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Blessed By The Gift of Adoption

Years ago, after Bill and Cathy were married, they felt passionate about growing their family, not only biologically but also to provide a forever family for children who deserve bright futures and good families.

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personal finance
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How to Spring Clean Your Finances

By Jason DeGarmo, Vice President & District Manager, Fond du Lac As the weather gets warmer, it’s a perfect time for some spring cleaning – on your personal finances. Here’s how to do a deep clean: Set or Reset Your Financial Goals – This is a great time to establish and re-establish your financial goals.

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4 Steps to Buying Your Dream Home

Thinking of purchasing a home? Many dream of achieving this goal, but not everyone knows how to make it reality. Take the guessing out of the process by following these easy steps. Understand Your Credit Score: While it may seem simple, this step can easily be overlooked. Start your home buying process by checking and

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Setting Them Up for Success: Teaching Children the Value of Money

Though financial hardships are an inevitable part of adulthood, many issues can be prevented early on. When it comes to financial success, the earlier you start, the better. Teaching your children valuable lessons about money will prepare them for future triumph. Not sure where to start? Begin by proactively practicing these tips: Encourage Money-Making Opportunities:

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How to Budget the Stress-Free Way

Automating your budget allows you to systematically fulfill long-term goals. Having a plan takes the stress out of finances, while still allowing you the freedom you desire. Open the Right Accounts: Certain accounts compliment an automated budget more than others. Finding a checking and savings account that is fee-free and does not require direct deposit

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Making the Best of Your Tax Return: 5 Simple Steps

Lucky enough to receive a tax return? Congratulations! Before making any impulsive purchases, follow these five steps to make the most out of your return: Decrease Your High-Interest Debt: Once you’ve received your full tax return, start by reducing your debts. Making an extra payment on your high-interest loan is a great place to start. These

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Simple Interest Loans 101

By Jason Kaufman, District Manager – Milwaukee, Marine Credit Union A simple interest loan may be perfect for your financial situation. Here are the facts: On a simple interest loan, the interest is added to your loan each day instead of each month. The more times you pay towards your loan in a month, the

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Plan Ahead for Your Family Vacation

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing. But how can you relax when you’re stressed over your credit card balance because you didn’t plan (and save) ahead of time? Here are some tips that will help you prepare for your vacation, at least financially: Start a vacation fund. – Open a separate bank account. Set up

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Maximize Your Vacation Budget

In the past two years, I started a new job, my wife started a new business, we had two beautiful little girls and moved across the country. Needless to say my wife and I needed some alone time. When we decided it was time for a vacation, we didn’t really know where we wanted to

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8 Ways to Save for Your Next Family Vacation

Although it’s cold outside right now, it’s actually a smart time to start your planning for spring and summer family vacations. By getting a jump on plans, you can turn your financially strapped “staycation” into an unforgettable experience. Consider these smart saving tips: Set a price point and do your research. Make sure to identify

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Teach Them How to Save

By Mary Jo Healey, Market Manager in Des Moines, Marine Credit Union Saving habits can start at a very young age. Help your child create those habits now so they are set up for financial success later in life. They’re never too young. Once a child receives their social security number, they are eligible to

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3 Tips for Helping Your Child Get Money Smart

Take your kids with you to your bank or credit union. If you model a healthy relationship with your financial institution, your kids will grow up feeling comfortable and knowledgeable about the resources inside a bank or credit union. Making a point to say hello and interact with lenders or tellers teaches even young kids

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Put Your Budget on Auto Pilot

A budget is essential to financial success. Use these tips and start today! Make it easy. It’s important to have a budget to make your financial life easy and manageable. Use a free, online budget management tool to input your net take home pay, bills and monthly payments. Simple as that, you have a budget. Now

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Quick Tips for Money Management

Money management can be an intimidating for some and a breeze for others. It’s different for everyone depending on your living situation, employment and family life. Use these tips to get yourself started down the road of money management. Your financial situation can change at the drop of a hat. Review your budget biannually to

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Strategies When Saving for Holiday Gifts

By Mary Jo Healey, Market Manager in Des Moines, Marine Credit Union The holidays can be expensive, especially the gifts. So why not plan for it year-round?! Saving a small amount periodically throughout the year can make it very easy and much less stressful at the end of the year. Spend holiday occasions enjoying time

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Make Your Checking Account Work for You

A checking account is a checking account, right? WRONG! Checking accounts have become a “staple” of banking, but you have more options than ever before. If you’re going to have a checking account, make it work for you! Here are a few things to consider: Mobile capabilities How often are you on your phone? There

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Certificates of Deposit: The FAQs of CDs

By Ken Brossman, District Manager – La Crosse, Marine Credit Union What is a CD? A Certificates of Deposit, or CD, is a savings vehicle used to earn a higher rate of return on funds that you’re not planning on using for a certain period of time; for example three months to five years. They

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Does Online Bill Pay Make Sense for You?

Everything is done online now, right? Many businesses offer online payments for their customers. A customer can log into the business’s website and pay their bills electronically in a secure portal. For the past decade, many financial institutions have slowly begun to offer electronic bill payments or online bill pay. This feature allows customers to

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Home Equity 101

By Ken Brossman, District Manager – La Crosse, Marine Credit Union Home equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on the mortgage (or mortgages, if you have a home equity loan or HELOC). Let’s look at an example: The day you purchase your home Five years

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4 Smart Moves to Make with Your First Steady Paycheck

You landed your first full-time job, and more importantly for your wallet, your first steady paycheck. Congratulations! You may be thinking, “Now I can pay rent, my phone bill, credit card bill, school loans…” and the list goes on. You’re probably not thinking about savings accounts. Something your parents may have taught you early on

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Buying a House: Know the Benefits

At any point in life, your living situation may change due to a move in your career, family obligations, or just the need for a new adventure. Whether short or long term there is a decision to be made: buying or renting. Better tax deduction eligibilities are available for homeowners. You may be able to claim

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4 Ways to Make Home Improvements Fit in Your Budget

You’re thinking about making some changes at home. Your bathroom tiles are falling off the wall. Your family is too big for your kitchen table. Your teenager wants to move into the basement. Where do you start? Make a list of projects and rank them by priority. The list should include each (realistic) project cost, timing