Blog

August 7th, 2020

Cost of Poor Credit

[video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://ascu.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Cost-of-Poor-CreditFinished.mp4"][/video]

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August 3rd, 2020

Clay Money Toppers for Kids

Looking for a fun activity to help encourage your young children to save? Make clay money toppers with your kids for a fun and inexpensive activity.  Sculpey Bake & Bend or Craftsmart Oven Bake…

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Phishing Schemes
July 31st, 2020

Do You Know about Phishing?

Fishing and Phishing are two very different things.  One is thought of as being a relaxing or fun past time and the other, phishing, is used to "fish" for your information so that a…

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auto repair scam
July 30th, 2020

Auto Repair Scams

Just what you don't need... an unexpected auto repair and an auto repair scam.  Sometimes people posing as mechanics seem knowledgeable and honest, but they really aren't.  Here are some tips from the Arizona…

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Moving Scams
July 30th, 2020

Moving Scams

Scams involving professional movers rarely enters our minds when we are preparing for a big move.  But they do happen.  Here are some tips from the Arizona Attorney General's Office to help you avoid…

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July 15th, 2020

Social Media Influencers: Laws to combat deceptive ads

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…

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scam gra
July 14th, 2020

Work at Home Scams

Work from home scams are on the rise.  Find out how to protect yourself! Remember you can report scams to www.ftc.gov/complaint

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July 2nd, 2020

Leaders and Managers: Are they the same?

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…

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June 16th, 2020

Message from the SBA

The SBA (Small Business Administration) is a great resource if you are thinking of starting a small business. Their website can be found at   https://www.sba.gov/  

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June 12th, 2020

Audio Blog: Relationships and Money

Explore the importance of financial wellness in relationships with Stephanie McInelly from Mindful Messages Therapy. Run Time: 16 minutes [audio mp3="https://ascu.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Mindful-Messages-3_mixdown-Final.mp3"][/audio]        

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June 3rd, 2020

Preventing Financial Elder Abuse

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…

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May 15th, 2020

Road Tripping on a Budget

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…

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proper way to sneeze
May 11th, 2020

COVID-19

Effective Thursday May 14th.  Branch Hours and Protocol Update:   Friday May 15th 10 AM – 3 PM (Except Ft. Huachuca Branch) Saturday May 16th (Drive Throughs Only) 9 AM – 1 PM   May…

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April 28th, 2020

Take Control: Get the best deal on your auto

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…

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April 28th, 2020

Participate in 2020 Census

It's easy to participate in the 2020 Census.  If you didn't get the papers in the mail, you can go online and do everything there. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete! Just…

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April 27th, 2020

Lottery & Sweepstakes Scams

Although getting mail in your physical mailbox is less common now, the chances of encountering a scam lottery or scam sweepstakes either in your US Mail box or in your digital mailbox is still…

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April 17th, 2020

Time Capsule for 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”?…

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April 16th, 2020

Do You Have What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur?

Many people dream of opening a business and thriving with employees to do a lot of the work while they relax (just a bit) and do administrative tasks.  However, most business owners are actually…

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April 16th, 2020

Funding for your New Business

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…

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April 10th, 2020

Buying A Home In Today’s Economy

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…

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April 10th, 2020

How Can You Get The Most Out Of Your Investment In Your Home?

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…

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April 10th, 2020

Choosing An Equity Loan In A Rising Rates Environment

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…

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April 10th, 2020

What You Need To Know About Chip-Enabled Cards

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…

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April 10th, 2020

Review And Adjust Your Investments Each Year

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…

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April 10th, 2020

Plan For The Payoff When You Plan Your Student Loans

Planning ahead for college is not just a matter of getting good grades and accumulating a list of extracurricular activities and awards. It’s also a process of understanding how to pay for tuition and…

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April 10th, 2020

Newlyweds: Don’t Let Financial Stress Take The Cake

There are so many things to think about when you are just married, or about to be, and no one would rate finances as the most exciting of them. In fact, studies show that…

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looking at computer
April 10th, 2020

Combat The Financial Mistakes Of Our 20s And 30s

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…

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April 10th, 2020

Changes In The Vantage Score System

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,…

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tax scam
April 10th, 2020

Beware Of The Fake Tax Form Scam

Tax season means a paperwork blizzard. Often, someone loses a copy of an important document and needs it to be re-issued. Naturally, everyone's too busy to verify the authenticity of each request. That's what…

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April 10th, 2020

20 Ways To Celebrate Father’s Day — Without Breaking The Bank!

We all want to show our dads that we care on Father’s Day. Many people panic and run straight for the ties. But unless your father is a necktie aficionado and you can land…

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vacation
April 10th, 2020

8 Ways To Save On A Vacation

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…

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April 10th, 2020

4 Home Improvement Projects With High Long-Term Return

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…

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April 10th, 2020

5 Common Tax Mistakes To Avoid

It's that time of year again! Get ready to break out the calculator and pencils; dig out the enormous pile of receipts, tax forms, and pay stubs, and get to work. Whether you choose…

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counting back change
April 7th, 2020

Counting Back Change: Make your brain a cash register

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…

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April 2nd, 2020

Reading Time

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…

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April 2nd, 2020

Cooking for a Better Financial Future

Cook Your Way to Wealth As an American, I love to eat.  I love to go to restaurants and try new dishes with friends.  But the fact is, if you have limited funds, learning…

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April 2nd, 2020

Creating Good Savings Habits for our Little Ones

Reading is usually a part of an everyday routine with kids. But what about saving as an activity? Saving money is a habit.  And developing that habit at an early age is crucial.  Here's…

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March 24th, 2020

Scam Bingo!

The FTC is alerting all consumers that scams involving COVID-19 are on the rise.  They have created an interactive gave for people to do on Facebook.  Find the game and play at:  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/03/now-more-ever-spot-scams-ftcscambingo

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March 23rd, 2020

Stuck at Home? Skills for the family to learn

While we are spending some unexpected time at home, it can be a time for the whole family to learn money saving skills and to have some extra time for family bonding.  I’ve put…

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March 23rd, 2020

Beware of COVID-19 Scams

American Southwest Credit Union wants to remind everyone to beware of scams involving COVID-19. Scammers are already out there trying to pass off fake assistance checks from the government.  During the process, these scammers…

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Cochise Cheap Eats
March 18th, 2020

Cochise Cheap Eats

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…

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March 17th, 2020

RV Life: Preparing Your Budget

Are you thinking of the RV Lifestyle when you retire?  Or maybe an extended road trip?  It can be a wonderful experience but one we should carefully make a list of expenses long before…

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March 4th, 2020

College or Career for your Teen?

For those of us with teens preparing to graduate from high school, it might be difficult to accept that perhaps college is not in their future, even though we have saved for years to…

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photo of food
March 3rd, 2020

Let’s Talk Tacos!

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…

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scam gra
March 2nd, 2020

Scam Series: The Lottery Scam

Lottery Scams bombard our mail, email, pop-up windows on our computers, and our internet searches.  Just when you think "they" (whoever "they" are) have given up, another one lands in your in-box.  The idea…

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February 10th, 2020

Thoughtful Living: One writer’s key to a happier life

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…

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February 4th, 2020

Consumer Resources

RAGE AGAINST SCAMS PRESENTATIONS HAVE BEEN TEMPORARILY POSTPONED FOR APPROXIMATELY 8 WEEKS.  PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR NEW DATES.  POSTPONED:   Rage Against Scams -For Teens - @Willcox Public Library POSTPONED:  Rage Against Scams -For Small…

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February 3rd, 2020

401k Programs for the Self Employed

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…

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February 1st, 2020

Zero-Dollar Budgeting

Many people have made a 2020 goal of trying to budget better and save for an emergency fund.  It's a difficult task for those of us who have a fear of not being able…

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January 23rd, 2020

Should I Buy a Car or Keep the Old One

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…

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January 22nd, 2020

Small Business Development

Did you have an idea for a business but don’t know where to start?   Right in Cochise County we have a wealth of information and resources for the self-employed, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. …

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January 16th, 2020

Social Media Calendar Tips for the Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, I know it is overwhelming to do everything.  Advertising and marketing, accounting, product development, selling, taxes, payroll,employee training and HR issues, customer service, shop clean-up and maintenance, computer repairs…

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January 15th, 2020

Scammers

More and more scammers are out there with a story to trick you.  Be aware of the latest scams and what to do about them.  Check on the Arizona Attorney General's Office website for…

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January 15th, 2020

Curbing the Impulse Buy

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…

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January 13th, 2020

Talking Finances with Teens

Have you ever wondered how to teach your kids financial responsibility?  How do we prepare our kids to save for the future and to budget, without scaring them with our own problems?  Financial independence…

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Money App Graphic
January 7th, 2020

Can a Budget App Help You?

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,…

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January 6th, 2020

OPT-OUT! Services to make your life easier!

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 …

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January 3rd, 2020

New Year Resolution

It is the new year and often times we make resolutions we think will improve our lives.  But only a fraction of people actually achieve the goals they set.  Why is it that so…

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December 26th, 2019

How Men and Women Manage Money Differently

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,…

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December 24th, 2019

Home Loans

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…

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December 16th, 2019

Saving Money by Road Tripping

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…

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December 16th, 2019

Planning and Budgeting for Single Parents

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.…

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December 15th, 2019

Credit Card Rates 2020

LoanLiner CC rates April 2020

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December 13th, 2019

Grandparent Scams – Slow Down, Stay Calm, and Ask Questions to Avoid Being a Victim

“Grandma? Is that you?” “What’s the matter, honey?” “Grandma, you gotta help me! They’re going to arrest me if I don’t pay the fine – and I lost my wallet! I don’t have a…

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woman at a job interview
December 10th, 2019

Job Interview Tips

Nothing beats the excitement and novelty of your very first real job. With your long-awaited degree in hand, the world is at your fingertips! You can do it all – and you will. But…

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December 3rd, 2019

Putting Your Affairs in Order

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…

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Cartoon
December 2nd, 2019

The Pink Tax

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…

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November 26th, 2019

Investing in Low Cost Index Funds

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.”…

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November 25th, 2019

Crackdown on Holiday Porch Pirates

Holiday shopping season is upon us and your (not-so) friendly neighborhood porch pirates are gearing up to pilfer the holiday treasures being delivered to your doorstep. We’ve all seen the familiar footage from a…

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two people buying home in Cochise County Arizona mortgage through American Southwest Credit Union
November 14th, 2019

Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make

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…

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looking at computer
November 6th, 2019

Focus Your Mind – Apps to prevent internet distractions

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…

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Charity Donation checks
November 5th, 2019

2019 Sheriff’s Charity Ride

American Southwest Credit Union, in partnership with the Annual Cochise County Sheriff’s Charity Ride was a huge success this year!  Together we were able to raise $30,000 for local Cochise County charities.  The 2019…

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November 1st, 2019

How to be a Savvy Shopper on Black Friday

American Southwest Credit Union loves to see smart shoppers using their money wisely!  Below are a few retail sales advertising techniques to be aware of before you start hunting out gifts for loved ones…

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Prime rates
October 31st, 2019

What does Prime Rate mean?

Q: What is the prime rate and why does it matter? A: The prime rate, or prime, is the current interest rate that financial institutions in the U.S. charge their best customers. How is…

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Buying a Used car
October 28th, 2019

Tips for Buying a Used Car

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…

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Charity Ride Flyer
October 25th, 2019

2019 Cochise County Sheriff’s Charity Ride: Saturday November 2nd

Our 2019 Cochise County Sheriff's Charity Ride is coming up next weekend, Saturday November 2nd.  Registration begins at 8:00 am at American Southwest Credit Union. Our charities this year are:  Border Animal Rescue, Civil…

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Halloween money saving tips
October 24th, 2019

Low Cost Halloween Ideas

Halloween is coming — and so is the fun! Everyone wants to win the prize for creepiest costume and the most frightening yard decor in the neighborhood. But all that spookiness comes with a…

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Shopping during the week
October 17th, 2019

The Ultimate Shopping Cheat Sheet

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…

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minimalism and bare feet
October 9th, 2019

Be More with Less

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,…

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Flip a House
October 1st, 2019

Flipping Houses

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…

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Signing an extended warranty
September 26th, 2019

Extended Warranties – Are they worth the cost?

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…

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Couple looking at energy efficiency ratings on appliances
September 26th, 2019

Energy Efficient Appliances

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…

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Grandparents often take care of kids while parents work
September 26th, 2019

Is Life Really Getting More Expensive?

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…

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Shows two people struggling with finances
September 17th, 2019

Avoiding the Credit Card Trap

Did you know the average American household carries $6,358 in credit card debt? If that isn’t alarming, consider this: A debt of $5,000 with an average interest rate of 24.99% where only the monthly…

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looking at computer
September 12th, 2019

How Much Should I Invest In Retirement?

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…

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Grocery Shopping
September 11th, 2019

Great Grocery Apps to Make Your Life Easier

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…

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September 11th, 2019

5 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud

Keep your credit cards safe. Store your cards in a secure wallet or purse. After making a purchase, immediately return your card to that place. Don’t allow websites to “remember” your card number. Only…

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September 10th, 2019

Learning To Balance Academics And A Social Life

It's the number one question that separates the super-achievers in college from the party animals: Are you here to earn good grades and learn valuable lifelong skills, or are you here for the active…

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Saving for the Future
September 10th, 2019

How Long Does It Take to Become a Millionaire?

A million dollars. For many people, it’s the pinnacle of financial success. For others, it’s just the first stepping stone toward their outrageous dreams. But how long does it take to actually reach that…

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Compare Banks to Credit Unions
September 10th, 2019

History of Credit Unions – Why They Were First Started

As a member of American Southwest Credit Union, you know that credit unions are always striving to serve their members and community in as many ways as possible. We value each member’s input as…

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Buying a House
September 10th, 2019

Can I Buy a House if I Have a Student Loan?

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…

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Solar Panels
September 9th, 2019

Are Solar Panels Right for You?

Q: My summertime electric bills are sky-high. For this reason, I’m really thinking about having solar panels installed on my roof. I figure it’s gotta help me save on energy costs, but I hear…

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September 9th, 2019

How Much Money Should We Keep in Our Checking Accounts

Savings accounts are always talked about.  But what about our checking accounts?   You might read up on financial experts who recommend keeping three to six months worth of living expenses in your savings account,…

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September 9th, 2019

6 Money Myths

6 Money Myths We Need to Stop Believing We all grow up hearing the same financial advice: Spend less, save more and invest early. While most of these words of wisdom ring true, there…

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July 28th, 2019

Finances and Marriage with Stephanie McInelly

American Southwest Credit Union's Southern Arizona Podcast Episode 002  Mindful Messages Therapy explores the importance of financial health in marriage. [audio mp3="https://ascu.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Mindful-Messages-3_mixdown-Final.mp3"][/audio] Podcast interviews are meant to provide support and inspiration for our community…

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July 26th, 2019

Behind the scenes Podcast with Melany Edwards-Barton, CEO of the Sierra Vista Area Chamber of Commerce.

American Southwest Credit Union's Southern Arizona Podcast Episode 001 [audio mp3="https://ascu.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Chamber-of-Commerce-with-Music-Final_mixdown.mp3"][/audio] Podcast interviews are meant to provide support and inspiration for our community members and business owners.  They are not pre-written scripts and do…

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July 10th, 2019

Back-To-School Savings

Q: Is there any way to get through the back-to-school season without spending a small fortune? A: Back-to-school time is the second largest shopping season of the year. If all that spending makes your…

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