To inspire and educate our Highmark family so together all can achieve success.
That is our "WHY" statement here at Highmark Credit Union. And it is to that end (and a nod to our legacy in education) that we have decided to repurpose our previous Covid-19 Communication Blog into a Financial Wellness and Education Blog called Highmark Helpers. To kick off our first article, let's address what is on everyone's mind: Inflation and Gas Prices. How we can minimize the damage to our wallets and maintain our monthly budget for transportation?
June 28, 2022 - Teach Kids Money Management With a Debit Card
Like many parents, you may have opened a savings account for your child when he or she was a baby. If you've been teaching them money management skills and they have shown financial responsibility, then, when they become teenagers, a debit card/checking account from Highmark Credit Union can be a great next step.
As kids hit middle-school age, they start spending more time with friends. That means you're not always around when they buy treats or movie tickets. Those early-teen years can be good opportunities for them to use a debit card and practice financial responsibility.
Though most teens, like most people, no longer write many checks, when the opportunity arises for your teen to write one, jump on it. For example, perhaps your teen pays part of the cell phone bill each month. Have your teen write a check to you for his or her part of the payment. It would be easier just to transfer money from your teen's account to yours but getting practice writing a check once in a while can be beneficial for them.
Explain to your teen the importance of keeping track of the balance in their account either by writing each transaction in a check register or by frequently checking their account online. Also remind your kid that online balances might not show the actual balance in the account if transactions haven't posted or if checks haven't been cashed.
Our team at Highmark is eager to help your teen take this next step financially. Stop by with your teen and we'll show them how to open an account of their own, as well as explain how to use a debit card and our online banking service.
For those of you in the Gillette area, ask about our High School Mascot debit cards - the Camels and the Bolts.
June 21, 2022 - Tap Your Home's Equity
Was your home damaged by the recent hail and heavy windstorms that have been rolling through our area? If so, you might be needing to make repairs or make some changes to your home, and a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) might be your best bet.
These loans let you borrow money using the equity in your home as collateral. Unlike almost any other consumer loan type, the interest on a home equity loan or HELOC of $100,000 or less is likely to be tax-deductible ($50,000 if married filing separately).
With a home equity loan, you borrow a lump sum of money repayable over a fixed term, usually 5 to 15 years, giving you the security of a locked-in rate and a consistent monthly payment. A HELOC is much like a credit card or any other type of open-ended credit. You can borrow money as needed, up to the credit limit your lender assigns, by making a transfer into your checking account. A HELOC is usually a variable-rate loan, so your monthly payments will change based on your outstanding balance and fluctuations in the prime rate.
Talk to the our lenders here at Highmark Credit Union today for more details about our home equity loan products. Stop by or call us at 800.672.6365
June 6, 2022 -
From our friends at Savvy Money, here are some basic tips for savings at the pump:
With gas prices at an all-time high, some ways to save money at the pump
You’ve likely noticed that gas is extremely expensive right now. Your powers of observation are astute: Gas prices are actually at an all-time high. According to the app GasBuddy, the average price of a gallon of gas is now $4.72, the highest it has ever been. Now would be a good time to try and save on gas expenses. Here’s how to do that.
Use an App
Gas tracking apps like GasBuddy and AAA will help you find the cheapest gas near you. This is helpful, because the prices of gas can vary from town-to-town, even street-to-street.
Take Advantage of Clubs
Are you a member of Costco or Sam’s Club? If you are, fill your tank there. These retailers offer members discounted gas and that can save you a ton.
Another way to save money at the pump is to use cash. As USA Today notes, using cash can save you anywhere between 5 and 10 cents per gallon. That might not seem like a lot, but it adds up over time.
You should sign up for gas station loyalty programs. Pretty much every station has some kind of program. Right now consumers who are members of 7-11’s program get an 11 cents per gallon discount on their first seven fill-ups.
If you can time it right, filling up on Mondays is the way to go. According to reports, Mondays are the cheapest day for gas. Sundays are the runners-up.