The First Financial Credit Union Blog

'Tis the season for saving!

Posted by Stephanie Bertelsen, VP Member Relations on Aug 9, 2019 2:31:03 PM

With this gorgeous summer weather, it’s hard to imagine that the holiday season is right around the corner. While we may not be ready to think of winter, one thing you may want to start thinking about (if you haven’t already), is how to plan for holiday gift-giving.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Family & Youth

How Changing Interest Rates Affect You

Posted by Jen Laud on May 4, 2017 11:00:00 AM

It's not uncommon for members to have questions about interest rates and how they are impacted by changes in the national or global economy. When there's a news story about economists speculating that rates will go up again, it can be hard to understand exactly what that means on a personal level.


Interest rates had been near zero for almost ten years - since the financial crisis of 2008. Now that there's been steady and consistent signs that the economy has turned around, the board of the Federal Reserve has been raising rates again. But what does that mean for you?

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Borrowing Advice & How to Build Credit

Wills and Trusts for Parents

Posted by Jen Laud on Apr 24, 2017 11:29:27 AM

Especially for parents, there are many benefits to having a will and trust established. With just a little planning, you'll gain peace of mind knowing that your loved ones will always be cared for and your wishes are known. Plus, it no longer takes a lot of time or money to create a will or a trust.

When is it a good time to do a little research and decide if these are right for you? We recommend creating your documents and accounts when you're a new parent, growing your family, or have money you'd like to be designated for your children or other beneficiaries. 

Here we'll share what is a will and trust; why you should consider having them; and the best way to get started.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Youth Services, Family & Youth

Save Your Tax Return Check

Posted by Edward Sablan on Apr 17, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Your tax return is coming (or is here), do you know what to do with it?

As tax season comes to an end, people across the country are frantically working to meet the April 18th deadline.  While it's mostly viewed as an unavoidable part of life, it does provide a glimmer of joy in the form of a tax return check.  However the question arises, what do you do with your tax return?  One idea would be to place the funds into some type of savings. 

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting

How to Teach Money Lessons to Your Kids

Posted by Jen Laud on Apr 6, 2017 9:00:00 AM

5 tips for starting or continuing the discussion about money with your kids.

Being able to manage personal finances is one of the best things we can teach our kids. Money and credit impact so many things we do, making it an important topic to discuss with children early and often. If developed correctly, a young-saver's money skills can turn into a strong foundation to stand on later.


But many parents are unsure how to discuss money with their kids. We've put together some helpful tips to use when you're developing your teaching style.


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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Youth Services

5 Tips to Travel Safe & Travel Smart

Posted by Edward Sablan on Mar 16, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Time for that trip?  Plan ahead for safer travels.

Sunglasses? Check. Flip flops? Check. You can almost feel that sun or hear those waves as you're getting ready for your upcoming vacation. Before you take off, make sure you've given your financial safety and spending plan as much consideration as your destination. Whether it's the sandy beaches of the Bahamas or the Gold Coast of Australia, traveling can pose some challenges and you don't want to have your good time dampened by unnecessary money hassles.

1. Tell Your Credit Union and Credit Card companies that you are Traveling

Prior to heading to the airport, it's wise to give the credit union and other credit card companies a call to let them know where you're heading and how long you will be there. The safety measures that identify and stop potentially fraudulent activity on your account may accidentally cancel a real transaction if the location isn't recognized. Your accounts can be updated so you can confidentially use your card in a new location.

2. Use Credit Cards and Bring a Backup Card

It is a good point to leave most of your cards at home with the exception of a couple: one main and one backup. Carry one card with you to use on your travel expenses and keep one safely stored as a backup just in case. This strategy will also help you track your purchases while making sure no fraudulent charges are made. Cards for department stores, shops, and other non-essentials should be left behind at home as they just become a liability on a trip.

When you're deciding which cards to take, keep in mind that some may charge foreign transaction fees that can add up. Also, come banks or credit unions won't charge fees on their cards, but you may still get a fee from Visa or Mastercard for the currency conversion. For example, FFCU does not charge for foreign transactions, but you may see a surcharge up to 1% of your transaction from Visa.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting, Identity Protection

Best Ways to Save at Thanksgiving

Posted by FFCU Partner on Nov 15, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones for a satisfying meal and kick off the holiday season. If you pay current prices for your menu items, though, you could blow a chunk of your holiday budget before you even get to the pumpkin pie.

Use these tips to keep your Thanksgiving festive and thrifty.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting

Why Invest in a CD?

Posted by Jen Laud on Oct 26, 2016 8:00:00 AM

After such a long time with record-low interest rates, we're starting to see savings rates rise again. For people of all ages who are interesting in weighing their options, taking another look at CDs is worth it.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting

How to Save for Retirement

Posted by FFCU Partner on Sep 27, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Whether you’re young or young at heart, trying to wrap your head around saving for retirement can seem overwhelming when you’re focused on day-to-day expenses. But putting off saving now can haunt you later. Here are some tips for saving for retirement.   


  • Decide on a savings goal
    You can’t predict the future, but you can set a retirement savings goal by reviewing your current spending and projecting your spending needs in retirement. Experts say you’ll need at least 70% of your current income to keep your same standard of living in retirement.

    After calculating your current and future spending needs, take stock of your savings so far. A retirement calculator will help you assess where you stand and set a new monthly savings goal for retirement. An important factor to consider is at what age you plan to retire.
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Topics: Saving & Budgeting

How to Survive a Summer Filled with Weddings

Posted by Gabby Boyce on Aug 9, 2016 12:20:40 PM

We are well into wedding season, and sometimes attending several weddings in a season can take a toll on your wallet. The focus is often the bride or groom, and comparatively little attention gets paid to the guest. Some years, usually in your mid-20s, seemingly all of your closest friends are getting married. With outfits, gifts and travel, it's a lot to manage — and pay for.

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Topics: Saving & Budgeting

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