How Do You Give Thanks This Year?

2020 has been a tumultuous time and because of that Thanksgiving will look a bit different this year.  Every year, people across the country travel and gather to not just eat a meal, but to participate in one of our nation’s most cherished traditions. Thanksgiving isn’t about turkey, football, or preparing for Black Friday. Thanksgiving is the one holiday we celebrate that focuses on what happens when unique individuals come together to form a cohesive whole, a family.  

This year many traditions will be put on hold. Many people will be spending the holiday away from family and friends due to COVID-19–related travel restrictions or safety concerns. 

This Thanksgiving is an opportunity to think outside the box. It may inspire you to throw out your traditional playbook and opt for an entirely new menu (maybe that’s something you’ve secretly wanted to do for years anyway). Or you may be seeking just the opposite, longing to replicate some semblance of your family’s Thanksgiving traditions because you find them comforting in these uncertain times. Perhaps you’re looking for thoughtful ways to show your family, friends, or community that you care even if you can’t do it in person. 

That spirit of family and every one of the people who make this credit union great is what we are most grateful for. We certainly hope that, for at least one moment on Thanksgiving Day, you can cherish the stories and the journey that everyone near or far took to be with you in person or virtually. On any other day, those moments can be very fleeting, but on Thanksgiving, they are a treasure, just like you.

From all of us here at allU.S. Credit Union, thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Filipino American History Month

During October in the United States, Filipino American History Month is celebrated.  The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) proposed the first annual Filipino American History Month to be celebrated in October 1982 with a resolution from the FANHS NAtional Board of Trustees.  In 2009, the U.S. Congress recognized October as Filipino American History Month in the United States.

The celebration of Filipino American History Month commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States, which occurred on October 18, 1587, when “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanzo and landed at what is believed to be Morro Bay, CA

Filipino Americans have deep roots in our region.  After the Spanish American War and as a result of the Chinese Exclusion 
Act of 1882 and the Asian Exclusion Act of 1924, Filipinos supplied a greater share of labor to the local agricultrual industry.  Like the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Mexicans before them, Filipinos were largely migrant workers and suffered racial discrimination.  One such episode occurred over a four-day period in 1930 in Watsonville, when Filipino American farmworkers were violently assaulted by residents opposed to immigration.  This episode, call the Watsonville Riots, highlighted the racial and socioeconomic tensions in California’s agricultrual communities exacerbated by the Great Depression.

The 2020 Filipino American History Month theme is the History of Filipino American Activism.  The FANHS chose this theme “to highlight the myriad ways Filipino Americans have participated in social justice movements, including but not limited to, the United Farmworkers Movement, the fight for Ethnic Studies, Hawaii Sugar Plantation strikes, Washington Yakima strikes, and Anti-Martial Law Movements across multiple decades.”

Celebrate Filipino American History Month by learning about the many Filipino American activists that have fought and continue to fight for social justice, such as labor activist Larry Itliong, by reading Governor Newsom’s Proclamation Declaring October 25, 2019, Larry Itliong Day.  Or learn about one of the many examples of Filipino American unionism on the West Coast, such as the Filipino Labor Union and its role in the Salinas Lettuce Strike of 1934.

allU.S. HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE

The countdown to Christmas has begun and the to-do lists are getting longer.  Did you know, in December Americans will:

·     Buy more than 30 million Christmas trees

·     Eat more than 22 million turkeys

·     Mail more than 17.9 billion cards, letters and packages

·     Spend more than $1 trillion on holiday gifts.

With all that’s going on the holidays can feel like a marathon and one that stretches your budget as well as your perseverance.  With a little planning and a few tips, you can finish this marathon with the happy memories instead of a pile of debt.  Below are our tips to help you keep your spending and to-do list on track.

Be a smart shopper

Gift giving takes a ton of effort and money, especially if you are having trouble paring down your gift list.  If your list doesn’t jive with your desire to spread Christmas joy here are some strategies for saving on your holiday shopping.  A few ideas for gift giving on a budget may be helpful as well.

Track your packages

Online shopping makes your life easier.  All you have to do is click and then wait for the package to arrive at your door.  What if the packages arrive when you are away? With over $100 billion in packages delivered to homes this month, this can be a tempting target for thieves. There are many ways to protect your holiday deliveries from the so called “porch bandits”.  Some may include having your packages shipped to your work or leaving special instructions for the delivery driver. 

Protect your identity

You not only have to protect yourself from “porch bandits” but it’s important to watch out for cyber thieves. They may not steal your packages from the front door, but they may hack into your computer and steal your credit card number or other important personal data.  These tips can protect you while shopping online.

Restore yourself in time to do it again next year

What if you did go a little overboard on the holiday spending this year?  It can happen to anyone!  Now you need a holiday recovery plan.  These tips will help you evaluate your post-holiday financial situation, pay-off any remaining debt and start saving for next year.

Now that we’ve shared holiday survival tips, you can sit back, relax and coast through the holidays. Well, you may not be coasting but you can at least enjoy the season knowing you’ve got your finances under control. 

Looking for more ways to shop responsibly?  Check out our Holiday Loans!  Rates start as low as 6.0% APR, which is lower than most credit cards!  This makes an allU.S.loan the thoughtful and responsible way to give. Also, with a flexible 12-month term, you can be sure your loan will be paid off in a year!

Happy Holidays from allU.S. Credit Union!

Happy Thanksgiving from allU.S. Credit Union

On behalf of all of us at allU.S. Credit Union, we genuinely appreciate your membership and support.  Membership continues to grow as more people become aware of the credit union difference.  We are pleased to offer trusted financial advice and services to the families of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.

As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins I would encourage you to do your best not to get caught up in the stress, but to sit back and enjoy the little things.  Savor the taste of the pumpkin pie, don’t fret if the turkey is a little dry and laugh until you cry with your family and friends.  

May the spirit of Thanksgiving bring you love, laughter, and prosperity.

Discover Halloween Savings

October is the favorite among kids and adults and is a month of pumpkins, costumes, candy, ghosts and skeletons.  It’s also a time when parents open their wallets to spend on Halloween purchases that can really add up.  Try not to let the first holiday of the fall season break your budget.  Read these tips to determine ways to reduce those ghoulish costs.

Trick-or-Treating

For those items you need for trick-or-treating, think about budget-friendly choices.  Instead of buying overpriced baskets from the store, use a pillowcase or shopping bag to collect the treats.  Not only will you save money, it’s a chance to be creative by decorating the bag to match your child’s costume.  

Halloween Entertaining

Whether you’re hosting a party or attending a friend’s event you can make a big impression without draining your bank account.

·     Plan ahead to avoid last-minute splurges

·     Make a realistic budget to avoid the temptation to overspend.

·     Keep your decorations in good condition, store them away and reuse them in future years.

·     Make decorating a group activity by involving your children and their friends. Construction paper, glue, colored pencils and a lot of imagination can go a long way.

·     To counterbalance your holiday costs, host a party with other friends or family and share the expenses.

·     Shop clearance sales for next year.  Purchase items after Halloween to realize savings on costumes and decorations. 

Budget-Friendly Costumes

Whether you are buying a costume for yourself or your children, you don’t have to break the budget to have spine-chilling costumes.  Below are a few ways to save money on costumes.

·     Skip the seasonal store and find your outfit elsewhere.  You can find what you need at consignment stores or Goodwill at a much lower price.

·     Trade with friends.  Kids don’t usually wear the same costume consecutive years.  Consider swapping costumes with similar age children.

·     If you really need a complete costume, check online Halloween stores or other discount sites.  You can usually find cost-conscious costumes.

Purchase Your Pumpkins Last Minute

Waiting until the last few days before Halloween to buy your pumpkins will save you some dollars. And, you won’t have the issue of the rotting pumpkins before Halloween.  

Buy Candy in Bulk

The best way to save on candy is to buy in bulk at warehouse retailers like Costco or Sam’s Club.  The Dollar Store will also offer name brand candy at a lower price.  If you are a procrastinator many retailers begin marking down their holiday merchandise the day before Halloween.  Don’t forget to use your coupons!

Our team at allU.S. Credit Union love a good scare, but we love saving money even more. Fortunately, it’s possible to enjoy both.  You can keep costs within your budget and still have a spooktacular time.

8 Holiday Tips to Get You Through the Year

The holiday season is a special time, with Christmas movies on TV, Christmas carols on the radio, and a growing list of people to shop for. The pressure to overspend when you’re rushing to buy everything on your list can be overwhelming. No worries. allU.S. Credit Union has you covered! Read on for fantastic pre-and post-holiday tips to ensure you’ll have a holly, jolly Christmas without breaking the bank.

Pre-Holidays Tips

1. Revise your gift list 

Gift giving is a treasured tradition, but the likelihood is, most of the people you exchange gifts with would be relieved to be taken off your gift list. It’s important to narrow down your gift list. Talk to coworkers and acquaintances about just exchanging cards this year, or make a deal to only exchange homemade or inexpensive gifts.  This way, you can focus on buying special gifts for those closest to you. 

2. Organize a Yankee Swap or Secret Santa

Do you have a shopping list that’s a mile long and no money or time to whittle down that list? Try one of these creative solutions! A Yankee Swap or a Secret Santa activity saves money and stress. These swaps are great for family gatherings, office parties and even neighborhood get-togethers. Everyone involved only needs to bring a single gift – and it’s always fun.  You can check out online tips for organizing a fun and affordable Yankee Swap or Secret Santa.

3. Bake holiday delicacies

Another great way to reduce the financial weight of your gift list is to break out the baking supplies and start whipping up your own holiday treats instead of buying gifts. No one turns down a tin of homemade holiday cookies! 

4. Make a budget and stick to it

This tip sounds a bit obvious. We all plan to stick to a budget, right? But make this the year it really happens!  Don’t set yourself a budget you can’t stick to. Set an unconditional limit to how much you will spend on the holidays. This will encourage you to plan your spending rather than engage in impulse buying.  It will also encourage you to look for great deals, which brings us to our next tip.

5. Make use of holiday deals, but don’t get preoccupied

It’s easy to become excited by good deals. Prices drop and everyone goes wild, spending more than you originally intended because you don’t want to miss out on those “crazy, low holiday prices.”

Just remember, take advantage of those “crazy good deals” for those people on your Christmas list.  But don’t be tempted to use those deals to buy items you don’t really need.

6. Reconsider giving 

We know that the holidays are all about giving – but that doesn’t always mean spending your hard earned money. Why don’t you think of other ways you can give that will help improve your community, and brighten someone’s holiday?

It’s the perfect time of year to volunteer at local soup kitchens and homeless shelters.  This kind of giving doesn’t cost anything, but can be a very memorable experience.  To find local volunteer opportunities, click here.

Post-Holiday Tips 

1. Use your gift cards

Gift cards are a typical holiday gift, but many people forget they have them, and they go unused. Put all of your gift cards in your wallet and spend them creatively. Use them and appreciate them for what they are – money in your wallet.

2. Invest in next year’s regifting effort 

In addition to gift cards, you’ll probably find yourself with a bunch of gifts you don’t really want. Some of these can be saved and re-gifted next year or used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Even if you don’t actually want it, you can find someone else who does! 

What’s The Bottom Line?

Don’t let your debt become the Scrooge that robs the fun from your holiday season. Spend time with your friends and family, base your gift buying on sentiment rather than dollar value, and avoid giving yourself year-round debt. If you can follow these tips, when your holiday bank statements arrive in the New Year, you’ll find yourself singing “Joy to the World”.

Happy Thanksgiving from allU.S. Credit Union

On behalf of all of us at allU.S. Credit Union, we genuinely appreciate your membership and support.  Membership continues to grow as more people become aware of the credit union difference.  We are pleased to offer trusted financial advice and services to the families of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.

Credit unions were established under the idea of “people helping people”, and at allU.S. Credit Union, we strive to live that idea every day.  We are thankful to have members who understand and value being a member-owner rather than a customer.  As employees, we work hard every day to help you and your family make financial decisions wisely.

This Thanksgiving, we are so thankful for more and more people who recognize the value of allU.S. Credit Union.  We are happy to be a part of your life, and we will continue working hard to find even more ways to help you and your family prosper.  From our family to yours, thank you for choosing to be a member of allU.S. Credit Union.

May the spirit of Thanksgiving bring you love, laughter, and prosperity.

Season’s Greetings!

With the holidays upon us, and as 2017 comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the special relationship that exists between allU.S. employees, our members, and our community. To you and yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

We want to thank our members for their loyalty to the credit union philosophy.  Our accomplishments are a direct result of your trust in us and we promise to continue to deliver new products and services that will help our members meet their financial goals. 

Happy Holidays from the staff and management of allU.S. Credit Union.  We look forward to serving you in 2018 and may the joy you feel this holiday season continue all year.

How To Survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday Like An Ace!

The holidays are a perfect time to spend with family and friends, and most of all; an opportunity to get some amazing deals on merchandise after waiting in line outside in the cold for six hours. Black Friday and its digital counterpart Cyber Monday have become a holiday tradition over the last few years. Even though you think people that participate in black Friday and Cyber Monday have lost their minds, there are some great deals to be had, if you know how and when to look. We have compiled some useful tips to help you survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday like a real pro.

Location is Key

For Black Friday shopping, it might seem important to get to your nearest store location as quick as you can to beat the rush, but it actually could save you a little more time and money if you find stores that are less populated. Fewer cars in the parking lots usually mean fewer people fighting for the same products. You do the same with websites by making sure that you are familiar with where you shop online. A lot of sketchy websites pop up around this time of year; so make sure you stick to the ones you know are reputable to avoid being ripped off. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is. If nothing else, Google it and see what others have said about the website.

Protect Yourself

Black Friday shopping is like Christmas for thieves. To help protect yourself, your money, and your purchases, try these helpful shopping tips. Wear a cross-body bag containing your cash and credit cards, instead of keeping them in your pocket or purse. These bags are much harder for thieves to steal. Carry a plain brown paper bag with you to put your purchases in. If thieves can’t see where it came from or what’s inside, they’ll be less likely to try and take it. Don’t check in online. While it might be tempting to tell everyone on Facebook about the awesome deals you have found, thieves often watch social media to see when people are out of their homes so they can rob them. This is a general rule throughout the year, but you should be even more diligent about it when on vacation and during the holidays.

Bring Ads with You

To ensure you get the prices that are advertised in the print ads, bring them with you. If an item doesn’t ring up with the sale price, it’ll be handy to show the cashier and generally they’ll be able to adjust the price. We also recommend creating a shopping list before you leave, and bringing only those ads that feature the items you want. This will help you stay on budget and make your shopping experience easier and faster.

Pack a Snack

If you’re planning on hitting several stores for several hours, bring a snack to give you the energy you need to continue your shopping adventures. So when starvation hits, grab that protein bar from your purse and keep shopping.

Research

To ensure that you get the best deals, do your research before Black Friday. Many stores offer sneak peeks at their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales so you can get a sense as to who is going to have the best deals. If you can find information on the kind of sales the stores had the year before, that’s another helpful tool. Some retailers have different sales at different times of day, so make sure you know exactly when the item you want will go on sale. Set a budget and do your best to stick to it. Researching exactly what item you want and which stores—either in person or online—are going to have the best deals will help you stick to that holiday budget.

Sign up for Email Lists

Many people have an email account they set up just to manage the junk mail they get from various retailers and websites. Sign up for email lists for your favorite stores that you know you’re going to want to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You’ll get more detailed information about their sales and specials than what they post on their websites or print in their ads. You might even get access to special deals or coupons. You can opt out after the holidays, but for now, sign up!

Know What You Want and What to Avoid

Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t for amateurs, so make sure you know exactly what you want and what you should avoid. Unless there is some seriously steep discounts, avoid things like jewelry, furniture, toys, and even some large electronics. Focus on other items, and be strong-minded. Stick to your list as best as you can. Unless you see an amazing deal on something that you just can’t pass up, get what you went for and get out of the store.

Don’t Shop Alone!

Find a friend or family member who will match your shopping pace. Not only will they help block other shoppers so you can get what you came for; it’s also nice to have some company. If you have lists prepared ahead of time, you can split the work and get done in half the time.

Cyber Monday and Black Friday are two of the biggest shopping days of the year, and with these shopping tips, you’ll be able to handle the anxiety and bedlam like a pro. Happy hunting!

It’s easy to go overboard when shopping for holiday gifts, but the fallout from seasonal overspending can last all year.  Open an allU.S. Christmas club account. Christmas club accounts are a great way to save money for the holidays! You choose how much you want to save each pay period and the money is automatically diverted to your Christmas club account. If you save as little as $25 each pay period, you’ll have over $600 by the time December rolls around. To establish your Club account, contact allU.S. today (https://alluscu.com/).

allU.S. Wishes You a Safe and Happy Holiday

For most people, the holiday season is a time of joy, gathering together with family and friends, relaxing watching your favorite sports on TV, and just appreciating the simple things that come with the Christmas season. Your friends at allU.S. Credit Union in Salinas also knows that the holidays can be expensive, especially if you are not careful with your financial information. We want to make sure you know how to stay safe, so here are a few tips for protecting yourself during the holidays:

If you’re out and about in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, be sure to keep track of who has access to your personal information and how that information is being used. Do not bring unnecessary credit cards, personal cards, or documents with you when you go shopping. Do not carry written PIN or pass codes with you, and always keep an eye on your surroundings if you stop to withdraw money from an ATM.   When making purchases, consider using your credit card over debit or cash.  Credit cards have simpler processes for disputing fraudulent charges and limit your liability. 

If you shop for holiday gifts online, be mindful to buy only from reputable websites with secure, encrypted connections. Before you check out online, check that the site is verified by TRUSTe or a similar trusted data management service.  You can look for the TRUSTe privacy seal at the bottom of a secure webpage.  Do not opt to have websites store your credit card information; while it may be more convenient, it can put your information at risk. You might even want to limit your online shopping to only one credit card, so that if your information is compromised, you will be able to limit the damage.   Most importantly, avoid shopping or browsing your online banking and credit card accounts on a public Wi-Fi connection.  It’s impossible to tell who has access to any data you transfer over an unsecure connection, so better to be safe than sorry.

In addition to being careful to protect your financial information, there are lots of things you can do to make the season more affordable and more manageable. Planning ahead is the best way to be a smart shopper and save money at the holidays. Make your holiday gift list early and make a budget so you know how much you will be spending. Start setting aside some funds now, so you will not have to rely on high-interest credit cards that you will end up paying back all next year. Starting early also allows you to shop around and compare prices, so you will know you are getting the best deals.  

The holiday season can be a great time of fun and excitement, but is almost always means an extra demand on your finances that can make an otherwise joyful season very stressful.  allU.S. can help you make it through the holidays if you need a little assistance.  Apply today for a holiday loan that’s right for your budget and get a head start on the holiday shopping season!

Of course, while you are working to make the most of your money for this year’s holiday, you can plan even better for next year by setting up a Christmas Club account with allU.S. Credit Union.  It is one of the best ways to save money for next Christmas!

Stay safe and shop smart this holiday season! Best wishes for a happy holiday to all of our allU.S. Credit Union members and friends!