Credit Cards

Feel Like A Number?

Do you ever have the feeling something is following you? Well, listen to that Little Voice, you have a number that follows you around no matter where you go. While you can’t shake it, you can change it. It can go up (a good thing), or it can go down (a not-so-good thing), depending on your financial behavior. It’s your credit score, and the role it plays in the quality of your life can be considerable.

Don’t make the mistake of confusing your credit score with your credit report; the two are entirely different things. Your credit score is born of your credit report. Let’s take a look at the two.

What NOT to Buy in October

Well here it is, October. Already. Fall is officially cooling down a long, hot summer, and the holidays are lining up to take us through the New Year. Some serious shopping will be here soon (if it hasn't already started for some), but don't jump the gun on select items you may have your eyes on. October is just not the month to get the best buys on many items. So in the spirit of saving you some money, let's take a look at stuff you'll want to hold off on buying until prices hit more budget-friendly levels.

Life Happens.

So you were hurrying to work, late for a meeting, and you backed out of the driveway a little too quickly...YIPE! YIPE! YIPE! It’s all right, Gizmo is going to be fine...after a hefty vet bill. And you were just getting ahead financially. Sheesh. File it under “Life Happens.”

Kids. Car trouble. Spending spree. Unexpected illness. Yes, life happens, with or without our consent. It’s filled with twists and turns, many times with expenses for which we haven’t planned.

And when life happens, everyone has a story to tell.

Wedded Bliss to Money Missed?

“If anyone feels this man and woman should not be united in holy matrimony, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”

What if your financial advisor (you did invite him, right?) stood up at your marriage ceremony with an objection? He didn’t think you two were compatible based on your views on money, the top reason for many arguments between married couples. It seems you two didn’t sit down beforehand and have a frank discussion about finances.

Does This Wallet Make Me Look Fat?

A fat wallet is usually seen as a good thing. To many, it means you’re flush; you have plenty of cash. On the other, more literally hand, it simply means you’ve got too darn much stuff crammed in that cowhide safety deposit box. What good is that fishing license from 1986 anyway? Do you really need that movie rental card good only in Puerto Rico?

Walking The “People Helping People” Walk

Credit unions exist to help people, specifically, their members. Vantage is no exception. Our status as a not-for-profit business says it all…we aren’t out to make a profit for stockholders, our goal is to take care of our members. But this rallying cry of People Helping People extends beyond credit union membership and into the community at large. That’s why we offer free financial services to the local community through our Business Partner Services and Money Matters.

Avoiding Extended Vacation Brain!

Wow! What a vacation! You zip lined over a forest canopy, swam with some porpoises, ate anything that looked good, and slept until breakfast was no longer served. Yeah, great memories, but now it’s back to the rude reality of the alarm clock. Sigh.

It’s not always easy getting your groove back. No matter how much you love your job, it can be difficult to get back to a daily routine.  Here are a few tips you may consider to help ease the transition.

The Financial Side of Emergencies

Your boss called you into her office, and you immediately got that sinking feeling in your stomach. Sure enough, your position within the organization was eliminated. You were jobless. Or maybe the air conditioner went out at home, just in time for the sweltering summer months. Financial emergencies, most of us experience them at some point. Are you ready for one?

According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 64% of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to deal with a $1,000 emergency. That cost could easily equate to a financial emergency. Maybe your car’s transmission goes out or your furnace dies at home. What would you do if such a sudden financial cost arrived unexpectedly? Here are a few tips that might help out:

Spending With Every Day in Mind

We see it all the time, commercials telling us we’re just not hip enough unless we wear the latest pair of jeans. Or a TV show featuring a mailman living in a $2,500-a-month apartment in some exciting city. It seems our lives are rather boring when compared to others, or at least the image of others. So what do we do? We try to live a life that we think adds excitement, a life that perhaps really isn’t our own. These are the times when we may get into trouble with our spending.

Everyone’s spending habits are different, some even unrealistic, but you should always strive to be a smart spender. What does that mean?

Rental Properly

Those high winds finally knocked down that old oak tree in your back yard. Luckily, no one was hurt, and no property (other than the tree) was damaged, but the fact remains, there’s a 40-foot tree on its side in your yard. You now have a few options for dealing with this problem. 1) You can hire a professional tree removal service, which could get expensive. 2) You’re pretty handy with tools, so you could buy a chainsaw to tackle the hardwood, which could also get expensive. 3) You could rent a chainsaw for a day or two.

Yes, in areas such as real estate, it may be a buyer’s market, but there are also times when renting just may be the way to go. Let’s take a look at a few examples where ownership may take a back seat to a short-term relationship.

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