Unity One Credit Union

Credit union informs: Budgeting for #FirstTimers

Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 12:26 PM / by Alyssa Guillory posted in financial education, wwk wealth advisors, #FirstTimers, Unity One Credit Union, save money, financial decisions


Moving into apartmentWhen it comes to money, there's certainly no shortage on ways to spend it - food, rent, retirement savings, entertainment. In fact, there are so many ways to spend money it can become confusing. 

Following a simple budget now can help make sure you don't make a mistake that could drastically limit your financial options for years to come. 

1. Rent - 25-35%. Sean Weaver, certified financial planner at WWK Wealth Advisors, suggests spending "no more than 25-35% of your income on your rent or mortgage." What you spend on housing can easily upset your whole budget, so be careful to not overspend. 

2. Essentials - 15-25%. Depending on how much you spend on housing, this amount can vary. Essentials can include items such as insurance, utilities and loan payments. You should aim to spend no more than 50% of your total take-home pay on rent and essentials.

3. Goals - 20%. Consider putting at least 20% of your take-home pay towards your financial goals - saving for retirement, paying down credit card debt and building an emergency fund. Aim to automate your savings each pay period for an easy way to save consistently.

4. Lifestyle Choices- 30%. It doesn't really matter what you spend your money on in this category - latest fashion trends, newest technology gadgets, dining out with friends - as long as you're aware of what you are spending. The less you spend, the easier it is to achieve financial freedom.

Follow Unity One on Twitter @UnityOneCU for more updates to our #FirstTimers series. 

Follow Unity One on Twitter


Established in 1927, Unity One Credit Union is the oldest credit union in Texas. A member-driven and not-for-profit cooperative, Unity One CU served the employees and families of the BNSF Railway for 70 years. However, after transferring its corporate headquarters to Fort Worth in 1998, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include other non-railroad companies, organizations and individuals.

Today, anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Fort Worth, Blue Mound, Saginaw, Haslet, Keller, Colleyville, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Southlake, St. Paul, MN and Kansas City, KS may apply for membership. Unity One CU has seven branches to serve over 30,000 members nationwide. For more information about Unity One Credit Union, visit www.unityone.org. Think outside the bank.™ www.unityone.org

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Teens and Money

Fri, Oct 19, 2012 @ 05:01 PM / by Erayne Hill posted in credit union, teens and money, financial decisions


teen mowing lawnTeens and money don't always go together, but your credit union has some solutions. Here are three ways your teen can earn some cash, begin acting responsibly and make financial decisions for himself/herself.

  • Lawn Care: Chances are your teen is already helping out in the yard. Take it a step further, and encourage him/her to ask neighbors if they need any help pulling weeds, mowing the lawn or planting flowers. You can also help by driving him/her around the neighborhood to look for yards that need mowing or extra care. Create fliers listing services at low prices, and build a client base.
  • Pet Sitting: People always want to make sure their pets are well taken care of. Tell your teen to offer his/her services to make sure pets are fed, nurtured and cleaned. According to about.com, pet-sitting fees can range $5-$15 per visit, depending on the number and type of pets, the number of times visited and what the client will want.
  • Tutoring: What's your teen's favorite subject? He/she can help others succeed. So, why not charge for the help? Advertise in the neighborhood, through friends, at church or at activities.

Finally, remind your teen to PYF or "pay yourself first," and always use his/her Unity One account  to keep money safe.

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A credit union COO's advice to his 21-year-old self

Fri, Aug 24, 2012 @ 09:56 AM / by Erayne Hill posted in credit union, credit unions, financial decisions


Credit union COO

By Scott Ward, Chief Operating Officer of Unity One Credit Union

Want a great conversation topic? Here’s one: “If you could have a face-to-face meeting with your 21-year-old self, what advice would you give?”  I’ve had more than one person ask me that one, and it can be both entertaining and enlightening. Recently, our Web boss asked me to write my answer with the caveat “about money and finances.” I’d like to think it was because I’m now wise about the subject matter, but just as likely, she wants to keep this brief, and I’ve got an awful lot to tell that young man.

In August of my 21st year, I was off to my senior year of college. I was an economics major and would be putting some money in my pocket from my first “banking” job, working part-time at a savings & loan near campus.

As odd as it may sound, through my schooling and that job, I actually knew more about what it took to operate a financial institution than what I knew about being a customer / member of one. Financial literacy education hadn’t been part of my curriculum in high school or college. After my dad taught me how to balance a checkbook, I pretty much did what seemed to be right, but often times, my financial decisions were based on my “wants” rather than my “needs” and certainly wasn’t based on a solid financial education.

With that, here’s my checklist for that hypothetical conversation with the 21-year old me.

  • Your dad meant it when he told you to keep track of your checking account balance. Those NSF fees are going to kill you.
  • That credit card offer? Throw it away. Stay debt-free while you can and you certainly don’t have the income to take on payments. The need for credit will come soon enough – just not now.
  • Credit cards should be for emergencies only – not so you can buy stuff you otherwise can’t afford. Comparing card offers, paying attention to rates, grace periods and annual fees. Choosing a credit card based on what it costs is way more valuable than the t-shirt they give you for applying.
  • How you pay your bills matters. Pay on time, and keep your credit score clean. If you don’t, your future auto and home purchases will all be more expensive just because you were too selfish or lazy to pay on time.
  • When you start working in the “real world," try to keep that part time job. You’re young, you’ve got the time and energy, and the extra money will come in handy.
  • PAY ATTENTION: Start saving 10% of everything you earn. It is a habit that should last your lifetime. You can live without a few of those “nice to have” things for a while. Saving early in your life, despite the challenge, is so worth it.
  • And now that I’ve convinced you to save, you may have read about that hot technology company that went public earlier this year that has already lost about half its value? Believe me, Apple stock is a steal at $1.81 a share…..

Scott Ward has been in the credit union industry 20+ years. Raised in Wisconsin and beginning his banking career in Minnesota, Ward relocated to Fort Worth with Unity One CU. He is currently the president of the award-winning Fort Worth Chapter of Credit Unions.

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Family Financial Decisions

Thu, Aug 23, 2012 @ 12:59 PM / by Erayne Hill posted in credit union, credit unions, financial decisions


Latino familyProvided by Jimmy Grigsby, a financial representative with Allegiant Wealth Management, a MassMutual Agency; courtesy of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual)

What is the sign of a good decision?®

It’s considering what’s best for your family when making financial decisions.

Although the American family has always been affected by economic shifts, the recent downturn has compelled many to reconsider their roles and relationships, to reevaluate their priorities and, in many cases, to simplify their active lives.

Families, finances and feelings

A recent study commissioned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and conducted by Forbes Consulting Group in 2009 titled, State of the American Family: Families, Financial Attitudes & Planning, focuses on families and finance.

The vast majority of family decision makers feel strongly about the well-being of their families and make many sacrifices to better the lives of their loved ones. They make conscious choices about things they consider important in their lives – their kids’ education, family and friends, and how they spend time and money. Yet, families are uncomfortably aware that future financial goals often take a back seat to the conveniences and necessities of daily lives. A slumping economy has made them question what they can do to maintain lifestyle priorities while improving long-term financial security.

Family first

A majority of families agree that raising their children is the most important thing in their lives and are willing to sacrifice job advancement to care for their children. They also consider what’s best for their families when making financial decisions.

Many parents want to help their children avoid the mistakes they made and have already begun seeking ways to educate their children about personal finance.

It’s never too early to start saving for college

Family decision makers endorse preparing early for the cost of their children’s college education and for teaching their children about personal finance. They are more likely to pay for college than to expect their children to foot the bill themselves.

The vast majority of parents believe it is never too early to begin saving for a child’s education, but when faced with competing financial demands, good intentions and reality often part ways. Half have started to save for college, and many agree that saving for their children’s education should be a higher priority. Unfortunately, there are still others who know they should be saving for their children’s college education but don’t have the money to start.

Responsible but not ready for retirement

Americans are caught between providing financial support for their children and saving enough money for their own retirement. Perhaps due to declining availability and access to pension plans, most people believe that saving for retirement is now an individual’s responsibility.

However, despite widespread acceptance of individual responsibility for retirement planning, “planning avoiders” say they have too many immediate financial concerns to save for retirement. Of those that are actively trying to save, very few feel confident that they are on the right course.

Do you sometimes feel caught between providing financial support for your children and saving enough money for your own retirement? Are you concerned that you aren’t doing the right things to prepare for your family’s future? Get help – contact your credit union or a trusted local financial professional to help you assess and address your family’s needs.

To learn more or access helpful materials, speak with your a representative of your credit union or a local financial professional and visit www.massmutual.com/families.

© 2012 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA 01111-0001 

Jimmy Grigsby is an agent of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) with Allegiant Wealth Management, 10000 N Central Expressway, Suite 1200, Dallas, TX 75231.

He is a registered principal of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning services through MML Investors Services LLC, Member SIPC, 10000 N Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75231 Phone# 972 348 6343.

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