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    Exploring the Biggest Challenges of Sticking to a Budget

    Last updated 8 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 4 months 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

    What to Do with Your Money When You Have Extra Income

    Last updated 8 months ago

    Earning extra money is a great feeling, but what can you do to really make it work for you? Spending it on shopping and nights out might be fun, but doing so will rob you of the opportunity to really make a difference in your financial life. Here are some ways to make extra income work for you.

    Start by prioritizing your financial goals. Think of short-term things, like paying off debt, and long-term goals, like putting aside money for a home or retirement. Work to build up a 12-month emergency fund so you have a cushion for hard times. Set up direct debits and have your extra income go straight to a specified account or bill so that you aren’t tempted to spend it mindlessly.

    Do you need help reaching your financial goals? Talk to a financial expert at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon. We always put our members first and offer the same products as banks at competitive rates. Find out how to apply for membership by calling (618) 219-8600. 

    "The process was great..."| GCS Credit Union Reviews

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Recently I received a loan from the Granite City location on Lee Avenue, Brandy Ficker was the loan rep. The process was great. It was all done on line all the documents were sent me to over the computer and I signed them electronically and they were sent back to Brandy at the bank. All I had to do was walk in and pick up the check. It is... More

    What All Homeowners Should Know About Homeowner's Insurance

    Last updated 8 months ago

    If you own a home, homeowner’s insurance is essential. Not only will your mortgage company require it, but it will also help you recover financially should a disaster strike your property. However, it is important to understand your policy completely. Many homeowners make assumptions that they have coverage on their homes that they actually do not have. If you’re not sure if your insurance policy meets the requirements of your GCS Credit Union mortgage, call our mortgage loan center for help. Here are the basics that all homeowners should keep in mind about how this kind of coverage works.

    What Is Covered Under a Basic Plan?
    Most basic homeowner’s insurance policies are similar. They cover things like fire and smoke damage, lightening strikes, ice and snow damage, theft, and damage from frozen pipes. Homeowner’s insurance policies also offer some degree of liability coverage to protect you if someone is injured in your home. For instance, if your dog bites someone who is visiting your house, your homeowner’s insurance may pay some of his or her medical bills. If you are unable to live in your home because of damage caused by a covered risk, your insurance will pay the cost for you to live elsewhere.

    What Policy Additions Should I Consider?
    Depending on where you live, you may need more than a basic policy. Flood damage is not covered under most basic policies and is a smart, affordable addition for many homeowners. You may also want to consider coverage for wind damage and earthquakes. Other available additions include coverage for damage caused by war or acts of terrorism.

    How Much Should I Pay for Homeowner’s Insurance?
    Insurance costs vary greatly depending on where you live and the value of your home. Keep in mind that you can reduce your monthly premiums by choosing a plan with a high deductible, but be sure you can meet that deductible if you need to file a claim.

    At GCS Credit Union, we offer competitive rates on mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, and more. To discover all of the advantages of joining our O’Fallon credit union, call us today at (618) 219-8600.


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