Fundraisers for Cystic Fibrosis

Each year, AACFCU is a sponsor of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides Walks in Dothan and Mobile, and our branches plan several fundraisers to help raise money for the organization. Take a look at some of the fundraisers planned below and stop by to make a donation!

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7 Ways to Automate Your Savings

By Meg Favreau, Senior Editor of Wise Bread

Anybody who has ditched plans to eat a salad to scarf down a plate of nachos instead (like I did, um, yesterday) can tell you that even though we humans usually know what’s best for us, it’s sometimes difficult to actually do the right thing.

This is especially true when it comes to saving money — for emergencies, for retirement, or for almost anything else. But there is some good news. Studies show that once we do set money aside, we’re likely to leave it there. So how do we get ourselves to save in the first place? By automating! Here are six easy ways to do just that.

1. Sign Up for Your Company’s Retirement Plan 

If your company offers a 401(k) or 403(b), this is one of the best options for automatic savings. Not only do these retirement plans automatically put money you earn into a retirement account before you have the opportunity to spend it, but most employers offer a contribution match. That means that for every dollar you contribute (up to a certain amount), or employer will deposit an equal amount into your account. That’s essentially free money, and it’s one of the biggest benefits you can get at a job. Take advantage of it.

2. Split Your Direct Deposit 

If you have direct deposit, most employers will allow you to split your check between multiple accounts — so, instead of depositing all of your money into your checking account, you can set some to automatically go into savings.

3. Set Up a Regular Deposit to Savings

Even if you don’t have direct deposit, many banks will allow you to set up regular automatic deductions. For example, I have a checking account with a traditional bank, and I have a savings account with an online bank. I can set my savings account to automatically deduct from my checking account on every payday. The effect is the same as splitting a direct deposit — the money is in my savings account before I even know it’s gone.

4. Pledge to Save Certain Cash 

You’re probably most familiar with this concept in the form of a piggy bank– at the end of the day, many people automatically put the change in their pockets into a jar, often to save for a specific goal, like a vacation. But there’s no rule saying that you have to stick to coins. Instead,
pledge to set aside every $5 bill that comes your way — or even every $10. This is a great way to reach medium-term savings goals, like buying new furniture.

5. Use a Cash-Back Credit Card 

You should only follow this suggestion if you’re able to pay your credit card off in full every month and you won’t let credit card rewards and 0% balance transfer offers become an excuse for spending more than you normally would. If you fit this criteria, start making your purchases on a cash-back credit card. Then, at the end of every month, deposit that cash back directly into your savings.

Note from AACFCU: Take a look at our low rate credit cards. Our Platinum Rewards MasterCard gives you one point for every dollar you spend to be used for a variety of things such as airline tickets, household items and more. While you may not be able to redeem these for cash, you can use them to purchase other items that would normally come out of your monthly budget, therefore allowing you to save that original amount.

6. Automate Your Bills 

Most utilities, businesses, and even lenders now allow you to set up automatic payments. There are two ways that this helps automate savings. First of all, automatic payments ensure that you pay your bills on time, saving you from late fees and possible dings to your credit. Secondly,
sometimes you can get a discount for paying automatically — for example, some cell phone providers will knock $5 off of your monthly bill if you sign up for the automated system. If you do begin paying automatically, just make sure to check your billing statements regularly to ensure there aren’t any mistakes and you’re not being charged for services you aren’t using.

7. Sign Up for Your Financial Institution’s Round Up Program 

What if you could make yourself save a little bit every time you make a purchase? Several banks and credit unions offer “round up” programs that do just that. Every time you use a credit or debit card registered with the program, your financial institution will automatically deposit the
remainder of your change into a savings account. To get started, ask your bank or credit union if they offer this benefit.

Note from AACFCU: We don’t currently offer a “round up” program, but many of our members have found success in “rounding up” as they track their expenses in their register. If you don’t use a paper register, search for checkbook register apps on your smartphone or device. We’ve found several free apps that help you keep track of your account.

How do you automate your savings? Share your favorite money-saving tips for America Saves Week – an annual celebration of good savings behavior and financial responsibility.

Meg Favreau is the Senior Editor of money-saving blog Wise Bread — an award-winning website dedicated to help you live large on a small budget.

This America Saves Week: Take Action to Improve Your Financial Situation

By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Director

America Saves Week, February 24 – March 1, 2014, is a time to review your finances, decide what you want to save for, and set up a system that will allow you to save automatically. That’s why the America Saves Week theme is Set a Goal. Make a Plan. Save Automatically. Did you know that only half of Americans report having good savings habits? Even if you are already saving, it’s good to take a look at your goals and decide if you can save more or start a new savings goal. Join thousands of others who are pledging to pay down debt, save money, and take financial action during America Saves Week.

Not sure what to save for or what to save for next? Here are the most popular saving goals of those who have pledged to save through America Saves:

  • Save for Emergencies – Only 37 percent of low-to-moderate income households have a savings or money market account at a bank or credit union and nearly a quarter of savers who have pledged to save have chosen “emergency savings” as their first wealth-building goal. Learn more.
  • Save for Education – Saving for education is the second most popular goal savers select when they pledge to save with America Saves. There are many different things to factor in when saving and paying for college.
  • Pay Down Debt – Getting out of debt is the #3 goal Savers select when they pledge to save. That does not come as a surprise since a 2012 survey found that 45% of families with annual incomes under $50,000 rely on credit cards to pay for basic needs such as rent, utilities, insurance and food. Learn more. 
  • Save for a Home – For decades, home ownership has been the main path to wealth for most Americans. Today, home equity – the market value of a home minus the balance on any home loans – represents more than four-fifths of the typical family’s wealth. Learn more. 
  • Save for Retirement – Retirement savings is a top priority for many Savers. Saving for retirement now will ensure that you have enough money to maintain a comfortable standard of living when you stop or reduce the amount of hours you work. Learn more. 

Not sure how to save for your goals? Here are some saving strategies to help:

  • Save Automatically – The easiest and most effective way to save is automatically. This is how millions of Americans save at their bank or credit union, and how millions of employees save through 401(k) and other retirement programs at work. Learn more. 
  • Save at Tax Time – Do you spend weeks eagerly anticipating your tax refund? When the money finally comes in, is it gone tomorrow?  Many people view tax refunds as unplanned bonuses. They see the money as a gift from the government, to use for splurges or treats. But a tax refund provides the opportunity to improve your financial situation. Learn more. 

Take the America Saves Pledge (or re-pledge) today to set your savings goal and make a plan to save. When you take the pledge you can also choose to receive text message tips and reminders to help you save for your goal. And don’t forget to follow America Saves on Facebook and Twitter. 

America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council. Started in 2007, the Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.

AACFCU Donates School Supplies

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union (AACFCU) recently donated school supplies to school systems and other organizations in its service areas to assist students and teachers in the 2013-2014 school year. AACFCU employees and members brought school supplies to the Credit Union throughout the month of July.

Troy City Schools Troy, AL

Troy City Schools
Troy, AL

Windham Elementary Schools Daleville, AL

Windham Elementary School
Daleville, AL

Dale County Schools Ozark, AL

Dale County Schools
Ozark, AL

Volunteers of America Southeast Mobile, AL

Volunteers of America Southeast
Mobile, AL

Fort Rucker Primary School Fort Rucker, AL

Fort Rucker Primary School
Fort Rucker, AL

Enterprise Teachers Assistance Center Enterprise, AL

Enterprise Teachers Assistance Center
Enterprise, AL

Emerald Coast Middle School Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Emerald Coast Middle School
Santa Rosa Beach, FL

Dothan Education Foundation/Dothan City Schools Dothan, AL

Dothan Education Foundation/Dothan City Schools
Dothan, AL

Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center DeFuniak Springs, FL

Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center
DeFuniak Springs, FL

AACFCU Donates Cleaning Supplies to Local Organizations

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union (AACFCU) donated cleaning supplies to local organizations on behalf of its employees after a donation drive held in May. Pictured are AACFCU representatives along with representatives from the recipient organizations.

Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast

Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast, DeFuniak Springs, FL

Dale County Rescue Mission

Dale County Rescue Mission, Ozark, AL

Dothan Rescue Mission

Dothan Rescue Mission, Dothan, AL

Enterprise Retirement Center

Enterprise Retirement Center, Enterprise, AL

McKemie Place

McKemie Place, Mobile, AL

Troy Boys and Girls Club

Troy Boys and Girls Club, Troy, AL

AACFCU Donates $17,729 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

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Kirby Kangaroo, AACFCU’s mascot for its kids savings account, holds a check for part of AACFCU’s donation presented at the Great Strides Walk in Dothan, AL.

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union (AACFCU) donated $17,729 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) after a company-wide fundraising campaign in April and May. Because of the generosity of AACFCU employees and members, $12,729 was raised in donations while the Credit Union donated an additional $5,000 to the Foundation.
“We would like to thank our members and employees for supporting this organization,” said Lisa Hales, AACFCU vice president of marketing. “Being involved in the community is very important to the Credit Union, and we are grateful for the opportunity and support that allows us to be here.”

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union was founded 46 years ago by seven soldiers at Fort Rucker, Ala. on the principles of the “Credit Union Movement.” Today, AACFCU serves more than 109,000 members worldwide with 19 branches throughout Southeast Alabama, Florida’s Emerald Coast and the Mobile Bay Area.Mobile walk 4

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AACFCU team at the Great Strides Walk in Mobile, AL

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AACFCU team at the Great Strides Walk in Dothan, AL

AACFCU Donates $12,207 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at the Dothan, AL Great Strides Walk

AACFCU's children's savings account mascot Kirby Kangaroo

AACFCU’s children’s savings account mascot Kirby Kangaroo

Thank you again for your support of our fundraisers for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) in April. Thanks to your help, AACFCU was able to donate $12,207 to CFF from our Wiregrass area and Florida branches at the Great Strides Walk in Dothan, AL on Saturday, April 20.

Our Mobile, AL branches are still holding a few fundraisers for CFF until the end of April if you would like to donate to this organization. We will present our donations from these branches at the Mobile area Great Strides walk on May 18 at the Five Rivers Delta Resources Center. We’d love to see you there!

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