moving from a saver to an investor

How to use savings accounts to get what you want and stop overspending

Your savings account is probably something you think about only when you have a little extra cash, but they actually work best when they’re used for unpredictable budget items and you contribute to them regularly. If set-up properly, your savings account will have funds for the things you want as well as the unexpected set-backs in life, and won’t wipe out your budget.

Recurring bills like utilities, rent or insurance can be easily budgeted for and paid for from a checking account, where money can come in and out easily. Savings accounts should be used for those things that happen once in a while or in an emergency.

At IHMVCU it’s easy to set-up additional savings accounts, including but not limited to:

Christmas shopping
Healthcare
Vacation
Car and home maintenance
Taxes

For savings accounts to work for you, you’ll need to contribute to them on a regular basis. One of the easiest ways is to set aside a percentage of each paycheck and distribute it among your savings accounts. Another way is to budget high for recurring expenses, like a utility bill, and putting what you don’t use into savings.

Let’s say you budget $200 for energy every month, and your next bill is only $130 (hurray for open windows!). Using this system of saving, you would take the “extra” $70 and put it in a savings account, like one for home maintenance, so it’s there when your bills are higher than $200 in the winter. You may put your tax return into next year’s savings account for taxes, or the leftover cash from a lower-than-usual grocery trip into a vacation fund.

At IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, you can open a savings account for a minimum deposit as low as $5 and NO monthly fees. Check out our website to find out more about IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union savings accounts and how you can open one today.

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Saving for retirement: IHMVCU makes investment services easy

It doesn’t matter if retirement is years away or just around the corner, it’s important to know that stocks and bonds shouldn’t be your sole saving strategy for retirement. Saving accounts, money market accounts and CDs are great investments that keep your money liquid.

What does it mean to keep your money liquid?
Liquid assets are those that can easily and quickly be converted to cash through sale or withdrawal. Keeping some of your money liquid ensures it’s accessible when you need it.

Savings and money market accounts
Savings accounts are the tried-and-true way to store your retirement funds in with easy access when you need it. Similarly, money market accounts (MMAs) are savings accounts that require a higher minimum balance to earn higher interest.

CDs
CDs allow you to invest large amounts of money to accrue interest for a set amount of time – anywhere from a couple months to five years. While CDs typically make more money in the long run, early withdrawal of assets in CDs may result in penalty fees, so investors will often put money into a CD and forget about it until it matures.

Shop around
Life is unpredictable and plans change, so don’t be afraid of penalty fees – depending on the terms they can be as little as $4 on a $10,000 CD. It all depends on your plan and the last quarter earnings of the institution. Often, penalties for withdrawal from a 401(k) or stock purchase plan can be much higher than CD withdrawals.

 

Be sure to do the calculations for what your early withdrawal fees may be—it might be worth it to jump ship for a better deal on CDs or to place your assets in a high-interest MMA.

You can set up savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs through IHMVCU to put you in the right place financially for your retirement.

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DIY Halloween costumes are an easy, creative way to save money

Halloween is right around the corner, and it’s crunch time when it comes to costumes. Store-bought costumes can cost more than $30 each, and the shelves are bound to be picked over at this point. There’s no question—this is the year to look into homemade costumes. Here are five creative costumes that are cheaper and easier to make than you might think!

Pinata

Photo: costume-works.com


Piñata
Cost: < $10
Materials needed:

  • Scissors
  • Colorful streamers or crepe paper
  • Party hats
  • An old t-shirt
  • Hot glue gun

Cut small strips of colorful streamers or crepe paper and use a hot glue gun to attach them to a thrift store shirt and dollar store party hats. Get a long shirt, and all you need is leggings and shoes to complete the outfit! Benefits include points for creativity and the ability to layer up and stay warm if the weather is cold!

Photo: marthastewart.com

Photo: marthastewart.com


Jellyfish
Cost: $5 – $15
Materials:

  • An umbrella
  • Scissors
  • White crepe paper, streamers or bubble wrap
  • Hot glue or packing tape
  • A white and grey outfit

Cut long strips of crepe paper or bubble wrap and attach them to an umbrella with hot glue or packing tape so they drift down to the feet of whoever is wearing the costume. (If you can’t find an umbrella at the thrift store, they are usually cheap at Walmart or on Amazon, if you have the time to order one.) Bonus points: tie glow sticks into the tentacles for an eerie phosphorescent effect!

 

Photo: thedragonsfairytail.blogspot.com

Photo: thedragonsfairytail.blogspot.com

Moose
Cost: < $5
Materials:

  • Brown outfit
  • Light colored gloves
  • Packing material
  • Hot glue
  • Headband

Fill gloves with packing material so they won’t be limp. Using hot glue or staples, attach them to the sides of a headband that will fit the wearer’s head. Wear brown sweatpants and a brown hoodie for fur, and add black shoes and gloves for hooves. Put on the antler headband and ta-da! You’re a moose! Tip: moose have very short tails, so you don’t have to worry about making one!

 

Beanie baby
Cost: $5 – $10
Materials:

  • Animal print outfit
  • Animal ears
  • Red posterboard

Photo: sororitystylista.com

Photo: sororitystylista.com

Choose an animal, and visit your closet or a thrift store to find a suitable shirt to match your idea (think animal print!). Buy a pair of animal ears or create your own with a headband and fabric. Cut the red poster board into a heart, and cut the “ty” letters out of white printer paper to glue onto the poster board. If you want, use eyeliner or facepaint to add a nose or whiskers as needed! Bonus: Make a “ty” tag for all of your pets, as well, to expand your collection and include your pets in the fun!

 

Scuba diver
Cost:  $5 – $10
Materials:

  • Two-liter bottles
  • Duct tape
  • Black ribbon
  • All-black outfit
  • Swim or safety goggles
  • Brightly-colored paper

Scuba Diver

howwelearn.com

Wrap two empty two-liter bottles in duct tape (individually) to give them a metallic look. Then, secure the bottles to each other with duct tape on part of the bottles that will rest against the back. Measure out enough ribbon to create two straps, and use the duct tape to attach the ribbon to the backs of the bottles. The bottles should sit on the wearer like a backpack! Cut flipper shapes out of the paper and attach them to the wearer’s shoes (you can use duct tape for this, too). Add the goggles, and your costume is complete! Bonus: use one standard water bottle and attach tubing to a pacifier for a
super-easy baby version!

 

For more ways to save, become a member at IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union! Members can take advantage of a variety of discounts. Visit our website to see how YOU can save.

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IHMVCU Newsletter – Fall 2014

Your copy of the Summer Newsletter will be arriving in your mailbox this week!

Featured Articles:
Online Branch: Money Management Made Easy
80th Anniversary Celebration
Estate Planning Seminar
Short Takes | Member Advantages

Click here to read the entire newsletter early.

 

                

 

 

 

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DIY home projects for fall

This week marks the official beginning of fall and many homeowners have home improvement projects on their mind. Have you thought of accomplishing some easy, DIY projects this fall to improve the value of your home?

IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union is here to help! We’ve compiled a list of four weekend projects to tackle this fall that could add curb appeal to your humble abode.

Add a backyard fire pit
Fall marks a season filled with high school football, hoodies and bonfires. Make your place the spot to be after games by installing a fire pit with just a few materials. Stop by your local hardware store to stock up on gravel and stones and then start digging. Next thing you know, your friends and family will be over enjoying time around the fire. Here’s an easy diagram to get you started.

Face lift your windows
Create an elegant update by adding some DIY crown molding to your window frames or by sewing new drapes. A one-day project can completely change the look of your living room, bedroom or kitchen!

Create smart storage spaces
Smart storage spaces always start with some creativity! Use a combination of pallet boards and plastic containers to build a unit to store non-seasonal holiday decorations in the garage. Or, stop by the hardware store to pick up some wooden boards and brackets and create your own storage bench – both useful and decorative!

Spice up the kitchen
A fresh coat of paint can add flavor to an otherwise drab kitchen. Consider utilizing wall space as a family memo board to list weekly dinners and activities with a simple coat of chalkboard paint! You could even spend a weekend refinishing the cabinets to bring them up to 2014 elegance.

 

These are all small projects that you can tackle in a weekend, but larger home improvement projects may need some additional funding. IHMVCU has you covered with home equity loans to help you finance that next big update. Visit our website to check out our home equity loans, home improvement loans and home equity line of credit.

No matter the project, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union is here for you.

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Tailgating

Tightening the belt on your tailgate

Football season has arrived with tailgate parties in tow, and IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union has some advice to keep your wallet out of the red zone while getting your tailgate on.

First, plan ahead. Scout out your parking spot early, and know what it costs to park there. (Pro tip: parking closer to the stadium usually costs more!) Be sure to take a head count of expected guests so you can buy food accordingly, and then make a list of essentials to avoid last-minute expenses.

When you do buy food, keep it simple. There are hundreds of tailgate recipes available online to make sides, dips and treats for less than $1 a serving. Avoid pre-made platters; the convenience will cost you!

Providing plenty of sides will reduce the amount of meat you have to grill, which is likely the most expensive item on your menu. To be really money-savvy, turn the tailgate meal into a potluck by asking guests to bring a dish. (Pro tip: avoid the hassle of grilling with a crockpot of pulled pork for sandwiches.)

Use alternatives to the university-sold versions of tents and decorations. Using solid prints in your team’s colors can be just as spirited without the logo. If you can borrow the more expensive additions, like the tent or a fold-up table—even better!

Have your friends pitch in on gas, food and décor. The more people that chip in, the less expensive it becomes for you! Plus, the more the merrier when it comes to celebrating your team spirit. Bring a ball, a Frisbee and battery-operated speakers for entertainment, and you’ll be set for a tailgate that scores points with both your friends and your budget spreadsheet.

Keep in touch with IHMVCU for more easy ways to stay budget-savvy!

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Start the Process of Home Ownership with IHMVCU


Buying a home is one the biggest financial decisions you can make in your lifetime and that can leave you with a lot of questions. But consider this question:

Did you know that you can make the loan process more simple, straightforward and seamless with home mortgage loans through IHMVCU?

IHMVCU can help you understand all your options to not only make the process stress-free but also to provide you with the best fit for your lifestyle and budget. Our mortgage loan officers offer the most competitive rates and fees and handle every step of your purchase, from loan application to credit checks, until they hand over the keys to your brand new home.

Mortgage ChecklistGet pre-approved at IHMVCU with as little as a 20 minute conversation and proper documentation to close on your dream home without hassle or confusion. And, IHMVCU stands by you after the purchase to answer any questions you may have about servicing or refinancing your mortgage loan.

Use resources at www.ihmvcu.com to help you start the mortgage process today! Take advantage of our mortgage payment calculator, meet our dedicated financial team of experts, take a peek about how rates with IHMVCU compare to other institutions or even apply for your mortgage loan online!

Click here to start the process of home ownership!

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IHMVCU Newsletter – Summer 2014

Your copy of the Summer Newsletter will be arriving in your mailbox this week!

Featured Articles:
Coming Soon: Online Branch Update
Navigating the Mortgage Process Post 2008
CAFCU Merges with IHMVCU
Estate Planning Seminar
Get the Most out of Your Summer

Click here to read the entire newsletter early.

 

Online Branch Article      Mortgage Process Post 2008     Kewanee Merger     Estate Planning Seminar      Summer Advantage

 

 

 

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