Turn Banks into Credit Unions

So with the wintery weather-I did not get a chance to post yesterday-but I thought I’d call your attention to another blog posting from the Huffington Post, called Turn Banks into Credit Unions. He posted in on Tuesday, January 27th.

I think that if you’re concerned or even tired of hearing about the financial crisis, this is some good food for thought. I always enjoy posting news tidbits when it’s in favor of credit unions…but I think this does something a bit more-it defines well the difference between banks and credit unions. It also shares the benefits of credit unions-which I think is great. Kudos to Mike Garibaldi-Frick for this post.

I think if you’re frustrated with the financial industry, including those big banking mergers-that merged bank A into bank B-and are trying to convince you that they’re stronger…and now, you don’t even recognize your former financial institution-because the name AND faces have changed-then there’s never been a better time to discover the credit union difference.

And there’s no time like now to discover what Hopewell Federal has to offer! We’ve been serving Licking County for 47 years and… we’re still lending! No bailouts necessary! Plus, we’re a community credit union, so if you live, work, worship, volunteer, go to school…heck, if you’re breathing in Licking County, you can be a member of Hopewell Federal. 

Check us out on-line, to find a CU near you-visit cuservicecenter.com!

And check out the Turn Banks into Credit Unions post-by clicking on the link below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-garibaldi-frick/turn-banks-into-credit-un_b_161513.html

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2009…the year of the piggy bank!

I actually have no idea what animal the Chinese calendar year recognizes this year -I could google it-for those of you who want to get “technical” but my point is-maybe it should be the piggy bank to save, of course!

With the gloom and doom on the news of countless layoffs-and craziness about how banks have been spending bailout money. I thought it might be best-to just talk more about ways to save money today.

Times are tough for folks. Listen, I get that-we get that at HFCU. But we’re still here AND we’re still lending money! But as I said a few posts ago-you may want to think  of a few quick and easy tips to help you save money and build an emergency fund. After all, we are here to help you get ahead financially. We’ve been collecting a “tickler” file of tips-and posting them here-there and everywhere to help our members.

They’re realitvely easy and if you incorporate them into your life-who knows you could save thousands over the course of a year.

This week’s tips:

Buy generic-does it really matter if your cereal is made by Post, Kellogg’s or the in store brand? For a few things, like pop, sure…I prefer name brand products-but if you have a lot of kids and the generic brands can save you money in the long run, wouldn’t it make sense to switch?

Cook at home-okay, so let’s say you have a two income family-with mom and dad both working it may be hard to cook more often at home. But why not try it once a week and gradually increase the nights you cook at home. Get the kids involved in menu planning and helping. It could mean more savings for your wallet in the long run.

Consolidate your debt-if you have debt, get organized. Try getting a lower interest rate and pay off your debt as soon as possible. Money paid in interest is simply, money thrown away. Get down to paying your principle.

If you have tips you’d like to share-realistic ones that help you save-feel free to share them. I’d love to hear from you.

-Al

Ways 2 Save on Heating Bills

Hi folks,

Can you believe this cold weather…the below zero temps are taking their toll this winter. It got me to thinking of this week’s tip on how to save money…

If you’re like me your probably signed up for a lot of list serves. I received one this morning from the Credit Union National Association on ways to save on your home heating bills that I thought had so many good tips in it-it was worth passing along.

-These were taken from “Tips to Cool Down Your Hot Water Bill” and “Longevity on the Home Front: How Long Will That Furnace Last?” from Home & Family Resource Center

I’m paraphrasing these tips:

* Turn Down Your Water Heater Temperature-The higher the temp, the more energy it uses. Adjust the setting to 120 degrees which will keep your dishwasher cleaning effectively. Plus, allow for comfortable showers and most importantly…SAVE YOU MONEY!

* Wrap it Up-Use a special insulation blanket for your water heater. It will help prevent heat from escaping and run more efficiently.

*Avoid the Thermostat Shuffle-You can literally save up to 1 percent on your heating bill for every degree that you turn down your thermostat. Did you know that? I sure didn’t.

They recommend setting your thermostat in the 66-70 degree range while you’re at home and awake. Then turn it to the 60-65 degree range while your away or asleep. Turning the heat much lower when you leave your home and then cranking it back up when you return, actually makes your system work harder, reduces it’s efficiency and costs you more.

*Check for Leaks-Can you feel cold air around windows, doors and electrical outlets? A small investment in caulk, weather stripping, door sweeps or insulated outlet covers for drafty areas will block heat from escaping and save you money!

These were just a few of the highlights but for more, google Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

And remember, stay warm!

Just a Reminder…

This cold weahter is unbelievable isn’t it? I can’t remember the last time I heard of -25 to -30 degree windchill factors in Ohio. I hope that everyone is keeping warm!

I also wanted to remind you that we will be closed on Monday, January 19, 2009 in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Commit to Be Fiscally Fit in 2009

Hi Folks-

Just wanted to post some thoughts for this week-it’s not too late to Commit to Be Fiscally Fit in 2009-we’ve been posting different tips on how to save money on e-mail, the blog, in our lobbies and on our video screens.

You CAN reduce your debts. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… you can’t do it by borrowing your way out of debt, so… make a roadmap to financial recovery, starting with…

STOP BORROWING! It’s pretty simple guys, you shouldn’t spend more than you earn, so have a plan-it’s that simple. By creating a budget, your creating a roadmap to reducing your debts.

Figure out the most you can afford to pay each month to pay down your debts and make those payments on time, everytime, so you re-establish good faith and a good credit score. A good rule of thumb is to pay off the credit card you have with the highest interest rate and so forth and so on-until you’ve paid them all off !!!

It’s really not hard to amass debt and no one said it was going to be easy, the road back to recovery from debt is a long one-but if you make the necessary sacrifices, it can be done. And there’s plenty of assistance out there to help-including right here at Hopewell Federal.

If you need help creating a budget, or how to start your roadmap to recovery, call us today and set up an appointment with our certified financial counselor. You can also contact Consumer Credit Counseling Services who will work with you one-on-one as well.

Free Site to Post Needs for Volunteers

Hello everyone,

It’s a new year and that means it’s time for us to celebrate our 1st anniversary of Give With Us! (insert your own horn noises here)

That being said, I’ve noticed that folks may need a little reminder as to how Give with Us should be utilized.  It’s really a service for you, for everyone in Licking County. Why???

Well, for those of you new to Hopewell Federal-Give with Us, located in the lower left corner of the home page of our website, is a blog where you can post events and get volunteers to sign up via the Give With Us blog site. It’s that simple.

So, if you are looking for volunteers to help out with an event at your school, church or other organization-we invite you to use Give With Us! Looking for volunteer hours? Check out Give With Us.

That being said, it’ s not a blog for advertising, it’s more like a one-stop shop, where people  help people. And let’s face it, times are tough-so, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there in Licking County who could use some extra assistance with their community events.

So, stop by and post your volunteer needs today, you don’t have to be a member of Hopewell Federal to use it, just click on the logo and Give With Us!

Thanks!

-Al

Twitter Concerns

A few weeks ago, I shared a post about whether or not we should Twitter with our members. Yes, I know it’s popular-even the Obama campaign used it while they were out on the campaign trail.

However, just last week-I read where Twitter was hacked into-and the site looked almost perfect but they hacked  some famous people’s accounts-and it’s my understanding they posted some really inappropriate tweets/messages. Names like Britney Spears and a reporter from CNN.

The hacking issues makes me question-if this is a good outlet to use to communicate with our members.

If you are interested in getting messages/tweets from Hopewell Federal via Twitter-to stay updated in brief, short snippets-with what’s going on at our financial institution-please drop me a line.

If your concerned about it getting hacked and getting crazy stuff sent to you-thinking it may be too much of a risk-I’d like to hear that too-

As always, myself and of course, our entire team, constantly strive for new and innovative ways to communicate with you, so I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks,

Al