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    The High School Student's Guide to Money Management and Saving Cash for College

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Though high school is a time of increased independence, it’s also a time of increased responsibility. While you don’t have to let go of your childhood the minute you start ninth grade, it’s a good idea to start thinking about your future and what kind of adult you want to be. The best way to do this is to open checking and savings accounts and consider the following money management tips:

    Put Together a Budget
    As a teenager, you probably don’t have that many expenses. Still, you can get a feel for money management by creating your own budget. Write down how much you get from your allowance or job, then put down how much you expect to spend on movies, gas, and meals out with friends. Since you don’t have to pay for living expenses, now is a great time to save.

    Get into Online Banking
    If keeping track of your finances seems boring, you should try your credit union’s online banking service. Online banking makes it easy to keep an eye on your account balance, and can be fun to use. Getting into the habit of checking your balance regularly can help you rein in your spending now and for the rest of your life.   

    Put the Future Ahead of the Present
    High school is an extremely formative time in your life, and you should do your best to make the most of it. However, that doesn’t mean recklessly spending money on things you don’t need. Keep in mind that saving money now will reduce the amount of money you have to borrow for college, and thus reduce the amount of interest you pay in the future.

    GCS Credit Union can provide numerous banking services for O’Fallon, IL teenagers looking to get a jumpstart on money management. To learn how you can set up checking and savings accounts, call us at (618) 219-8600. We also offer credit cards, auto loans, and much more. 

    Like and Win Christmas Cash!

    Last updated 4 months ago

    We want to help you score some cash for the Holiday Season. We will be giving away a $100 Visa gift card to one of our lucky Facebook fans. All you have to do is like our page & fill out the form on the "Like and Win Christmas Cash" tab at the top of our Facebook page! Share the contest on Facebook and Twitter to get bonus entries! This contest runs until December 15th.

    Making Your Money Go Further on Vacation

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Everyone loves to go on vacation, but no one likes to pay for transportation, eating out, and accommodations. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you and your family can have a great vacation without spending a fortune.

    This video discusses a few tricks to help you cut costs during your next vacation. To save money on airfare, consider signing up for a free service that notifies you of price drops on flights to your favorite destinations. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for coupons that help you save on everything from car rentals to meals at restaurants.

    If you need some financial assistance this holiday season, consider taking out a Christmas or vacation loan from GCS Credit Union. Call our O’Fallon branch at (618) 219-8600 to speak with a representative about credit cards, auto loans, and other important issues.  

    Exploring the Biggest Challenges of Sticking to a Budget

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Creating and sticking to a budget are perhaps the most important parts of staying afloat financially. Knowing how much you make and how much you spend can prevent you from relying on credit cards and slipping into debt. However, life is full of complications that could compromise your ability to follow your budget.

    Anticipating Utility Bills
    Electricity, water, gas, garbage, cable TV, and internet cost the average household hundreds of dollars each month. However, the cost of utilities tends to fluctuate throughout the year. For instance, heating your home in cold weather can make your winter utility bills significantly higher than late spring or early fall utility bills. When budgeting for utilities, be sure to overestimate. If your bills are much higher than you expect, there could be something wrong with your furnace or water heater.       

    Losing Track of Spending
    From buying a cup of coffee in the morning to having drinks with friends at night, there are a lot of ways you can spend money throughout the day. Though minor expenditures may seem harmless at the time, they can add up over the course of the month. To avoid an unpleasant surprise when you look at your account balance, be sure to include incidental expenses in your budget.

    Incurring Unexpected Expenses
    One of the most important aspects of putting together a budget is making sure you devote a portion of your income to savings. Living paycheck to paycheck is not sustainable, and is a recipe for slipping into debt. Having extra money in your account can help you deal with auto accidents, injuries, and other unexpected expenses. Though you hope you never have to use your emergency fund, it’s nice to know it’s available.

    For additional help sticking to a budget, contact the team at GCS Credit Union. We’ve been providing apt financial advice and banking services in Southwest Illinois since 1941. Call us at (618) 219-8600 to speak with a representative or visit our website to learn about our auto loan and credit card services.

    "Keep up the good work!!!"| GCS Credit Union Reviews

    Last updated 1 month ago

    I just wanted to say how wonderful everyone in the phone center are. My mom calls in all the time about her account and has never felt like a burden. Her favorites are Anna, Tracy and LeAnne...Kudo's ladies! Keep up the good work!!! More

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GCS Credit Union has a great way to help out your budget. If you currently have an auto loan financed with another lender, we want you to check out our refinance special.

Expires on 4/30/14

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