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    Age-Appropriate Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Money

    Last updated 16 days ago

    Most experts agree that it’s never too early to show kids how to handle money responsibly. The trick is to show them in age-appropriate ways. At GCS Credit Union, we have a range of account options for kids of all ages to help you teach them these important lessons. Here are some ways to start educating your kids about money as they grow. 

    Toddlers – Kindergarten

    During the toddler and early school years, you can teach your children about financial discipline and some basic counting principles that have to do with money. Show your children the advantages of being patient with something as simple as a snack. Tell them they can have one candy now or two candies if they wait for a specified amount of time. If they wait for the bigger payout, they’ll learn lessons about delayed gratification that will make saving money less painful. You can also teach them the names of coins, and when they are ready, what they are worth.

    Elementary - Middle School

    Help your kids learn to manage their money by explaining to them how you’re managing your own. Discuss the differences between debit and credit cards, let them watch you pay the bills, take them with you to your credit union, and talk to them about purchasing decisions you’re making. If your kids don’t have a savings account, now is the time to open one. You can help your kids save up for things they really want and enjoy the feeling of success they get when they can afford them.

    High School

    High school kids need to start taking the reigns of their finances so they are ready for college. Have conversations about credit, student loans, and wise spending. Open up a checking account and consider getting a credit card that you control for older teens. Teaching teenagers about responsible spending and saving can help them avoid a financial disaster when they are away at school.

    Make GCS Credit Union your partner in teaching your kids healthy financial habits. Bring them with you to our O’Fallon, IL credit union and help them make the most of our credit union youth accounts. For more information, call (618) 219-8600.

     

    GCS Donates to The Granite City APA

    Last updated 17 days ago

    In an ongoing effort to support the local community, GCS employees had the option to wear jeans on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month in exchange for a donation. For the month of September, GCS employees raised $470 for the Granite City APA and presented a check at their office.

    The Granite City APA is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter located on the outskirts of Granite City. Since the GCAPA receives no city, county or federal assistance, they rely strictly on donations.

    To find out more about the Granite City APA or to make a donation, visit gcapa.org. To find out more about GCS, visit myGCScu.com.

    Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $315 million. GCS serves more than 41,000 members Bond, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties in Illinois via 7 conveniently located branches, numerous ATM locations, and 24-hour account access through a telephone audio response system and PCU online banking.

    eStatements – Reasons to Consider the Switch

    Last updated 21 days ago

    Are you tired of the clutter of paper statements? If so, take advantage of eStatements from GCS Credit Union. You can conveniently track all of your account information from your electronic devices. Easy access to your account info is just one reason to make the switch to eStatements. Consider these other benefits.

    Paper statements aren’t just clutter. They also make the job easier for people trying to steal your financial information and identity. When you choose eStatements, you don’t have to worry about what happens to your financial records when you throw them away, because there is no waste. You’ll also get your statements quicker when you get them online, and of course, your eStatements can always be printed if needed.

    In addition to these great benefits, eStatements also help GCS Credit Union do our part for protecting the environment. Making the switch to eStatements is easy. Talk to a representative at our O’Fallon credit union about stopping your paper statements, and don’t forget to ask about our other financial services, including auto loans and debit cards. Get more information by calling (618) 219-8600. 

    A Beginner's Guide to Credit Cards

    Last updated 23 days ago

    Getting a credit card can be an important first step towards building credit and creating a bright financial future, but managing it correctly is essential. Misunderstanding how credit cards work and how to use them to your advantage could leave you facing big bills and lots of interest payments. When you’re ready to get your first credit card, ask your credit union representative about your options and which may be a good first card for you. When your new card is in your hands, here’s how to get the most from it. 

    Know Your Account Rules

    Familiarize yourself with how your credit card account works. Know what your interest rate is, the date of your bill cycle, and what the penalties are for going over your limit or paying late. Although credit cards can be smart ways to spend, making a mistake with your account can be costly.

    Aim for a Zero Balance

    Buying something with a credit card may feel like shopping with a debit card, but it’s very different. With your credit card, you can spend money you don’t actually have right now – but that doesn’t mean you should spend beyond your means. The best way to use a credit card is to pay off your balance in full each month, before interest starts accumulating. If you need to use your card to spread out the cost of a big purchase, make sure you have a plan for paying off your balance as quickly as possible.

    Review Your Statements

    Be sure to look at your statement in full each month. Instead of paying attention to only the balance, look at each transaction closely. If you see anything you don’t recognize, alert your credit union right away to protect yourself from credit card fraud.

    The GCS Credit Union Visa offers low monthly interest rates and no fees for qualified credit union members. Visit our website or call our O’Fallon credit union at (618) 219-8600 to get answers to your questions. 

    Taking Control of Your First Checking Account

    Last updated 28 days ago

    Opening your first checking account is exciting, and learning how to manage it will set you on the right track towards financial stability. Staying on top of your account only requires a few simple steps. This video explains more. 

    Start by talking to your credit union about the rules associated with your account. It’s important to know about any fees and if there is anything you can do to avoid them, so you can plan your spending accordingly. Be sure to track your spending and subtract the money you spend from your account balance so you don’t overdraw your account.

    Any representative at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, IL can answer questions you may have about your checking account and all of our credit union services. Find out more by calling (618) 219-8600. 

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