• Quick Tips for Monthly Budgeting

    Budgeting is the foundation for healthy personal finances. Regardless of how much money you earn and how many expenses you have, budgeting is an essential way to build financial security and prevent your checking account from incurring overdraft fees. Watch this video to hear a budget-savvy shopper explain her quick tips for creating monthly budgets.

    You’ll discover which percentage of your income you should save and how to allocate the rest of your income into categories. These include housing, transportation, utilities, food, and debt payments.

    For better control over your personal finances , consider joining a credit union in O’Fallon. Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 or visit us online to view our financial products, including online banking and auto loans.

  • Get the Answers to Your Questions About Mobile Banking

    Online banking solutions offered by credit unions make managing your finances easy and convenient. Although you can stop by a credit union branch any time for face-to-face assistance, most of your financial tasks can be completed remotely through a secure website. If you’re already taking advantage of the perks of online banking, why not take the next step of using mobile banking? Your credit union representative will be happy to help you get started.

    Is mobile banking safe?

    Although safety is a valid concern when it comes to mobile banking, the security of your money is a priority for your credit union. Because identity theft is a rapidly growing crime that can affect anyone, financial institutions have invested considerable resources into protecting the digital data of their customers. In fact, mobile banking can actually improve your financial security because you can get alerts when there is unusual activity on your account. This allows you to take action right away, regardless of where you are.

    How can I protect my security online?

    Although mobile banking is quite safe, it’s still smart to take a few extra steps to protect your sensitive information . One of the most important steps to take is to download the mobile banking app directly from your credit union, rather than using your smartphone’s Web browser to go to the website. It’s also best to use your cellphone carrier’s secure network or a trusted Wi-Fi hot spot, rather than public Wi-Fi. Always log out after each session and never click an option to save your password. You should also require a password for the phone itself.

    What can I do with my mobile banking app?

    This varies, depending on the financial institution you use, but in general, you can do anything with a mobile app that you can do with an online banking account. You can check your balance, receive alerts, and transfer funds.

    GCS Credit Union offers modern banking solutions that adhere to high standards of digital security for our valued members. For assistance using our mobile banking app, you can call a member representative at (618) 797-7993. Or, stop by a credit union branch near O’Fallon for friendly help.

  • What You Should Know About Purchasing and Redeeming U.S. Savings Bonds

    Personal finance experts strongly recommend diversifying one’s portfolio of investments. U.S. savings bonds are ideal for investors who prefer strong risk management. Even if you’ve previously purchased U.S. savings bonds, you might be surprised at the modern upgrades they’ve received. Just like the way that credit union members have benefited from online banking, U.S. savings bond investors can now complete their transactions online.

    Understanding Your Investment

    When you purchase a U.S. savings bond, your investment is backed by the U.S. Treasury Department. Your interest will accrue monthly and compound semi-annually. Although you can redeem a savings bond any time after 12 months have passed, it’s financially prudent to wait until it matures to get the most out of your investment. The interest you earn on a U.S. savings bond is exempt from state and local taxes, and federal taxes are deferred until the date of maturity or the date of redemption. U.S. savings bonds are a very safe investment because they are all registered. Even if you decide to purchase paper bonds, they are replaceable if they become lost, stolen, or destroyed.

    Purchasing U.S. Savings Bonds

    With the shift toward electronic transactions, the only way to purchase paper bonds is with your federal tax return. When you file your federal tax return, submit IRS Form 8888. This allows you to purchase a Series I bond with your tax refund. It will be mailed to you. To purchase a savings bond electronically , you will need to open a TreasuryDirect account through the U.S. Treasury Department. You can use your TreasuryDirect account to purchase Series I or Series EE bonds. You are allowed to purchase up to $10,000 of each type every year.

    Redeeming U.S. Savings Bonds

    Electronic U.S. savings bonds are easily redeemed with your TreasuryDirect account. Authorize your redemption online and have the funds deposited into your credit union account. If you have paper bonds, take them to a credit union branch for redemption.

    GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon offers a complete line of financial products and services to our members. You’re welcome to cash U.S. savings bonds at our credit union and to request financial guidance about how savings bonds fit into your wealth management strategy. Give us a call today at (618) 797-7993.

  • The Many Benefits of Choosing Direct Deposit

    Younger workers might not have experienced this, but in years past, credit unions were flooded with folks trying to deposit their paychecks on Friday afternoons. Not only was this inconvenient and time-consuming, but depositing a paycheck the old-fashioned way meant waiting a few days for the check to clear. Today, most credit union members have embraced the many benefits of direct deposit. Once it’s set up, direct deposit lets your paycheck move directly from your employer to your checking account.

    There’s no need to wait for the money to become available and there’s no need to wait on line on Friday afternoons. Electronic transfers of money are more secure, as they eliminate the risk of having a check get stolen or lost in the mail. Additionally, you’ll have the option of allocating a set percentage of your paycheck for your savings account. This means that you can save automatically and build your wealth over time.

    GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon encourages our new and current members to take advantage of our extensive online banking options, including direct deposit. For assistance, call a member representative today at (618) 797-7993.