Financial Education

Education is at the heart of what we do. Learn how to take control of your finances to improve your financial well-being.

 

Check out our latest radio spot from the 100.5 WRCH Morning Show! Team members Tony and Laurie highlighted our community programs designed to teach young students about banking and finances.

 

Mike: It’s 8:25, It’s Al and Mike and Mary in the morning, three scoops a day and it’s brought to us by Thomaston Savings Bank. We’ve got a couple of in studio guests that are all about financial wellness and training for our young people which I think is amazing. Al: Sure is. Mike: Ben and Jake, when they entered Middle School, the first question they had was how much is your parent’s mortgage. This was in 6th grade and it’s like, none of your business. But you know what, it is important to learn how to budget. Would you please introduce yourselves, our guests are here from Dutch Point Credit Union. Good morning. Tony: Good morning. My name is Tony Sacchetti from Dutch Point. Laurie: And I’m Laurie Mornhineway, also from Dutch Point. Mike: Excellent, Tony and Laurie are here. You guys are working with Middle Schools and High Schools and offering financial training, like actual courses to be able to help them be more fiscally responsible adults, so tell us a little about your work. Tony: From our perspective, financial education is something we believe in firmly and we’re very involved in the community, we’re active in the community, and no matter where we go, any types of groups or individuals we speak with are very much interested in what our mission is and what types of financial literacy programs we provide. Al: You’ve got quite a few schools, you have the Carmen Arace Middle School and over at Newington High School you do a bunch of work too. Mike: So how in depth do you get? Do you go over budgeting? Applying for credit cards? Applying for a loan? I mean what types of things are you talking about with students? Laurie: At Carmen Arace in Bloomfield, I start off with what is money from the barter system. Mike: That’s important. Laurie: Reading a paystub. Mike: Excellent. Laurie: Basic budgeting, how you should budget your bills and base your bills on whether it’s your gross income or net income. Mike: Do you teach them that they should be taking the lion’s share and putting it in savings? Laurie: We always teach to pay yourself first. Mike: Pay yourself first, that’s an excellent lesson. Laurie: So I say that whether it’s five dollars or fifty cents, pay yourself first. Mike: Early, because that’s compound interest. Al: I thought I was helping the bank when I was doing late fees with my first checking account and they sat me down and said let’s have a little chat. So you hit them before they hit the workplace, that’s pretty great. Laurie: And then just basic, what’s the difference between a savings, checking, how to write out a check, credit card, debit card. Mike: Now when you get into High School, do you advance and talk about besting as well? Laurie: Right now, I am only in the Middle School and I would love to get into the High School. Mike: That would be awesome. I think that’s an important lesson and they key to telling students that as soon as they start working they should start a retirement fund so that you are taken care of. Tell us a little about Dutch Point Credit Union as a credit union. Where are you guys located and what services do you offer? Tony: We are located primarily in Hartford County, we were founded in 1960 and we offer a full range of financial services. Mike: I want to buy a car, do you do car loans? Tony: Oh, absolutely, that’s kind of our bread and butter. Mike: Nice. Tony: Any type of deposit account, any type of loan. Mike: Do you still do the old-fashioned Christmas Club? Tony: We do. Mike: I like the Christmas Club. You don’t feel it, you don’t feel the pain when you’re putting $20 a week in a Christmas Club and you get a big check and you’re going shopping. Tony: That’s it, systematic savings. Laurie: We actually have a better account and it’s called Save to Win. Mike: Oh, tell me. Laurie: Where you can deposit, it’s a one-year certificate and you can deposit every week out of your pay check, or monthly, however you want to do it, for every $25 you deposit, you get what we call a virtual entry to win additional cash during the year. Mike: Very nice. Do you have a website where people can go to get more information about Dutch Point Credit Union? And what is the website? Tony: It is dutchpoint.org Al: Awesome, excellent, Laurie and Tony, thank you for coming in this morning, we appreciate it. Tony: My pleasure.

Creating a budget will decrease stress for better health, free up time so you can do the things you enjoy, and give you greater control over your finances.

When creating a budget, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I spend more than I make?
  • Do I pay myself last and have yet to establish an emergency fund?
  • Do I charge purchases instead of saving for them?

If you've answered yes to any of these questions, you may benefit from creating a blueprint for your personal finances.

Here are three steps you can follow to create an effective budget.

  1. Establish your goals. Where do you want to be financially six months from now, a year from now, and even five years from now? Use this resource to list your short, medium and long-term financial goals.
  2. List all your income and expenses. Give yourself a better understanding of what's coming in and what's going out. This monthly cash flow worksheet will help you to balance income and expenses.
  3. Create a manageable budget and remember to pay yourself first. Identify any spending leaks and take steps to correct them, and remember to pay yourself first by including an emergency savings plan as part of your budget. 

Borrowing is an essential part of your financial freedom. It can help you achieve financial goals that might not otherwise be possible. Building and maintaining positive credit will save you money and give you peace of mind knowing you have the ability to access funds when you need them most.

The Significance of Your Credit Report and Score

Your credit score is a number that represents how likely you are to repay a loan. Your credit report provides detailed information about your identity, your borrowing habits, and past and present loan obligations. Your ability for loan approval and the interest rate you will pay is partly determined by your credit report and score.

There are many factors that determine your credit score. As a component of our dedication to financial literacy, our personalized credit review program was designed to help you understand your score and provide tips to maintain a positive credit history. We aim to provide you with a solid financial foundation so you can save money on interest rates and rest assured that your credit is on target.

Learn more and sign up for a personalized credit review today.

Tips to Use Credit Wisely

Here are some suggestions on how best to use credit:

  • Charge small amounts and pay your bills on time
  • Refrain from maxing out your credit card limits and avoid cash advances
  • Maintain a healthy mix of credit
  • Open new accounts sparingly and only as needed

Rebuilding Credit

If you've had past credit pitfalls, rebuilding your credit will be important for future borrowing opportunities. Knowing where to start is the first step in rebuilding your credit portfolio.

  • Pay off any collection accounts or past due obligations
  • Establish a savings secured loan or secured credit card
  • Automatically fund an emergency savings account to avoid future delinquencies
  • Make an appointment for a personalized credit review with one of our specialists
  • Visit mycreditunion.gov to get access to a variety of educational resources, including videos, handouts, games and activities for all ages and life stages.
  • Understand why credit unions are the best option for conducting your financial business and gain access to in-depth financial blog entries at asmarterchoice.org.
  • 360financialliteracy.org, brought to you by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, can help you understand your personal finances and develop money management skills.
  • americasaves.org is a campaign coordinated by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and is dedicated to helping you save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.

Service, Convenience, Value

At Dutch Point, it's all about you. We empower you to make financial decisions that are right for you. We pledge to help you meet and exceed your financial goals through all the stages of your life.