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Money Minute Tips - Transcripts

ATM Safety 101

ATM Safety 101

Have you heard in the news recently there have been stories about skimmers, or other devices on everyday machines like ATMs?

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

A skimmer is a device that is made to look like it belongs on an ATM, but is in fact put there to steal your personal information.

Let’s go over a few safety tips that everyone can use to protect yourself against fraud or theft. Always observe your surroundings, if the area is poorly lit, or obstructed from view, find a different one just to be safe.

Always shield the screen and the pin pad, so anyone waiting to use the ATM cannot see your PIN or transaction amount.

Inspect the ATM to make sure that everything you see actually belongs there. The card slot, the pin pad, seals or stickers, or even a brochure holder could hid secret cameras.

If you see anything suspicious, cancel your transaction and leave immediately.

Protecting your Cards

Protecting your Cards

It seems like every week there is another story about fraud happening in the area. Let’s discuss a few ways to protect your cards and your accounts from Fraudsters.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

The first thing we can all do is to keep your card in a safe place to avoid damage or theft.

When you select your PIN number, avoid numbers that relate to your personal information, like birthdate, initials, telephone number or even your social security number. If I just guessed your PIN number please pick a new one.

Memorize your PIN number, never write it down on anything, this especially includes the back of the card.

If you ever do lose your card, report it lost or stolen to your financial institution immediately, they will turn the card off so fraudsters can’t access your hard earned money. No plan is foolproof but with these tips we can protect ourselves from lots of harm.

Debit or Credit?

Debit or Credit?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is when the store clerk asks “Debit or Credit?”

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute. When you choose debit, you enter your PIN, Money for the transaction comes out of your account immediately. And many merchants allow you to get cash back at the register.

When you select Credit however, you sign a receipt. A hold is put on your money for the transaction amount which usually goes away in a day or two. And normally you can’t get cash back when you select credit.

One last thing to remember, when you say “credit” when using your debit card, it is not the same thing as using a credit card. Your debit card is tied to your checking account, which is your money. A Credit card is a line of credit, meaning your institution is lending you the money, and you will have to pay it back.

Estatements!

Estatements!

Lots of places are now offering eStatements, what’s the big deal anyways?

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

eStatements have many advantages that the old paper statements could never offer. First eStatements are fast and have easy access. Because you retrieve them online, eStatements are available sooner than paper statements that have to be mailed to you.

They also provide more security, you don’t have the same risks of paper statements that can be lost or stolen from the mailbox. And after they get to your house, you no longer have to file then, or worry about shredding them when the time comes.

Finally, they are great for the environment, they save paper, and cut emissions from having to be trucked to your house.

Many places offer savings when you select eStatements, because it reduces paper, printing, and postage costs that companies are more than willing to pass along to you.

What is a Credit Score?

What is a Credit Score?

Your credit score can impact basically your entire adult financial life, so it’s important that you know what it is.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

When describing what a credit score is I usually liken it to a batting average in baseball. If you walked into the batter’s box in the major leagues this weekend as a batter, odds are you have never hit a baseball in the major leagues before. So your batting average would be ZERO. With a combination of pure talent, and good luck let’s imagine you hit a home run. During your next at bat your new batting average would be 1000.

Now when you had a ZERO batting average did that mean you would automatically be the worst batter in history? Or when you had a 1000, would they have instantly inducted you into the hall of fame? No on both accounts.

Credit Scores are similar, you need multiple at bats, or specifically, you need to use your credit more than once, and second you need to show a history of good payments over a length of time. Oh and GO MARINERS!

Rebalancing

Rebalancing

When was the last time you took a look at the asset allocation of your investments?
A process, known as rebalancing, is the periodic adjustment of your portfolio to restore the desired asset allocation mix.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute.
With the recent increases in the stock market, your investments may have behaved differently with some gaining or losing more than others. This can throw your desired asset allocation out of balance.

Rebalancing forces you to trim back on the winners and increase undervalued categories, a principal of buy low and sell high however, many investors do just the opposite by chasing high performers.

Periodic rebalancing is an important key for effective risk management but one that most investors ignore.

If you haven’t rebalanced recently, take a closer look to make sure your allocations meet your objectives.

Canceling a Credit Card

Canceling a Credit Card

Do you have a credit card that you no longer use and are wondering if you should cancel it or not? Before you do here are a couple of things to consider.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute.

As your credit score takes into account your average length of credit as well as what is known as utilization or your credit card balance in relation to your available credit, canceling it could have an impact on your credit score at least in the short term.

If you will be applying for a loan in the near future it is probably best that you do not cancel the card.

If the card has annual fees ask the financial institution if they can put you on another program that does not have the fees. To keep the card open just use it periodically for a small purchase.

Tips for Smart Online Shopping

Tips for Smart Online Shopping

When shopping online it is important to stick to a list and avoid impulse shopping.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute.

Online retailers track what you have purchased in the past, offer up what are perceived to be limited time deals, and can even track you to offer up ads based upon what you have searched for in the past.

Instead of jumping on every offer as they come to you ignore them and only look for coupons or deals when it is time to make a purchase. Remember, if you did not look for it you probably don’t need it.

Use your online shopping cart as a waiting area. Ignore the temptation to impulse shop by placing items in your online shopping cart and coming back in a day or two. You may change your mind and it is even possible that the price could be lower.

Credit Score Myth

Credit Score Myth

If your you pay all of your bills on time and your credit score still is not where you want it take a look at the utilization on your accounts.  Your utilization is the balance on your account in relation to your credit limit and accounts for 30% of your credit scored.

For example, if you have a $1,000 credit limit with a $500.00 balance your utilization is 50%.

This is way too high.  A utilization of 25% is good but consumers with the highest credit scores are using less than 10% of their available credit.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute.

Pay attention to your outstanding balances and if they are higher than what you would like consider making additional payments prior to your lenders billing cycle.

Year-end planning

Year-end planning

Is it time to do some financial housekeeping you’ve been putting off?

Does your investment portfolio still reflect your long-term goals?

If you are not contributing the maximum amount allowed to your 401K consider adding to it. Not only will you be saving more for retirement, it will also help you lower your tax obligation.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute.

How about your will? When was the last time you updated it and checked the beneficiaries on your accounts?

Insurance can be one of your larger expenses so make sure you have suitable coverage and you aren’t paying too much in premiums and consider raising your deductible to lower your premium.

Do you have a flexible spending account? If so make sure that you have no more than $500.00 in the account at the end of the year so you do not lose the rest.
Lastly, don’t’ forget to get make your charitable donations by year end.

Benefits of Using a Credit Card

Benefits of Using a Credit Card

If you can use a credit card responsibly, you’re actually better off paying with a credit card rather than a debit card.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute.

We often consider the interest rate, fees and any rewards that might be tied to a card, but we often forget about other benefits such as the ability to dispute charges for damaged or defective goods, extended warranties , auto rental insurance or emergency travel.

In addition, if your card is compromised, fraudulent charges will not come out of your checking account as they would with a debit card.

Remember, the added benefits of using your credit card for your purchase are only valid if you know how to use it responsibly.

This means you can pay your credit card balance in full and on time, you only spend what you can afford and you can keep your balance low relative to your credit limit.

Mind your Minutes

Mind your Minutes

As the way we use our phones evolves, many of us are moving away from needing minutes and increasingly needing more data.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when assessing your plan:

  • Consider adding more data to your monthly plan if you’re consistently paying overage charges.
  • Dial it back on minutes if you’re not talking as much.
  • Consider looking to other providers if your contract is almost up, just make sure you’re not using it as an excuse to upgrade your phone if you don’t really need to spend that money yet.

Any money that you do trim from you monthly bill can be applied toward your savings goals, such as increasing your emergency fund, paying off credit card debt or getting you a little closer to your dream of a new home or a well-deserved (and cash-funded) vacation.

Automate your Finances

Automate your Finances

Let’s talk about ways to automate your money so you can relax knowing it’s taken care of.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

One way you can do this is to Separate. Open a separate checking account for paying your monthly bills, then set up your bills for auto-pay. Just make sure you have enough money direct-deposited from each paycheck to cover everything. No more missed due dates or late fees. The easiest way to do this is to log in to your online banking and select Bill Pay. The first time to set it up it will take a little bit of time, you will need your monthly bill, for your account information. After you have it set up, remember it’s important to check your finances at least monthly to make sure everything is working the way it’s supposed to, but by automating your savings and bills you can free up your time (and your mind) for more fun things, like swinging in the hammock on a breezy summer day.

New Year New You!

New Year New You!

As 2018 gets going, take a moment to review the past year. Celebrate your financial accomplishments, mourn any financial losses, then leave them in 2017 and get ready for a fantastic 2016.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute.

Spend some time visualizing what you want 2018 to look like financially and establish one or two savings goals for the year. Make sure they are SMART goals. specific, Measurable, attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound. Measurable, make sure they have a dollar figure, Attainable and Realistic, we probably won’t turn into a millionaire overnight, so set goals we can achieve this year. And last schedule milestones into your calendar to break them down into achievable steps. If you follow these simple steps before you know it your goals can be met. Happy Saving and Happy New Year.

Track your spending, you might be amazed

Track your spending, you might be amazed

Now that you have set your financial goals for 2018, we need to evaluate the current state of our finances. The best way to do this is to track our spending and saving.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

There are five easy steps to effectively track your expenses, first, record all of your spending, usually you do this for a month. Second, categorize your list, groceries, fastfood, gas, etc. Next, cross off the expenses you could do without, this is where we need to be honest with ourselves. Then, add those expenses together and calculate how much you can save each day by not making these purchases in the future. Finally, we just need to adjust our expenses the following month to match our new goals. And before you know it you will be well on your way to reaching your goals.

Superbowl Savers

Superbowl Savers

Even if you don’t have a team in the big game this coming weekend, it’s still a great excuse to throw a party. Just don’t let it turn into an excuse to overspend!

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

Here are some tips for a fun, frugal football fiesta.

Set your budget first. Give yourself a set spending amount before you begin planning, then stick to it.

Plan for the sales. Popular football party foods are likely to be on sale this week, so plan your menu accordingly. Just remember that items on end-caps at the grocery store aren’t always the least expensive, so make sure to comparison shop.

Get out the slow cooker. The winter weather is a perfect reason to cook up a big pot of chili or other hearty, inexpensive dishes that will please the crowd. Just ask your guests to bring condiments and sides.

DIY decorations. Check out our DIY Pinterest board for lots of fun ideas!

5 Quick Money tips to do today

5 Quick Money tips to do today

Here are 5 quick money tasks to complete TODAY

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

  1. Increase your automatic savings by $10 (or whatever you can) per month. You won’t miss the money and you’ll boost your annual savings by as much as $120!
  2. Re-balance your retirement investments. Recent stock market fluctuations could have your allocation out of whack. Log in and get your investments back to the percentage allocation that you originally set.
  3. Check your cell phone bill for a lower rate. Cell phone plans are always changing, as are our phone usage habits. Make sure the plan you’re paying for is still the best match for your needs and adjust if necessary.
  4. Write down what you’ll eat the rest of this week. This will help you make a grocery list and prevent you from impulse food purchases.
  5. Run a retirement calculator. See if you’re on track, and if not, try boosting your retirement savings by a percentage point.

Each of these should take less than 5 minutes, Happy saving!

Three Side gigs for Full Time workers

Three Side gigs for Full Time workers

One way to balance your budget is to cut back on expenses. If you can’t find anywhere else to cut back, the next step is to increase your income.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

While you work toward a raise at work, here are three ways you can earn some cash on the side without compromising your career.

  1. Teach fitness. Rather than paying to go to the gym and take classes, get certified for your favorite fitness format. You’ll not only get paid to work out, but will likely have free access to a gym as well, allowing you to cut one more expense.
  2. Watch pets.  People who don’t have nearby friends or family to take care of pets while they travel typically prefer to leave their furry friends at home and use a pet sitter. Sign up as a contractor for a service that will find you clients, or post some flyers in your neighborhood, or on Facebook to advertise your services.
  3. Drive for a ride-sharing service. One way to help defray the costs of your car would be to give a few people a ride each day and earn some back.

3 Money situations to Avoid

3 Money situations to Avoid

Does looking at your bank account make you want to cry?

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

Here are three financial follies to avoid so you can keep more of your money.

  1. Paying overdraft fees. Many checking accounts have a feature that will allow a certain amount of debit card transactions to go through, even if you don’t have the money in your account. But it is always better to know your balance and not to overspend, avoiding that dreaded overdraft fee.
  2. Losing vacation time.  Plan ahead to make the most of your “use it or lose it” benefits at work. If you have paid time off that will expire at the end of the year, schedule some days off now, even if all you have to do on those days is sleep in and relax. Days like that are priceless
  3. Hits to your credit score. Late payments hurt your credit score more than any other factor. The number one thing you can do to maintain a high credit score is pay your bills on time. Every bill, every month.

Preventing Tax-Related ID Theft

Preventing Tax-Related ID Theft

If you have a bank account, health insurance, credit card or even an email address with certain free services, there is a chance that your personal information could be exposed to hackers – especially during tax filing season.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

There are many ways to combat identity theft, but here’s the number one way to prevent it this tax season:

File ASAP. Not only does filing early mean you’ll get your refund sooner if you’re owed one, it’s also the best way to combat hackers who may use your information to file a fraudulent tax return. If a hacker uses your information to file a fake return, and you’ve already filed, you will have foiled their plan.

But what if I owe money? Even if you owe, you can still file your tax return early, but wait until the deadline (April 17 this year) to make your payment.

Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse

Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse

Ever wondered how your life would be different if you could go back and save all that money you earned at your part-time job in high school? Or if you could re-think that brand new car you just had to have, even though it put you in debt?

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

What if you could also fast-forward to see how changing something today would affect you financially in the future? It’s east to adopt a “worry about it tomorrow” attitude when it comes to developing good money habits, but we often find ourselves wishing we could go back to yesterday and make better decisions.

When you are going to buy something expensive, use this little trick to determine if what you are about to buy is worth it to you in the long run. After all, what if you still owned that car you had in high school?

To go or to Stay? New Job, things to consider

To go or to Stay? New Job, things to consider

Deciding whether to accept that new job offer? It can be tempting to jump at an offer that increases your pay, but if your current job includes benefits and the new job is sparse in that department, you may find yourself actually making less when it’s all said and done.

Hi this is Kirk Smith from Peninsula Credit Union’s Money Minute

Here are the things to consider before accepting a job offer:

  • Healthcare: It’s not just about what premium you’ll pay, make sure to double check the coverage. Leaving a plan that has a low deductible for a job that has a high deductible and limited in-network options can be very costly.
  • Retirement: It may seem like retirement is lifetime away, but an employer that helps to fund yours can make a huge difference in the short and long runs.
  • Culture: Let’s be honest, you spend the majority of your time at work, so you need to make sure it will be a place that will nurture you rather than beat you down. Every job has its perks and disadvantages, so do your best to find out what those are before you accept an offer.

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