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Youth Blog

Dos and Don'ts of Creating Strong Passwords10/9/2020

Check out these helpful Do & Dont tips and keep them in mind for the next time you are updating or creating a new password.

 

Cyber Security

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5 Tips for Moving out for the First Time10/2/2020

Moving Out for the First Time

Moving out for the first time is extremely exciting. It can also be a bit overwhelming, especially if you haven’t had a lot of responsibility before in terms of living on your own. But in between the excitement over finally snagging your own place and the apprehension over having to leave your comfort zone, is a list of things that need to get done in order to make moving out for the first time as seamless of a process as possible. Check out these 5 tips that are designed to help alleviate the stress and dissolve the mystery of moving out for the first time.

Get your finances in order

Let’s start with one of the most stressful parts about moving out for the first time: financing your new life. Even if you have a job or student loans to help you out, it can still be incredibly worrisome to suddenly take over the task of not just paying your rent but also paying to stock your fridge, keep your electricity and internet running, and to buy all of the home essentials that somehow magically appeared in front of you before.

Start by tracking your monthly income and find out what your average monthly expenses are. List off non-negotiable payments like car expenses, groceries, phone bill and more. From here look at how much income you will need and how much you can afford and want to spend on rent.

Figure out how much you’ll have left over after rent, and then subtract utility costs. The utilities you are responsible for depend on where you’re living and what’s already included in your rent, but may include water, electric, gas, internet, and phone. Do some research to find out what water, gas, and electric tend to cost each month in your city and pick a phone and internet plan that are comfortably within your budget. As for what’s left, you’ll need that for other essentials, like food, toiletries, and transportation.

Don’t get discouraged by this process. It can be frustrating to see your budget dwindle as you take out more and more responsibilities associated with living on your own, but it’s better to know what you’re working with than to overspend and end up in a sticky financial situation.

Secure a steady job

Now that you are evolving into young adulthood you probably feel like you have a lot to learn, and no place will teach you faster than the workplace. Most young adults start off in entry-level positions in industries that are not known for large paychecks. However, do not let that discourage you, use this job as an opportunity to showcase and build your talent.

Keep in mind: If your entry-level job does not cover rent, maybe it is not the right time to move out. Start your job and create some stability before you move out of your parents’ house.

Find a suitable place to live

Now that you have your finances in order and have secured a steady job, it is time to find a place to live. It may take time to find the right place for you to call home. Do not rush it, there are plenty of places you can search for a new apartment online, consider starting with your social media profiles. Get the word out and let family and friends know you are searching for an apartment with great rental rates. Make sure to let them know the location you are looking to live and your desired price range. In addition to family and friends you can utilize websites like Craigslist and Apartments.com.

Be sure you stick within your rent budget. It can be tempting to choose an apartment slightly out of your price range because it is nice, but you will likely regret it down the road. Search for a location that is close to work or other areas of interest. And lastly, make sure your home is safe. If the rent seems too low, check the crime rate in the area before signing your lease.

Practice good habits before you move out

You may have been living an easy life without having to do too many chores or watch your budget while living at home with your family. It is time to start changing those habits to make the transition easier down the road. This can be an easily forgotten step in how to move out smoothly.

Before moving out pay attention to your cleanliness habits and step them up a notch. Track your spending and start sticking to your budget now so you can have an accurate picture of your spending habits before moving out. If your parents have been buying all your food start buying some for yourself and easy yourself into food preparation.

The most difficult part perhaps could be setting yourself up with a daily routine. Prepare yourself for entering the work world. Set an alarm clock for earlier in the morning to make the adjustment a little easier on your previous sleeping habits.

Do not be afraid to ask your parents for help

They’ve likely done this before, at least a few times, so they’ll be able to help you understand what to expect. Ask them to help you map out anticipated moving expenses, including all the little things. They may also have some input on what you should do before moving out of their home.

They are probably going to miss having your around – give them the opportunity to take care of you while they can and just make them feel good!

So, whether you are moving out to attend college or its time to start your new journey to young adulthood these first few steps can help you get on your way. Remember we are always here for you as you evolve into your next chapter in life. Set up an appointment with one of our credit union experts and discuss our savings options that can set you up for a bright financial future!

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Start Saving for College TODAY9/11/2020

Saving for College

College can be really expensive these days! There are few ways to avoid the big cost of college if you are planning to go. Those that attend college, on average carry about $40,000 in student loan debt! That is just on average, depending on the program and school you choose, it could be far more expensive.

While these numbers may be intimidating, there are plenty of ways you can help prevent yourself from drowning in student loan debt.

Many young people expect their parents to pay for their education. However, this is not an option for most kids, and it should not be. After all, it is your education, why wouldn’t you pitch in?

Below you will find some tips that will help you establish healthy money habits and ways to help you save money for college.

Start Looking for a Job

From working a full-time summer job to a part-time job after school, a job is a great way to earn money for college. A job will not only help you put some money aside for school, but you will also gain valuable work experience that will help you land a more serious job after graduation.

There are plenty of job opportunities for teenagers. If you enjoy the outdoors, consider looking at working as a camp counselor for summer camps. If you really want to make some money for your college fund, try applying to restaurants in your area. Waiters and waitresses can make a good income off tips. One of the best things about the restaurant industry is you can apply for these jobs anywhere! Even when you are at college you may want to look into a part-time restaurant job near your college.

If the restaurant industry does not interest you there is plenty of work for cashiers and stock clerks. These positions can be easy to land even without a ton of work experience and would make a great first job. Also, keep in mind most jobs come with perks like employee discounts. If there is a particular store you like, consider filling out a job application.

Open a Savings Account

Now that you are going to be making all this money with your new job, you are going to need somewhere to put it. To make sure you are actually putting money aside for college rather than spending it, open up a savings account with Health Advantage Credit Union.

A savings account with Health Advantage CU is a designated safe place to hold your hard-earned money. The idea is that you will consistently contribute to your account and watch it grow. Think of your savings account as the grown-up version of a piggy bank. You want to leave the money alone and only access it when the time comes to pay for college. The best way to make sure you are consistently putting money into your savings account is set up a portion of your paycheck to be direct deposited into your account.

Now that you’re ready to start putting some money aside for college and your new savings account is going to help remove the temptation to spend your college money, it’s important to know that you will earn a small amount of interest on the total amount in your account. That’s right, we will pay you a small percentage of your total savings if you keep your money in your account.

Learning how to maintain your savings with your new account will teach you basic financial habits that will help you throughout your life.

Get in the Habit of Saving Money Vs. Spending it

This almost goes hand in hand without saying, but if you want to save up money for college, you are going to have to change your spending habits. When you first start making money there is the temptation to treat yourself, but this is an adjustment you are going to have to make.

Like we said previously, college is expensive. Unless you want to graduate with tens of thousands of student loan debt, you are going to have to start putting a decent portion of your paycheck aside.

To get in the habit of saving money and not spending it, you are going to need to remove temptation. If you come across something you must have, try waiting 24 hours. If you can still justify why you need the purchase after a waiting period, you can make the decision.

Make sure to remember, when it comes to savings, no amount is too little. Even if you receive money as a birthday gift, consider putting a portion into your saving fund. You will not regret it!

Apply for EVERY Scholarship You Can

When the time finally comes to apply for college and after all your hard work saving up for it, make sure you look into scholarship opportunities. Scholarships are essentially free money you can put towards your college tuition that you do not have to pay back.

There are plenty of scholarships out there that the average student is not aware of. Even if you do not have the most impressive grades or athletic ability, it is still worth looking at the scholarships that your chosen college offers.

Many Scholarship receive a low number of applicants because some students do not have to worry about paying for college themselves. Take advantage of the low application rates, you never know what you may qualify for. When looking into scholarships think about how little time it takes to apply to a scholarship and compare it to how many hours you would have to work to earn that same amount of money.

The best thing about scholarships is you can apply for them every year you are enrolled in college!

When the time comes, don't forget to reach out to your Health Advantage Financial Experts for any questions you may have! 

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What is the difference between Debit and Credit?9/11/2020

Debit vs Credit

You’re standing at the checkout and the cashier asks, “Credit or Debit?” But what does this really mean? Isn’t it the same thing? We are here to let you know how it works!

Credit Cards

“Credit” or a line of credit, is essentially a loan that you have to pay back. When making a purchase on a credit card, you are borrowing the money, and promising to pay it back at a later date. This helps show you are responsible and helps build up a good credit score. This is very important because when it comes time to rent an apartment or buy a car, you are going to be in good shape! Credit cards are really helpful but only if you use them responsibly.

Debit Cards

Using your debit card on the other hand is automatic. When you use your Health Advantage CU debit card, the funds are coming directly from your checking or debit account. You have to make sure you don’t overdraw your account and use more than you have available to spend. Take advantage of Health Advantage CU’s mobile banking app, Touch Banking, to check your balance before you head off shopping.

If you have any further questions about Debit vs. Credit feel free to reach out to one of our Credit Union Experts!

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4 Benefits of Teen Accounts9/10/2020

Youth Accounts

It is time to trade that piggy bank in for a youth debit or savings account with Health Advantage Credit Union.

Getting a grasp on one’s own personal finances from an early age can make all the difference for an individual in the long run. When you have the opportunity to take your finances into your own hands you will gain a deeper appreciation for financial literacy as young adults. A youth debit or savings account can be one of the first steps into securing a strong financial future with benefits that can last a lifetime. Below are four benefits of an HACU youth debit or savings account.

Independence

The number one benefit of our teen debit account Evolution or our youth savings account is independence. When opening a personal debit or savings account, you are being entrusted to keep tabs on your own funds. For those who hold a part-time job, you will not have to go to your parents and ask for money! Having to work and earn the money yourself makes you put a little more thought into how it is spent. 

When one earns their own money, they tend to be more attuned to how it leaves their account. With our Evolution debit account or savings account you have the ability to budget, reference previous spending, and gain insights into where you can curb your overspending. This will start you down a bright path of understanding that your financial future lies directly with the choices you are making now.

Checking Account Advantages

Life without a debit account like Evolution can be a bother. Having access to your accounts online or through our mobile banking app opens a world of ease and opportunity. You can benefit from all the perks of having a checking account like online shopping, paying bills online and make choices for yourself about your own spending habits. 

Learning Financial Literacy

Not everyone grows up in a family where money is openly talked about or taught. When you have your own money in your own account, you tend to take your finances more seriously. Beyond the ease of automatic payments for bills you can learn how to make your money work for you.

Building a strong financial base and the financial literacy to go along with it can have a major return on investment in the future that goes beyond monetary figures. By having a solid grasp of banking, you will be enabled to take full control of your financial future and may even pass some of your learning onto family and friends.

Developing a Personal Banking Relationship

There are many other benefits to holding an account at Health Advantage Credit Union where you will develop a relationship with credit union experts. For starters, you will be able to utilize many of the other services we have to offer. Health Advantage is more than just a place to keep your savings and checking accounts.

Getting to know your credit union experts is like having your own financial cheerleader. Our credit union experts are always here to cheer you on when the going is good and help lift your spirits when you slip up. They will get to know your spending habits and will develop ways to assist you beyond just verifying a deposit.

There are benefits that extend well beyond the few mentioned here. As always, Health Advantage Credit Union is always here to help answer any questions you may have along the way. Let us help you get on the right track for financial success and take advantage of life!

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10 Ways to Start Earning Money 9/10/2020

Washing Car

Earning money at a young age can teach anyone valuable lessons about hard work, money management and independence. With the right attitude and drive you can start earning money; to help you start we have created a list of 10 ways you can start making money TODAY!

Become a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter

There are many pet owners out there who struggle to give their pets the attention they deserve. Whether it is their busy schedule or they are gone on vacation pet owners are always looking for a trustworthy person to look after their pet. Dogs tend to require a lot of attention, especially the hyper breeds. They need regular walks and lots of play time! Unfortunately, most adults cannot set aside enough time to keep their dogs happy.

Dog walking and pet sitting can be a great way for you to generate some extra money if you like spending time with dogs and cats. There are even apps that can help connect you with pet owners who are looking for a little extra help.

Tutor Younger Kids

If you have good grades are willing to extend a helping hand to younger kids, you could start your own after school or weekend tutor service. Sometimes parents do not have the time to sit down or even know where to begin helping their kids with homework, but they would be willing to pay someone who can help.  

Wash Windows

Window washing is one of those chores most people tend to avoid doing. If you are willing to put in a little extra hard work, you could have what it takes to get the job done and earn some extra money. All you need is some glass cleaner and cloths!

Run Errands

Between work and everything else adults need to get done they run out of time to do the little things. Let the adults in your neighborhood know that you are happy to run to the corner store for them for a tip.

Clean House

If you have noticed a pattern here, adults seem to have a lot to do and not enough time to get it all done. If you are looking to earn some extra cash offer a house cleaning service to your neighbors. There is always vacuuming and dusting that need to be done. Do not forget about the fridges and stoves that can be a pain to clean! If you are willing to do it you could earn some good money cleaning houses.

Take Paid Surveys

Some paid survey websites may require you to be over the age of 18 but, there are plenty that are open to those younger too. With parental permission you could start earning money and gift cards from the comfort and safety of your own home by filling out online surveys and questionnaires.  

Maintain Lawns

Almost everyone thinks to mow lawns, but not everyone thinks of maintaining them. Weeding can be annoying and time consuming for adults. Offer to remove weeds and maintain lawns to earn some cash.

Have a Garage Sale

Are your parents always complaining about all the junk in the basement and garage? Offer to help clean out those spaces and if there are items they want to get rid of have a garage sale and keep the cash.

Start Washing Cars

Everyone likes to drive around in a nice clean car, but some people struggle to find the time to go to the car wash. Even automatic car washes can be expensive and have long lines. Ask some of your neighbors if they would be willing to pay to have their cars washed by you. This is a great job during the summertime to make some extra money while being outside in the sunshine. All you will need is a hose, soap and a sponge!

Detail Cars

While car washing is more of a traditional job for youth, there is plenty of money that you could earn if you know how to properly clean the inside of a car. Professional cleaners can charge over $100 to detail a car. Not everyone can afford that, but some would be willing to pay you less to do a good job.

Start with your parent’s car. Take some before and after photos and use those to show your neighbors what an awesome job you will do!

We gave you ten different ideas, now it's up to you to put in the work and earn the cash! Good Luck!

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