Savings Accounts Archives - Common Trust FCU

Helping Young People Manage Their Money.

Whether a few bucks from the grandparents on their birthday or their first paycheck from a summer job, teaching young people how to manage their money is one of the most important lessons they’ll ever learn. They already know how to spend the money. The challenge is to show them how to earn it, save it, and maybe spend it more smartly.

To help, we’ve pulled together a few tips, some timely suggestions, and even thrown in a few good deals. Yes, because we’re a credit union – but we were young once, also. 

Earning It.

“Slow feet don’t eat.” Your kids might not miss any meals, but instilling an appreciation for the daily hustle can only serve them well in the long view. Chances are good they’ve already been introduced to the free-market economy by being paid cash for services rendered – shoveling snow, washing the dishes, vacuuming the floor, etc. Valuable stuff, but don’t neglect the flip side – don’t do the work, and they don’t get paid.

Eventually, many older kids become someone else’s employees, and nothing offers real-life money lessons better than a real-life job. First-time employees have to show up on time, work for someone who won’t care how cute they once were, and pay taxes. Oh, and one additional real-life lesson worth learning: Seeing Uncle Sam’s piece of their paycheck. 

Saving It.

If your kids earn more dollars than coins, it’s time for their first bank account. Make it theirsdon’t connect it to your account in case of overdrafts or a stolen identity. Do be the signer on the account to see spending behavior. It’s your opportunity to show young account holders how to balance their budget, track spending, and understand the long-term benefits of saving. A first car, college, that VR headset they didn’t get as a gift – if they want it, they need to start saving for it. From now until June 1st, Common Trust Federal Credit Union is offering a Youth Savings Account promotion. Open a savings account with us, and they’ll be automatically registered to win a new bike.

Now, Give Them Some Credit.

Some of those things worth saving for require not only cash but credit. Good credit takes discipline, which young people don’t always have. Hey, we don’t judge – plenty of adults learned the hard way about the importance of having and keeping good credit. An excellent plan for getting young adults started on the path to good credit is the credit-builder loan. That’s a special kind of loan specifically designed to boost credit scores. The young person  – aka “the borrower” – pays a lender in monthly installments and, in the end, receives that money in a savings account. The lender reports their on-time monthly payments to the credit bureaus, thus building (or rebuilding) their credit history. At Common Trust, it would be an honor to help a young person establish a good credit history with a credit-builder loan. 

2021 Summer Budget Roadmap

Resilience seems to be a common theme in our country and our communities as consumer strength regains post-pandemic. A shared trend in the pandemic’s aftermath is to reassess personal finances to balance enjoyment with everyday expenses. Common Trust aims to assist our members and help budget for the road ahead this summer and beyond. We are ready to welcome the community for in-person financial assistance for a stress-free and enjoyable summer to help you navigate 2021.

Create a Summer Budget Strategy 

There are valuable lessons learned from the pandemic, and people adjusted their finances to ensure protection against worst-case scenarios. As a result of suspended everyday life, people, in turn, had significantly fewer monthly expenses during the consumer “time out.” Travel, shopping, and general discretionary spending were at an all-time low, resulting in accrued personal savings. Now the time has come to enjoy the extra financial padding while budgeting for sustained resources for your lifestyle. We recommend grouping recreation into specific categories and allocating an amount to each class. For example, if you’re planning a trip this summer, determine how much to pay for airline tickets, dining out, car rentals, and recreational activities, like National Park fees. Planning allows for a better grasp of your budget while anticipating other new types of expenses and analyzing where you can trim back. 

Technology is Your Compass

Technology continues to prove to be a great budget friend, and we encourage mobile app usage to track your spending. The ease of streamlined banking and mobile applications enhances the user experience to know the bottom line at any moment. Some applications go as far as to group your expenditures and send you activity notifications to protect you from overspending. These are improving by the day and continue to offer unique features to guide you on the right path towards creating a feasible budget.  Big box stores, grocery stores, and food deliveries also offer promotions and coupons on their mobile app programs to help cut costs. Energy providers’ mobile apps are another great tool to monitor your energy usage and stockpile small savings per month this summer.

Another potential source for savings is to participate in Common Trust’s Shared Savings Accounts. As a member, your member-owner status is represented by the shares you save at Common Trust FCU.  In this program, members have the ability to open multiple share accounts for specific savings purposes like education, taxes, vacations, or special purchases.  Members can access their accounts and customize the name on these secondary share accounts. Tracking the money earned from day-of-deposit to day-of-withdrawal and the quarterly-distributed dividends from the shared accounts are easily accessed in your mobile banking account. Learn more about Share Savings Accounts here.

Utilize Financial Education & Assistance 

As credit unions welcome back the community, this summer is an excellent time to apply for financial assistance to access savings programs that buoy financial sustainability. U.S wealth grew by $20 trillion over the last year, paving opportunities for members to consider buying or leasing a new car, financing a home remodel, or managing debt with offset savings. Lowering monthly rates helps maintain your cash flow. In addition, it allows for other types of consumer spending should you want to or to grow an emergency fund. Common Trust even offers Vacation loans if you are looking for a substantial getaway. People who accumulated savings are also investing in personal care matters and budgeting accordingly. For example, braces sales shot up 19% in the last year. Overall, people are finding ways to rebalance their finances while also investing in new opportunities and experiences. 

Summer Support

Reexamination of our member’s financial well-being is central to understanding all facets of monthly living expenses and how you can grow your nest egg exponentially. Common Trust helps you create a plan for you and your family by identifying where to cultivate savings. We are committed to maximizing savings opportunities and pledge to work for our members’ financial success. As we forge ahead together, we reduce the complexities of budgeting so you can enjoy life along the way. 

We invite existing and potential members alike to learn more about our Financial Products and Services here.

Why You Should Have Two (or More) Savings Accounts

Having multiple savings accounts isn’t just for financially irresponsible kids and young adults, they’re actually the perfect solution to your financial goals. Having multiple accounts means that you can allocate your income to different places and potentially even get higher interest rates for doing so. You can also monitor each specific goal through its designated account—so long, late nights calculating percentages and writing up algorithms! Ultimately, having multiple accounts allows you to save for specific financial goals, providing you with the springboard to achieve financial success faster. 

3 Reasons To Have Multiple Accounts

  1. As mentioned briefly above, having multiple accounts is a launching point for you to achieve financial success. By having separate accounts, you can see real progress happening each week, and devise new ways to save even more. With the simplicity of mobile banking, saving more money is easier than ever and tracking your progress is a breeze.

  2. Each different savings account likely has a different rate of interest. This is where the research comes in: many accounts, like a CD, will give you higher interest rates for stowing your money away and not touching it for a few months. Having multiple accounts can yield a higher amount of accumulated interest, further growing your pre-existing savings bundle. It’s important to learn the terms of any account before opening it, however, be aware of any and all surprise fees or limits!

  3. Segmenting your goals into separate accounts gives you the ease of prioritizing which objectives need a little more TLC. You can monitor the progress of each account via online or mobile banking, and make the decision of how you want to distribute your savings. Let’s say you’re saving for both a car and holiday purchases. Naturally, since the holidays are fast-approaching, you may want to transfer a higher percentage of funds to your holiday account. Ultimately, having separate accounts allows you to quickly and easily set up a budgeting system and stick to it.

A Good Strategy: Set up Automated Payments

From credit cards to debit cards, and all the bills in-between, automated payments should become your best friend in the financial world. The perk of using this nifty tool is that you never have to think about making your payments or transfers each month. This financial responsibility can also help further improve your credit score and report, saving you even more money in the long run. 

What to Watch Out For

  • Fees. The last thing you want when you’re trying to save money is for a huge chunk of change to be removed as soon as your money goes into the account. And you certainly don’t want to be blindsided when you haven’t done your proper research. Check in with your credit union to see if they bill you for things like transactions and overdrafting, and what accounts will help keep fees to a minimum. There’s no one-size-fits-all to savings accounts. Remember: this account should help you save up for future goals, not give you unnecessary anxiety.
  • Transfer Limits. There’s nothing worse than needing to transfer money out of your savings account for an unplanned event, but finding out you’ve hit your limit on transfers for the month. You then have to make a choice: forgo the cash or pay an unfortunate fee. Beware of Transfer Limits that only let you transfer money out of your savings account a certain number of times. Typically the limit is six transfers per month on certain withdrawals and transfers according to Regulation D from the Federal Reserve. If you feel like you the limits won’t be a problem for you (especially if you’re fulfilling a strict financial goal), then dive right in. But if you have a doubt in your mind, an account with stern transfer limits may not be the right fit. Regardless, be sure to discuss potential transfer limits with a banking consultant before signing off. 

Saving up for a special purchase? Want to put money away for your long-term plans? Try opening a second account. At Common Trust, we have so many ways including our Holiday Clubs, certificates, and various tailored savings and credit accounts. Your purchase could be right around the corner – give us a ring or reach out via email today!

When to Use a Credit Card vs. Debit Card

Most people have at least one debit card and one credit card in their wallet. Although both cards can be used in many of the same places, it can be difficult to determine which card is best for each transaction. When you use your credit card, you may earn points, but your debit card won’t charge you interest. Which do you choose? Here are some tips to help you decide.

3 Major Differences Between Credit & Debit Cards

Where the Money Comes From
A debit card is backed by the money in your checking account. You can only spend what you already have. When you use your debit card it’s like using cash because you must have funds available in your account or the transaction will not go through. With a credit card, you have a pre-approved spending limit and you can use the card repeatedly until you reach that limit, regardless of how much money is in your bank account. Of course, you will have to pay that money back eventually. It’s like you’re making a promise or taking out a small loan every time you use a credit card.

Proof of Payment
Depending on the amount of the purchase, you may be required to provide a PIN or signature to complete the transaction. Typically, a PIN is used for a debit card. This can be set up by your bank or you may have access to change it anytime you want. It’s important to remember this number and never write it down. If someone else finds it, they can use your card and drain your bank account. With a credit card, you will not have a PIN but instead, you’ll be required to provide a signature. This signature states that you will pay the bill when it’s due.

Limits of the Card
Both types of cards have limits but in different ways. Since a debit card takes money out of your checking account, you can only spend as much as you already have. If you overspend, it may pull money from your savings account and you could be charged a fee. This is called an overdraft. Most banks will give you the choice to allow an overdraft to happen with a fee, or to cancel the transaction before it goes through and avoid the fee. Think about your own spending habits and decide what’s best for you. With a credit card, you will be charged interest for every month you carry a balance. This is where most people tend to get in trouble. They charge more than they can afford to pay off in a single month, carry a balance, and then owe more due to the interest.

When to Use Which Card

When deciding which card to use, consider your personal spending habits, the pros, and cons of each card, and the purchase in question.

A debit card is the ideal method of payment for daily purchases or small transactions. Groceries, gas, and movie tickets are all easily paid for with a debit card and are items you likely would have otherwise paid cash for. You don’t have to worry about paying it back or accruing interest, and this is also a good choice if you’re likely to get into credit card debt that you’ll have a hard time paying back.

Online purchases are more easily refunded or refuted if on a credit card. Car rental and hotel reservations may come with additional costs when you return the vehicle or check out. Many credit cards come with reward options such as cashback, earning points towards flights, and more. It may be more beneficial to purchase gas and groceries on your credit card if you earn extra points for them that you can save up for a rainy day.

Credit & Debit Cards from Common Trust

Think you’re ready for a new credit or debit card? At Common Trust, we offer both low-interest credit cards and hassle-free debit cards for our customers, as well as great tips for learning how to make the most of each card. If you’d like to learn more about these offerings, please don’t hesitate to contact us today by calling 781-933-2600 or visiting We look forward to helping you achieve financial happiness.

9 Most Common Savings Accounts — Which Is Right for You?

The nostalgic clink of a full piggy bank has evolved for the digital age — and it’s time to take advantage of the various savings accounts available to modern workers and savers looking to make the most out of their hard-earned savings. But with the variety of savings accounts to choose from, it can be difficult to make a confident choice. 

What type do you need? Which is the safest? Which gives you the most access to funds? Which will pay the most in interest? These are all valid questions, especially when you’re looking to open an account today to reap the most in future savings. Let’s take a look at the 9 most common savings accounts and what they can do for your money. 

1. Savings deposit accounts are interest-bearing that allow you to withdraw money anytime for up to 6 transfers per month. This is what is considered to be a “normal” savings account.

This might be for you if: You want the simplest solution to storing money and earn interest.

2. Money Market Accounts (MMAs) are similar to normal savings accounts but allow you to withdraw money using checks and sometimes even debit cards. The deposit and balance requirements are higher than normal savings, as is the interest. 

This might be for you if: You want to save a lot of money but want access to it all.

3. High-interest savings accounts pay higher-than-average interest, or “yield” — but a high minimum balance, among other things, is required to earn that interest. 

This might be for you if: You want to save a lot of money but only need access to some of it.

4. Club savings accounts offer incentives for things like maintaining a minimum balance or reaching certain savings levels geared toward your goals.

This might be for you if: You like having a savings goal and don’t mind a slightly lower interest rate.

6. Student savings accounts are made for high school and college students and can feature lower minimum balances and more flexible terms. 

This might be for you if: You are a student who wants to save money.

7. Certificates of deposit (CDs) pay more interest than an average account but do not allow you to withdraw funds for a specified amount of time (anywhere from a month to 5 years) without penalties. 

This might be for you if: You want to put a specific amount of money aside to grow and do not need access to it.

8. College savings accounts (529 plans) are accounts used to save money for a child’s higher-education expenses. They aren’t tax deductible but won’t be taxed upon withdrawal as long as the money goes toward higher-education expenses.

This might be for you if: You want to start a savings plan for your child and don’t plan to do anything with the money other than pay for college. 

9. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are government-sponsored, tax-deferred accounts into which you can make deposits and manage investments to best grow your money between now and retirement.

This might be for you if: You want to plan for retirement by putting money aside now and allowing it to grow untouched until you reach the retirement age. 

Whether you have questions about an upcoming financial decision or just want to be more educated on the path of your money within the banking system, you need a crash course in financial education using sound information and advice. Common Trust Federal Credit Union understands your concerns and offers our Financial Education Center to help you best understand and prepare for new life milestones. Get started today!

Subscribe to our email newsletter for more blogs like this!

Success! You're on the list.
Give Feedback