A phishing scam is when scammers use email or text messages to try to illegally collect personal information like passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. Their intent is to defraud victims by using that information to gain access to your email, bank accounts, credit cards, or other accounts.
Phishing is sometimes difficult to detect because the email or text could look like it comes from a reputable company or someone you know. Be on alert if the message:
says they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts
claims there’s a problem with your account or your payment
says you must confirm some personal information
includes a fake invoice
wants you to click on a link to make a payment
says you’re eligible to register for a government refund
offers a coupon for free stuff
To protect yourself, ensure that your computer and mobile phone have security software that updates automatically. This type of software often blocks scam messages. Protect your banking and credit card accounts by requiring more than one credential to log on, like a security question or face recognition. Make sure that your data is protected by backing it up on a device that is separate from your home network.
If you receive a phishing email, forward it to the FTC at email@example.com and to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you receive a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726).
We are pleased to announce that Lisa Brumleve has joined the LG&W Federal Credit Union staff as our new Business Development Manager! In this role, Lisa will identify and implement strategies to help grow our Credit Union and foster new relationships with MLGW. Lisa has extensive experience in client development and notably served as the Business Development Manager for the Downtown Memphis Commission for nearly 10 years. Welcome to our Credit Union family, Lisa!
Source: BALANCE Financial Guide
Holiday spending is often a spending plan-buster. The expenses can be numerous: presents, wrapping paper, cards, decorations, food, and travel, to name a few. Yet very few people have an unlimited holiday budget. If you do not have the funds to buy everything you want, there is no need to despair. A little bit of creativity and energy can get you through the holidays without draining your wallet.
Why spend $75 to buy a scarf if you can knit it yourself with $15 yarn? Making your own gifts is a great way to save, since supplies usually cost less than the finished product. Not only are homemade gifts cheaper, but many people appreciate them more than store-bought gifts because of the effort that goes into making them.
Are you not an experienced crafter? No problem. Writing a letter describing what the person means to you or framing a memorable photo are ways to give personalized gifts without having to break out a glue gun. Baking is another option that is easy for most people to do. Standard cookies or brownies can be dressed up with sprinkles and ribbons in holiday colors.
Offering your services is a great cost-saving gift, since it only costs time. Why not offer a free night of babysitting to your sister with three kids or a month of lawn-mowing to your parents? Think about what service you want to offer, and create a coupon that the recipient can redeem at a later date.
Now that you have taken the time to choose economical gifts, you probably do not want to spend $50 wrapping them. Skip the fancy wrapping paper and bows, and look around the house to see what you can use. Do you have a newspaper? (The comic section is an especially suitable choice.) Computer paper? Shopping or supermarket bags? Cheap craft supplies, such as glitter and paint, can be used to decorate plain surfaces.
It is not uncommon for store cards to cost $4 a piece – or more. If you sent cards to 20 people, that would cost you $80, not including postage. Creating your own cards can help you save,
Source: BALANCE Financial Guide
A checking account is a contractual relationship between you and your financial institution, with each party having specific responsibilities:
Rejected or Bounced Checks
If you write a check for more than is in your account, the check will be rejected when it comes in for payment. It will be sent back to the person who deposited it and you will be charged for “bouncing” it. The merchant you wrote it to will not only charge a returned check fee, but the law enables the merchant to charge you for up to three times the amount of the check. In addition, you may be subject to court proceedings and be required to take special classes on money management. One bad $12 check could cost you a lot of money!
Do not write a check before you make a deposit, counting on the “float” time. With the electronic nature of banking, a check can clear the financial institution the same day you write it.
Many financial institutions will offer you overdraft protection through your credit card or
Source: BALANCE Financial Guide
Wouldn’t it be nice to adapt to change easily and gracefully? To offset the wallet-shock an unexpected life change can bring? You can.
Whether you have one year or one week to adjust to such monetary upheavals as marriage, divorce, a growing family, or military deployment, you can sail through financial foul weather – as long as you PLAN for it.
Prepare: This first step will help you understand how much money you have to work with. It is vital to putting together a practical strategy for the future. If you don’t already have your financial documents in one place, it may require a little hunting and gathering (and once you do, keep them accessible, be it on your computer or in a folder in a corner of the kitchen. Be and remain organized for the next inevitable change).
You will need recent bank and credit card statements for account balances, current loan papers, pay stubs with income, tax, and deduction information, and your checkbook register for household bill information.
Have it all together? Good. Now carefully examine and notate your current income, expenses, assets and liabilities. You will need all this data for the next step in your PLAN…
Source: BALANCE Financial Guide
Your relationship with food is probably pretty complex. In addition to sustenance, you may use food for comfort, gathering with others, distraction or pleasure. When you really commit to tracking your food expenses as part of putting together a spending and savings plan, you realize food can be a complicated part of your financial life too. While meals are of course a necessity, take a look at your food-buying habits. Odds are that there’s room to save.
Eliminating “extra” expenses like dining out or buying pricey steaks is a good place to start. But also keep in mind that a successful food-purchasing plan isn’t just about cutting things out. It’s also about understanding your habits.
Going out to lunch at work
You may grab “a quick bite” at work because it’s easy. But it might actually take you less time at home to put together the same meal. Then you get to spend more of your lunch period at work relaxing, going for a walk or reading a book. Or you could just spend the time thinking about the hundreds of dollars you will save this year by brown-bagging.
Convenience store or check-out aisle buys
If you actually look at the prices, you realize that the mark-ups on the quick-grab items near store cash registers are incredibly high. But that’s just the thing. Stores realize you don’t stop to examine and consider prices in those situations. If you find yourself reaching for a pack of gum or some candy as you are about to check out, instead, make a commitment to stock up ahead of time and keep these items in your car or your purse or your desk. By buying them online or at a bulk retailer, you could pocket a bunch of extra dough.
The fast burger or taco for $0.99 sounds like the perfect recipe for our modern sensibilities; we want food in a hurry and we don’t want to pay a lot. While the speed of delivery may be enticing, the end price may not be all that great. Consider: how many times have you gone to
Not that long ago, people looked forward to retirement as a time of relaxation and leisure when one might travel the world or take up a new hobby. Increasingly, however, people preparing to retire are doing the math and realizing that the future doesn’t look so bright financially. The following 10 guidelines will help you enjoy a more comfortable retirement even in an uncertain economy.
1. Have a Plan But Stay Flexible
Retiring successfully takes planning. Take an honest inventory of your assets, savings, investments, and set some goals for your retirement. Consider what you’d like to be doing, where you’d like to live, who you want to be near, and what kind of lifestyle you prefer.
While you need a plan you also need to be flexible and open to unexpected changes. Keep yourself informed about the latest developments in areas such as the cost of living, tax laws, investments, real estate trends, and other areas that are likely to have an impact on your life.
2. Watch Your Spending
Overspending is a common mistake for many retirees. The paradox about not working is that you have less money coming in but more time to spend your money. It’s natural to want to fill up all your free time with eating out, shopping, traveling, and other leisurely pursuits. It’s important to set a budget and stick to it. You don’t have to cut out all entertainment and treats. However, make sure you don’t spend beyond your means.
3. Find New Sources of Income
It’s an unfortunate fact that people in the United States and many other countries are postponing retirement because they can’t afford to stop working. Some employees, meanwhile, are forced into retirement. There are, however, alternatives besides working full-time and complete retirement. Here are a few possibilities.
4. Get Out of Debt
Reducing or eliminating debt is one of the best ways to improve your financial situation. Debts are especially draining after you retire. Do whatever you can to cut down on what you owe, especially high-interest debts such as credit cards.
Paying off debt provides two main benefits. On the one hand, it reduces the burden of making high payments when your income may be decreasing. Additionally, you have a chance to improve your credit score which is useful if you want to apply for a mortgage, business loan, or another type of loan in the future.
5. Don’t Touch Your Retirement Account Early
Withdrawing money from your retirement account early may be tempting but it’s seldom a financially wise decision. You also incur tax penalties if you take money out of an IRA or 401K before retirement age (currently 59.5). If you’re thinking about raiding your retirement
Everybody looks forward to summer vacation, but as we all know travel can be expensive. If you’re looking to squeeze a getaway into your budget this summer, here are some tips for traveling on the cheap and getting the best deals.
Go in the Off-Season
During the hottest summer months, business at popular vacation spots like Arizona
and New Mexico tends to slow down dramatically. If you can take the heat, you can
score some great deals at premium resorts, golf courses, and other attractions during the off-season. Just remember that the off-season is also when many of these places perform annual maintenance and major construction projects. If, for example, a pool is important to you, make sure the resort you’re visiting won’t be renovating it while you’re there.
Buy a Package
When considering a last-minute getaway, travel packages that combine flights, hotel, and sometimes meals, can be the best deals out there. The key is to be flexible on where and when to go.
Get the App for That
These days, there’s a travel app or website for pretty much everything – including
tracking down the lowest priced flights, hotels and travel packages. A few to consider include Kayak, Hipmunk, Momondo, Airfare Watchdog, and Skyscanner. Each has a slightly different focus, so try out several to see which ones work best for your needs. Keep in mind that some of these sites do not carry regional airlines, which often have good deals. And, when you do find a great flight deal, take a look at the airline’s website since some deals are only available when you book direct.
Thanks to the generosity of our members, our Credit Union is helping people across our community. This month, LG&W Federal Credit Union made a $500 to MLGW's Plus-1 Program, which provides one-time utility assistance to people facing unforeseeable financial hardships.
Please join us as we celebrate a successful year at LG&W Federal Credit Union on Sunday afternoon, April 7, 2019. Registration begins at 1:30 p.m. and the meeting begins at 2:00 p.m and will be held at LG&W Federal Credit Union, 1616 Whitten Road, Memphis, TN 38134.
Our BALANCE Financial Guide is dedicated to helping you balance life’s important decisions.