22 Dec

Teaching Teens about Money

Lesson 1: Stress Savings!

There are many reasons that saving is first on this list. Teaching teens about money needs to begin with how they can save what they earn. Having savings can protect them against a lifetime of debt and financial security.

  • Saving money can help teenagers reach a financial goal and have more respect for the purchase. For example, putting a down payment on a car. When they’re more invested in the vehicle, you can bet they’ll be safer driving it.
  • Saving money is one way to avoid life’s hiccups, aka unforeseen incidents. If they lose their job or head off to college but still have expenses like car insurance, their savings will help.
  • If they have money saved, they’ll earn financial peace of mind. Life as a teenager is stressful enough – why make it more so by worrying about late payments.
  • More Money = More Independence from you. The more money they save, the less they have to rely on you and the more financial decisions they can make on their own. Teens need some financial independence and it is made possible due to savings.

Here is another article we wrote that talks about savings. If you are interested in setting up a savings account for young person, talk to a RMLEFCU representative about our piggy bank savings account. We’ll automatically kick off their savings with a $25 CD!

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11 Nov

Kasasa Protect is Equal Parts Security Guard, Investigator and Crisis Manager

What is your Identity Theft Prevention Plan?

Do you have a plan in place if someone opened up multiple accounts in your name? If identity theft has happened to you, do you remember how much time and energy you spent trying to clear your name? How many phone calls and forms did you fill out? Do you have time to simultaneously monitor your credit report and online records? Even if you have the time, do you feel confident that you’ve taken all the necessary steps to safeguard your personal information?

These questions are uncomfortable, yes, but so is being unprepared for identity theft. Thankfully, RMLEFCU members with Kasasa accounts, and even those without, are eligible to sign up for Kasasa Protect. Kasasa Protect is a comprehensive identity protection and restoration solution available for a low price of $8 a month for Kasasa accounts and $12 each month for non-Kasasa account holders.

How Kasasa Protect is like a Security Guard

Kasasa dedicates employees to monitor your credit card accounts and credit reports so they can immediately alert you to any suspicious activity. Kasasa Protect uses 24/7 Credit Monitoring to keep you informed of any changes related to:

  • Loan data
  • Inquiries about your credit history
  • New accounts opened in your name
  • Judgments
  • Liens

A unique feature is Kasasa Protect’s Monthly Credit Score & Tracker.

Benefits include:

  • Kasasa employees regularly review your credit score, helping you stay on top of your credit
  • You can avoid the cost of pulling full credit reports
  • Kasasa monitors trends over time to find out what is changing your score
How Kasasa Protect is like an Investigator

Kasasa performs Dark Web monitoring by scanning millions of international sources in real time. They also quickly pinpoint stolen data that could identify you, such as a social security number or medical identification numbers.

How Kasasa Protect acts as a Crisis Manager

Say you lose your wallet. Kasasa Protect steps up with their Lost Wallet Protection features:

  • One convenient point of contact handles cancellation and replacement of all your important documents
  • Restoration through Kasasa includes: your cards, licenses, social security cards, insurance cards, passports, military IDs, and even traveler’s checks

If your personal information is compromised, Kasasa acts as Crisis Manager with Identity Restoration. Their experts work to get you peace of mind, providing helpful advice and resolution services as soon as the fraud has occurred. Certified specialists file, dispute, and resolve issues with your credit card companies and can file fraud alerts, place credit freezes and notify authorities on your behalf.

Finally, Kasasa Protect understands you may be interested in the service and not interested in being locked into a service contract. No problem. You can enroll in Kasasa Protect contract free. Ask your RMLEFCU representative how to enroll or go online to put Kasasa Protect to work for you.

10 Aug

Save on Back to School Expenses

Although it’s not news to parents, back to school costs are nothing to sneeze at. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual Back-to-School Spending Survey of 6,500 consumers, the average family with children in grades K-12 planned to spend $630.36 on clothes, electronics and school supplies this year. Regardless of whether you have overspent, underspent, or kept to a budget, we have a few back to school shopping tips for kindergarten through college graduation that you may be able to incorporate into your spending (or saving) repertoire.

Students in any grade or year – Shop out of season. Shopping post-season sales and clearance racks is a great way to build up you or your child’s wardrobe on a budget. Take inventory to determine exactly what pieces you or your kids will need for the upcoming year, and then organize your budget around what you still need to buy. Keep a look out for winter coats, boots, and jackets in late February, and summer clothing in late August. If you have one, shop where your Student ID gives you a discount.

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08 Jun

5 Reasons Your Teen Should Have a Credit Card

 

Should Your Teen Have a Credit Card?

1. Teens need to walk before they run both physically and financially. Consider this unique card their “financial training wheels.” It will help instill good financial habits in your child while they are more receptive than say an 18 or 19 year-old. Rather than letting credit card companies tempt them with a free t-shirt on campus in exchange for a card with a $10,000 limit, RMLEFCU’s Kid’s Credit Card has a much lower limit in line with the reality of their earning capacity.

2. A credit card allows teens (and watchful parents) to track spending. Online tools make an easier job of tracking credit card use. If your child only uses cash and checks, it becomes next to impossible to see a spending pattern or recognize how much they are spending and on what.

3. A RMLEFCU’s Kid’s Credit Card will help your children build their credit history. By the time they reach adulthood, they will have already established a valuable credit record. No credit is almost as bad as poor credit since a lender has nothing to review when evaluating credit worthiness. Establishing credit earlier helps when your kids apply for a car loan or complete a rental application.

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13 Apr

Convenience: Because Waiting in Line is No One’s Idea of a Good Time

Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Credit Union’s members don’t have time to wait in line. Even if they did have time to spare, we wouldn’t want them to spend it on banking related tasks. After all, we live in Colorado, we’d rather be out exploring our great state.

We have created a host of services that make life for convenient for our members. From check deposits using a few taps of your smartphone to applications that hone in on the nearest compatible ATMs – Time is ON your side when you choose to bank with RMLEFCU.

We’re proud to offer you:

  • Mobile Banking – Once you’ve registered and log on you can view your account balances, transfer funds, deposit checks, pay bills, enroll in automatic bill pay, make loan payments, and transfer money to other banking institutions.

To register for mobile banking, click on ‘Log In’ in the upper right hand side of rmlefcu.org. Under the ‘Log In’ boxes, click on ‘Register’. Next, enter in your member number, the last four of your social security number, date of birth and a security code (to ensure you’re not a bot on the net!) and you’re on your way.

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14 Mar

Outrageous Bank Fees Outlawed at RMLEFCU

According to Bankrate.com’s most recent annual survey, consumers now pay an average of $4.52 per transaction to use an ATM network that their bank isn’t part of, an increase of 21 percent over the past five years.

As a member of RMLEFCU you benefit from our partnership with MoneyPass®. Their ATM network gives RMLEFCU members access to tens of thousands of surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. Finding ATMs is easy when you visit their site and enter your zip code or install an app on your iPhone or Android.

Better yet, if you have a free Kasasa Cash® or free Kasasa Cash Back® checking account with us we’ll refund your ATM fees nationwide.

A few other fees that many big banks charge that you won’t incur with RMLEFCU:

  • Early Account Closure Fee – U.S. Bank, HSBC, and PNC Bank charge a $25 fee to close an account that has been open for fewer than 180 days.
  • Monthly or Annual Maintenance Fee: Many banks charge these and only waive them if you jump through 10 hoops, clap three times and say, “There’s no place like Big Bank X.”
  • Minimum Balance Fee: We understand that life happens and balances fluctuate. But charging you when you don’t have money is akin to offering a drowning man a dumbbell.

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06 Mar

College Selection: Part 1: It’s all relatively social

This post is not just for 18-year-olds faced with what the next 2-5 years will hold. It is for anyone who is considering college to advance their career, switch gears, and go a completely different direction. Or for parents of said 18-year-olds who need to convince their offspring that selecting a college is their first major life decision deserving of careful consideration.

There is a three pronged approach you can follow. If you work through all three areas, you’ll cover the most crucial aspects of the college experience. In this first blog post, we’ll cover all things social that are involved in selecting a college. Subsequent blog posts will address financial and academic considerations. Let’s begin!

 

Social

Are you picking a college based on what you’ve heard from other people? This approach is appropriate when selecting a restaurant on any given weeknight, but to trust the anecdotal evidence of friends or acquaintances concerning where you will spend an inordinate amount of time, effort, and money – it does not bode well.

For the high school seniors. The college is in an exciting city. I hate to tell you but this is not a Woody Allen movie with you in the starring role. You left for college to get an education and a degree – not to be an unpaid arts and events blogger. While its beneficial to have culture nearby, you need to plan the majority of your time around your studies.

‘So and so is going there.’ As much as you value your high school friendships and relationships, selecting a college is a deeply personal decision that only YOU can make. You may think people don’t change but when it comes to who you were at 18 versus who you are as a college senior, there will be a shift in what is important to you and who is important to you.

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08 Dec

Smartest. Gift. Ever.

pic for 12.8 blogEvery year T. Rowe Price surveys parents and children about their attitudes towards money. Year after year, parents express varying levels of reluctance to talk to their children about the “almighty dollar.”

The reasoning for this is all over the map and includes:

  • Their children would overshare this information with others
  • Not wanting children to worry
  • They’re too young to understand

The most troubling responses are:

  • They would rather discuss important matters with them
  • It’s none of their business

Here’s our take. Each one of these concerns has a simple solution.

If you’re worried about oversharing, talk about how it is impolite to ask or state how much someone makes. Secondly, a child’s worry can be lessened with transparency, so why not be as forthcoming about money as possible? Children can understand a lot more than we give them credit for, just don’t throw a copy of the Wall Street Journal at your 5 year-old and ask them about treasury bonds. Furthermore, understanding basic financial lessons is extremely important, and if they don’t discuss money with you, how else will they learn? Whitney Houston once sang, “Teach them well and let them lead the way.” You don’t want their lack of financial knowledge to affect you for many years to come. After all, whose basement will they be eyeing when they get into credit card debt in their twenties?

Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Credit Union makes it simple. From now until the end of the year, when you open an account for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, we will throw in a $25 1 year piggybank CD and a piggy bank. Just ask a RMLEFCU customer service representative the next time you’re in any one of our three branches.

Saving now and into the future to save you headaches later in life, RMLEFCU salutes you!