Learn More about Managing Your Finances with These Comprehensive Resources!

Piggy bank with dollars banknotes

If you would like to learn more about financing a home loan, teaching your children about money, or getting smarter about your finances, look through the list of resources below.

  • If you’re drowning in debt, use Oprah’s two-phase, eight-step program to pay off your debt and get back in control of your finances. Check out this article from Oprah.com to get started.
       
  • Check out this website to find helpful tips on how to use your new credit card responsibly so that you can build credit, but stay out of debt.
       
  • Learn more about the benefits of banking with a credit union by reading through this article from U.S. News & World Report.
       
  • If you need more help teaching your young family members about financial responsibility, use the resources from this webpage.
      
  • Before your children apply for their first credit cards, use these tips to teach them financial responsibility .

Bring your financial questions to GCS Federal Credit Union to get the answers and personalized service you need. We offer mortgage, money market, savings and checking, credit card, auto and personal loan services. To enlist our financial assistance, visit or call us at (618) 797-7993 today.

 

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.

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.

 

Show Us Your East Side Pride!

EastSidePride_header

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/ .

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.  

All Branches Closed on Monday, January 16th in Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

All GCS branches will be CLOSED Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Tips for Teens: Managing Your First Checking Account

Female withdrawing cash

Becoming a teen is a time full of exciting events, including starting high school, driving, earning an extended curfew, and opening your first checking account . But with these new freedoms comes new responsibilities; keep reading to learn about how to effectively manage a checking account.

  • Write Out Your Expenditures

Your parents probably bank online, but while you’re learning, it’s best to keep a written record of your spending. When you apply for your first checking account, you’ll be given a handheld ledger where you can keep track of what you spend and your balance. Get in the habit of writing down what you spend within a few hours and calculating your new balance. This will keep you from overdrawing your new checking account, saving you money in overdraft fees.

  • Check Your Account Every Day

Get in the habit of checking your account before you leave the house each day. You want to begin each day with a clear understanding of the amount of money you have so you don’t overspend.

  • Create a Budget

There is a certain amount of financial freedom that comes with opening your first checking account. If you can’t afford to go to the movies, you’ll only have yourself and all the soda you purchased last week to blame. Consider setting a budget or weekly limit on what you can spend. This way, you can save up for that new video game you want or that new pair of shoes your parents refuse to buy.

  • Consider Opening a Savings Account

If you want to save up for your senior trip, first car, or college tuition, you’ll need to have money saved. Open a savings account and get in the habit of saving 10 percent of the money you earn from your job or allowance.

If your teen is ready for his or her first checking and saving accounts, visit GCS Federal Credit Union today. We enjoy working with families and helping young people learn how to be responsible with their finances. To learn more about our service, call us at (618) 797-7993.

 

Manage Your Money with this Great App!

Texting on the Metro - Milan

Do you have less money this year than last year? Do you need help managing your funds so you can save for a large purchase? If so, consider downloading the MoneyWise app, created for Android.

This app helps you stay on top of everyday expenses and manage your overall finances, so you can save up for a rainy day or finally afford your dream home. This user-friendly app lets you manage multiple accounts, track expenses and incoming funds, and chart financial growth over time.

If you prefer a more hands-on approach to personal finance, visit GCS Federal Credit Union . We offer financial services for the whole family, including checking and savings accounts, home loans, and other personal financing services. To learn more about the banking services we offer, call us at (618) 797-7993.

 

Check Out These Great Tips on Managing Your Money and Getting a Home Loan!

Couple doing paperwork with a laptop

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.

  • Check out this article to learn how to buy a car the smart, money-conscious way.
       
  • If you want to buy a car fast, check out this article from SmartMoney.com. You’ll read about which cars the experts say are worth your money.
       
  • Before beginning the search for your first home, check out Realtor.com and review the buyer basics.
       
  • Buying a home is a big investment, so use these seven tips to avoid making common home-buying mistakes.
       
  • If you need to set a budget, check out this helpful article from Money.CNN.Com . You’ll learn how to identify unnecessary expenditures, stop spending beyond your means, and watch out for cash leakage.

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.