Balancing Unplanned Bills

fff 4/11Hi! I’m Jess, the Communications Specialist for Credit Union 1. I’m a writer, full-time mom, Alaskan enthusiast (hiking, fishing, freezing - all of it!), and aspiring financial wiz.

Yesterday, my phone rang ominously before dawn. Plumbing issues in my tenant’s apartment, and as she explained the symptoms, I heard our “rainy day” fund flush down the drain. 

In an ideal world, I’d have no need to worry about unexpected plumbing expenses. However, I have a feeling that’s not how most of us live. Finances are a delicate balance of saving and spending, and no matter how carefully we walk this tight rope, it’s a nerve-wrecking path! The trick, my friends, is to have a safety net.

After several hours of technician work and many fancy-sounding parts replaced, it was time to pay the plumbing piper. So how do I fork out funds for an unplanned bill? First, I yell “Safety net, deploy!” Here’s what unfolds:

Option 1: Pull from savings. If your unexpected bill won’t completely drain your account, pay the debt from savings first. By spending money you already have, you’ll avoid interest charges on a loan.

Financial Fish in the Sea

FFF

Hi! I’m Jess, the Communications Specialist for Credit Union 1. I’m a writer, full-time mom, Alaskan enthusiast (hiking, fishing, freezing - all of it!), and aspiring financial wiz. 

Do you remember how you chose your first financial institution? As a kid, I happily saved nickels and dimes at my parents’ hometown bank – until my eighteenth birthday, when I snapped up one of the many credit card offers that had flooded my ‘new adult’ mailbox. How’d I pick my plastic? Well, the credit card that caught my eye sent customized address stickers (WHOA!) and lured me in with a neat design for my card. Real high-class stuff.

Financial Fitness Friday: Windows XP and Financial Security

FFFHi! I’m Jess, the Communications Specialist for Credit Union 1. I’m a writer, full-time mom, Alaskan enthusiast (hiking, fishing, freezing - all of it!), and aspiring financial wiz. 

In a dusty corner of my home office sits an old Dell desktop of days gone by. I bought this deep-screened beast as a freshman in college, and each essay I wrote is still saved there. Today, the keys are slightly sticky and the mouse is clogged with crumbs. Why do I keep Old Dell around, when technology has long since outpaced it? Well, the beast still works. And, I feel weirdly sentimental about my study pal.

As proof of Old Dell’s staunch traditionalism, it continues to operate on Windows 95.  Cool, huh? Chunky icons, simple menus, and a slow, leisurely-paced internet connection.

Speaking of internet – did you know that with time, Microsoft abandons security on its outdated operating systems? This means Old Dell doesn’t receive any new “patches” to the thin spots in its safeguards. As cyber-criminals get sneakier each year, this desktop is leaving its doors unlocked. On the web, Old Dell is extremely at risk of infiltration and infection.

My Debt-Free Future

fff 314Hi! I’m Jess, the Communications Specialist for Credit Union 1. I’m a writer, full-time mom, Alaskan enthusiast (hiking, fishing, freezing - all of it!), and aspiring financial wiz. 

Some times in life, it pays to wait. Maybe you’ve waited for your dream job while you pursue a degree. Maybe you’ve waited to start a family until you can afford extra mouths. Thinking short term? Go ahead and wait to eat an entire pie until after your spouse is asleep. Patience pays, almost invariably.

However, when it comes to borrowing money, I’ll eat my words. Once you sign that dotted line and accept funds, you need to HURRY! Oftentimes, folks sign up for a loan and then rest on their laurels with the payment. I am SO guilty of this! I’ll pay my regular, same-old payment each month, even when I have a few extra bucks to toss around. The thing is, any other way I spend that cash is NOT as cost effective as paying down debt. Got loans? Pay those puppies off!

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CU1 Community Service

2014 Community Service Numbers

1170 Volunteer Hours
$42,518 donated/raised

Through March 31, 2014

Spotlight: Junior Achievement of Alaska

Welcome to April! This month, we’re raising funds for Junior Achievement of Alaska, which fits in perfectly with it being Financial Literacy Month!

 What does Junior Achievement do?

 

·         JA brings volunteers from local businesses into classrooms to teach our youth about money management and how business works. This includes financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and job readiness.

·         JA reaches over 9,000 students per year in over 40 Alaska communities, in both classrooms and after-school setting.

 

·         JA inspires and empowers students to believe in themselves, showing them they can make a difference in the world. 

 

Poll

How old were you the first time you ever volunteered?: