Archive | July, 2013

Best Things to Buy in August

31 Jul

The Best Things to Buy in August list:

  • School supplies
  • Kids clothing
  • Swimsuits
  • Linens
  • Storage containers
  • Office furniture
  • Laptops
  • Wine
  • Travel : late august
  • Patio/grills

DO NOT BUY:

  • Fall clothing
  • Small screen tvs
  • Smart phones
  • Tablets (getting updates in sept)

Back-to-School Savings

29 Jul

Here is an article roundup to help with Back-to-School savings:

10 Back-to-School Shopping Tips that Save Money

Tip: “Hold off buying trendier gear like lunch boxes and pencil cases. Kids may love a version they find in July, but once they start school and see that their friends are all using another kind, they’ll beg you to upgrade them — and that only results in wasted cash.”

How to Save on Back-to-School Shopping

Tip: “Once you’ve decided where you’re going to shop, look for discounted gift cards to those stores on sites likegiftcards.com or plasticjungle.com.”

ShopSmart gives Five Easy Ways to Save on Back-to-School Stuff

Tip: “Ask for a price match.  Shoppers who find a better deal somewhere else can show their phone or a paper ad at checkout at stores with price-matching policies.”

Back-to-School Shopping Tips: Start Early and Save

Tip: “Before checking so much as a single back-to-school sales flyer, you need to know two things: what you need, and what you already have on hand.”

How to Save Money on Back-to-School Supplies

Tip: “Pay attention to limits. If you are a teacher, some stores will allow you to purchase more than the limit.”

Back-to-School Coupons

Coupons.com offers links to coupons that can be printed.

Wichita on the Cheap

Wichita’s own blog for finding deals.

Online Banking Upgrade

26 Jul

Central Star is upgrading the online banking system starting August 6th, 2013.

Central Star is committed to keeping your money safe while providing you with easy access to your accounts. We are pleased to announce a new security upgrade to your Online Banking account. This upgrade is based on new government guidelines for safe and strong user IDs and passwords to make Online Banking even more secure. These new security standards will make it even safer for you to monitor and manage your money while safeguarding against unauthorized access to your accounts.

Important Note: Beginning August 6, 2013, your member account number can no longer be used as your username.

This upgrade will include the following:

 

Strengthened Online Banking Username and Password

  • What to expect after the Online Banking upgrade

Beginning August 6, 2013, the first time you log in to Online Banking you will be guided through three easy steps to strengthen your account security. It will take about 5 minutes to complete the steps. The following screen will prompt you to get started:

Online Banking Upgrade Screenshot

  • FAQ (click link)

Check out our FAQ link above for details on how to update your username and password, what you will experience when you log in to online banking the first day after the upgrade, how you log in from another computer or mobile device, and more.

 

Updated Navigation Bar Within Online Banking

 

Enhanced Bill Pay

 

Strengthened Mobile App Security

  • What to expect after the Mobile App upgrade

Beginning August 6, 2013, a one-time passcode will be required to access your Central Star account through the mobile app. You will have the option to have this passcode sent to you via email, text or phone call. This authentication is a cookie-based setting and normally will only be required once after the upgrade is complete. Please refer to your device’s privacy settings for more information. This upgrade will occur on August 6, 2013, for Android users but will be delayed 4-6 weeks for Apple iOS users. In the meantime, members can still use their iPhones/iPads to access their account by going to the full site browser of our webpage to log in.

 

 

Supported Internet Browsers

Internet Explorer 8 and 9

Latest versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari for Mac OS X

Central Star no longer supports Internet Explorer 6 or 7 for Online Banking. If you are trying to access Online Banking through a browser that is no longer supported, you will be presented with a prompt asking you to upgrade your browser in order to continue.

Supported Internet browsers include the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari for Mac OS X

Helping Kids Learn about Budgets

24 Jul

It is very important to teach children about money. Teaching kids about money increases their chances of maintaining budgets and effectively saving in the future. Creating budgets with your children help them develop great financial literacy skills. The Moon Jar is a product designed to teach about saving, spending, and giving. You could easily make something similar. Speaking of making stuff, Pinterest would also be a great place to look for ideas to teach kids about money.

 

Further Reading:

The Mint’s Fun for Kids

(not to be confused with http://www.mint.com)

PBS Kids: It’s My Life (Money)

How to Introduce Money to Kids

4 Money Lessons for Children to Master

The Latest: Credit Union Growth on the Rise

22 Jul

Is credit union growth on the rise? It looks that way according to these articles:

Credit Unions Growing Again After Rough Recession Years

Credit Unions’ Rise Likely to Continue

Lower Costs Drive Credit Union Growth

Credit Unions’ Earnings Hit an All-Time High

Kansas Credit Unions Growth Figures Remain Strong

5 Things that Eat at a Budget

19 Jul

Everyone wants to use their money in the most productive way. So we decided to tell you five things that eat at your budget.

1. Daily drinks

Buying bottled water, soda, and coffee drinks each day will add up quickly over the month or year. Estimates are: $1,092 a year in savings. Alternatives are: making coffee at home, using a purification filter on your faucet, and carrying a reusable bottle.

2. Unused gym memberships

Most people buy gym memberships and rarely use them. Even if you use the gym regularly the money you would save can be substantial. Alternatives are: going for a walk/run outside, fitness dvds, or videos on Hulu, Netflix or Youtube.

3. Impulse buys

Buying things you don’t set out to buy. Retail environments are setup to make you buy more. Alternatives are: online shopping, waiting 24 hours to buy”good deals”.

4. Grocery shopping without direction

Always have a shopping list. We know not to grocery shop on an empty stomach, but not having a list is just as bad. Alternatives are: meal planning for the week, bringing a list, checking weekly sales ads.

5. Eating out for lunch

Spending a few dollars a day might not seem like a budget problem, but over time it adds up. Estimates state Americans spend $37 a week on lunch ($148 mo/$1,776 year). Alternatives are: bringing lunch to work, using coupons.

 

 

 

5 Steps: How to Apply for a Mortgage Loan

17 Jul

How to Apply for a Mortgage Loan

Step 1: Find a lender  

Choose the best lender for you. Central Star offers several loan options.

Step 2: Check credit report

Make sure that your credit report is accurate and credit history is cleaned up.

Step 3: How much can you reasonably spend

You might qualify for more than would be comfortable paying. Being “house poor” is when homebuyers spend too much.

Step 4: Apply for loan

After checking credit, deciding on an amount and saving a down payment, it is time to submit a loan application.

Step 5: Closing

Closing is the final step in the home mortgage process. Congratulations you are now a homeowner.

Further Reading:

Mortgage Application Tips

Mortgage Basics: Learn About Buying a Home

10 Questions to Ask When Applying for a Mortgage Loan

How to Qualify for a Mortgage Loan with Bad Credit