Archive for August 2018

5 Reasons to Open A Money Market Account    

Are you looking for a place to park your savings dollars? Do you need an account that blends accessibility with a more than standard rate of return?

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Savings accounts are an ideal home for funds you want to put away for emergency or special purposes. Checking accounts are the way to go for

money you will spend for your living expenses. But, what if there were a way to take everything you love about your savings account and put it together with the best parts of your checking account into one fantastic account?

 

Look no further! Members Choice Money Market accounts offer convenient features with an attractive rate of return to help your money grow more.

 

Money Market accounts are perfect for funds you don’t need immediate access to but may need to withdraw portions of sometime in the future. You’ll earn a handsome return on your money without the risk of the stock market, or the restrictiveness of a savings certificate account.

 

It’s important to note that most Money Market accounts have a minimum balance requirement. While some large banks won’t let you start one without a minimum deposit of $3,000 or more, here at Members Choice, you can open up a Money Market account with as little as $500. Interest is only earned on amounts of $500 or greater.  Also, there are no fees or penalties.

 

Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons to open a Money Market account:

 

1.) Security – Funds in your Money Market account is insured by the NCUA up to $250,000. This means you can keep a large sum of money in your account without the risk of losing it to a market crash or a poor choice of investment. It’s a great opportunity to start saving with confidence!

 

2.) Accessibility of funds – One of the most attractive features of Money Market accounts is the liquidity of funds. Money Markets have no maturity date or term requirement. This affords them ease of access that other savings vehicles, like CDs or Share Certificates, do not have: You are free to access the funds in your account at any time, usually without penalty.

 

There are restrictions on the number of transactions you can make a month, though. If you own a Members Choice Money Market account, you can make up to 6 electronic or automatic withdrawals from your account during each statement cycle.

 

The accessibility factor makes Money Market accounts super-convenient for members who don’t know exactly when they will want to withdraw their funds. So, they are perfect for those large, occasional expenses, like tuition payments, emergency household repairs and unexpected medical fees. You might want to put away a tidy sum to use as spontaneous splurge money when the desire strikes. Or, you can keep your quarterly tax payments in your Money Market account until they’re due, so you earn more dividends on this money while it’s waiting to be spent.

 

Whatever purpose you have in mind for your funds, a Money Market account is an ideal place to keep them.

 

3.) High interest rates – Money Market accounts offer a rate of return that surpasses your typical savings account. Here at Members Choice, our APY for Money Market accounts is as much as 1.51% (as of August 29, 2018). This is especially beneficial in a rising-rates environment when those rates are only expected to increase. Give your money its best chance at growth!

 

4.) Account benefits – Like every account here at Members Choice, your Money Market account comes with lots of benefits and attractive features. There is no monthly maintenance charge for your Money Market account. Also, we won’t charge you a fee for accessing your money via the ATM.

 

If you’ve got a question or concern with your account, we’re always here to help. You can drop in for a chat, give us a shout-out on mccu.net, or contact us by phone at 606-329-7876. A member service representative will be happy to assist you.

 

5.) Personal checks and debit card access – Money Market accounts offer some flexibility. In fact, you can easily transfer funds into your checking account. Then you’re free to use the funds to make payments by writing personal checks or using your debit card. This flexibility means you can use that money in a pinch without any major effort or waiting for a withdrawal to clear.

 

Are you ready to start saving big? Open a Money Market account at Members Choice today!

Leveraging 3 Common Banking Tools for Your Financial Gain

Financial literacy in America is not the best. Many highly intelligent people were never taught the fundamental precepts of proper money handling habits, and it can cause them to make poor financial decisions. Still, there are ways to get the upper hand using very basic financial tools. Here are three examples that you can get from a local credit union.

 

  1. Cash Back Credit Cards 

Roughly seven out of 10 Americans have one or more credit cards, but many of those people likely misuse them. A line of credit is a potential loan amount that you can use on a monthly basis. If you pay back the loan in full every month you won’t be required to pay interest on your balance. Paying in full and on time will also increase your credit score over time, making it easier to secure loans and rent apartments. Certain cards also give cash back rewards. Whether they give points or a percentage of each transaction, these perks can add up over time. You must remember to pay your bills on time, though, or else you risk paying more in interest than the cash back rewards are worth.    

 

2. Checking Account

A checking account makes it easier to pay for things like utilities, rent, phone bills, and even your credit bill in one place. Most checking accounts these days have the option for auto pay, a convenient way to automate your monthly bills. You won’t need to worry about missed payments once you set this up.

 

3. Saving Account

Savings accounts can award you a great interest rate for storing your money in a credit union. And they can also give you options. If you need money in a hurry, you can’t really remove money from an IRA or from the stock market. Plus, your checking account is reserved for paying bills. A savings account can be treated as a separate money accumulation fund for emergencies.

 

There are many other financial tools at your disposal once you learn more about money management. These three are very common examples of banking tools people often underutilize. If you can leverage them correctly, you can become much more financially secure.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING HACKS

You may be deep into your summer routine of lazy afternoons at the beach, family day trips and bedtimes postponed in favor of firefly-chasing, but back-to-school season is already in full swing. 

And, any way you slice it, it’s going to be expensive! Between new backpacks, textbooks, a long list of supplies and a fresh autumn wardrobe, most parents are looking at a bill of close to $700 for school-related expenses this season.   

Be proactive and save big! Read on for our handy list of back-to-school shopping hacks that will help you keep more money in your wallet. 

  1. Plan to shop 5 times
    To take full advantage of the sales and clearance events throughout the summer, don’t buy everything at once. Plan on making 5 shopping trips this season, and you’ll get the best prices out there. 
  2. Stock up
    No, your child doesn’t need a 6-month supply of No.2 pencils for the first day of school or five spare pocket-folders. But, if you buy enough school supplies while prices are low to last through the first half of the year — or even all the way into June — you’ll save big. 
  3. Take advantage of loss leaders
    Every week during back-to-school season, retailers will advertise one product at a super-low price. This is their loss leader, an item priced so cheaply that retailers actually lose money on sales. Of course the bargain-priced product attracts customers, so it’s worthwhile for the retailer, but all you need to worry about is snagging those ridiculous prices. Make sure you catch those hot deals! 
  4. Shop the dollar store
    Before you hit the typical retail stores, shop for real bargains at dollar stores like Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. You can find calculators, paper, pencils, pens and more — for just a buck! 
  5. Buy designer backpacks online
    If your kid is begging for a brand-name backpack, but you don’t want to shell out big bucks for a label, check out sites like 6PM and eBags. You’ll find fantastic deals on designer backpacks that will keep both the fashion-conscious child and mom happy. 
  6. Look for manufacturer coupons
    Comb circulars, like RedPlum and SmartSource, for manufacturer coupons from supply companies like Bic and Mead. You can also find them in magazines geared toward parents like Parenting or on online coupon sites, like Retailmenot and CouponCabin. These are usually steeper discounts than retailer coupons and they can be combined with in-store specials. 
  7. Decode price tags
    When shopping for new clothing, you want to know if you’re getting the best deal possible.Most stores have a system for tagging items at their final markdown. Learn how to decode price tags and you’ll save big.
    Here’s how these popular stores mark their lowest prices:

    1. The Gap: Ending in $.97
    2. Target: Ending in an 8
    3. Old Navy: Ending in $.47
    4. TJMaxx: Yellow price tag
  8. Shop through Ebates for cash back
    Do all your online shopping through cash-back sites, like Ebates, and get 2-4% of every purchase back. Ebates is affiliated with almost every major retailer, and it hardly takes any extra effort to shop through their site. It’s like getting paid to shop! 
  9. Coordinate with other parents
    To help you get the best deals and save some time, work together with other parents of school-aged kids. If you’re in Walmart when they have their penny deals on pencils and you can get a box of 24 for just $0.50, offer to buy a few boxes for your friend’s kids. And, when your friend finds the super-hot deal on crayons, they’ll pick up a few boxes for your kids. That’s money saved and fewer trips to the store.
  10. Use the season to teach your kids financial responsibility
    With all the kid-centered shopping this season, it’s the perfect time for some financial lessons. Is your child desperate for designer supplies? Offer to pay for the regular price and let her fill in the rest with her own money. Give your older kids a list and some cash and let them shop on their own. Offer children a choice between a pricier backpack or a new pair of shoes. The teachable moments during back-to-school shopping are everywhere! 
  11. Check out gift-card sites before you shop
    Save by buying discounted gift cards to stores, like Michael’s and JCPenney, on sites like GiftCardGranny and Raise. 
  12. Use the Amazon App to price-match
    Have your phone handy when shopping so you can comparison-shop when buying your supplies. If an item is cheaper on Amazon, why buy it at the store (especially if you are an Amazon Prime member and can get free shipping)? 

    1. H&M: Save 20% on one item when you text your email address to 707-03
    2. Kohl’s: Save 15% off your entire order by texting SAVE15 to 564-57
    3. Old Navy: Sign up for a weekly text alert by texting 6046 to 653-689 and get a $5 coupon, and also sign up for promotional emails at OldNavy.com and you’ll be rewarded with a 30%-off coupon
    4. Crazy8: Sign up for emails and receive 18% off your next order, plus free shipping
    5. The Children’s Place: Input your email address in the pop-up box on TheChildrensPlace.com and get a $10 coupon.
  13. Sign up for promotional mail
    Most major retailers offer a discount for signing up for their promotional emails or text messages. 
  14. Take advantage of price-matching
    Lots of stores you’ll be shopping at this season, like Office Depot, Staples and Target, offer to match any competitor’s prices. Take advantage of this generous offer by coming prepared with an online price posting of a cheaper item you’ve found elsewhere. You’ll visit fewer stores this way and save money, too.
  15. Shop early in the week 
    Weekly sales go live on Sundays and the best stuff gets grabbed first. Shop Sundays and Mondays so you never miss out on a great deal again. 

Save big this season with Members Choice’s back-to-school shopping hacks!