company, Inc.

Fuel Efficient Cars Pay For Themselves … And Then Some!

 

There are now many fuel-efficient cars on the market to save you money.

Even though gas has dropped below $4 per gallon, if you have a long commute to work, run errands on the weekend and/or take trips out of town, fuel takes a big chunk out of your monthly budget. If you drive an SUV, large pickup truck or an old gas guzzling sedan, the hit to your wallet is even greater.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could reduce your fuel bill AND drive a new car? You can! In fact, a brand new fuel efficient car could pay for itself in the first month … and then some!

According to the gas mileage savings calculator on auto website edmunds.com, if you trade in a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban, Cadillac Escalade or Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab for a 2011 Toyota Yaris sedan, Chevrolet Aveo sedan, or even a Volkswagen Jetta, you would save from $271 to $372 per month on gas: easily covering a monthly loan payment after your trade-in, and then some*.  In some cases, the value on your SUV may actually be worth more than your new car!

Let’s look at some specific numbers.

Say you own a 2007 Chevy Suburban LT 2500, and trade it in for a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta four-door sedan.  The Suburban is still worth $17,265, and the new Jetta with typical options sells for only $15,450.  Now, let’s assume you financed the Suburban over six years and still owe $15,000.  If you sell it for $15,000 and pay off your loan, you’d have to finance the entire Jetta.

A deal breaker?  Nope!  You’d still come out ahead.  Way ahead.

Let’s assume you have average credit and don’t qualify for the lowest available rate; we’ll assume you have an interest rate of 6.99% APR. Your Suburban monthly payment was $681.77, and the SUV only gets 14 miles to the gallon.  Your new Jetta, financed over five years, would have a monthly payment of $305.86; and, gets 29 miles to the gallon.

So, you’d save $271 per month on gas alone … PLUS, another $375.91 on your monthly car loan payment … AND, you’d be driving a brand new car!

That’s almost $650 added to your monthly budget, a better choice for the environment, and a brand new car that’s covered by a dealer’s warranty!  You’d save even more if you purchased a smaller vehicle that has even better gas mileage than the Jetta.

How much is your used vehicle worth?  Edmunds.com is a good resource, but you might also want to try Clearbook.com, a popular new website that uses used car listings to determine the current market value of your vehicle. Simply enter your zip code, make, model, options, mileage and condition to receive a low, average and high price.

Loan rates still at historic lows, making the cost of financing a new vehicle very affordable. At PFCU, our loan rates for new and used cars are currently as low as 2.99% APR for terms up to 5 years.  You can apply online or print an application to complete and return to us by mail, fax, or in a branch.

*Gas savings based on 2,000 miles per month at $3.80/gallon gas.  Loan payments assume an interest rate of 6.99% APR.

Arroyo Time Bank: People Helping People

Time is money
Time can be a valuable currency

The credit union motto is “People Helping People” and that’s what our new community partner, Arroyo Time Bank is all about.  Learn more in this informative Guest Blog:

What is Time Banking?

At its most basic level, time banking is simply about building community one hour at a time by doing something for someone else in the community. That hour is recorded in the time bank, then you get an hour to spend on having someone help you. It’s a simple idea, but it has powerful ripple effects in building community connections. Have you ever wished you had someone to help you get something done during your day? In a Time Banking community, your neighbors help you get it done.

Our Relationship with Money and PCFU

Pasadena Federal Credit Union (PCFU) and the Arroyo Time Bank (ATB) both value community and work to strengthen the community as a whole, which is why we chose Pasadena Federal Credit Union as our financial institution. 

    Currency, at its most basic level, is a medium of exchange, a way to get things or get things done. As such, using time as a currency is complementary to what you do with your regular currency (U.S. dollars). Instead of banking on the gold standard, time banking uses the “friendship standard” to create an alternative currency. Your investment in your relationships creates your earning and spending capacity.

As a banking institution, PFCU supports and builds the community through community oriented lending practices and community service. A time bank like ATB builds one-on-one relationships in the community through reciprocity. This reciprocity is tracked through the earning and spending of time credits. 

Time banking is not intended to replace money. It is intended to build community, providing a safety net of friendship for us all.

Five Core Values

There are five core values in time banking. First, we are all assets. We believe that every human being has something to contribute.

Second is redefining work, the concept that some work is beyond price; valuing whatever it takes to raise healthy children, advance social justice, and make the planet sustainable. That kind of work needs to be honored, recorded, and rewarded.

Third is reciprocity. Helping works better as a two-way street. We can help each other build the world we both will live in.

Fourth is building social networks. We need each other. Networks are stronger than individuals. People helping each other reweave communities of support, strength and trust.

Fifth is respect. Every human being matters. Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy. When respect is denied to anyone, we all are injured. Time Banking honors the unique gifts, talents and resources that each of us has to share, regardless of age, employment or ethnic background.

Our Projects
      The Arroyo Time Bank pioneers and supports several community-wide projects to fit the needs of our diverse community. These include the following: the Neighborhood Fruit Picking Project, the Altadena Urban Farmer’s Market, and the Neighborhood Resilience Project at the Armory’s Madison Casita.
 

For more information on Arroyo Time Bank events, projects, and for instructions on how to join, please visit the Arroyo Time Bank website  AND, Arroyo Time Bank members are now eligible to join PFCU!

Spending Smart at 6 and 60 – Sammy’s Gold Karat Tip #1

Hello to All My Friends!

The next few months I am going to share some tips with you on how to “spend smart.” I like spending money almost as much as I like saving money to build my future. I like spending money almost as much as I like saving money so I am prepared for emergencies and to make dreams come true. How about you?

Sammy’s Gold Karat Spend Smart Tip #1: when you choose to spend, never, ever, spend more than you have. Do not do it when you are six or sixty!

One good way to not spend more than you have is to break down each dollar you earn or receive and separate it into categories.

Here is an example:

Sample Spending Plan

Saving                   10 cents

Giving                   10 cents

Investing                10 cents

Smart Spending   70 cents

Total                     $1.00

Notice, my plan is to never, ever spend more than seventy cents of every dollar I earn or receive. Why? It is simple. As much as I like to spend, building my future and giving are more important to me than spending everything I have. I think spending seven dimes or less out of every ten dimes I earn or receive is smart. What do you think?  What do your parents think?

Always spend less than you have! I know you can do it. Now, go get to it!

Your friend,

Learn more about Sammy and his mission to help kids get in the habit of saving money and make dreams come true at www.itsahabit.com

© 2011 The It’s a Habit Company, Inc.

The Savings Plan by Sammy Rabbit

The Savings Plan by Sammy Rabbit 

Hello friends!  

It is smart to have a money plan and do all you can to work that plan. It is smart to know where you want your money to go so it gets there and just doesn’t end up anywhere.  That’s what a plan can do – help you put your money where you want to. If you stick to it, you can do it. 

Here are a few things to know about plans: A good plan is in writing. A good plan is clear and easy to understand. A good plan has a start and an end date. A good plan includes small steps. A smart person puts energy, enthusiasm and pep into working each of those steps. A smart person reviews their plan regularly. A smart person gives their plan time to work. A smart person adjusts their plan when they know for sure the plan is not working. 

Anyone can have a plan and smart people do. So should you. You are smart too. You can do it! Now, go get to it! 

Your friend,

 

 PFCU has lots of ways to help kids save.  Check out the Kid’s Club at www.pfcu.org and become one of Sammy’s Pals!

 Make your Savings Plan today!  Download and print your goal setting sheet for free.

  http://www.pfcu.org/site/KidsClubSaving.pdf
 

Learn more about Sammy and his mission to help kids get in the habit of saving money and make dreams come true at www.itsahabit.com

© 2009 The It’s a Habit Company, Inc.