With tax season upon us, many will be seeing tax refunds crediting our NorthRidge Community
Credit Union accounts. What are some ways that you can better utilize your tax refund? We will dig into
some options that could help you improve your financial life in the year 2020!
- Getting caught up on old bills. If you have any bills that tend to be close to the due date, or
maybe are behind. Use your tax refund to get caught up on your bills to avoid late marks on
your credit or bills going to collections.
- Adding to your emergency savings. Ideally you should have 3-6 months’ worth of necessary
expenses in an emergency fund. Being able to set aside even part of your tax refund can help
you avoid using credit cards or taking out other loans to offset any unexpected expenses that
could arise in the next year.
- Paying down high interest debt. Using your tax refund to pay down your high interest debts
can save you even more money in the long run. If you have a credit card with a high interest
rate, and are only making minimum payments, making a larger payment can save you
thousands in interest costs and save you years of payments.
- Go on vacation. It may not sound like the best financial choice, but if all your bills are current
and you have money saved for unexpected emergencies, treat yourself to a vacation. Research
done by the San Francisco State University suggests that people spending money on
experiences are happier than those that use their money for luxury items they don’t really
These are just a few examples of how to use your tax refund to better your personal and financial
lives. One thing to remember is always pay attention to your tax deductions. If you are getting a larger
tax refund each year, it means you may be withholding more each paycheck then is needed. However,
you do not want to withhold too little and owe money for taxes. As always, your friends at NRCCU are all
Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors and are willing to sit down and help you budget and grow
The New Year is always a great starting point to change our habits for the upcoming year. How can little changes to savings add up though? Let’s look at some simple options that can start your savings off in the right direction.
- Saving Change – That small amount of change on your paycheck is a great way to start building your savings. If you took $0.79 from each paycheck that would be $20.54 a year just from small amounts of change.
- Cut Down on Specialty Coffee – If you get a specialty coffee 3 times a week, that is potentially $780 a year spent on coffee. Cutting down to 2 times a week could save you $260 a year!
- Lessen eating out – According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends at least $3,000 a year on eating out alone! If you spend $10 on lunch every day of the week, it doesn’t seem like much, but that adds up to $70 a week and $2,600 a year. If you prepare your own lunch for $5 each day you can save over $1,300 a year.
There are many ways to work towards a savings goal each month! The goal is finding what works for you, and your budget. Every little bit saved does add up more than you think. If money for Christmas was more tight than you wanted, maybe adding a Christmas Club account would be perfect for you. Please speak with any of our financial experts for ways to start building your savings today!
The holiday season is in full swing, how can you shop smarter and safer when debit card fraud can happen anywhere and at any time? Your friends at NorthRidge Community Credit Union want to help give you some tips and tricks that you can use to better protect yourself.
- When shopping always use the chip reader for your payment. When swiping your debit card, the merchant stores that information. That information can be used to steal your debit card information. But, using your debit card’s chip will scramble your debit card information, this way the store doesn’t have all your information on file.
- When given the option always process your debit card as a credit purchase to avoid entering your pin when paying for purchases. This way if someone was able to see your card numbers, they cannot use your at an ATM.
- Check your account regularly. Use your NorthRidge Community Credit Union online banking to better track your account. The sooner you catch fraudulent activity, the less account damage they can do.
- Be careful of scam emails. If a stores system is hacked, those that stole information may try emailing customers to get more information from them. When you receive emails that seem suspicious do not open any links or respond to the email. Find and use the official phone number for the business and confirm if the communication is real or fraudulent.
Do not be fearful though, if something happens, you are protected. Anytime you notice activity on your account that seems out of the ordinary or you just have a question about how to stay secure, contact us and we will help keep you safe and protected this holiday season.
November has been declared National Gratitude Month, but how can that tie into your finances? At NorthRidge Community Credit Union, we want to challenge you this month to find gratefulness in different aspects of your financial life. We could always tease, that you should be grateful that you have a credit union that helps look out for your financial future. We offer you lower interest rates and localized service just for starters.
But we think you should be most grateful that you see the benefit of having an outstanding banking service. US News reported in 2018 that over 14 million Americans do not have a primary bank account. This limits their ability to cash checks, obtain a debit card, and even keep their money in a safe location.
Often, we are looking at the big things in life for feelings of gratitude. You may get discouraged that your savings is not where you want it to be, your loan payment may be a day late, or your checking account gets down to the last penny. All these things can be overwhelming but let us start with the first step, you already have an account! That is a big step in the right direction towards financial success.
Let us use the month of November to grow your gratitude with your finances. Start this month with a new challenge for yourself. Here are a couple of tips:
- If you are discouraged about your savings account, plan to set aside $5-$20 from each paycheck this month. For a typical biweekly paycheck, you could save $10-$40 this month!
- If your account gets to low each month, think about those extra entertainment or fun expenses that maybe you can pass on this month.
- If your loan payment is always tough to come up with, try breaking it into two smaller payments spread out across the month.
Finally, remember we are grateful for you to be a member of our community and we here to help you find more in your finances to be grateful about. Let us grow our gratitude together!
With more and more of us utilizing our mobile phones more often than our computers, the question becomes, which is safer? The answer however is not black and white. Our phones are typically safer, but that also depends on how you use it. Did you know your phone could be attacked with malware and hacked into? One of the biggest differences between mobile and PC security, is that once your computer is hacked into, it is harder to remove the hacker’s software. They can keep stealing your information even after you remove the program that allowed them access. On your mobile device however, once you remove the hacker’s software, they can no longer access your device. Keep in mind though, they still have the information they stole from you. Here are a few tips to be safer on your mobile device:
- Make sure your phone is password protected. It does get old having to unlock your phone every time you want to use it, but keeping your phone password protected can help protect your information. If you ever accidently leave your phone somewhere, it prevents someone from gaining access to the items on your phone.
- Only download apps and content from trusted sources. Google Play Store on Android and App Store on iPhone have security measures in place to help protect malicious apps from being downloadable on your phone. However, if you download from other app stores, they may have hacker software on them.
- Be careful using public WIFI options. If a WIFI hotspot is asking for multiple permissions on your phone before giving you access to the WIFI, this may be a sign the network is not safe to use. Giving access on your mobile device allows hackers to steal your information. Also, try to limit airdrop and file sharing over the WIFI network.
- Always update your phone to the newest operating software. Most new updates include increases to security, which better protects your personal information on your mobile device. Also updating apps on your phone, can protect you from malicious hacks.
- Do not jailbreak your device. Many people like jailbreaking their device so they have more control over personalizing their phones. This makes your phone more open for hackers to get in and find your personal data. Phone makers have security in mind, changing settings puts you at higher risk.
These are just a few tips that can help protect you on your mobile device. No matter how careful you are, hackers will always be trying to gain your personal information. Keep your passwords unique and do not repeat the same password for different accounts. Your personal information is worth protecting.
Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Time: 3:45pm – 6:30pm
Location: Virginia Office, 921 17th Street South, Virginia, MN 55792
NorthRidge is so excited for this year’s annual meeting- Our Better Together BBQ! We welcome all families for delicious food, family fun games and events, drawings and more.
3:45pm: Registration Starts
4:00pm – 6:15pm: Events
5:00pm – 6:00pm: Food Served
5:30pm – 6:00pm: Business Meeting
6:00pm – 6:30pm: Drawings in Office and on Facebook for Prizes
Northridge Community Credit Union kicks off this years Chain of Hearts fundraiser January 16th, 2018. This fundraiser benefits Minnesota and western Wisconsin’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Gillette not only treats kids with disabilities and complex medical conditions in all Minnesota counties, but also treats kids from 40 of the 50 states and 12 countries.
The mission is to help patients and their families improve health, achieve greater wellbeing and enjoy life. This encompasses the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’. This years’ money goes towards Minnesota and Western Wisconsin Children.
Credit Unions for Kids is a collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues, and business partners engaged in fundraising activities to benefit Children’s Miracle Network affiliated hospitals. All money raised through Minnesota Credit Unions for Kids program supports Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, helping kids with disabilities and chronic conditions. Gillette is based in St. Paul, with clinics located in Minnetonka, New Brighton and Duluth.
Project Elf is a program at Mesabi East where a group of high school students raise money through donations to help less fortunate families within our school district have a brighter holiday season. With the funds raised, the students hope for items on a list of “needs” and “wants” for each child provided by the parents. The program facilitator takes a small group of students to shop for the families. The students are given a budget and purchase the needs of the children first and then with the remaining funds they will get some of the wants on the list. The students do an amazing job of working with the budget they are given and making the decisions that will allow the budget to stretch, giving the children as much as possible. The value of this program is really two fold. We are able to help many of our students receive basic needs that they may have a Christmas time and it also teaches those who volunteer the importance of becoming involved in their community.
Project Elf is funded strictly through the generosity of various companies, civic organizations, church groups, and individuals in our communities in the form of monetary donations, gift items, food and other items needed. There is no overhead cost for this program and every donation received goes to the children. Project Elf has been successful by seeing the same students wanting to volunteer each year as well as many new students who want to get involved. Also, we have many who are repeat donors who give generously each year and continue to support this program to ensure its success. The greatest moment is when we have a past recipient become a donor to the program. There is no greater gift than to see it come full circle for some people!
Together, East Range Rotary and NorthRidge are matching every $1 up to $1000!! Donations are accepted at any NorthRidge location until December 15th!
NorthRidge is having a Facebook Contest and you’re invited to take part!
Head on over to our page — https://www.facebook.com/nrccu/ — and look for a post just like this one.
Like, Share and Comment on the post for a chance to win this excellent prize! Get rid of those leaves with this collapsible leaf bag and hand scoops, while listening to Music on this Bluetooth Beanie! Make sure you tell us what your favorite thing about fall or favorite activity is, this time of year and Good Luck!
- POP UP LAWN LEAF BAGS are the perfect solution for fast yard or garden clean up! Unlike paper leaf bags, or garbage or trash bags, our pop up yard waste bags stand tall while you scoop in leaves.
- COMES WITH 2 LEAF GRABBERS Using leaf scoops is the easiest and quickest way to fill a reusable garden bag. Just slide your hands in the straps and your grabbing capacity more than triples. Works great for spreading mulch too!
- GREAT FOR WET LEAVES – Our heavy duty yard bags easily handle wet leaves. Leaf scoops keep your hands dry and clean while filling your reusable leaf bag.
- 32 GALLON CAPACITY Leaf bag stands a roomy 23.5 inches tall and 19.5 inches in diameter without threading extra straps or support systems for stability. Our collapsible leaf bag product is easy to close with 2 helpful latches near the bottom. Use either of the 2 handles to hang your flat garden bag until your next round or garden or yard work.
- COMES WITH A 1 YEAR MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY which can only be provided by Fern and Foliage. If you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason, contact us directly for a full refund or replacement for 1 year. So with that guarantee, give our lawn bags & leaf scoops a try today and make clean up easy this year!
- Bluetooth headphones & beanie hats integrated – Nice double knit hats with 2 wireless Bluetooth speakers positioned to both sides, an ideal hands free Bluetooth gadget with multiple functions(handling calls, Siri function, volume control, etc.), providing you acoustic pleasure and warmth at the same time.
- Decent and comfy hats – simple design, black/grey/blue optional, made of 88% cotton and 12% spandex, soft, warm, and cozy, a stretchy sleep headphone of great fit for most sizes, washable after removing the headphones.
- Stereo sound of good quality – Adopting the latest BluetoothV4.1 technology, with a nice layer of double knit clothes of cotton isolating outer cold air and noise, you can immerse yourself in its stereo sound and stay concentrated for a bedtime reading/music/live show, or use it as sport headphones for runs, jogging, winter walks, skiing, gardening, fishing, camping, traveling, etc.
- V4.1 Bluetooth headset – The beanie hats work smoothly with almost all Bluetooth devices(iPhone, Android, tablet, kindle, etc.), wireless Bluetooth transmission range can reach up to 33ft(without any blocking).
- Durable battery life – supporting USB charging, playtime 4-5 hours, stand-by time 3-4 days and quick charging time of 2 hours.