22 Sep

How to Start Saving on an Entry-Level Salary

If you have an entry-level job and feel like you’re already stretching your salary as far as it will go, savings might be the last thing on your mind.

Saving for retirement or building an emergency fund isn’t possible until you get that raise, right? Well there’s good news: You don’t have to wait for a bigger paycheck to start putting money aside.

Saving money isn’t about earning more — it’s about spending less. Trimming some expenses and cutting others altogether can add up to significant savings over time. With a few cost-conscious moves, you could cover all your financial bases and start saving money today.

Adopt a Frugal Lifestyle

Saving money doesn’t just happen; it starts with a commitment. Decipher your needs and wants, and limit how often you splurge on things you could do without. You may find you can get by — and live just as happily — with significantly fewer purchases.

When you feel like buying a new outfit or stereo system, simply take that money and put it into your savings account instead. Turn to alternative forms of entertainment — make dinner at home for friends, spend time outdoors instead of the mall, visit museums on free days. Treat yourself just once in a while, and those occasions will be all the more special.

Cut Easy Corners

Trimming everyday expenses can add up to significant savings over the course of a year. Try these money-saving ideas that won’t leave you feeling like you’re skimping.

  • Dine out less. Keep a stash of leftovers in the freezer to help you resist heading to a restaurant after a long day at work.
  • Buy only the groceries you need — and eat them. Think about the money you waste on produce that spoils and canned goods that collect dust.
  • Swap DVDs and books with friends or check them out from the library.
  • Visit a beauty school for discounted haircuts and spa treatments.
  • Cut commuting costs by carpooling, taking the bus or telecommuting.
  • Go generic with off-brand groceries, medications and clothing.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in your home. They’re more energy efficient and last longer.
  • Volunteer at fairs and festivals for free admission.
  • Switch to basic cable or drop it altogether — unless you really need hundreds of channels.

Bank It

It’s also a good idea to consistently put any unexpected money — an income-tax refund, a birthday present, overpayment on a bill — directly into savings. If you receive a pay raise, consider increasing your savings contributions or direct deposit.

A savings account at Navigator Credit Union can help you reach your savings goals. Call us today at 800-344-3281 or visit our Web site at www.navigatorcu.org.

23 Feb

Hey Generation Y! We’re Here for You

We serve members of all ages at Navigator Credit Union, and we love it when you connect with us in a multitude of ways. Generation Y (those born in the early 1980s to mid-1990s) tend to be early adopters of technology and online services. They search for fast, secure and innovative ways to manage their money on the go – and that’s what we do best!

Born in the Digital Age

It’s no surprise that the generation of kids who grew up with computers is comfortable making transactions online and via their mobile devices. They connect with everything – people, places, calendars, apps, their finances and more – from their computers and smartphones. They expect banking solutions to be transparent (no hidden surprises), quick and user-friendly.

The following products and services are geared for Gen Yers – and members of all ages – who prefer to be “plugged in”:

Online services – In a recent survey of Gen Yers, 80% used online banking within the past month, and most preferred e-bill pay rather than paper copies.* Go to https://navigatorcu.org to learn more about online banking and online bill pay with Navigator.

e-Statements
– Members of Gen Y tend to organize their finances electronically rather than dealing with paper filing. Their sense of environmental responsibility is a factor in their choice to reduce paper and save energy with e-Statements. Have you made the switch? Log in to ’N Touch Web and select e-Statements for your accounts.

Checking with a debit card – Gen Y uses debit cards more often than credit cards, while the reverse is true for the average American household.* With a debit card from Navigator Credit Union, you can manage your balance in real time and easily check your current balance through online banking or by setting up e-Alerts to notify you via email or text message of specific activities on your account.

Savings – Young people often struggle to build savings, but many Gen Yers are on the right track. More than 75% of those surveyed have a savings account, which is higher than any  other generation.* Do you have a savings plan? We can help you set up direct deposit or automatic transfers to make saving easier.

Loans – Of the Gen Yers surveyed who had personal loans, 36% applied for the loans online. When you need money for a car, college education or other big things in life, applying for a loan is quick and simple with Navigator. Visit www.navigatorcu.org to apply for your next loan.

Find Us Online and on Facebook – and Soon via Mobile

Visit our website at www.navigatorcu.org or “like” us on Facebook and you’ll receive notification of our new mobile banking app to be launched soon. As always, we love to hear your comments and feedback!

*
Source: Fiserv Inc. press release, March 1, 2010. Accelerant Research conducted the survey in 2009.
26 Oct

Is It Worth Standing in Line For?

When the latest iPhone® was released, hundreds of people stood in line to get their hands on the gadget. It can be exciting to be the first to have
something new, but you should stop and think: Is this something I really want?

Don’t Get Swept Up

If all of your friends are raving about their new music player, or the media is abuzz about a much anticipated video game system, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Because everyone else wants it – or seems to – you decide “Hey! I want that too!” But if you slow down and think rationally, do you still want it? Or do you just like the idea of having the new things everyone else has? (And by the way, not everyone has them!)

Save for What Really Matters

What you buy or own does not define who you are. So don’t waste your money on purchases made just to fit in or keep up with the other kids at school. If you only buy the things that you want and will be useful to your life, you’ll be much happier in the long run.

26 Oct

When Concerts Hit a Sour Note

Going to a concert is a lot of fun. You get to see and hear one of your favorite artists live, hang out with friends and make lifelong memories. Before you stand in line for tickets or select “Purchase Ticket” with your computer, think about some of the costs you may not have considered.

  • Ticket fees – When you add a facility charge, convenience charge and order processing fees, you may be looking at an additional 30% on
    top of your original ticket price.
  • Concessions – Buying snacks and a soda at your concert can really add up. A soda alone can cost as much as $5.
  • Concert memorabilia – Most entertainers sell T-shirts, hats or other merchandise at their shows. T-shirts can cost $35 or more, depending on the artist.

What Can You Do?

There are ways around some of the hidden costs when you attend a concert. Be sure to eat before you go so you can avoid spending money on snacks. And look for cool artist T-shirts online to find a better deal than you would at the concert. Don’t forget to save your money to make sure you can enjoy the concerts on your entertainment agenda.