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AFCU & You Blog

Let us help establish your child's financial future! There is no better place to help kids and teens achieve their financial goals than with a financial institution their family members already know and trust. We have several low-cost, high-reward products to help get their finances in order and if you open one or more of these products in September, you could win a $300 Disney gift card!*

TWO STEPS TO ENTER:

STEP ONE:
Open ONE OR MORE of these three Youth Products between September 1 — 30, 2018:

  • AFCU Minor/Youth Savings Account – Establish your child’s membership in the credit union with only a $5 initial deposit. Your immediate family members are eligible to join AFCU! (Available to members under age 18).
  • AFCU Minor/Youth Checking Account – Fee-free checking account with no minimum balance requirements! (Available to members age 12 to 17).
  • AFCU Student VISA – Help your child establish credit and build good financial habits by co-signing for an AFCU Student VISA® card. Save $$$ versus a high interest rate credit card! (Available to members age 12 to 22).

Apply Now

STEP TWO:
Post a message on the AFCU Facebook page: facebook.com/aerofcu OR post a tweet on the AFCU Twitter account: twitter.com/AerospaceFCU using the hashtag #AFCUreachforthestars between September 1 — 30, 2018.

Example: I'm on board with AFCU! #AFCUreachforthestars

AFCU will randomly select a winner in October 2018*

*Chances of winning the $300 Disney Gift Card depend on number of entries. An AFCU Student Visa Credit Card, AFCU Youth Savings Account or Youth Checking Account must be opened between September 1 — 30, 2018. Member who opened the AFCU Youth Product must post on AFCU’s Twitter or Facebook account with the hashtag #AFCUreachforthestars between September 1 — 30, 2018 to qualify. AFCU will randomly select and notify a winner in October 2018. Winner must verify he or she meets the offer requirements by providing their name as it appears on their AFCU account. Offer subject to change at any time without notice. Standard field of membership requirements apply. Apply Now

“Why am I running out of money?”

That’s the question students ask most when they visit the student money management center at University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia.

“When I ask them about a spending plan or a budget, they’ll typically say, ‘Yeah, I know what I spend my money on,’” says the center’s coordinator, Jean Cyprien. “But when I show them a spreadsheet with different categories for spending, they’ll say, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize I was spending that on eating out’ or ‘I forgot about that music app that I’m paying for.’”

You may have income from a part-time job, or you may start the semester with a lump sum. No matter your source, you have to make your spending money last all semester. Here’s how to do it.

Set Expectations with Your Parents
Before school starts, have a conversation with your parents about who’s paying for what.
“You don’t want to be in a situation where it’s kind of up in the air,” says Philip Schuman, senior director of financial literacy at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. “Having that first initial conversation will help go a long way toward having students become more financially independent from their parents.” For example, your parents may agree to cover tuition and supplies, but you’ll have to pay for living expenses.

Separate Needs and Wants
Paying for your wants shouldn’t come at the expense of your needs. To prioritize spending, start with a list of expenses you are certain of during the semester, such as a trip home at Thanksgiving or filling your car with gas every two weeks. Subtract those expenses from the amount of money you have for the semester. What’s left is your discretionary spending money. Now divide that remaining amount by the number of weeks you need to cover. For example, if you have $800 available over a 15-week semester, that’s a little over $50 a week you could spend.

Use Leftover Financial Aid Wisely
If you borrow student loans to pay for college, there may be remaining funds you can use for personal expenses after covering tuition and fees, as well as room and board. But avoid spending loan money on nonessentials, like streaming services, vacations or delivered food. Paying for those expenses with financial aid can be costly, since you’ll have to pay back the money you borrow, with interest.

Find a Tracking Tool You’ll Use
There are endless ways to track spending, including phone apps, online budgeting worksheets, an Excel spreadsheet or a paper and pen. It doesn’t matter what tool you use, so long as you find something that works for you, college budgeting experts say. If maintaining an Excel spreadsheet isn’t your thing, try an app that links to your bank account. Tracking your money can help you make smarter spending choices.

“You’ve got to take responsibility to say, ‘I can’t go out and spend money to go to the bar or pizza place, because I’m not going to have enough money for the books that I need,’” says Katie Ross, education and development manager for American Consumer Credit Counseling, a nonprofit credit counseling organization.

What to Do If You Slip Up
Overspending is probably going to happen. You might budget $50 a week, but one weekend you end up spending double or triple that amount. You don’t necessarily need to work more hours at a part-time job or send an SOS to your parents to get back on track. Instead, adjust your budget. There are two effective ways to do it:

Stop spending. Plan to skip a few weeks of spending to stick with your current budget. If you spent three weeks of your allotment in one weekend, for example, then curtail spending for two weeks.

Start over. Add up all of the money you have left for the semester and divide by the number of weeks left. This is the new amount available to spend each week.

The article Budgets 101: How to Make Your Spending Money Last in College originally appeared on NerdWallet.

As the calendar turns to August, some of us think of barbecues, vacations and hot summer weather.  For others, household attention turns to getting the kids ready for another exciting school year.  New clothes, school supplies and dorm room swag aren’t cheap, and AFCU would like to help you shoulder some of the burden this year!

Anyone who opens a new AFCU Share (Savings) Account and signs up for eStatements in August 2018 will receive a $25 gift card to Target.* This is a great opportunity to introduce your loved ones to the benefits of AFCU membership and why banking at your credit union is one of the smartest financial decisions they can make. No kids? No problem! We’re confident that you’ll  be able to put the $25 Target gift card to good use!

Open an AFCU Account

After your new AFCU Account is opened, remember to sign up for AeroAccess Home Banking and enable eStatements on your AFCU Account to be eligible for the $25 Target gift card.

Here’s how to enroll in eStatements via AeroAccess Home Banking: 

  1. Log into your AeroAccess account via www.aerofcu.org
  2. From the "Accounts" tab, select "Statements"
  3. Select "Electronic (Via Internet)" and click "Accept"

For assistance, please contact a Member Concierge at 800-795-2325.

*AFCU Savings Accounts must be new accounts opened between August 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018. New accounts must have eStatements enabled by August 31, 2018 to qualify for the $25.00 Target Gift Card. Offer subject to change at any time without notice. Standard field of membership requirements apply.

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The information provided by Aerospace Federal Credit Union is for informational purposes only and does not constitute personal financial, investment, or tax advice. For advice on your particular financial situation, you should consult with your personal financial, investment, and/or tax advisors. The opinions and statements of authors and commenters on this Blog are not the opinions or statements of the Credit Union or the Board of Directors, and the Credit Union takes no responsibility for their content.