The Credit Union Difference Part 1: The History Of Credit Unions

As a member of Destinations Credit Union, you know that credit unions are always blackboard with columns for banks and credit union pros and consstriving to serve their members and community in as many ways as possible. We value each member’s input as an equal owner in the credit union, and offer flexible loan terms as well as low-cost accounts. We also reward our members with higher dividends, and proudly donate our time and our resources to community initiatives and organizations.

This article is the first in a series celebrating the history, contributions and benefits of credit unions.

Both credit unions and banks provide those they serve with a broad range of financial services and products. However, there are multiple distinctions between the two institutions. The primary credit union difference lies at its core: Banks are created to generate profit for their owners; credit unions are created to provide members with a place to manage their finances at the best possible terms.

The noble goal of putting members first is deeply rooted in the rich history of the credit union movement. Let’s take a quick look at the backstory of credit unions and how they came to be the thriving financial institutions we know today.

The first credit union was established in 1864 by Friedrich Raiffeisen in rural southern Germany. Raiffeisen believed his neighbors and friends could enjoy an enhanced standard of living if only they had access to common funds. He proposed that all community members pool their resources so individuals in need of loans could easily access the necessary funds. Raiffeisen’s idea was well received by his community, and the first credit union model was soon established.

In 1909, the credit union movement crossed the ocean to reach American shores. With Edward Filene serving as its pioneer, the movement gained momentum and continued its growth. In 1920, Edward hired attorney Roy F. Bergengren to assist him in generating the movement’s expansion. Roy soon created a more systemized concept for the credit union model we know and love today.

Credit unions were gaining popularity and popping up all over America, but it was only in the 1930s that the credit union movement achieved federal recognition and national acceptance.

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law in 1934, federally chartered credit unions in every state became legally authorized to create a system of not-for-profit cooperatives to promote thrift and sound financial practices.

The Federal Credit Union Act enhanced the public’s confidence in the credit union movement, and it continued to spread across the country. In 1970, that sense of security grew stronger when the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) was established. Credit union deposits gained federal insurance that functions much in the way the FDIC insures bank deposits. Your money is always safe at Destinations Credit Union!

With the credit union movement growing at its most rapid pace, prospective members flocked to join the new member-owned financial institutions being established all over the U.S. In fact, between 1970 and 1979, credit union assets in America tripled.

In 1977, another credit union-friendly regulation was signed into law, empowering credit unions to offer more services and products to their membership, most notably mortgage lending and share certificates (which function much like CDs).

Today, the credit union movement continues to thrive in the path charted by its predecessors and is backed by the “full faith and credit of the United States Government.” These not-for-profit institutions serve their 103 million+ members by always putting their members’ needs first and helping them achieve their personal goals through sound financial practices and targeted advice.

Here at Destinations Credit Union, we’re proud to be a part of the collective institutions dedicated to the credit union mission. At the core of our values is an unwavering commitment to creating mutual benefits for members and the larger community. To that end, we are always here to help our members and enable them to optimize their savings or manage finances as smoothly as possible. Our innovative banking solutions, low fees and high dividend rates, along with personalized service, helps members achieve and maintain financial wellness no matter the financial goals they have. As a member-owned institution, our only objective is your satisfaction and your success.

Credit union history is still in the making. Be a part of it by calling, clicking or stopping by Destinations Credit Union today to learn about our exceptional financial products and to benefit from our highly personalized service.

Experience the credit union difference!

Your Turn: How does the core credit union value impact your finances in a positive way? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.mycreditunion.gov/about-credit-unions/historical-timeline

https://www.thebalance.com/national-credit-union-share-insurance-fund-ncusif-315404
https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/difference-between-credit-union-and-bank/%3Famp
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/credit-unions-vs-banks/

What’s Up With WhatsApp?

A cybersecurity breach in Facebook’s WhatsApp app last month left users vulnerable to WhatsApp Iconspyware attacks via voice calls. An undetermined number of the 1.5 billion users of the popular messaging app may have had malicious spyware installed on their devices.

Let’s take a closer look at the security breach and the steps you can take to protect yourself, both now and in the future.

What happened?

Security breaches are old news in the app world, but a breach of extremely high magnitude and reach is something new and fairly frightening. The fact that the breach hit WhatsApp is especially alarming. WhatsApp utilizes strong encryption for both voice and text messaging and is used as a communication platform for government and security officials around the world.

Here’s how it went down: A government-grade intelligence collection tool was employed to target WhatsApp users via voice calls. The spyware has been endowed with the ability to seize control of the affected smartphones and to access any private information stored on the device.

The spyware utilized in the attack was allegedly created by the NSO Group, an Israeli cyber surveillance company that has developed this advanced technology for the express purpose of allowing government agencies to infiltrate terrorist groups and to fight crime.

Unfortunately, when the spyware fell into the wrong hands, it helped scammers pull off one of the greatest cybersecurity breaches of all time.

The Financial Times reported that the WhatsApp breach was made possible because of a loophole in the app’s code that allowed hackers to transmit spyware onto smartphones by calling targets through the app. The malicious code could be injected into the device whether the user picked up the call or ignored it.

According to WhatsApp, the cyber breach was first discovered in early May and had been used to target an undisclosed number of WhatsApp users. The Facebook-owned messaging company claimed it briefed human rights organizations about the breach and also asked U.S. law enforcement agencies to assist it in conducting an investigation. When WhatsApp had more definite information, it notified the public about the breach.

Who was affected?

It doesn’t matter what kind of phone you have; the security vulnerability affects both iPhone and Android devices. The good news is that not every version of WhatsApp was affected. To check whether the version you have on your phone was part of those impacted by the breach, check out Facebook’s official advisory confirming the vulnerability, which outlines which versions were affected.

The messaging giant has not confirmed a specific number of targeted victims. Rather, it has only shared that a “select number of users were targeted through this vulnerability by an advanced cyber actor.”

What do I need to do now?

Since the vulnerability that caused the breach lies in the makeup of the app and not in an unsafe or negligent practice in the hands of a user, there is no way you could have prevented your device from being affected. However, now that the facts are on the table, you can take the recommended steps to keep your device safe from this vulnerability.

Since the breach was discovered, WhatsApp engineers have been working hard to close the app’s security vulnerability. The company has started installing a fix to servers and to private customers. It has also created an updated, safer version of the app that it has urged all users to employ on their devices as soon as possible.

Here’s a quick guide for updating your WhatsApp.

For iPhone users: Open the App Store, choose updates, select WhatsApp and then click Update.

For Android users: Open the Play Store, click the three lines in the upper left-hand corner, choose My Apps & Games, select WhatsApp and then hit Update.

If you haven’t yet updated your device, do it now. It only takes a few seconds of your time to make sure your WhatsApp is operating at its safest level.

You never know when those scammers are going to hit next. Practice safe measures by always using the latest version of any application or operating system, keeping yourself in the know about recent security breaches and never sharing sensitive information online.

Stay safe!

Your Turn: How do you keep yourself safe from security breaches? Share your tips with us in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/gauteng/consumerwatch-what-you-should-know-about-whatsapp-breach-23607175

https://www.people.com/human-interest/whatsapp-security-breach-update-app/amp/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/05/14/whatsapps-cybersecurity-breach-phones-hit-with-israeli-spyware-over-voice-calls/amp/

7 Money Myths You Need To Stop Believing Now

We all grow up hearing the same financial advice: Spend less, save more and invest piggy banks in bubbles with a sky backgroundearly. While most of these words of wisdom ring true, there are lots of widespread money management tips that are actually false.

Read on for 7 money myths that might be causing you more financial stress than benefit.

Myth #1: Debit is always better than credit.

Do you automatically reach for your debit card when making a purchase? While it’s true that paying for your expenses with money you already have in your account is often the best choice, there is a time and a place for credit cards as well.

The real deal: Credit cards get a bad rap for the debt trap they represent, but they should be your payment method of choice on occasion. First, many credit cards offer rewards in the form of travel miles, cash-back systems and other bonuses. Second, building and maintaining a strong credit history is crucial for your financial wellness; the only way to achieve this is by using your credit cards and paying your bills on time. Finally, lots of credit cards offer purchase protection, which makes them the smarter payment method for big-ticket items.

Destinations Credit Union offers both debit cards and credit cards.

Myth #2: Buy a home at all costs.

It’s part of the American Dream: Go to college, land the perfect job, get married and buy a house, complete with white picket fence and two cars in the driveway.

Unfortunately, though, too many people are fixed on that dream without realizing that owning a home might not be in their best financial interests.

The real deal: For many people, including those who are not yet ready to put down roots or who anticipate a career change that necessitates moving across state lines, renting a home or apartment might be the better choice. It can also be a financially expedient option if you live in a super-expensive area.

If you are in the market for a home loan, visit Destinations Credit Union.

Myth #3: Investing is only for rich people.

Investing is for people who drive luxury vehicles and have homes in three different states.

Or is it?

The real deal: Anyone with a small pile of money squirreled away can get a foothold in the stock market. A smart investment strategy can be the best way to let your money grow and put you on the track to financial independence. If you’re a beginning investor, look into passively managed index funds for an easy way to start building your wealth.

Myth #4: My partner manages our finances, so I don’t need to think about money at all.

Are you living in blissful financial oblivion, confident that your partner is managing your money?

The real deal: Every adult should have a handle on their family’s finances, regardless of their partner’s involvement. While it is fine for one partner to actively manage their money, it is crucial for both partners to be aware of the state of the family finances and to be capable of managing the household expenses and investments if something happens to their partner.

Myth #5: Credit cards will get me through any financial crisis.

Why would I need an emergency fund? I have credit cards!

The real deal: Depending on credit cards to get you through a financial emergency is the perfect way to dig yourself into a deep pit of debt. Thanks to interest, you’ll be paying back a lot more than you spend. You’re also more likely to overspend when you pay with plastic.

Credit cards should not be relied upon for a real financial emergency, such as a job loss, divorce or illness. It’s best to build an emergency fund consisting of three to six months’ worth of living expenses so you’re completely covered for the unexpected.

Myth #6: I’m so young; I don’t need to think about retirement.

Who can think about retirement when it’s so far down the road because they’re just starting a career? Besides, who can afford to save for retirement when they’re bogged down with more pressing expenses, like saving for a house and putting kids through college?

The real deal: There’s no better time to start planning and saving for your retirement than right now. The younger you start building your retirement fund, the less you’ll have to put away each month, and the more you’ll save by the time you’re ready to retire. Gift yourself with a comfortable, stress-free retirement by maxing out your 401K contributions, and/or opening an IRA or another retirement fund. Start today and let compound interest work its magic!

Myth #7: I have enough in my account to cover my expenses so I don’t need to budget.

Budgeting is for people who are barely squeaking through the month. I have enough money; so why budget?

The real deal: Budgeting is for everyone. Without a realistic budget in place, someone pulling in a salary in the high six digits can easily spend their way into debt. A budget will force you to make responsible money choices and to be fully aware of the state of your finances at all times.

Your Turn: Which money myths have you bought into in the past? Tell us all about it in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thenest.com/content/amphtml/money-myths

https://www.listenmoneymatters.com/top-10-money-myths/
https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/foolish-money-myths
https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/personal-finance/6-money-myths

4 Parking Lot Scams To Watch For This Spring

The buds are sprouting-and so are the scams. Watch out for these common parking lotWords "Scam Alert" on asphalt next to double yellow line scams as you attend baseball games, outdoor concerts and other events this spring and summer.

1.) The bogus parking attendant

In this scam, you arrive at an event where an attendant points you to a nearby lot. You pull in, pay for your parking spot and get a payment stub as proof of purchase. But, when the event is over, you look for the attendant who took your payment and they’re gone. And, unfortunately, so is your car.

How it went down: The attendant was no attendant. A clever scammer, who might look like the genuine article thanks to a bogus uniform, simply collected your money and then ran off. Your car was parked illegally in the lot, and the lot’s real owner had it towed.

The fix: Only entrust your car to a parking lot attendant with an official logo, a real sign and a contact number. If you’re suspicious, do a quick search on the company.

Also, be sure to examine the “payment stub” before leaving the lot to attend the event. It should appear authentic, and at the very least contain some information about the parking service as well as actual proof that you paid.

2.) The trick-it ticket

This scam starts much like the other. You’ll attend an event, pay for parking and return to your car when the event is over. Only this time, instead of finding that your car has been removed, you’ll find a ticket stuck on your windshield for illegal parking. You’ll also find a helpful note informing you about a lawyer who can help you lower the ticket, or about an online site through which you can pay the fee.

How it went down: Sometimes, the ticket you find on your windshield may be authentic. However, it’s sometimes just a slip of paper that was stuck on by scammers. In both scenarios, though, the helpful note about a lawyer or an online platform for paying the ticket is bogus. The “lawyer” is usually a scammer hoping to milk you for some cash and the online site is riddled with malware, which can infect your computer.

The fix: Avoid tickets by only using official parking lots. Look for real signs instead of just a “Park Here” notice slapped onto a pole.

If you’re ticketed, look for an official police department logo along with contact information. If you’re still in doubt, you can check the authenticity with your local police department.

If you need the assistance of a lawyer, contact one on your own. Skilled lawyers won’t need to beg you for their business, and those sticking notes on your cars are either scammers or incompetent.

Finally, never share your personal information on a random site. Only pay a ticket online if you’re absolutely sure it’s a police site.

3.) The phony mechanic

In this scam, you’ll return to your car after an event only to find that the car won’t start. A “helpful” bystander will offer their assistance-for a price. They may even claim to be a mechanic or an expert in cars. After extorting you for an enormous amount of cash, they’ll gladly pop open your hood and “fix” your car.

How it went down: The “mechanic” knows enough about cars to disable your vehicle without popping the hood while you were gone. They’ve immobilized your vehicle in an easy-to-fix way, like disconnecting the distributor or an electrical cable. This way, they can appear to “fix” it in seconds.

The fix: If your car suddenly won’t start and some super-helpful mechanics just happen to be passing by, refuse their offer for “help.” Call AAA or another auto service instead.

4) False accidents

You’re backing out of a parking space, careful to check your rearview mirror and backup camera to make sure the coast is clear before you hit the gas, when there’s a sudden, sickening bump. You’ve hit someone. You rush out of your car and find that you’ve hit a pedestrian who promises to make an insurance claim against you unless you pay them off.

How it went down: The accident “victim” was hiding out of your line of vision and then leaped behind your car as soon as you started driving.

The fix: If this happens to you, look for a closed-circuit video camera and ask the lot’s security guard if you can review the tape. With any luck, you’ll see the con artist pulling their ruse and then you can turn the tables and threaten to press charges if the scammer doesn’t scram.

If you’re in a deserted area without no surveillance nearby, don’t pay any fees until a doctor examines the “victim’s” injuries.

Your Turn: Have you ever been targeted by a parking lot scam? Tell us all about it in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://scambusters.org/parkinglotscam.html

https://www.tmj4.com/call4action/stay-alert-for-springtime-scams
https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-02-2011/spring-scams.html

How To Enjoy A Busy Wedding Season Without Going Broke

It’s the season of gauzy canopies, lacy gowns and stiff penguin suits. That being the case, guests tossing flowers at wedding coupleand with wedding invitations flooding your mailbox, you might already be booking your weekends with weddings through the end of August.

Celebrating a new marriage together with your friends is great fun, but all those wedding invites can put a real strain on your budget. Between wedding attire, travel costs and gifts, each wedding can add up to a pretty penny. In fact, according to the most recent research by Express Spending & Saving Tracker, the average wedding guest is out $673 for each wedding they attend. That’s enough to make you go broke by the time wedding season is through!

If these numbers are scaring you, take a deep breath and relax. You don’t need to go into debt just to attend your friends’ weddings. Just follow these hacks for simple ways to celebrate in style-and within budget.

1.) Save on airfare

Get the best deal on your flight with these hacks:

  • Clear your browser cache before searching for a flight so airlines don’t target you with high-priced flights.
  • Get the lowest prices by booking your ticket for mid-week and/or taking a red-eye flight.
  • Shop on a Tuesday about six weeks before you’re needing to fly out to score the best deals.
  • Use apps like Kayak, Hipmunk and Hopper to help you find the best-priced tickets. Some apps will even send you alerts when tickets on a flight you’ve looked at go down in price.

If your destination is within driving distance, you can also choose to hop on a train, board a bus or rent a car with some friends and turn the drive into a fun road trip.

2.) Think outside the registry

Jump off the registry bandwagon and get creative instead! You can gift the couple with a more personalized gift, like a themed breakfast basket for the morning after, tickets and reservations for a dream date night or a customized kitchen package complete with quirky mugs and whimsical gadgets. No one has to know how much (or how little) you spent. But, your gift is sure to be memorable and treasured by the couple.

If you’re part of a bunch of friends who are attending the wedding together, you can also choose to purchase a group gift. Do some detective work to find out the couple’s secret luxury gift wish, like a top-of-the-line grill or a leather sectional sofa, and then let each friend contribute to a pot until you have the full amount. You’ll save on your gift costs and you’ll know you’ve given your friends a wedding present they’ll be thrilled to receive.

3.) Don’t buy a gown

Don’t feel pressured to spend hundreds of dollars on the dress you’ll wear to your friends’ weddings. Chances are, you won’t want to wear the same gown twice in a season. Also, the dress that perfectly matches one wedding color can horribly clash with the décor at next weekend’s wedding. Instead of dropping a ton of money on a dress you might wear once, rent a gown for a fraction of the price from rental services like Rent the Runway. You can also borrow from a friend or purchase a gently used gown on sites like OnceWed.com or PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com.

4.) Invest in a good suit

Tux rentals can run you up to $150, so if you’re looking at several weekends of weddings over the next few months, it might be worthwhile to invest in a staple suit or tux you can wear again and again. Make sure the suit is of decent quality and will make it through hours on the dance floor with its seams and buttons intact. Once you’ve got your suit in the closet, you can change up the outfit to match different wedding colors and themes by swapping the shirt and tie or the cummerbund and bowtie.

5.) Use AirBNB instead of booking a hotel

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a hotel stay for every destination wedding you attend. Instead, check out AirBNB for affordable lodgings in the area. You can save even more by booking a full apartment or an entire house with a couple of friends and splitting the cost.

6.) Don’t be afraid to say no

Members of the wedding party inevitably end up outspending everyone else thanks to the wedding attire, shoes and the pre-wedding parties they’re required to attend. Most of these costs are dictated by the bride and groom. If you’re asked to be a bridesmaid or an usher and you know you can’t afford the associated costs, don’t be afraid to explain your position to your soon-to-be-married friends. They’ll likely understand, and either accept your declination or make some adjustment to their plans so you can be part of the wedding party.

Here’s to a season of affordable and joyous wedding celebrations from all of us here at Destinations Credit Union!

Your Turn: How do you save money on wedding expenses? Share your best ideas with us!

SOURCES:
https://lover.ly/planning/news-tips/guest-guide/sneakiest-ways-save-money-attending-wedding/

https://www.moneycrashers.com/tips-save-attending-wedding-guest/
https://lover.ly/planning/news-tips/wedding-101/why-youre-about-to-spend-700-on-every-wedding-this-season-ouch/
https://www.theknot.com/content/amphtml/save-money-as-wedding-guest

Is FIRE A Viable Goal For Everyone?

Q:  I’m hearing lots of talk about early retirement and I’ve been wondering about thismature couple dancing concept for a while. I love my job, so I don’t really see early retirement as a goal. To me, life without work while I’m still in my physical prime is boring and meaningless. But how can so many popular influencers be wrong?

A: While it sounds like a dream to be able to retire before you hit 40 and to be financially secure enough to walk away from your job without worrying about paying the bills, early retirement is not all sunshine and butterflies. There are many challenges and pitfalls associated with early retirement that you won’t read about in the romanticized accounts of popular bloggers who have achieved their goal of FIRE (Financially Independent, Retire Early).

Also, as you correctly assume, early retirement is not for everyone. Here’s why:

1.) Boredom breeds discontent

There are some personality types that loathe the corporate world and a typical 9-5 job. These people hate being told what to do and feel stifled or constricted by a traditional work setting. They have loads of outside interests and hobbies they’d pursue, if only the majority of their waking hours weren’t spent at the office. For these employees, a responsible early retirement can indeed be a path that leads to fulfillment and happiness.

Lots of people, though, are perfectly content with their day jobs and feel fulfilled and productive when engaged in their work. For these employees, leaving the structure and social configuration of the workplace while they are still in their productive prime can lead to depression and a physical decline well before old age sets in.

Where do you stand? An early retirement might be an interesting idea if you’re a highly creative and independent sort who feels stifled at work. Similarly, if you have dozens of interests you would pursue without the structure of a typical workday, early retirement may be an attractive path. But, if you know you’d be bored after a few months of retirement, you’d be best sticking around your job as long as you can.

2.) You’ll miss your years of peak earning potential

Why bail out of your career just when you’re hitting your peak earning potential?

Using data from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series business and investing website, Visual Capitalist found that the biggest jump in salary across all levels of income earners happens between ages 30 and 40, with those who are pulling in higher salaries seeing the greatest increase closer to age 40. If you pull out of the workforce in your early 30s, you stand to miss out on the years in which you reach your peak earning potential. Also, even if you retire at age 40 or 50, each year you are out of the workplace means a higher loss since you’ll likely have reached your highest income level during that time. And, if your employer has a 401K match, that means missing out on a lot of free money.

Where do you stand? If you’ve already hit your peak earning potential, and you have enough stashed away to keep you going, this may not concern you. However, if you feel you haven’t yet hit your best earning years, you may want to stick around the workplace for a while longer.

3.) You likely don’t have enough money to retire early

Some financial bloggers like to boast about their frugal post-retirement lifestyle, but how many of us can honestly look forward to off-the-grid living for more than a few years, or even a few months? If you can’t hack the super-cheap life for long, can you really afford to retire early?

Consider these numbers: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person spends nearly $46,000 a year post-retirement. A survey by GOBankingRates found that 42 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 14 percent have nothing saved at all. Even if you have a handsome retirement fund, it may not be enough to keep you going for half a century or more.

Keep these two factors in mind when you crunch the numbers:

  • You won’t be eligible for Medicare until you turn 65. Walking away from your job can mean losing out on your health coverage. If you get hit with a sizable medical expense before you find adequate coverage, you may be forced to drain your retirement savings to cover it.
  • You may have to pay an early withdrawal fee on your retirement funds. If you take out funds from your 401K, traditional IRA or Roth IRA before age 59 1/2, prepare to pay a 10% penalty.

Lots of early retirees still pull in an income through a money-making hobby they enjoy, such as blogging, selling on Etsy or YouTubing. This can be a great way to keep those retirement funds from running dry.

Where do you stand? If you’ve worked out the numbers and you know you’re financially secure enough to retire early, you can keep the option on the table. However, if you’re not sure you’ve put away enough money for retirement, you may want to push it off until you can afford to retire comfortably. Once you leave the workforce, it will be that much harder to re-enter.

4.) You won’t be contributing to society

Life is most meaningful when we’re working to make the world a better place. Whether you’re a heart surgeon, an estate lawyer, a florist or an electrician, your job is likely helping to change people’s lives for the better. Once you bow out of the workforce and spend your days chasing endless thrills or pursuing the ultimate in relaxation, you’re no longer impacting the same way. Like boredom, living selfishly can ultimately lead to dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

Where do you stand? If you have a plan in place for volunteer work, or for contributing to your community in a meaningful way once you’ve retired, this may not affect you. However, if you plan to indulge in years of pure pleasure and relaxation, you may come to regret an early retirement.

Your Turn: Do you believe that early retirement is a good idea? Why, or why not? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.lifehacker.com/early-retirement-is-not-for-everyone-1792176454/amp

https://www.financialsamurai.com/the-dark-side-of-early-retirement-risks-dangers/
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.marketwatch.com/amp/story/guid/89FBC4B8-5860-11E8-B3CC-E89561607806
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.fool.com/amp/retirement/2018/11/05/3-reasons-its-not-always-a-good-idea-to-retire-ear.aspx

8 Side Hustles Anyone Can Do

Who wouldn’t love some extra pocket money? These freelance jobs don’t require any woman driving two young men in a carexperience and can be done by practically anyone. Plus, some of them might pay you for tasks you’re already doing! Read on for eight easy side hustles and to find those that may be right for you.

1.) Play with dogs

This job is for true animal-lovers. Why not earn some extra cash watching your furry friends? When you offer your services as a dog-walker or pet-sitter, you can charge as much as $25 an hour, depending on the going rate in your area. To get the word out, you can hang up flyers to advertise your services or sign up with Rover, an Uber-like service that matches up pet-owners and sitters for a small fee.

2.) Social media guru

Yes, your Facebooking talents and clever tweets really are marketable skills. You can offer your services to local and remote businesses as their social media brander. Depending on your skill set, you can write the company blog posts, manage their Facebook page, post new pics on Instagram and send out their tweets. You’ll need to get a feel for the core values and mission statement of the company you represent, but otherwise, it’s just doing what you love on your favorite social media platforms!

3.) Yard work

Do you wield real power with a weed-whacker? Are you an expert lawn mower? Get paid for tending to people’s yards. You can charge by the hour or per job. You may also want to do a survey of other local yard workers to get a good idea of fair asking prices.

4.) Take online surveys for pay

Make the time you spend online count by taking surveys on sites like Survey Junkie, Inbox Dollars and Swagbucks. Most of these sites are easy to use and will pay you as soon as you complete a survey. It’s a quick, easy way to pad your wallet with extra cash.

5.) Turn trashed items into treasure

If you’re crafty and love working with your hands, this one’s for you!

Late spring is the perfect time for finding discarded pieces of furniture in the trash. Take a spin around the neighborhood, scouring each block for curbside furniture in decent condition. Haul your finds home and get to work, refinishing, painting, changing drawer pulls and more to give the tossed piece of furniture new life. When you’ve finished glamming up your treasure, put it up for sale at a local flea market, sell it to a second-hand or consignment shop or market it online through eBay or Craigslist. If you really work at it, you may be able to turn a trashed piece of furniture into several hundred dollars.

6.) Work for Uber

The ride-sharing giant gives the term “flexible job” new meaning by allowing you to set your own schedule and decide just how many hours you want to devote to driving passengers.

If you don’t like the idea of strangers riding in your car, you can work for Uber Eats instead. With this sister service of Uber, you get paid to pick up fast-food meals and deliver them to customers. Uber Eats offers the same flexibility and great terms as the original Uber and, in some locations, you can even deliver the food on a bike or scooter. It’s a fantastic way to boost your income without committing to long hours or hard work.

7.) It’s fair time!

Summer is the season for local fairs of all kinds. Spend some time researching community fairs in your town and the surrounding areas. Is there one scheduled that features a special talent of yours? If you know you can bake a mean pie or you’ve been told your caramel fudge is to die for, try your hand at competing in a fair that features these competitions. You can earn hundreds of dollars in award prizes just for doing something you enjoy. Plus, there’s no limit to how many fairs you can enter each summer, so you can do this over and over again.

8.) Teach and tutor

Are you a geometry whiz or a genuine science buff? Offer your services as an individual tutor for school-aged children this summer and you’ll have a meaningful way to earn extra money. You can help a struggling student work through summer homework or pass makeup exams so they earn their promotion to the next grade. You’ll be using your brains to make a difference in a child’s life while making good money on the side.

If you’ve got a spectacular talent outside the classroom, you can use it to make money this summer by teaching it to students who want to learn how to do it, too. Specialized instructors like guitar teachers or art coaches can charge a pretty penny per session.

While it helps in some cases, you don’t need special training or credentials for earning extra pocket money. Use this list to find the side hustle that works for you and start boosting your income.

Your Turn: Do you have a side job you love? Tell us all about it in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/part-time-jobs-to-boost-income-4126475

https://workfromhomehappiness.com/internet-jobs/
https://financebuzz.com/ways-to-make-extra-money?utm_source=GoogleAdWords&utm_medium=SearchNetwork_g&utm_campaign=Side_Hustle_1067542500_54291646725&utm_content=340099491830&utm_term=best%20side%20hustles&mt=e&device=m&devicemodel=&targetid=kwd-296390838139&target=&keyword=best%20side%20hustles&campaignid=1067542500&adgroupid=54291646725&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzsuumIz84QIVh1cNCh1B0AnVEAAYASAAEgJpg_D_BwE

8 Ways To Avoid Getting Scammed On Craigslist

The arrival of spring and the deep house cleaning it inspires means more people are woman on cell phone looking upsetputting their old furniture, devices, sports equipment and clothing up for sale. That’s why the amount of items like these on sites like Craigslist swells considerably during this season. If you have the time and patience to sift through the offerings, there are wonderful treasures to be found. Conversely, if your own spring cleaning unveils hordes of sellable stuff you don’t use anymore, you can make good money selling them online.

Unfortunately, though, when there’s money to be made, the scammers are never far behind. Craigslist is riddled with scammers looking to make a quick buck off people’s naivety. Stay one step ahead of scammers and keep your money safe by following these eight tips when using Craigslist.

1.) Be familiar with Craigslist and the services it offers

Lots of Craigslist scams can be avoided by knowing basic information about the site. Before using Craigslist, make sure you know the following:

  • The Craigslist URL is http://www.craigslist.org. Scammers often use fake sites to lure buyers into paying for items that don’t exist. Always check the URL before finalizing a purchase.
  • Craigslist does not back any transaction on its site. If you receive an email or text trying to sell you purchase protection, you’re looking at a scam.
  • There is no such thing as a Craigslist voicemail service. If a contact asks you to access or check your “Craigslist voicemails,” you’re dealing with a scammer.

2.) Deal locally.

The “barely used” couch that’s up for sale a couple of states over might be better-priced than the one being sold just a 10-minute drive away, but it’s always safer to deal with locals on Craigslist. According to the site’s advice on avoiding scams on their platform, you’ll avoid 99% of the scams on Craigslist by following this rule.

Keeping your transaction local will enable you to finalize a sale in person. Plus, there’s less of a chance of there being a language barrier blurring the details of the deal.

3.) Examine the product(s) before finalizing a sale.

Never rely solely on pictures to get the full scope on what you’re buying. Ask to look at the item in person. If you’re purchasing an electronic device or something else that needs to work in order to be valuable, ask to try it out as well.

4.) Don’t accept or send a cashier’s check, certified check or money order as payment.

Fraudulent checks can be impossible to fight. Also, a bad check can seem to clear on sight, so you’ll agree to the sale and use the money that’s supposedly in your account. A few days later, though, you’ll realize the check bounced. By that time, the buyer has vanished with your goods, leaving you responsible for covering the funds you used while presuming it cleared.

On the flip side, if you pay for an item with a money order or wire transfer, you’ll have no way of recouping your loss if the seller fails to come through with the goods.

5.) Use cash-safely.

The most secure way to pay or collect funds for a Craigslist transaction is with cold cash. If the idea of handing over a large sum of money to a stranger scares you, you can make the exchange of money and goods in a safe place like your local police station or even at Destinations Credit Union.

When accepting cash for a sale, bring along a counterfeit detector pen (which can be found at most office supply stores and online) to be certain you’re not getting scammed with bogus bills. These retail for as little as $5, but they can save you from big losses.

6.) Never share your personal information with a buyer or seller.

As always, when online, keep your personal information to yourself. There’s no reason a buyer or seller needs to know your checking account number, your date of birth or even your mother’s maiden name. If a contact is asking too many questions, back out of the deal.

7.) Be wary of fake escrow service sites.

Escrow services, in which a company holds onto a large sum of money for two parties in the middle of a transaction, can be super-convenient when buying and selling things online. However, they can also be a clever trap for unsuspecting victims. Scammers often create bogus escrow service sites to lure victims into dropping their money right into the scammers’ hands. The site will be a copycat of a reputable escrow service site, with some slight deviations you wouldn’t notice unless you looked for them.

When using an escrow service site, it’s best to find the site yourself instead of following a pop-up ad or a link. Check the site carefully for spelling mistakes and poor syntax. Also, make sure the URL is secure and matches the site of the service you intend to use.

8.) Create a disposable number.

When conducting business on Craigslist, you may need to share a working phone number. You can create a cost-free, disposable number on Google Voice instead of giving out your real number. Your Google Voice number will be untraceable and will expire within 30 days of non-use.

Your Turn: Have you ever been targeted by a Craigslist scam? Share your experience with us in the comments.

SOURCES:
https://www.fraudguides.com/internet/craigslist/

https://www.craigslist.org/about/scams
https://www.thestreet.com/amp/personal-finance/craigslist-scams-14707309
https://www.efraudprevention.net/home/templates/?a=96

Which Features Should I Look For In A New Car?

Q:  I’m in the market for a new set of wheels, and the choices are making me dizzy. How family getting car keysdo I decide which features to look for in a new car and which to skip?

A:  Shopping for a new car can be complicated-but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of research and some time spent determining what’s important to you, you can make a choice you’ll be happy with for years to come. To help you out, we’ve created a list of key features you might want to consider in your new car, as well as a list of features you can skip.  When you know what features you want, you can easily shop all of the available inventory in the area on one simple car buying site at Destinations Credit Union.

Must-have safety features

  • 360-degree camera: This camera takes the risk factor out of backing up by giving drivers a bird’s-eye view of the car. This way, drivers can see the entire area surrounding their vehicle and check for children and objects in their way.
  • Evasive steering: Keep yourself safe even in the event of surprises on the road with this handy new feature. Evasive steering will provide you with additional steering support when you’re in danger of colliding with another vehicle and your own steering efforts are not sufficient.
  • Blind spot alert: This feature alerts the driver when there is an object or pedestrian in direct line of their blind spot.
  • Forward collision warning: If you’re prone to distraction while behind the wheel, you might want this feature. It provides a visual and/or audible alert when your vehicle is heading toward a forward collision.
  • Automatic emergency braking: Stay safe with this feature, which automatically applies the brakes when it senses a vehicle in your car’s way. Some systems include pedestrian detection as well.

Convenient features

  • Automatic keyless entry: This feature was created for those moments when you’re staggering toward your car with armfuls of grocery bags: it automatically unlocks a car’s doors when it senses a nearby fob.
  • Head-up display: You don’t have to risk swerving every time you want to check out your car’s display. With a head-up display, you can see important information, like your fuel level and speed, right on your windshield. Displays are dim enough so they don’t block your visibility, but clear enough to easily read.
  • Power tailgate: If you plan on hitching a boat, ATV, or another large vehicle to the back of your new pickup truck or SUV, you might want to shop for this feature, because it lets you lower and raise your tailgate with the push of a button.
  • Multi-zone climate system: Family road trips are peaceful again with this feature, which allows for different climate controls throughout the car.
  • Speedy USB-charging outlets: No more unbearable waits for your gadgets to power up! You can now buy a car that charges your device super-quickly.
  • WiFi hotspot: Stop eating up your phone’s data-just plug into your car’s WiFi instead. Some in-car hotspot services charge a monthly fee after a complementary introductory period, but these tend to be cheaper for unlimited data than a similar data plan through a mobile phone carrier.
  • Heated steering wheel and driver’s seat: This one is for those frosty mornings when your car can’t get warm quite fast enough.
  • Wireless charging pad: Leave the wires at home! Just place your phone on one of these pads and it will start powering up. These super-techy gadgets use induction to charge your device and work with most new smartphones. If your phone is aging and won’t charge on an induction pad, you can buy a special case to bring it up to speed.

Fun-to-have features

  • Home assist device connectivity: Telling your phone to crank up your AC or to shut off your oven is old news. But, did you know you can now do the same for your car’s controls? Some new cars allow you to use remote voice control with home assist technologies, like Alexa, for your car. You can tell the assistant to set the temperature in your car, unlock doors and even get your favorite playlist going while your hands are busy making lunch.
  • Rear entertainment systems: No more backseat fighting! This feature gives the rear seat of your car a completely separate entertainment system.
  • Sound enhancement: If you’re an incurable gearhead who needs to actually hear your car revving up, you’ll love this feature. It simulates the performance experience of your vehicle, even in a car that is built to be quiet, so you can listen to your engine roar itself to life.
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay: Leave your phone in the cup holder and avoid dangerous distraction with these features. Both will sync your smartphone’s interface with your car’s infotainment system so you can use the car’s screen for controlling your phone and keep your eyes on the road.

Features you can skip

  • Bigger wheels and thinner tires: The look might appeal, but the ride will be less comfortable. Plus, your wheels will be more prone to damage from potholes and other obstructions on the road.
  • Built-in navigation systems: Please don’t pay extra for a navigation system when you know you’re going to use Waze or Google Maps most of the time anyway. Also, most built-in navigation systems require constant and tedious updates.
  • Lane keeping assist: This feature automatically steers or brakes your car when your vehicle crosses lane markings without turning on a blinker. It sounds tempting, but in real life, it’s more annoyance than convenience. Often, you’ll need to suddenly cross a lane marker for good reason, like moving over for an emergency vehicle or for a cyclist on the shoulder of the road. Plus, according to Consumer Reports, there is no data that proves this feature has any safety benefits for the driver.

Before you start shopping, call, click, or stop by credit union to hear all about our auto loans. We have fantastic rates to get you behind your new set of wheels!

Your Turn: Did you buy a new car recently? Tell us about the features you chose and why they made it to your list.

SOURCES:
https://www.consumerreports.org/automotive-technology/must-have-features-to-get-in-next-new-car/

https://www.hotcars.com/must-have-car-features-for-2019/
https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/cars-with-the-most-high-tech-features-for-the-money