GCS Credit Union
GCS is a full-service financial institution serving the following counties in Illinois: Sangamon, Logan, Macon, Marion, Jefferson, Perry, Jackson, Williamson, Jersey, Macoupin, Montgomery, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Monroe, Washington and Randolph.

Educating Your Children on Financial Responsibility

Smiling boy receives pocket money from his dad

The sooner your children learn financial responsibility, the better prepared they’ll be to handle the financial complexities of adulthood. They’ll also be better prepared to manage a credit card, build up savings, and pay off their debt. Look below to find tips on teaching your children financial responsibility.

  • Teach Them to Save

One easy way to teach your children financial responsibility is to give them an allowance. Kids are always asking their parents to buy them toys and candy because they don’t understand where money comes from and what it takes to earn money. Therefore, give your children set allowances so they can buy their goodies with their own money. This way, they’ll learn that if they spend their money, they’ll have to wait several weeks to earn it back, enticing them to save as much as possible.  

  • Teach Them The Value of a Dollar

When children have to work for their money, they learn to appreciate how hard you work for the family’s sake. Consider giving your children an allowance based on the chores they do around the house. To be fair to each child, set up a scale for how much money they can receive for each chore. Then, consider adding bonus chores that are worth more. Instilling a strong work ethic in your children at an early age will also teach them to be responsible workers when they enter the workforce. 

  • Open a Savings Account

It is never too early for your children to open a savings account, so head to your local credit union today. Each time your child receives an allowance or a check from their grandparents, force them to put away 10 percent. Have them deposit the money themselves so they become familiar with the act of saving. Each month, let them see their statement so they can watch their savings grow and feel a sense of accomplishment. They’ll learn to see the value in saving and being responsible with their money.

When you’re ready to open your child’s first saving account, visit GCS Federal Credit Union. We regularly help young savers make smart decisions with their finances. To learn more about our smart spending clubs for kids, call us at (618) 797-7993.

Are Your Bills Piling Up? Get out of Debt with these Helpful Tips!

Worried couple doing their accounts in the living room

If you, like the many Americans, are struggling with your finances, taking the right measures can help you get back in control. Read the following tips and consult a financial expert to learn strategies to help you get on top of your bills and get out of debt.

  • Consider Debt Consolidation

If you have multiple sources of debt that are weighing you down, consider a debt consolidation program. These programs are designed to help people get out of debt safely by combining multiple sources of debt, from car payments to mortgages, into one payment with a low interest rate. This financial avenue can make paying off debt more manageable and getting out of debt a reality. To find out if you’re qualified for a debt consolidation program, talk to your banking consultant or financial advisor.

  • Create a Budget

Many people spend beyond their means without realizing it. If you’re unaware of how much you’re spending each month compared to how much you earn, it might be time to create a budget, especially if you constantly run out of money, are unable to save money, or get deeper into debt. To start, collect your monthly statements to determine where exactly your money is spent. Add up the expenses you must make each month, such as necessary bills. Next, add up the luxury expenses, such as fast food, entertainment, travel, and beauty expenses. Create your budget around expenditures you have to spend and allocate other funds to saving money and paying off debt.

  • Pay off High-Interest Debts First

Most people work to pay off smaller loans, even if they’re at lower interest rates. This strategy will lead to spending more in the long term, prolong the amount of time you’re in debt, and can prevent you from repairing your credit rating. Therefore, it’s usually more efficient to pay off high-interest loans, regardless of how large the balance may be.

If you need more help controlling your finances, talk to a Member Service Representative at GCS Federal Credit Union. We are a full-service financial institution ready to get you on the right track. Give us at (618) 797-7993.

Show Us Your East Side Pride!


We've teamed up with Y98 to create East Side Pride, a program that highlights all of the great things people are doing in the community! Each month we will pick one entry and highlight their story in a commercial that will air on Y98. 

Visit the Y98 website to take a look at the three featured submissions we've already announced! 

We would love to hear about what you are doing to make a difference in the community! We encourage both individuals and organizations from Illinois to submit your entries here: http://y98.radio.com/show-us-your-east-side-pride/.

Manage Your Money Better with these Great Resources!

financial results

Managing money is difficult for many people, but budgeting, spending, and saving can be simple if you follow some basic financial advice. Explore the following resources on creating a budget, managing money, qualifying for home loans, and more.

  • Forbes.com explains why everyone can benefit from budgeting.
  • Follow these 10 tips for preparing a successful budget and stay out of debt for good.
  • Are you worried that your teen is unprepared when it comes to managing his or her money? If so, use the advice from this article to teach your teen to be responsible and smart with money.
  • Read through this article to find information that can help you teach your teen how to manage spending habits.
  • If you’re unhappy with your bank, check out this article to learn how you can benefit from banking with a credit union.

If you need a loan, personal financing support, a new savings account, or better banking services, join the community that chooses GCS Federal Credit Union. Call us at (618) 797-7993 today.


Getting the Best Deal When Shopping for a Car

Car Salesman and Couple Buyer

Buying a car may be one of the biggest investments you make. This major purchase requires research and patience, especially if you want to get the best deal on price and quality. To find the best deal on your next car and qualify for affordable auto financing, check out the detailed tips below. 

  • Buy Used

It’s tempting to buy a brand-new car, but since they depreciate so quickly, consider a used car instead. The price will be significantly lower and you’ll be paying for a truer value. Plus, buying a slightly used car with a comprehensive vehicle history report will let you know you’re purchasing a reliable automobile.

  • Shop Around

When buying a car, don’t take the dealer’s word for how it drives, how the engine was built, or what the price of the car should be. If you want to get the best deal, you need to shop around and do your research. Really get to know a car before you decide to take it home. If you’re buying used, take the vehicle to your own mechanic and consult Kelley Blue Book before purchasing. Read expert and consumer reviews online. When test driving a vehicle, don’t be afraid to drive it as you normally would.

  • Look for an Auto Loan

Few drivers have the funds to pay for a vehicle upfront, which is why it’s important to find reasonable auto financing. Putting down a large down payment may afford you better terms and lower interest rates. Remember to check your credit score and resolve any errors in your credit history before applying for a loan. Some credit unions also offer online applications and dealer recommendations.

If you need an auto loan, contact GCS Federal Credit Union. We’re a comprehensive financial institution that can help you get qualified for an affordable car loan. By choosing us, you’ll enjoy quality service, financial advice and support, and banking convenience, so call us at (618) 797-7993.  

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