2019 Annual Meeting

YOU ARE INVITED TO OUR ANNUAL MEETING

When:
Tuesday, April 16th at 5:30pm until 7:00pm
(sign in from 5:00pm to 5:30pm)

Where:
The Berry Center
8877 Barker Cypress Rd
Cypress, TX 77433

Purpose:
Annual Reports and Board of Directors Election

Bonus:
Refreshments and Chances for Attendees to Win Prizes

Best Things to Buy in March

The Best Things to Buy in March

If you’re looking for deals this month, here is a list of the items that typically go on sale during the month of March:

  • Jewelry and Perfume -- Now that Valentine’s Day is behind us, demand for these items are slowing down. It’s a good time to buy presents for upcoming birthdays or even for yourself!
     
  • Chocolate – Stores that overstocked their supplies of Valentine’s Day chocolate will be trying to clear out their remaining inventory. Check their clearance sections for deep discounts on all Valentine’s sweets.
     
  • Exercise Equipment – Burn off those excess chocolate calories with new exercise equipment. Since the weather is improving, more people will go outside for their exercise. Retailers will begin discounting indoor equipment, like treadmills, hand weights, and yoga mats to move out old inventory.
     
  • Frozen foods – March is National Frozen Food month. Many brands like Dole, Green Giant, and Tyson will be offering discounts on their products. Look for multi-buys sales that require you to purchasing two or more of an item to get a discount.
     
  • Seasonal Produce – It’s time to harvest artichokes, oranges, spinach, avocados, grapefruit and carrots. Shop for these fruits and vegetables now when they’ll be at the peak of freshness and up to 50% cheaper than the rest of the year.
     
  • Craft Supplies – March is also National Craft Month. Look for sales, special events and classes at your favorite craft stores.
     
  • Cruises – Travel agents like to refer to the period from January through March as the Wave Season. That’s when you’ll find the best deals of the year.
     
  • Winter Sporting Gear – Prices on last season’s styles will start to fall, so if you want to have many choices at a discount, March is a good time to shop for skis, snowboards, and all the related gear.
     
  • St. Patrick’s Day Discounts – Keep a close eye out for discounts around this time. For example, restaurants often offer free, or discounted, items (likely colored green) on their menus. Amusement parks or entertainment venues sometimes offer special St. Patty’s Day discounts on their admission prices.

 

 

 

Managing Money as a New Couple

Managing Money as a New Couple

Did you find “the one” and have decided to get married? Congratulations! Here’s a little financial advice to help your marriage start off on a good footing.

Hopefully, you’ve already talked about your respective finances and how you usually handle your money. Does one of you pay your bills on time and the other often get late fees? See where you differ and where you agree. Find a compromise you can both agree upon. Incompatible views on how to handle money are a leading cause of discord among couples, so to avoid trouble in your future, have these discussions now.
 

The following tips should also help you and your spouse stay on solid ground financially:

  1. Write down your goals.
    Write down your lists separately and then compare them. See where you can compromise and work toward common goals.
     
  2. Decide whether to open a joint account.
    Some couples like to share one account, others like having their own personal account and another account for joint expenses, like rent, utilities, etc. Discuss which way you and your spouse want to handle your finances.
     
  3. Divide financial responsibilities.
    Which of you is better at paying bills on time? How much should each of you pay for your joint expenses? Make sure each of you is clear on what you’re responsible for and how much you must pay.
     
  4. Create an emergency fund.
    This should be a non-negotiable subject. Everyone should have an emergency fund to deal with unexpected expenses. Cars break down, laptops die, or one of you could lose your job. Relying on credit cards to cover the unexpected will only put you into more debt, so start an emergency fund now. Feed it a little each month until you have enough to cover at least 3 months of household expenses.
     
  5. Save for retirement.
    If both of you have a 401(k), then pat yourselves on the back. If you don’t, then look into starting some kind of retirement fund, like an IRA. The younger you are when you start a retirement fund, the more you’ll earn through compound interest. Your credit union can help you find a product that works best for you.
     
  6. Have regular meetings to discuss finances.
    Check in with each other on a weekly or monthly basis to go over expenses and discuss how you’re doing with your financial goals.

 

 

 

Financial Advice for College Grads

Financial Advice for College Graduates

For those graduating soon, you’re probably going to start handling all your own finances (if you haven’t already started). Here is some financial advice to help you get a good start.

Student Loan Repayment
It’s important to know the total amount you owe and how much you’ll need to pay each month. There’s a repayment estimator online at https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/repaymentEstimator.action. If you have multiple loans, you may want to consider consolidating so you only have one monthly payment.

Another good resource that answers the most common student loan questions is https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand.

Savings
Create an Emergency Fund for unexpected expenses -- things like a car or laptop repair. Even if you’re paying off student loans, try to put at least $10 into a savings account each time you deposit a paycheck. Creating a cushion will help you avoid overusing your credit cards and getting into more debt.

Credit
Credit cards tend to have high interest rates, so try to use them sparingly. If you do use them, be sure to pay your monthly bill on time. Ideally, pay off the entire balance each month, but if that isn’t possible, then pay more than the minimum payment.

Insurance
Stay on your parents’ health insurance policy until 26, if possible. If you’ve moved into your own apartment, get renters’ insurance. It’s not too expensive and it will reimburse you in case your apartment gets robbed, or your possessions are damaged by fire, severe weather, or vandalism.

Keep the electronic files of all your legal documents and contracts, but also keep a paper copy as back-ups and put them in a small filing cabinet or box. Also consider getting a fire-safe lock box to keep important documents like your passport, social security card, title for your car, and sentimental items.