Uncategorized Archives - Common Trust FCU

Summer Safety Tips

 

Temperatures are rising, swimming pools beckon, and family activities are in full swing as summer is officially here. An air of a more ordinary summer means adventure awaits, and we forecast that our community is excited for an active summer. Common Trust encourages a summer of fun sustained by safety to enjoy the season to its fullest. So whether you’re laid back at home poolside with a summer reading list or hitting the road for the beach, here are some helpful reminders to live your best and safest summer.9[op

Take Shade & Hydrate

People often forget how serious heat-related issues are when sun over exposure and poor hydration clash. Carry water with you wherever you go, as dehydration is the most common heat-caused illness. Hydrate more than you think is necessary, and take breaks in the shade when outside. It is more important to make sure younger children drink plenty of water, even if they are not thirsty. Wearing loose clothing that dries quickly also helps to keep cool. Be vigilant of overheating symptoms when hiking or doing outdoor group activities; typically, if one person has symptoms, chances are others do too. Don’t overdo it if you crave more exercise— opt for a walk in a cooler environment like the mall. When it hits 90° or above and is humid, children should not play outside for more than 30 minutes at a time.

As we all know, the sun can cause severe sunburns and sun poisoning in its worst form. Sunscreen is your summer staple, so carry a small bottle with you everywhere. Lathering up on cloudy days is essential as it is no myth that the sun’s burning rays pierce through clouds.

Swimming & Water Safety

Thousands of adults and children are hurt in avoidable swimming and boating accidents every summer. Water safety spans from simple swimming precautions to having life vests for everyboat rider. Younger children are notably less experienced swimmers and always need to be supervised by an adult or lifeguard. Where diving is involved, always watch for the person to come up as back and head injuries can occur. An at-homepool is best protected with a fence that stays locked and out of reach for kids. An extra layer of pool precaution is to have cameras or gates with sensors that connect to mobile apps and send alerts if a pool gate is left open. If your child ventures to a neighbor’s pool, confirm an adult at home watching at all times.

The most common boating accidents happen when drinking is involved for adults, so designate an experienced boat driver who won’t partake in the libations. Lastly, always have your cellphone charged in case of an emergency, and in some cases, for longer boating outings, keepflares aboard.

Roadtrip & Air Travel

With so many Americans chomping at the bit to roadtrip, car safety is paramount. A regular car maintenance check is a good safeguard against unforeseen car troubles. If your car use was down over the last year, it is wise to have the tires checked and rotated. It might be a great time to purchase a tire gauge to keep in your car, too, especially if you plan to drive on rockier terrain on your adventures. We also recommend purchasing a mobile phone holder so you can be as hands-free as possible when using your phone’s GPS. Lastly, a First Aid Kit is the best accessory for your glove box.

If you plan to hit the skies for vacation, mandatory mask-wearing and regular hand washing persist as TSA protocol. While airlines continue to adhere to strict sanitation standards and improve air circulation systems, it will put you more at ease to take these precautions when traveling. Before you set out on your adventure, contact Common Trust to ensure you do not experience issues with your card while you are traveling. Apply for Common Trust’s Mastercard Credit Card today before hitting the road. 

Going Out and Outdoor BBQs

Restaurants, bars, and even music venues are opening their doors for livelier times but have a mask handy if required. A backyard gathering is best when summer time food is cooked over a fire. Still, grills and campfires are to be tended to as adults and children risk burns caused by fire proximity. Placing the grill far enough away from anything flammable and inspecting the grill before using it prevents gas tank malfunction. Fireproof mitts and long-handled utensils help avoid exposure to flames. Make sure kids are closely supervised around a campfire or at a BBQ.

Safety and fun do not have to be mutually exclusive. Remember to plan ahead, keep a vigilant eye, and lean on friends and family for support. Let Common Trust know how we can help you enjoy your summer more with credit cards or vacation loans to help pay for your travels. Our team wishes you and your family a safe and memorable summer.

Tax Filing Tips For 2021

Tax season is upon us, and May 17th is approaching quickly. In 2020, many experienced unexpected lifestyle changes and financial hardships that may change how they file taxes this year. With that comes changes to qualifications and deductions for the 2020 tax filing year that may impact you. Here are some tips for filing your taxes. Also, see below for more information about Common Trust’s tax loan promotion.

1. New Gig Economy Workers: Report Your 2020 Income 

What is a gig economy worker? It consists of freelancers, on-call workers, online platform workers, contract firm workers, and temporary workers. If the pandemic caused you to transition for the first time into the gig economy, you should be aware of some guidelines that may apply to you. 

As taxes are not typically withheld from these types of gigs, you must report your income either at the end of the year or quarterly. The IRS recommends that anyone earning money without automatic withholding files quarterly estimated tax payments. Doing so will allow you to stay up to date on federal tax obligations that apply to your situation. 

There are many bonuses to being self-employed, and the amount of deductions you can claim on your tax return is one of them. Home office deductions and travel expenses are two great examples that may apply to gig economy workers. Check out this complete guide from TurboTax to learn more.

2. Home Office Deduction Qualifications

Speaking of home offices, the nationwide transition to working from home across countless industries snowballed the need for more home offices. If you were a part of this new working model, there are a few important tax implications that may apply to you. Those who qualify for a tax deduction are employers, business owners, and those who are self-employed. Due to the elimination of the itemized deduction for employee business expenses, the majority of employees working from home do not qualify. Despite this, some employees may still be eligible for it as a state tax reduction.

You might be asking, should I take the home office deduction if I am self-employed or will that raise a red flag? The short answer is, if you qualify, yes, you should take it! Since the pandemic, the rules have been made easier for those who work from home to qualify for this write-off. For a more in-depth overview of home office deductions and to find out if you qualify visit the TurboTax tips page.  

3. Generosity Pays Off With Charitable Donations Deductions

As part of the CARES Act effort to encourage charitable contributions to qualifying organizations, you are allowed to deduct up to 100% of your adjusted gross income. For those who don’t know, adjusted gross income is your total income minus any adjustments to your income that you qualify for.

The CARES Act added a new “above-the-line” deduction. If you ended up taking the standard deduction, you can now write off up to $300 of charitable donations that were made in cash. Good deeds can go a long way!

4. Check Up On Your Retirement Account Funds

Due to unexpected challenges in 2020, many people withdrew from their retirement funds in order to stay afloat financially last year. If you decided to dip into your retirement, be prepared to receive a considerable-sized tax bill. Luckily, the window for returning those funds is three years, which will help you get back on track with your savings. If you don’t plan to repay the sum you took out in three years, you will need to pay one-third of the tax upon submitting your 2020 return. 

5. Taxability of Unemployment Benefits 

The hardships of 2020 resulted in millions of Americans receiving unemployment for the first time. Since this type of benefit is taxable when filing your tax return, it must be included as gross income. If you elected to have federal taxes withheld from your unemployment benefits or elected to make estimated payments, the required taxes have already been taken out and paid. If you did not elect to withhold when filing your tax return, you should prepare to pay the taxes on those benefits. 

Of note, COVID-19 stimulus checks are not taxable, so you will not need to take that under consideration when filing your taxes this year. 

Special Offer: Tax Loan Promotion

Is a tax loan beneficial for you to start off this year? Up until May 17th, at Common Trust we are offering a tax loan promotion of up to $5,000. With rates as low as 9.99%* and a loan term of 12 months. Check out this offer, and get in touch if you believe it is the right fit for you. We’d love to speak with you and help provide all the information you need to get started. 

*Actual rates are subject to creditworthiness.

Scholarship Announcement

Common Trust Federal Credit Union is pleased you have chosen to pursue a higher education.  We’re committed to helping our college-bound members with the rising cost of a college education. We will award two winners.  Each scholarship winner will receive $1,000 to pay for tuition, room & board, books, or other related educational expenses.  To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria. 

  • Graduating high school senior.
  • Verified high school transcript.
  • The student must be a member of Common Trust Federal Credit Union with at least a share/savings account in good standing. Being joint on another member’s account does not qualify.
  • Copy of acceptance letter from your chosen college/university.
  • Submit a completed application to Common Trust Federal Credit Union that is postmarked by April 15th, 2021.

Note:  Common Trust Federal Credit Union employees, Board Members, Committee Members and their immediate family members are not eligible to apply.

 

Kick-off the New Year With Achievable Resolutions

As this year comes to a close, you may be looking forward to setting new goals for 2021. Whether you are establishing a new fitness regime or dedicating more time to your education, it’s important to think about what you want to achieve financially in 2021 as well. We’re bringing you a list of top five resolutions to consider that are intended to set you up for success in 2021 and for many years to come!

 

1. Pay off debt.

No matter how much effort you put toward raising your credit score or building substantial savings, your financial status is only as good as the debt you carry. In order to achieve financial stability, you should set a goal to pay off all pesky debt. 

Start by setting a strict budget and making a commitment to your savings goals. Next, take a month by month look at your budget, detailing all bills and crucial payments, making note of any that are not essential. This is an opportunity to identify unnecessary spending. 

After bills, groceries, and urgent payments have been deducted, budget out a reasonable portion of your funds to put towards whatever open accounts you have. Start with the account with the highest balance, and make your way down the list until all balances have been paid off. This process requires a lot of willpower, but will ultimately lead you toward a debt-free 2021, better credit, and so much more.

One other strategy to consider for paying off your debt is to take out a personal loan or debt payoff loan. To be sure, you’ll want to carefully evaluate these loan options with your financial institution—you don’t want to end up in more debt while trying to pay off debt. However, the right debt payoff loan, when vetted by a financial team you trust, can be a valuable way to eradicate your debt and start saving more.

 

2. Open another savings account.

Meeting your financial goals becomes easier when you have multiple savings accounts. These club accounts serve as piggy banks for each of your goals. Plus, watching your savings grow and getting closer to your goals with each transfer is a great way to stay motivated and keep yourself on track. Within your budget, you can determine what percentage of your savings should go to each account, and split up your funds according to goal timing and need. Either way, having any amount of money in your back pocket is a great way to stay financially secure and stable in case of emergencies.

3. Build better credit.

You can save a huge percentage of your paycheck every month, but no amount of savings will hold up against bad credit. If you’ve been neglecting due payments, accumulating debt, or using too much of your line of credit, 2021 is a great time to hone in on your credit score. Your goal can be as simple as paying off the monthly minimum payment for each of your accounts or as big as paying off an entire account balance. Small progress will go a long way in building your credit. Plus, having better credit comes with a variety of benefits, like allowing you to take out larger loans to make bigger purchases.

 

4. Invest in your future with a personal loan.

When used responsibly, loans are a great investment to help build the future you want. Whether you’re looking to pay off debt, purchase your dream home or car, or access funds for a special project, personal loans are a great way to build credit and financial responsibility. Plus, a loan will allow you to get the funds you need upfront and provide time to pay it off. Be sure to make your payments on time and your credit will flourish. As your credit grows, you’ll be eligible for longer repayment periods, better interest rates, and higher loan amounts. 

 

5. Consolidate your debt.

While having multiple credit cards and accounts is a great way to build credit, it can be a lot to manage. Missed payments and high-interest rates can lead to a snowball effect on your credit, and could leave you worse off than you started. If you have multiple accounts with various levels of debt, it may be time to consolidate with a Debt Consolidation Loan or Credit Balance Transfer. The concept is simple—use the loan to pay off all accounts, and then simply make payments to one single loan with one single interest rate. Managing one loan account is far more simple, and will allow you to pay off larger chunks of your principle rather than spreading your funds across multiple accounts.

 

How can I make this the best year yet?

Ready to build achievable financial New Year’s resolutions? The Common Trust Federal Credit Union team is here to help you assess your current financial status and build a plan that works best for you. To learn more about your options and get the opinion of our experts, give us a ring or reach out via email today!

10 Tips to Make the Most of Holiday Shopping This Year

‘Tis the season to start thinking about holiday shopping (cue the carols!) But, like most things in 2020, the way you’ll go about checking everyone off your gift list is bound to be a bit different this year. Major retailers including Target and Walmart have already announced they’ll be closed on Thanksgiving Day—doing away with the traditional jumpstart to Black Friday shopping—and the coronavirus has led to delays and backlogs for some brands.

Still, there is plenty to be merry about. You can expect to save money thanks to more online discounts, Cyber Monday deals, and special holiday pricing in the months leading up to Christmas. Retailers have also come up with clever ways to streamline the shopping experience like expanded curbside pickup and same-day delivery. And it has never been a better time to support your local community by spending your holiday gift budget at independently owned shops or buying gift cards to your favorite neighborhood restaurants. Plus, there are plenty of ways to spread holiday cheer without it costing a lot, from DIY gifts to keepsake-worthy ornaments to homemade treats that are sure to be crowd-pleasers.

From money-saving tricks to out-of-the-box gift ideas, read on for more ways to help make this year’s holiday shopping stress-free, safe, and fun.

1. Make a Budget and Stick to It

One of the biggest stressors of holiday shopping is overspending, so be sure to create a budget before you hit the stores. First, figure out the total you can afford to spend on gifts. Then, make a list of the people you would like to give to and allocate portions of your budget toward each person. Apps like Christmas Gift List Tracker and Santa’s Bag do the math and organize purchases for you (though a pen and paperwork just fine, too!). If you’re planning to DIY gifts, be sure to factor the cost of materials into your budget.

2. Shop Small

Small Business Saturday, which encourages shoppers to spend within their communities the Saturday after Thanksgiving, hit a record high last year according to a survey from American Express and the National Federation of Small Business—a hopeful sign for independently owned shops who need holiday dollars more than ever this season. Spending at your local shops not only helps your neighborhood, but you are also bound to find unique, curated gifts for friends and family, too. Check out the Shop Small Map to find stores and restaurants in your area.

3. Make Use of Curbside Pickup

With coronavirus making social distancing essential, many retailers are offering curbside pickup for merchandise purchased via their website or app. Lots of shoppers have been taking advantage already (according to Adobe Analytics, purchases made online then picked up at a store have increased 62% from last year), and it’s one easy way to streamline your holiday shopping and avoid long lines.

4. Sign Up with Your Favorite Stores

Sure, promotional emails can clog up your inbox, but if you are a devotee of a particular store, they are worth signing up for as they often include discount codes and sale previews. Be sure to investigate loyalty programs, too. Most are free to join and offer benefits like exclusive sales for members, discounts on purchases, and rewards for dollars spent.

5. Support Companies That Give Back (or Make a Direct Donation)

Check people off your gift list—and do some good—by buying from companies that give a portion of their profits to important causes. For book lovers, check Out of Print, which supports literacy programs; Hand in Hand donates soap to children in developing countries for every bar sold while the toys and apparel at Box Lunch help get food to the hungry via Feed America. Another great way to make a difference: Choose a charity based on a friend or family member’s passions and make a donation in his or her name (one of our favorites for kids: the adorable stuffed animal and certificate that come with a symbolic species adoption benefitting the World Wildlife Fund).

6. Take Advantage of Free Shipping

December 14 is Free Shipping Day when hundreds of retailers provide free shipping on orders guaranteed to arrive by Christmas Eve. It is especially worth waiting for if you have your eye on gifts from online shops that usually add shipping costs. You’ll find a list of stores that participate in Free Shipping Day here.

7. Shop Early

Keeping your eyes open for holiday presents year-round not only prevents you from having to pay for all your gifts within a few weeks, but it also adds a thrill to the hunt through flea markets, vintage stores, and souvenir shops, all great sources for affordable gifts. Shopping early is a good idea for online purchases, too. You will be able to take advantage of sales events like Cyber Monday when gifts are discounted and will also ensure presents have plenty of time to arrive.

8. Update Your Apps

The secret to savings may be as easy as pulling out your phone thanks to apps designed to find discounts. ShopSavvy lets users scan the barcode of an item, then reports back on the best prices for it both online and locally. For holiday food shopping, Coupons.com organizes free digital coupons from your local grocery stores and lets you upload paper ones (for some stores, you can also upload your paper receipt and receive cashback to your PayPal account). Before you make a purchase, check Retail Me Not, which provides access to discount codes, coupons, and cashback offers for clothes, tech, restaurants, and more.

9. Start a Secret Santa Tradition

For big families or groups of friends, consider starting a Secret Santa tradition where each person picks another’s name at random and focuses on their gift only (instead of everyone buying for everybody). This way, you can put more thought, money, and time into finding them something they will truly love. Plus, it is fun to see the surprised looks when recipients try to guess who their mystery gift-giver is.

10. Expand Your Gift List

Whether it’s your mail carrier who’s delivered package after package, a teacher who’s done their best to adjust to the challenges of distance learning, or a neighbor who’s been extra helpful, think through the people in your community who have made a difference this year and, if you can, add them to your gift list to thank them. Handmade cardsbaked goods, or gift baskets, are all great ways to show your appreciation.

 

Annual Meeting Rescheduled

The business portion of our annual meeting will be held on Wednesday July 29, 2020 from 4:30-5:00 pm. Due to COVID-19, this meeting will be held virtually via a conference call – with no in- person meeting. Those interested in participating should call us at 781-933-2600 no later than July 29th at 4:00 pm to receive the call-in information for the meeting.

We will miss seeing everyone in person, the continued health and wellbeing of our members and staff remains our priority during these times. We appreciate your understanding.

Questions about EVERFI’s Family Portal? We have answers!

Who can use these digital lessons?

The Family Portal includes all EVERFI courses available for K-12 students. Though EVERFI’s resources are typically leveraged in a classroom setting, EVERFI and our partners are committed to ensuring that K-12 students also have access to these resources at home for a limited time during this period of widespread school closures.

Can I share this resource with friends and family outside my organization?

Yes. As an EVERFI customer, you are welcome to share this resource with employees and the general public. Social media templates are included below

Will students in my sponsored schools still see my company logo?

Parents are instructed to select their child’s school when they register, which allows us to provide a branded course experience for the students in any school you sponsor. We hope the Family Portal serves as an additional opportunity for you to connect with a parent audience and showcase your commitment to local schools. Thank you for helping us make this possible.

Will students see multiple sponsors on their course dashboard?

Yes. Students will see a different sponsor for each course that is available to them. For example, a bank sponsor on their Financial Education course, and a pharmacy sponsor on their Mental Wellness course, and a sports league sponsor on their STEM course.

Does the Family Portal impact my organization’s student data?

Yes. All student enrollments for the 2019-2020 academic year will be included in your student impact data, including your annual Impact Report.

Does the Family Portal replace traditional school activation via teachers?

No. EVERFI’s K-12 Implementation team is still actively working with schools to implement our courses through teachers. The Family Portal is meant to serve as an additional way to access EVERFI’s courses during this unprecedented time of widespread school closures.

Your library of 20+ courses is a lot. Where should I start?

We encourage you to promote the course you sponsor. In addition, during this time of uncertainty, we suggest courses that support social and emotional well-being. For elementary school students, we have the Compassion Project. For middle and high school students, we recommend Mental Wellness Basics.

Who can help me get started? I can’t find a specific school and am having difficulty accessing the lessons.

Please visit support.everfi.com or email [email protected] to submit a help request. The EVERFI team will respond to these requests as quickly as possible.

5 Reasons to Buy a Car this Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is upon us which means it’s about to become one of the biggest weekends of the year for car sales. During Memorial Day weekend, auto manufacturers and dealerships kick off their summer selling season by showcasing their best deals and offering low prices. If your car is on its last leg or if you’re ready for an upgrade, this weekend is the perfect time to get a new ride. Keep reading for five reasons why this weekend is such a great opportunity to purchase a new car.

Dealers are clearing out inventory

Did you know that dealers start clearing out their car inventory for new models at the beginning of summer? That’s right, next year’s car models will begin to arrive at the end of the summer. This means that dealers are looking to clear out this year’s models quickly. You’ll be able to find great deals as well as have tons of inventory to choose from. Whether you want your car to have a red exterior or a tan interior, you’ll find what you’re looking for this weekend.

Great incentives

To get buyers into the store on Memorial Day, dealers provide tons of incentives. These incentives include lower-pricing, rebates, and low-cost financing. Some places even give impressive deals such as extended warranties, free oil changes, or a year’s worth of car washes. Make sure to do your research before heading into a dealership to find out what they are offering and what you can take advantage of.

End of the month deals

Every month, dealerships set goals for the target number of cars they aim to sell and offer sizable bonuses to the salespeople who can reach those objectives. When it’s the end of the month, dealers are more likely to negotiate a good price with you so they can reach their goals and receive their bonuses. Since Memorial Day falls at the end of the month, dealers are more incentivized to give you the price you want.

Upgrade your ride before summer

Summer is on the horizon, which means it’s almost the season of road trips. Memorial Day weekend makes for the perfect time to upgrade your ride so you’ll be ready for all of your summer travel plans. If your family is in need of some extra car space for your road trips, you can find a great deal on a bigger SUV this weekend. Purchasing a new car now will also give you the peace of mind that your car is safe and won’t break down in the 90-degree weather.

Buy before you need one

In general, it’s always best to be proactive and buy a new car before yours kicks the bucket. Even if you want to get every last mile out of your car, if you wait until it’s dead, you’ll be forced to get your next car quickly. When this happens, you run the risk of having to purchase a car for a much higher price. During Memorial Day weekend, you can take advantage of the low prices now instead of waiting until your car breaks down for good.
If you’re looking to take advantage of this weekend’s sales, make sure to secure your financing beforehand with an auto loan from Common Trust FCU. Our ongoing auto loan promotion is offering rates as low as 2.49% with terms at 60 months, 72 months for 2019 models or 84 months for loans of $50,000 or greater. Visit our auto loan promotion page or stop by the branch to get started.

5 Reasons Why Financial Literacy Should be Taught from a Young Age

Despite improvements in banking technologies, many Americans are still unaware of how to manage their finances properly. In fact, only 48% of Americans were able to answer at least half of a set of financial literacy questions correctly. Even worse, less than 25% of millennials were able to answer basic financial wellness questions. So, how can adults best prepare younger generations to handle their personal finances properly and live successful lives? The answer begins with teaching financial education to young people both at home and in school. The following are just five of the reasons why teaching financial literacy is so important.

Learn how to save and budget

One of the biggest reasons why financial literacy should be taught is to best prepare them for saving and budgeting their money. Saving and budgeting are skills that are essential to being a financially successful adult and also require discipline that should be practiced from a young age.  A strong financial education allows kids and teens to know where to spend and where to save their money, as well as how to create and stick with a budget.

Avoid harmful financial mistakes

Because financial education is often unfortunately overlooked today, many early adults have to learn about their finances the hard way. When kids and teens are not taught the impact of their financial decisions, it becomes easy for them to make mistakes such as not paying credit card bills on time or overdrawing their accounts. These financial mistakes can lead to long-standing disadvantages, such as having poor credit and affects financial stability and success. Encouraging financial literacy throughout one’s young life helps to prepare them to make the right financial decisions.

Understand the implications of college loans

With the increasing cost of college, many students are relying on loans to cover the cost of tuition for their higher education. However, when high school seniors agree to loans for an expensive college, they may be unaware of what they are signing up for. Students who are not financially literate may not understand how student loans work or what their other options are. Financial education taught through classes in school and by parents helps students to fully understand how their loans work, including how interest accrues and the dangers or defaulting on loans. This education will help students to be better prepared for repaying their loans as adults.

Helps boost the economy

You don’t need to look much further than the United States’ financial crisis during the early 2000s to see how the economy was damaged by those who didn’t understand the full implications of their financial decisions. Having a solid understanding of the impact that individual financial decisions make on the economy is a critical reason why financial literacy is so important. Those who are taught about finances as they grow up will be better prepared to make decisions that will promote a healthy economy. Financial literacy also provides the knowledge that individuals need to navigate finances during times of emergency.

Encourages giving

Lastly, teaching young individuals about financial literacy goes hand in hand with teaching them about giving. By teaching the value of money, and how to spending wisely, it sets up more opportunities for young people to give back to those in need. After a strong financial education, they will be better suited to invest back into their communities.

As you can see, financial literacy is an essential skill that should be taught throughout one’s life, rather than only during adulthood. The month of April is both Credit Union Youth Month and Financial Literacy Month which seeks to promote the importance of financial literacy in young people. CTFCU is committed to building financial literacy in kids and teens, and that’s why we are offering a promotion on our youth accounts. From now until June 1st, open a youth account and you will be entered to win a bike or a $100 Amazon gift card! Visit our promotions page or stop by our office to learn more.

How to Travel While Staying on Budget

Summer is a great time to travel and explore, but all of the expenses that come with it can add up. Common Trust Credit Union wants you to enjoy your summer travels without breaking the bank. Here are a few of the best tips to stay within your budget:

  • Look for group or family discounts. Planning your trip with family and friends can help you get group discounts rates at theme parks, accommodations, and more.
  • Use your frequent flyer miles. If you fly often, consider signing up for an airline’s loyalty program. Some airlines offer free domestic flights after accruing a set amount of miles. Other airlines provide discounts or upgrades for flights based on the number of miles you have earned.
  • Compare accommodation options. Hotels are a great option when you want standard services and amenities, but many vacation rental sites can help you find a larger place for the same amount. Renting a home from a local resident can help you see the city from a local perspective. If you want to save even more, research budget accommodation options like hostels.
  • Reduce transportation costs. Many large cities have public transit systems that will take you to popular tourist spots. If you don’t want to worry about crowded trains or waiting on late buses, look for local bike, segway or even scooter rentals to explore your destination without having to worry about traffic or costly car rentals.
  • Plan your budget with the help of your local credit union. Whether you’re looking to save for a family vacation or plan for retirement,  CTFCU partners with financial advisors to help you develop a sound financial plan to meet your goals.

 

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