ATTENTION TEACHERS: ENTER OUR APRIL BULLETIN BOARD CONTEST

You Could Win $200 for Your Classroom!

CONTEST BEGINS APRIL 8, 2019 AT 8:00 A.M

Five Educators will be selected as winners of the $200 for their classroom. To be eligible to enter and to win you must teach children in grades Pre-K thru 12th in either Warren, Hinds, Yazoo, Issaquena, Sharkey, Claiborne or Copiah Counties.

To enter, simply submit a photo of your decorated door or bulletin board in your classroom to marketing@mutualcu.org. Please supply us with your name, your grade, and your school. If you would like to say anyBulletin Board Contest 2019thing about your bulletin board you may do so in the email. Once your entry is received, it will be compiled into one album on the Mutual Credit Union Facebook page labeled “2019 Mutual Credit Union Bulletin Board Contest.” Please encourage your friends to vote for your entry by “liking” your submitted picture located in the photo album. Entries are due to marketing@mutualcu.org by April 6th at 8:00 p.m.

The Facebook Contest begins on April 8th at 8:00 a.m.

As a bonus, eligible Voters in the contest will randomly be selected to win a Mutual Credit Union Prize Pack! To be eligible for the Prize Pack, you must follow the Mutual Credit Union Facebook page and “like” a picture in the contest.  Random prize packs will be awarded throughout the contest month (April).

Our Bulletin Board contest is just one part of  many celebrations planned during the month of April – Youth Savings Month. Look for us out in the community bringing Financial Literacy Tools to our Youth!

At Mutual Credit Union “Our Focus is You!”

Bulletin Board Contest 2019

 

FAQ’s

Does my door/bulletin board have to be a youth savings theme? No, your door or bulletin board can feature any subject area or topic.

What file format is acceptable to email? Please email your image in either a jpg or png file format. Please contact us at marketing@mutualcu.org if you are having issues emailing your image.

Can my students decorate/plan the board or is only teacher created? It can be the Teachers creation, combination of student and teacher lead or completely student driven. Be sure when you submit your entry that you let us know so we can mention in your entry.

How do I know if my entry was received? You will receive a confirmation email back from lsimmons@mutualcu.org once your submission is received. If you do not, please email lsimmons@mutualcu.org with your concern or call 601-636-7523 ext. 1220.

When will the winners be announced and awards presented? The contest concludes on April 30th. Winners will be announced by the end of that week (May 1-May 3) on the Mutual Credit Union Facebook page. Arrangements will be made after that to present to each of the five (5) winners at their school location.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email marketing@mutualcu.org or give us a call at 601-636-7523 ext. 1220.

Best of Luck to All 🍀

DOLLAR STORES: ARE THEY WORTH THE PRICE?

woman shopping

Q: I love browsing my local dollar store, but I often end up spending more than I planned or regretting my purchases. Are dollar stores worth the price?

A: Dollar stores can be tremendous spending traps, but they can also  be a great way to snag a bargain. It’s all in how you plan your visit.

Read on to learn how to get the best deal at the dollar store.

Before you start browsing

Everything is just a buck, you say. How can you possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, with that mindset, you might find yourself going way overboard with your spending. Before you set out for the dollar store, create a physical or mental list of what you need to purchase.

Love to throw just-for-fun products into your cart? The dollar store is a great place to do that, so exercise caution. You don’t want to blow tens of dollars on stuff you don’t really need and might never use. Establish a limit of how many of those items you can pick up on your trip before you set out. If you always find yourself pushing your self-imposed limit, only shop with cash so you’re forced to stick to your budget.

What’s hot at the dollar store …

Here are some products that are great bargains at the dollar store:

  • Cleaning supplies: Get clean for less by stocking up on Ajax, bleach, glass cleaner, scouring pads, spray bottles, off-brand Swiffer refills, sponges, dryer sheets and ammonia.
  • Seasonal: Visit the dollar store before hitting chain stores for your holiday decorations. Halloween décorcheap gift boxes and wrapping paper can all be had at the dollar store.
  • Toys: Load up on bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls, card games and kites.
  • Groceries: Get your frozen fruit and veggies, string cheese, spices, name-brand condiments, rice, oatmeal and snack foods at the dollar store.
  • Kitchenware: Stock up on bargain-priced storage bins and containers, whimsical kitchen décor and glasses. Paper plates, cups and napkins can also be bought at super low prices.
  • Party gear: Greeting cards, wrapping paper, balloons, ribbons, streamers, birthday candles, party decorations and gift bags can all be bought for, you guessed it, a dollar each.
  • School/office supplies: You won’t be able to find every item on your school supply list that’s actually worth the price, but you can load up on project display boards, tab dividers, binder clips and poster boards at the dollar store.
  • Kids’ activities: The dollar store is a great place to stock up on rainy-day supplies for the kids. You’ll find some great books, puzzles, craft supplies, colored papers, stickers, activity books, coloring books and more.

… And what’s not

Not everything you’ll find in the dollar store is worth as much as a dollar. Plus, there are lots of things you can get elsewhere for a better price.

  • Cleaning supplies: The following cleaning supplies at the dollar store are either made too cheaply to be worth the price or can be bought for less in other stores: dish-washing soap, tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, laundry detergent.
  • Toys: Small toys for young children that aren’t made well can quickly become choking hazards. Also, dollar-store dolls and toy cars are likely to break the day you bring them home.
  • Groceries: These foods can be bought for cheaper in a grocery store: pasta, soda, gum, canned goods, chocolate.
  • Kitchenware: Plastic cutlery from the dollar store is too cheaply made to be worth the few cents you’ll save. Ditto for disposable baking dishes. You’ll also want to stay away from can openers, knives and oven mitts, as these items need to be well made to do their jobs.
  • School/office supplies: The following supplies can be bought for less money and of better quality in stores like Walmart and Target: lined paper, composition notebooks, glue, crayons, markers, Post-its, pens, pencils and highlighters.  
  • Self-care: Cheaply made soap, shampoo and cosmetics can be harmful to your skin. Don’t buy name-brand travel-size toiletries either; you can usually get tiny shampoo and soap bottles for less than a buck at big-box stores.

When it’s not a bargain

When making a purchase at the dollar store, hold it up to this checklist. If your item fits any of these criteria, you’re better off without it:

  1. It’s sold in tiny quantities. Often, what looks like a bargain is just a product in a really small package. Check the size on food items and cleaning products; you can often get more for less money when you buy a product in a bigger size at a larger store.
  2. It’s made with harmful toxins. Check all health and beauty products for toxic and carcinogenic ingredients.
  3. You don’t need it. A dollar spent on something you don’t need is a dollar wasted.
  4. It’s made super-cheaply. If it’s going to break during the first day of use, or even the first hours, leave it in the store.
  5. It isn’t food-safe. Check all products that will come into contact with food, like serving platters or dishes, for a label that proclaims them food-safe.
  6. It’s expired. Be careful to check the “Sell by” date on candy and other foodstuffs so you’re not paying for expired products.

Learn how to shop smart at the dollar store and you’ll go home with true bargains!

Your Turn: What are your favorite dollar store picks? Tell us all about it in the comments!

SOURCES:

https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/dollar-store-dos-and-donts/

https://www.bradsdeals.com/blog/things-you-always-should-buy-at-the-dollar-store

https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/the-real-reason-everything-at-the-dollar-store-is-so-cheap.html/

7 Signs You’re Living Beyond Your Means and How To Fix Them

Couple computer finances money

 

In the age of plastic spending and mobile payments, it’s easier than ever to buy stuff you can’t pay for right away while supporting a lifestyle you can’t really afford. 

Let’s take a look at seven red flags that might mean you’re living beyond your means and the steps you can take to get back on track. 

1. You’re carrying a credit card balance from month to month 

Credit cards are a great way to earn rewards, pay for emergency purchases when things are extra-tight and build a strong credit history. Unfortunately, though, they also make it far too easy to fall into the spending trap. It’s a lot harder to feel like you’re spending money when all that stands between you and a purchase is a plastic card. 

If you have an outstanding balance on one or more credit cards and you’re only paying the minimum payment each month, you can end up carrying this balance for years while paying hundreds of dollars (or more!) in interest. You might also be tempted to make more purchases on this card since you already have an open balance. 

The fix: Try to double down on your monthly payments and/or make one extra payment each month instead of paying just the minimum amount. Stop using your card until the debt is paid off.  

2. You stress about paying your bills 

No one likes paying bills, but if you’re losing sleep over your bills, you need to take a step back to review your monthly budget and spending habits. Bills should be fixed into your budget and you should be able to pay them easily without any stress or nail-biting involved. 

The fix: Take a long look at your monthly budget to find ways at cutting back. Cancel a subscription you never use, trim impulse purchases, start brown-bagging it at work more often or tighten the belt in any other way possible. 

3. You can’t save 5% of your monthly income 

Financial experts recommend putting 20% of your monthly income into savings, or even more if you can swing it. At the very least, you’ll want to sock away 5% of your monthly take-home pay to fund your retirement and any other expensive purchases or events you might need to pay for in the future. If you can’t possibly do that now, and you’re left with little or no money at the end of the month, you’re living beyond your means. Savings aren’t an extra; they are a necessity that should be a fixed part of every budget. 

The fix: Again, you’ll need to trim your expenses and restructure your budget to include a minimum of 5% for savings. 

4. You don’t have emergency and rainy-day funds 

Unexpected expenses, like a household repair or extra tutoring for your child, can disrupt your monthly budget and really set you back—unless you have some way to pay for them. Ideally, you’ll want to have an emergency fund to cover major unexpected expenses, like a job loss or a medical emergency, and a rainy-day fund for small expenses you can anticipate, like replacing an aging appliance and sending your child to summer camp. 

The fix: Start building your funds now by putting away as much as you possibly can each month. 

5. Your mortgage payment eats up more than 30% of your monthly income 

Most financial experts agree that your monthly mortgage payments should not exceed 30% of your take-home pay (that’s after taxes). Take a few minutes to do the math. If your mortgage is more than 30% of your income, you’re in over your head. 

The fix: You have two choices here:

  1. Find ways to boost your income. You can seek a raise or promotion at your current job, freelance for hire or find another side hustle to bring home extra cash.
  2. Scale back your mortgage payments by considering a refinance. Speak to a home loan counselor at Mutual Credit Union to see if this is the right choice for you. If your mortgage is really crippling your budget, you might want to consider downsizing to a smaller and cheaper place.

6. You lease a car you can’t afford to buy or finance 

Leasing lets you live the life of a high-roller without the huge bills. The problem is that many people can’t really afford their leases either. You might be covering your monthly payments, but if you can’t do that while also putting money into savings and meeting your other expenses, your car is too expensive. 

Can you afford to pay for or finance your car? If the answer is no, you’re in financial trouble. 

The fix: Downgrade your vehicle to one you can actually afford. 

7. Your financial decisions are influenced by your friends’ spending habits 

Thanks to social media and the hyper-sharing culture it introduced, the pressure to keep up with the Joneses is stronger than ever. If you find yourself making financial decisions—from what kind of footwear to buy to where you vacation—based on your friends’ choices, you’re likely spending more money than you can afford. 

The fix: Stop looking over your shoulder and keep your eyes on your own life and your own wallet. If your friends have expensive tastes, try to be the budget-conscious influence in the group. You may just start a new, financially responsible trend! 

If you’re in over your head, Mutual Credit Union can help! Stop by today. We will be happy to help.  

Your Turn: What’s your personal red flag that your spending has gotten out of control? Share it with us in the comments.

SOURCES:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.hermoney.com/invest/financial-planning/warning-signs-of-living-beyond-your-means/amp/

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/in-over-your-head.asp

https://rockstarfinance.com/7-signs-that-you-might-be-living-well-beyond-your-means/

MUTUAL ATM BACK IN OPERATION AT THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Press Release

February 28, 2019

(Vicksburg, MS): Effective Thursday, February 28, 2019, the Mutual Credit Union ATM located on the campus of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS was placed back into operation.  “We are excited about having our ATM operational again on the ERDC campus,” states Mutual Credit Union President, Michael Mathews. “The ATM will allow for 24-hour ATM access for staff and visitors.”

Along with upgrades to the 1604 Cherry Street branch and the ERDC ATM, Mutual Credit Union continues to add to its suite of digital friendly services with optimized online banking features – to include first in class CheckFree® bill pay services and the Mutual mobile app with remote deposit capture. Depositing checks from your phone and easy online loan applications for everything from cars to mortgages to personal loans are designed for members on the go. Mutual continues to participate in the Co-Op® shared branching network, providing access to over 5,600 branches nationwide and 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs. With shared branching and Mutual’s digital services, we are everywhere you need to be.

ATM at ERDC

Hours of operation for all Mutual locations are Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; drive through services open at 8:30 a.m. Account access is also available 24/7/365 by visiting www.mutualcu.org, using the Mutual Credit Union app on your mobile device or by calling our SAM Audio Response System at 1-877-457-3654 Option 1.

 

 

For more information about Mutual Credit Union please follow this link to our webpage. For additional questions, please contact the marketing department at marketing@mutualcu.org or by calling (601) 636-7523 ext. 1226.

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