We strive to help our members understand their finances and to take an active role in budgeting for the future. Find helpful tips for planning and budgeting below.
September 10, 2020
There are so many things to think about when you are in a serious relationship and thinking about marriage or moving in together. No one would rate finances as the most exciting thing to think about, but studies show that money is the number one reason couples argue. And those…read more.
April 10, 2020
Early in their careers, people tend to focus on the here and now while ignoring the future. As you climb the ladder of success, you might think raises and promotions will never end and that you have forever to plan for the future. Surprisingly, though, the future comes faster than…read more.
January 23, 2020
Automobiles are a constant drain on our resources but most people consider an auto a necessity, unless you live in a large metro area with a lot of public transportation options. As our cars get older, they require more maintenance and TLC which can put a drain on our pocket…read more.
January 15, 2020
Have you ever come home from a needed shopping excursion only to find that you didn’t come home with the things you set out to buy? Or worse yet, you bought something that doesn’t fit within your comfort zone but on impulse, you bought it anyway? This is the case…read more.
January 7, 2020
Budgeting can be a challenge for a lot of us. We, as Americans, don’t save nearly as much as we should and with all of the gadgets available that connect us to the world, these gadgets increase the cost of living. For instance, could you live without your internet connection? …read more.
December 16, 2019
Smart money management is always important, but it can take on more urgency for those who are without a partner. Whether you’re divorced, widowed, or single by choice, single parenting brings unique budgeting challenges. Marilyn Timbers, a Connecticut-based financial advisor, says of having to raise a child on one income,”Children…read more.
December 2, 2019
Several economic studies have confirmed the existence of a so-called “pink tax,” an inflated price attached to goods and services specifically marketed to women. While theories abound to explain the pricing discrepancy, its existence seems clear. On everything from razors and deodorant to car repair and haircuts, women are expected…read more.
October 9, 2019
Be More with Less: Look around your home, your room and your life. How much useless stuff is crammed into every available corner and taking up your valuable space, time and money? More importantly, is any of it actually making you happy? Courtney Carver believes that our obsessive drive to…read more.
December 31, 2020
When someone is looking into refinancing a car, there is always a financial reason behind the decision. They are usually looking for lower monthly payments to improve monthly cash flow, reduce interest rates to lower the overall amount that will be paid over the life of the loan, or to…read more.
April 10, 2020
Are you a swiper or a dipper? Chances are, you have at least one EMV chip-enabled card in your wallet. EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, and has been used for years throughout the world, was introduced in the U.S. about 18 months ago. The cards are also…read more.
Your portfolio is diversified and you've developed an asset allocation strategy that you're comfortable with. All is well. Then, at the end of the year, you find that the weighting of each asset class in your portfolio has changed. What happened? Well, over the course of the year, the market…read more.
Q: I've heard that the Vantage Score system is getting an overhaul. What kind of changes are being made and how will this affect the way my score is calculated? A: The Vantage Score, which dictates the way credit bureaus -- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax -- determine your credit score,…read more.
February 3, 2020
Did you know that if you are self-employed you can set up a solo 401k program for yourself? Yes, that’s right! You don’t have to be employed by an employer who has set up a 401k program for the company’s employees. If you are a sole proprietor and self-employed, you…read more.
January 6, 2020
Now you can OPT-OUT of many solicitations of mail, email and phone calls. De-clutter your life using the links below. To cut down on credit card and insurance offers in your mailbox, go to www.optoutprescreen.com and choose whether you want to opt out for 5 years or permanently! To cut…read more.
December 26, 2019
Over the last century or so, society has made tremendous strides toward gender equality on every level — and this includes basic money management. Today’s culture has further narrowed the gap between the sexes, and the caricatures of the “overspending wife” and “overworked husband” have nearly become extinct. Despite society’s…read more.
November 26, 2019
In advice for his trustee to follow upon his passing, investing genius Warren Buffett says: “Put 10% of the cash in short-term government bonds and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund.” Evidently, Buffett favors low-cost, low-risk index funds over other higher-risk investment vehicles. Are you an active…read more.
August 25, 2021
No matter how many cars you buy, you will never be as good at buying a vehicle from a dealership as the salesperson is at selling them. Even a mediocre salesperson will sell at least 100 vehicles a year and a good one will sell hundreds. You, on the other…read more.
August 20, 2021
Q: I am in the process of buying a new set of wheels, and I’m being pushed to take out an extended warranty plan on my car. Is this a good idea? A: The process of buying a car involves lots of decisions, each of which should be considered carefully. …read more.
September 17, 2020
Episode 003 Financing Your Auto Find your best financing deal for your next auto. Listen in for strategies to reduce your stress about car buying and give you some negotiating power. Ready to check into financing options? Call us at 520-459-1860 and ask to speak with an auto loan specialist.…read more.
April 28, 2020
It’s that time. We all hate it, but we have to do it. Going to the car dealership is a stressful time. It should be fun to shop for a new or newer car but it isn’t. It’s annoying! But we just can’t drive an undependable car anymore. The entire…read more.
October 28, 2019
Tips for Buying a Used Car But buying a previously owned vehicle can be a great way to save big on one of your most valuable possessions. You do have to do your homework however, and be careful with the car you are buying. If you are shopping for an…read more.
September 17, 2020
Episode 002 Relationships and Money Relationships: Building Growth & Stability w/ your Partner Through Financial Health & Communication Explore the importance of financial health in relationships for dating couples, newly engaged or already long-term partners. Stephanie is the owner of Mindful Messages Therapy in Sierra Vista, Arizona and she offers…read more.
May 15, 2020
Vacations might be tight this year. Maybe people are thinking about avoiding travel all together. But there’s nothing like a good road trip. In a time where we may not want to get on a plane, going on a road trip for a day or two, can help recharge our batteries. Road trips can…read more.
April 17, 2020
It's important to connect with friends and family in this strange time we call a “pandemic” . But how do we do that when everything costs money and we are supposed to be “distancing”? Here is a creative way to re-connect with family and friends, without getting too close and…read more.
April 10, 2020
Just because you're going on vacation, that doesn't mean your budget has to take a hike. Use these tips to save big and still have a wonderful vacation! 1. Check AirBNB for cheap rentals before booking an expensive hotel. 2. Don't pay full price for any attraction before checking online…read more.
April 2, 2020
Bring back an old family tradition, the trip to the library, to save money and help your kids achieve. With time alone during COVID-19 Quarantine, I've been reflecting on memories. Although we can't go to the library right now, I'm looking forward to going soon. I remember those old summer…read more.
February 10, 2020
I remember my mom asking me several years ago why I liked a minimalist lifestyle. She loves to surround herself with beautiful antiques and glassware, beautifully crafted baskets, interesting knickknacks, and wonderful quilts that she’s made or that have been given to her by friends. I had to choose my…read more.
December 16, 2019
Vacations might be tight this year. Maybe people are thinking about avoiding travel all together. But there’s nothing like a good road trip with friends or family. In a time where we may not want to get on a plane, going on a road trip for a day or two,…read more.
November 6, 2019
Do you find that the distractions of the internet are taking over your life? Are you constantly pushing off tasks so you can check your Facebook page or see what’s new on Pinterest for the 10th time this hour? If this describes you, consider focusing your mind with a distraction-blocker…read more.
September 26, 2019
If you feel like the middle-class squeeze is getting tighter, you are not alone. The numbers don’t lie: Life really is a more expensive than it used to be. Let’s look at what life costs now compared to 20, 50 and 80 years ago. 1. Housing Today, the Great American…read more.
July 9, 2021
For a clickable PDF with active links, click here: 2021.07.09 cfpb_landlords_rental_assistance_help For a clickable PDF with active links, click here: 2021.07.09 cfpb_landlords_rental_assistance_helpread more.
March 5, 2021
LIVE at American Southwest Credit Union Dates: Friday March 12th, and Saturday March 13th @ SIERRA VISTA BRANCH Date: Tuesday March 16th @ GREEN VALLEY/SAHUARITA BRANCH *Friday March 12th Session Start times: 4PM and 5PM. Location: ASCU 3090 E. Fry Blvd, Sierra Vista AZ in the ONE story building. Items…read more.
September 17, 2020
Podcast Episode 004 Financing Your Business Ready to start or expand your dream? Explore lending options with Ron Curtis, our VP of Commercial Lending. We can assist even the small self-employed entrepreneur! Learn the advantages of financing through ASCU and of being a member. Call us at 520-459-1860 to…read more.
July 15, 2020
If you're a social media influencer and accept material or monetary goods with the brand you are representing, you have a responsibility to tell your readers of this connection. The Federal Trade Commission is doing everything it can to make sure social media influencers aren't taking advantage of the public…read more.
July 2, 2020
As business owners, we tend to think that the roles and qualities of leaders and managers are the same, but they are very different. By analyzing the qualities of each, we hope to bridge the gap and help managers grow into management leaders. A manager puts a lot of emphasis…read more.
April 16, 2020
Many people dream of opening a business and thriving with employees to do a lot of the work while they relax and do administrative tasks. (This is a bit misguided as an entrepreneur works just as tirelessly as the self employed if they are successful, but that is not the…read more.
Finding funding for a business venture can be really hard. Sometimes taking out a personal loan seems like the only option. But taking out a personal loan to fund something that may or may not pan out is daunting. In our hearts, we want to take that kind of risk. …read more.
April 7, 2020
Counting back change scares a lot of people. Just remember that the total price of the sale + the change you give your customer, should always equal the amount of cash they gave you for the purchase. If the price is 25.99 and your customer gives you $60.00, you hand…read more.
December 21, 2020
With more people working from home, families are struggling to find ways of upgrading their home offices or converting a garage or an unfinished basement into a useable space to get their work done. It's hard to work if you can't get away from the family, but if you can…read more.
April 10, 2020
The only thing certain about today’s economy is that it is uncertain. No one can guarantee what the next few years will bring. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up on the home of your dreams because of a fluctuating economy. Here are four steps you can take to make…read more.
I want to increase the value of my home this summer. What can I do? Regular home maintenance is essential to protecting your largest investment. Before you worry about luxury amenities like a swimming pool or marble countertops, go through the house and do some preventative maintenance. You can start…read more.
Q: I'd like to take out a loan against my home's equity, but I've heard that interest rates are expected to climb soon. What are the differences between a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and a typical home equity loan? How does an environment of rising interest rates impact…read more.
When you’re making improvements to your home, you’re not just making your life better in the short term. You’re also making an investment in your future. Ideally, the increase in the value of your home will exceed the cost of the improvement. However, it seldom works out like that. The…read more.
December 24, 2019
What is a home loan? A home loan, or a mortgage, enables you to purchase a home without having to foot all the cash out of your pocket when purchasing. You will, however, need to make a down payment, which is typically between 5-20% of the home’s appraised value (some…read more.
November 14, 2019
Q: My husband and I have been renting an apartment since we got married. We recently decided to buy our first home. Some friends of ours had lots of trouble with the process, and wound up buying a house they can’t really afford. We don’t want to go through what they…read more.
October 1, 2019
In the 2019 real estate market, home-flipping has become more popular than ever. Flipping houses is a basic real estate investment concept that involves purchasing a rundown or undervalued home at the lowest possible price, spending the necessary time and money fixing it up and then selling it for a…read more.
September 26, 2019
Our dependence on energy increases daily. With energy-dependent technology driving our lives, ecologists continue to search for ways to save our environment. Focusing on energy-efficient appliances is one way to do that. Your monthly electric bill may not itemize the specific usage of each appliance in your home, but you…read more.
September 10, 2019
Is it possible for me to buy a house while I’m still paying off a student loan? Yes, you can buy a house and have a student loan you are still paying off. If student loan debt that is managed responsibly should not hold you back from purchasing a house. …read more.
June 3, 2020
Financial Scams cost victims almost 40 billion dollars a year. Unfortunately many of the victims are the elderly and vulnerable adults of all ages. According to the FTC, 20% of the elderly will fall for some type of scam and lose money. The average loss of a financial elder abuse…read more.
March 17, 2020
Are you thinking of the RV Lifestyle when you retire? Or maybe an extended road trip? It can be a wonderful experience, but it can be more expensive than you think! It's important to be realistic when planning your budget. Now, let me say this. If your goal of travelling full time involves…read more.
December 3, 2019
Q: I know it’s important to have my financial affairs in order, especially when approaching an advanced age, but it is all so overwhelming. How do I go about this task? A: No one knows when their time will come, so, it’s best to be prepared at any age. Also,…read more.
September 12, 2019
Experts recommend allocating 15% of your monthly income toward retirement. Before you start exploring your options, though, you will need to set a goal, or a target number. This number will represent how much you need to have saved for living comfortably and independently throughout your retirement. A good way…read more.
January 5, 2021
Does Comparing Prices at the Grocery Store Make You Crazy? Make it easy with your smart phone! We all want to save money. Some people want to put a little more into their Rainy Day fund but others are saving for a fabulous vacation. If you’re money conscientious, saving a…read more.
March 18, 2020
When it comes to cheap eats, nothing beats eating at home. But eating at home can add up if you indulge in gourmet cheeses and pre-seasoned meats. Here are a few simple favorites to really watching your dollars. Good food, amazing savings. And don't forget to freeze leftovers in small,…read more.
March 3, 2020
Street Tacos This recipe is a cheap and fun way to eat. Chop up toppings –a tomato, a small onion, and some cilantro. Spray a cast iron skillet with olive oil. Plop 6” flour tortillas, one at a time, onto the pan. Fill half the tortilla with seasoned shredded or…read more.
October 17, 2019
You’ve already perfected your monthly shopping schedule to get the best possible prices throughout the year: linens in January; luggage in March; household appliances in May; patio furniture in September and wedding dresses in December. But, did you know you should be timing your shopping throughout the week as well?…read more.
September 11, 2019
Grocery shopping is an inevitable part of life. Whether you choose to do your shopping at the corner grocery, Whole Foods or your local supermarket, remembering what you need and trying to stick to your budget can be difficult. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if this chore was a little easier? …read more.