Have you ever thought about the difference between a bank and a credit union? Banks are part of a national or global business with local branches that offer financial services such as checking and savings accounts, mortgages, and loans. Credit unions offer those same services—checking, savings, retirement accounts, mortgages, loans. But credit unions serve a specific region or group, and they don’t have customers; they have members. The biggest difference between banks and credit unions can be summed up in a single word—community.
Welcome to the credit union movement. Back in the day, when big banks roamed the earth, member-owned financial cooperatives were practically unheard of. If banking were a popularity contest, Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo would have won 10 years ago. But times are changing. These days, it seems customers value personality over professionalism. A genuine connection versus being just a number. In fact, members are more likely to recommend a credit union over a bank. It could be because credit unions have stepped up their marketing, or are based locally, or know members by name when they walk through the door. In any case, there’s a reason so many people are switching from banks to credit unions. If you’d like to join the movement, here’s how.
Whether or not you’re on board with the trend, technology is taking over. This is the age of iPads, iPhones, Androids, laptops, fingerprint ID, and face scanners. This wave of technology has even merged with finances. Just look how far online banking has come in recent years—and the same goes for money-transfer apps like Venmo. Trying to save money? There are apps that help you do that. It’s amazing how so few people come into branches to do their banking now since almost everything can be done online or by using an app.
Well, this is awkward. Normally we’re used to guiding members to reach certain financial goals. It’s rare that financial institutions talk about what happens after—once you’ve finally reached financial independence. Some people spend their whole lives making deposits into a savings account, just waiting for the day that the grand sum is enough. But enough for what? To quit a job? Buy a house? Pay off student loans? The question is, what’s the right move after you’ve saved enough money—and then some? This matter is highly subjective, considering financial goals vary from person to person, but let’s explore some options.
Congratulations! You’ve graduated to the next phase of Adulting 101: buying a car. This process isn’t wildly different from shopping for a home, but it does come with its own set of questions. Do you prefer used versus new? Style versus functionality? Speed versus comfort? Diesel versus gas? We’re not trying to be clever here (well, sometimes), but perhaps the easiest way to answer these questions is with additional puzzlers. For example…
January crawled by so slowly, but surprise! Summer is right around the corner. Have you started saving for your summer trips? Suffering from whiplash? Us too. Summertime may be Pacific Northwesterners’ favorite season because it welcomes many outdoorsy activities: camping, hiking, dog park-ing, and patio drinking. The mosquitos are a little annoying, but some of us are finding a different kind of bite on our arms and legs—from the travel bug. Suddenly Expedia and Kayak tabs are open on every computer, and people are hustling to pull nonexistent money together for a trip. If you can relate, these savings tips may be your one-way ticket to adventure.
Not too long ago, a little tidbit came out that younger adults can’t afford home renovations because they’re spending too much on avocado toast and activated charcoal smoothies. Priorities, right? If this sounds like you, help is on the way. Some of the biggest names in real estate will admit that no house is perfect—just ask Chip and Joanna Gaines. There’s always room for tinkering and improvement. Perhaps it’s a drippy water pipe or a slanted doorway, or maybe the living room needs a new paint job. These are the easiest ways to fund your home renovations.
You’ve been out of college for a few years and you finally have enough money saved for a down payment. Are you ready to buy a house? Purchasing a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, if not the biggest. High-involvement purchases require a lot of prep work and research prior to, and a decent amount of upkeep following. Here is our quick guide to home ownership to help get you on the right path.
You know the saying, “Good things come for those who wait?” We’re pretty sure the person who said that was looking to buy a house. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or an experienced house-hopping veteran, buying a house comes with a lot of questions and decision making. With so many options on the market, how do you possibly decide? Well, here’s where you can start.
Shopping for your first humble abode is one of life’s biggest milestones. It’s also one for your savings account! You’re finally on your own, with no parents, no dorm advisors—maybe just one or two roommates to split the cost and binge watch Westworld with. But with great power comes great responsibility—at least according to Spider-Man’s uncle. The big question: rent vs. buy? The matter of buying versus renting crosses every shopper’s mind. Renting an apartment is usually the next step after leaving the dorms because certain things are still taken care of by the complex. Broken water pipe? The building will fix it. Fridge making weird noises? Maintenance will be in to take a look at it.