ACU News / Blog
WINNER - 2019 Summer Give-A-Way+
KANDICE STEWART of Gonzales won our Summer Give-Away! - a Weber Genesis II E-335 Gas Grill valued at $1,000! Congrats Kandice!!
Volunteer Ascension School Tools Drive+
Ascension Credit Union participated in the Volunteer Ascension School Tools Drive. The credit union was a collection point for the program. Supplies were delivered this morning by ACU Staff Members, Eddie Tanielu, Sharlene Begnaud, and Stefanie Lux. The credit union collected over $500.00 in supplies PLUS donated an additional $2,000.00. This program was supported by Ascension Parish businesses and was a huge success. Ascension Credit Union is the only local financial institution in Ascension Parish and is a proud avid supporter of our community.
Ascension CU provides lunch for AP Principals+
Ascension Credit Union was excited to provide lunch to Ascension Public Schools’ Principals’ Meeting attendees. The event was catered by Philay’s Catfish and More Restaurant and was held at Central Middle School. Following a presentation by CEO Lloyd Cockerham, a drawing for a $1,000.00 donation went to G. W. Carver Primary School (Rhonda Gillard, Principal). The credit union was established in 1974 for employees of the Ascension Parish School System, so it is always an honor for ACU to interact with APSB employees. There were 55 attendees that consisted of Superintendent Dave Alexander, Central office staff and school principals. Denise Graves, Asst. Superintendent, serves as an active board member of the credit union. She acknowledged the importance of the partnership between APSB and ACU.
2019 45th Anniversary Annual Meeting+
Ascension Credit Union held its 45th Anniversary Annual Meeting on April 17th, 2019 at Elegant Affairs in Gonzales with over 250 members in attendance. Chairman James Moore and CEO Lloyd Cockerham reported on the credit union’s financial stability. Members enjoyed guest speaker, Sheriff Bobby Webre, who is a long-time member of Ascension Credit Union. Dinner was served by Elegant Affairs, and multiple cash drawings occurred throughout the meeting with a grand finale of five (5) $450.00 cash giveaways. Also, Starsky made a special appearance!
2019 Extreme Color Run+
Ascension Credit Union had the pleasure of being one of the sponsors for the 2019 Extreme Color Run, signature event hosted by The Extreme Ranch Rodeo on March 9th. Hundreds of participants enjoyed the excitement of the color run and refreshments provided by ACU and other local businesses. There were other events going on during the Color Run including rides, exhibits, and more family-oriented activities. Several staff members represented the credit union at our booth and interacted with the community.
St. Elizabeth Family Fest+
On January 19th, hundreds of people from the community attended the 2019 St. Elizabeth Family Fest at Lamar Dixon. Ascension Credit Union participated as a prime sponsor for the event. The credit union provided a face painter and a balloon artist to entertain the children. Starsky, our new mascot, made an appearance and created lots of excitement among guests. Along with giveaways, the credit union had a drawing for an Apple watch.
Ascension CU Blog
(August, 2019) Young Members - Save for Something Special!+
Young Members - Save for Something Special!
Learning how to save money is important, whether you have a lot or a little. These tips will help you get started.
Step 1. Start at the Finish Line
To begin, start at the end. Yes, that sounds weird, but you need to know what you’re aiming for before you get started. Are you saving for college? Maybe you want to buy a car. Be clear in your mind about your goal. Post a picture of it where you'll see it every day to remind yourself what you're saving for.
Step 2. Keep Track of Your Spending
A lot of adults panic at this step, but it's not hard. Begin keeping track of everything you buy in a notebook, adding up the total at the end of the week. You can also use an online budget app, like Mint.com, to keep track of your expenses and totals.
Step 3. Make a Plan
To save successfully, your expenses should not be greater than the total amount you want to save each week. Let's say you want to save $35 every month for college and your allowance is $15 a week. That means you’ll want to save $8.75 each week. But if you spend $10 every week on fast food or snacks, that’ll leave you with only $5 to put into savings. If you spend less than $6.25 (15 - 8.75) per week on snacks and put the rest in savings, you’ll make your monthly goal.
Ascension CU has several youth programs to help you save.
Ask your parent to help you open an account and see how quickly your savings add up!
(July, 2019) 10 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping+
10 Ways to Save on Back-to-School Shopping
According to the National Retail Federation, the average American household spends $685 on back-to-school shopping for children in elementary through high school and $943 for young people going to college. Here are 10 ways to save this fall and throughout the year.
1. Create a checklist of items and stick to it.
Before you begin shopping, empty your kids’ backpacks to see what was left over from the previous year. Mark them off your checklist and then buy only the items still remaining.
2. Check to see if your state has a tax-free shopping holiday.
Some states hold tax-free holidays multiple times of the year for particular products. Check out www.taxadmin.org/sales-tax-holidays to see if your state is one of them.
3. Consider shopping without the kids.
They’re more likely to fall for the strategically placed items stores want you to buy. Backpacks and notepads with your kids’ favorite superhero or Disney character can be 30% or more expensive than generic kinds. If your children insist they need an expensive, trendy backpacks, buy stickers and have them decorate their less expensive gear themselves.
4. Comparison shop online before going into stores.
You’ll save on time and gas money.
5. Give your kids a clothing budget and a list of necessities.
You decide what items they must have, then with the remainder of the budgeted money, let them choose what they want.
6. Set up e-mail alerts for sales.
Websites like Dealnews.com, Bensbargains.com, and thekrazycouponlady.com will let you know when coupons or great deals are available for specific items.
7. Buy school supplies in bulk.
Although you’ll have a large initial expense, in the long run the supplies will be cheaper, and you’ll have them on hand for several months.
8. Follow your favorite stores and brands on social media.
You’ll be one of the first to find out when they’re offering deals and special promotions.
9. Go to garage and yard sales for clothing.
Websites like Garagesalestracker.com, yardsalesearch.com, and Craigslist.org are great online resources for finding bargains in your area.
10. Wait until August or September to buy your school supplies.
That’s when the prices drop significantly. You can even buy for the following year.
(June, 2019) Save on Your Vacation Lodgings – Do Your Research!+
Save on Your Vacation Lodgings – Do Your Research!
Vacations are meant to give you some much needed rest and relaxation. Since lodging expenses can eat up a huge chunk of your vacation savings, you’ll want to make sure you find the best prices for them.
Here are a few websites to help you find the best deals on lodgings.
If you’re strictly a hotel-type of person, check out: Hotels.com, Priceline.com which include filters that let you choose by star-class, reviewer ratings, neighborhood, etc. To get really discounted, last-minute bookings, use phone apps like SnapTravel and HotelTonight.
If you’re looking for lodgings for four or more people, renting a home may be the perfect choice. You’ll have the comforts of home, including a kitchen and laundry facilities, at a much better price than renting multiple hotel rooms. Check out Airbnb.com, VRBO.com, HomeAway.com, and VacationRentals.com to find hundreds of homes you can rent for a day or longer.
What if you really just need a place to sleep and shower? Check out Couchsurfing.com where you can even rent a person’s couch or guest bed for a few nights!
By doing just a little research, you can choose vacation dwellings that will let you and your budget rest easy.
(May, 2019) Financial Advice for New Graduates+
Financial Advice for New Graduates
You did it! You finally got your degree! Now it’s time to start handling all your own finances too (if you haven’t already started). Here is some financial advice to help you get a good start.
Student Loan Repayment
In about 6 to 9 months after graduation, you’ll have to start paying back your loans. Lenders give you that grace period so you can find your new job before you begin making payments. It’s important to know the total amount you owe and how much you’ll need to pay each month. There’s a repayment estimator online at: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/repaymentEstimator.action. If you have multiple loans, you may want to consider consolidating them, so you only have one monthly payment.
Another good resource that answers the most common student loan questions is: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand.
Create an Emergency Fund for unexpected expenses -- things like a car or laptop repair. Even if you’re paying off student loans, try to put at least $10.00 into a savings account each time you deposit a paycheck. Creating a cushion will help you avoid overusing your credit cards and getting into more debt.
Credit cards tend to have high interest rates, so try to use them sparingly. If you do use them, be sure to pay your monthly bill on time. Ideally, pay off the entire balance each month, but if that isn’t possible, then pay more than the minimum payment.
Stay on your parents’ health insurance policy until 26, if possible. If you’ve moved into your own apartment, get renters’ insurance. It’s not too expensive and it will reimburse you in case your apartment gets robbed, or your possessions are damaged by fire, severe weather, or vandalism.
Keep the electronic files of all your legal documents and contracts, but also keep a paper copy as back-ups and put them in a small filing cabinet or box. Also consider getting a fire-safe lock box to keep important documents like your passport, social security card, title for your car, and sentimental items.
(April, 2019) Spring Clean Your Finances+
Clean up your credit
Get a free annual credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting companies through annualcreditreport.com. Review each to see if there are errors and clear them up with the credit reporting companies.
Review regular expenses & purge
Do you really need all those online subscriptions? Do you eat out more often than you need to? See where you can eliminate expenses on things you don’t really use or can do without.
Shred documents you don’t need
Keep receipts until the warranties expire or the credit card statement arrives. Keep account statements and paystubs for one year, then shred them.
If there have been changes to your family, update your retirement and insurance accounts and review your will.