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4 Best Budgeting Apps

4 Best Budgeting Apps

Budget. Did you just get cold chills reading that word? It’s not a popular word, and it’s certainly not a popular idea. Typically, the idea of a budget is enough to take away any sense of fun you have when thinking about spending your money. But, it doesn’t have to be. There are several benefits to creating a monthly budget. When you have a budget in place, you instantly: Make your money work for you Assign each dollar in your account a job Gives you 100% control of your money Allows you to track your expenses Relieves some of the stress that finances can bring Helps you create a “safety net” There are obvious benefits to creating and maintaining a budget, and there are just as many tools to help you budget as there are benefits. So, where do you start? First, figure out how much you make each month. Then, figure out how much you spend. Once you figure out what you’re bringing in vs. what you’re spending, you can start creating specific categories for your money. This is where you get to tell your money what to do. Now, you’ve got a basic budget in place. You know what you’re making, what you’re spending, and your money has a specific goal. But, how do you keep track of all that information in a manageable way? Budget apps! The great thing about budget apps – not only do they keep track of your budget, but you can take it with you everywhere you go. Check out some of the best budgeting apps for 2020. Wally — Get the...
Tips for First Time Homebuyers

Tips for First Time Homebuyers

Even if you’re not a first-time home buyer, looking for and financing a home can be stressful. When you don’t know where to begin or what to do, it can be even more stressful. We’ve got a few tips for first-time homebuyers to get the most out of your home buying experience. Determine how much house you can afford and get pre-approved. When you’re ready to look for your dream home, it’s important to know how much home you can afford. This will narrow down your home search and will give you a realistic view of the types of homes you can buy inside of your price range. You will also avoid the temptation to purchase a home where you’ll struggle to make the payments. Save up for a down payment. With such a big purchase, having a down payment to invest in your home is important. A good rule of thumb for a down payment is to save 20% of your mortgage. For instance, if you have a $100,000 mortgage, your target down payment is $20,000. If 20% of your mortgage doesn’t seem feasible, there are other options for first-time homebuyers that will allow you to save and invest a smaller amount into your mortgage. If you’re wondering how much you need to save to achieve your desired payment, check out a down payment calculator for reference. Payoff as much debt as possible One of the factors that will determine your creditworthiness is your debt-to-income ratio. A debt-to-income ratio measures the total amount of debt you’re paying off each month compared to the amount of income you’re bringing...
The Benefits of Charitable Contributions

The Benefits of Charitable Contributions

We all know the saying, “It’s better to give than receive.” Giving makes us feel good, right? And we usually don’t think about what’s in it for us. But, what about charitable giving? Depending on the amount of your charitable contributions, you could be in for a sizeable tax benefit. As a matter of fact, if you factor your charitable donations into your budget, it will allow you to be more generous and lead to strategies that could improve your financial planning long term. With tax season just around the corner, let’s take a look at some benefits of charitable giving and what can be deducted. That altruistic feeling Whether we donate to them or not, we all have causes near and dear to our heart. If you’re an animal lover, the ASPCA commercials probably tug at your heartstrings. If helping kids is where your passion lies, then charities like St. Jude’s and the Shriner’s Hospital probably resonate with you. Regardless of where your loyalties lie, we all love the feeling of helping other people. Scientific studies have even shown that charitable giving activates pleasure centers in the brain. Tax benefits Charitable donation deductions actually allow you to lower the amount of taxable income. Of course, you can’t donate to just any organization. In order for donations or gifts to qualify, they have to be recognized tax-exempt organizations. Typically, religious organizations, veterans’ organizations and community organizations qualify as tax exempt. Have you made any donations to state, federal, or local governments for public purposes, like donating to rehab a public park? You can deduct those donations. You can also deduct any...
Meal Planning on a Budget

Meal Planning on a Budget

The beginning of a new year is a great time to change up your diet in a way that fits your budget. Meal planning is popular among those who desire to eat healthy while maintaining a healthy budget. While there are many resources available for recipes, we have a few tips on how to make the most of your meal planning options. Plan your shopping trips and meals in advance. Take some time to look at the grocery store circulars or online deals to see what is on sale for the week. Once you know what meats and seasonal fruits and vegetables are being offered at a good price, you can research recipes to maximize your meal planning options for the season. These prices tell you how much they are by amounts so you can compare with your recipes to determine your budget before you’re in the store. Check out meal planning resources via a Google search and on sites like Pinterest. There are meal preps and plans available from home cooks and more popular sources like Food Network. Be willing to try new recipes and look into meat-free recipes to conserve your funds. There are plenty of cost-effective options that can be a good source of protein. Choose different recipes with the same meat. Whether you’re making meals for a family or you’re making lunches for yourself, buying in bulk is always best. If you’ve found a few recipes for chicken that you think you’ll like, buy the chicken in bulk and freeze what you don’t use right away. This will keep your meat fresh and ready for...

Chairman’s Message

On behalf of all of us here, at Power Financial Credit Union, I would like to wish you and your family a healthy and Happy New Year. In reflecting on the past year, the words “growth, enhancement, and empowerment” are forefront in my mind. GROWTH AND ENHANCEMENT In 2019, your credit union welcomed TransCapital Bank (TCB) to our family. We are delighted to have the TCB employees join our team at a “Top Workplace”, as recognized by the Sun Sentinel. Your volunteer Board of Directors unanimously approved this acquisition for a myriad of reasons. Predominant among them, to enhance our commercial lending competencies and increase access for our existing members with the addition of three more branch locations. These new locations are almost perfectly equidistant in line from our Headquarters in Sheridan, northward to our Juno Beach location. The acquisition brings aboard a strong, profitable, well-capitalized institution with approximately $200 million in assets. Our Sit and Save program, where your trusted advisor analyzes your full financial picture for potential savings, in both time and money, has netted members over $4 million dollars and counting. We were able to help provide countless hours of additional free time to spend with loved ones. In 2020, we invite you to come in and sit down with us. I encourage you to enjoy this free benefit of membership. Social Media platforms have been an area of focus, and in turn we made it on the top 100 list, for The Financial Brand. To achieve this recognition, means to be among the elite of Social Media Marketing. Follow us on Facebook®, Instagram® and Twitter™...
Which Credit Card Rewards Are Right for You?

Which Credit Card Rewards Are Right for You?

Believe it or not, there isn’t a “one size fits all” credit card rewards program. For every card on the market, it seems like there are a million different ways to earn rewards. With all the options, the research can be overwhelming and you might not know where to start. We’ve come up with a few ways you can choose the right credit card rewards program. Is a rewards card right for you? That’s the first question you need to ask yourself. A rewards card isn’t right for everyone. Here’s a handy checklist to run through to help you decide whether or not a rewards card is a good fit for you: You have a good credit score. Most card issuers are looking for consumers who have a FICO score of at least 670. Of course, a higher credit score will help you get a lower interest rate, but a that mid-600 range will get your foot in the door. FYI, the higher your credit score, the more lucrative rewards programs you’ll have access to. You can pay off your balance every month. Rewards card usually have a higher-than-average interest rate. When you carry your balance over each month, you could end up paying more in interest charges than you earn in rewards. You can maximize the value of your rewards. A rewards card can cost you money if you don’t maximize your reward-earning potential. If you don’t earn enough points, you can actually lose money if your card has an annual fee. Now that you’ve determined you could benefit from a rewards card, let’s talk about choosing the...