12 May

How to Build an Emergency Fund

Emergency Funds Coin Jar

Building an emergency fund takes time and dedication, but it’s not as hard as you think! Having funds to cover large, unexpected expenses such as emergency visits, home-appliance repairs, major car fixes, and unemployment will make going through those things a lot easier. We’ll tell you the best tips on how to build an emergency fund and how much you should save.

How Much Should I Save?

This fully depends on your financial circumstance, but a good rule of thumb is to have enough to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses. While three to six months’ worth of expenses sometimes seems like a massive amount, start small. Even having $500 saved can get you out of many financial emergencies. If you put away something now, you can build your emergency fund over time.

Where Should I Keep My Emergency Fund?

Since an emergency can strike at any time, having quick access to your emergency fund is crucial. The account should have competitive dividends and no monthly maintenance fees so you can get the most out of your savings.

RMELFCU offers multiple savings accounts that all earn competitive dividends, have no monthly maintenance fee, unlimited deposits, free digital banking, and more! Having a savings account with a credit union ensures you have access to your money when you need it and are earning benefits with it when you don’t.

Another, less liquid option, is an RMLEFCU share certificate. With these accounts, you deposit a certain amount, set your term length, and wait! You’ll earn competitive dividends at fixed rates that are higher than regular savings accounts. Keep in mind, the longer the term, the higher the rates. Early withdrawals are subject to penalties, so only use this option if you already have a set amount set aside for emergencies elsewhere to get you out of a pinch and are looking to build your already existing emergency fund faster.

Saving Emergency Funds

How Do I Save?

So, how do you get up to that three to six month goal? For a lot of people, this might seem like an enormous goal that will take years to reach and you might get disheartened along the way. Instead, a great way to start is to set a goal that is more reasonable and much smaller.

As mentioned above, an initial emergency fund of $250 or $500 is much more palatable and reaching those goals will make you feel accomplished and urge you to save more! Breaking down that emergency fund goal into even smaller pieces, like $25 dollars a week can make it even easier, and you can make those into automatic transfers, so you don’t even know the money is going to your savings!

If you save like this, you’ll realize quickly you’ve hit your first emergency fund milestone, and that will feel GREAT! Your account will start earning interest or dividends and you can continue the cycle by setting another easy-to-reach goal and you watch your emergency fund grow. Before you know it, you’ll reach that three to six month emergency fund and have it stashed away so your life isn’t disrupted by these kinds of inconveniences.

If you have any questions about RMLEFCU’s savings accounts or would like to open one in minutes, visit www.rmlefcu.org or give us a call at 303-458-6660. We would also love to see you in person! Find a branch near you.

06 May

Five Ways to Save Money this Spring

save money in the spring

A rising trend in frugality is taking things to the extreme. It started with extreme couponing and then DIY culture, and now the side hustle. While none of these things are particularly bad, they can easily be taken too far. We can show you that saving money should be simple! Here’s a list of the five easiest ways for you to save money this spring.

Negotiate Bills

This is the best money saving trick that doesn’t require you to sacrifice anything except a little bit of your time. You can negotiate a lower rate on your internet, cell phone, cable, gym membership, and more!

Start by making a list of recurring bills and set aside an afternoon to call those companies and ask for any new promotions or other options to save money. This might mean signing up for an annual contract or paying for a year up front.

But remember to be polite. Customer service representatives are people too! And if you’re nice, they might be capable of giving you a discount.

Hidden Discounts

If you or your child is in college, many businesses offer student discounts! You can also see if your company provides any discounts with your employee ID to local attractions, like museums.

You can also ask your HR department if there are any outside discounts available to employees. Big companies often have discounts for retail, entertainment, and more! Your bank or credit union might also have additional services you can use to save money. 

subscriptions saving money

Share Subscriptions

In a world of streaming, subscriptions pile up. Much like online shopping, these subscriptions can compound quickly if you’re not careful. It’s easy to sign up for something when it’s only $10 a month!

See if you can trim some of those subscriptions by sharing with friends and family! Netflix and Hulu picked up on this trend and offer multiple profiles. You can also share Spotify Family for people living in the same household.

If you’re not currently using a subscription, you can always pause or cancel easily! If you’re unsure about keeping a subscription, try pausing it and see if you actually miss it.

Refinance Loans

If you have a mortgage, student loans, personal or auto loans, refinancing could be the easiest thing you can do to save BIG. Refinancing your loan means selling your loan to a new lender who will give you a lower rate or better monthly terms.

Before you refinance, make sure to shop around and sign up for something that has a lower interest rate with the same loan term you had before. Be careful about refinancing to a longer term if you only have a short amount of time, say five years, left on a loan.

Carry Cash

A swipe of a card can be so easy! You’re not seeing the cash actually leave your hand – it’s just numbers on a screen. Sometimes you don’t associate the swipe or the numbers as the actual money you have.

If you know you’re going to the mall or a night out, it’s best to carry cash with you so you know how much you’re spending, and you have a hard limit on when to stop spending. You might rethink some purchases as cash is harder to pull out than a card.

 

Give us a call at (303) 458-6660, email lending@rmlefcu.org, or stop by a branch today if you have any questions or want to refinance any loans. If you want to learn more about how you can save money, take a look at our financial education center!

22 Apr

Avoiding ATM Fees Just Got Easier

Man at ATM with phone withdrawing money.

Everyone wants to avoid fees as much as possible, and one of the worst fees to get from your bank are ATM fees. You have to pay to get your money out? That doesn’t sound right…

Thankfully there are credit unions like RMLEFCU that have a partnership with the MoneyPass ATM network to get you access to tens of thousands of surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. But if you need some cash and you’re not a member of RMLEFCU, here are some ways you can avoid ATM fees.

Grocery Store Cash Back

If you need some cash and you’re not near any one of your bank’s ATMs, you can always make a small purchase with your debit card at a grocery store and select the cash back option. These are usually no-fee cash back options that generally are not available with credit cards.

Making a small purchase, like water or gum, is usually cheaper than the ATM fees itself and you’ll use what you buy sooner or later!

Get Reimbursed for ATM Fees

If your ATM fees combined with the fees your bank charges are hurting your wallet, it might be time to consider a new bank. Some banks offer reimbursements or refunds to ATM fees, either an unlimited amount or up to a certain total per month. This is a great option for those who don’t use cash often and don’t want to go out of their way to a specific ATM when cash is needed. Note: RMLEFCU’s Kasasa checking accounts will refund your ATM withdrawal fees nationwide.*

Use A Bank-Owned ATM

The easiest way to avoid ATM fees is to only withdraw from ATMs in your bank’s network. Although sometimes inconvenient, large brick-and-mortar banks charge you big fees on top of the ATM fees. To make it a little easier, these banks sometimes have apps to find the nearest in-network ATM.

Thankfully RMLEFCU is a part of the MoneyPass network which allows members to easily find an ATM virtually and make surcharge-free withdrawals at tens of thousands of ATMs nationwide. On top of that great perk, RMLEFCU’s Kasasa checking accounts will reimburse ATM withdrawal fees!

If you have any more questions or would like to open a Kasasa checking account with RMELFCU, visit our website at www.rmlefcu.org or give us a call at (303) 458-6660.

 

*View account pages to learn more.
11 Apr

Five Benefits of Digital Banking

Digital Banking on a cell phone

Today, many banks offer digital banking, RMLEFCU included. You can easily access your bank accounts through your phone or via the financial institution’s website. Banking digitally from the comfort of your own home makes everything a little easier. Take a look at some of the benefits of digital banking at RMLEFCU offers.

Easy Accessibility

One of the seriously underrated benefits of online banking is its easy access! This convenient feature allows you to take advantage of budgeting or checking your funds from anywhere. It’s free, secure, and easy to use for RMLEFCU members! You can make more time for yourself with fewer bank trips and manage a number of banking activities anytime with internet access! These include access to eStatements, account balances and history, transfer funds between accounts, and more!

Mobile Payments

Contactless payments are a simple way to make your purchases more secure and private and are as easy as a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. RMLEFCU supports Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and Visa Checkout on several devices! Not only do these services make your purchases more secure, but you can also add membership and loyalty cards, and have a shot at other great rewards!

digital banking on laptop or cell phone and credit card

Mobile Deposits

You can deposit checks right from your phone, which makes business move quicker and easier. There are no hours of operations or brick and mortar requirements with mobile banking. This free service for members saves you time and allows you to avoid unnecessary trips to a bank!

It’s secure and easy to use! Mobile deposits use your smartphone camera to make deposits in just a few clicks. Learn how to deposit a check right from your phone here!

Bill Pay

A great perk that comes with digital banking is the ability to pay bills without writing checks or walking into offices. You can pay one-time or recurring bills with a click of a button and it’s accessible anytime! You can also pay anyone in the country and payments are credited faster with email alerts. This convenient feature makes sure you never miss another bill payment.

eStatements

Online banking helps you get rid of paperwork, which in turn helps the environment and your sanity! This fast, free, and easy alternative can provide your statements easily online through the RMLEFCU website or through your phone! It simplifies record keeping so you can easily access past statements. You also get email alerts whenever a new eStatement is ready!

No one enjoys getting bank statements in the mail. Not only is this great for the trees, but it’s safer for your finances since you’ll never toss sensitive information in the trash!

Do these perks sound great? Give us a call at (303) 458-6660 to set up your digital banking today!

05 Apr

 The Advantages and Benefits of Credit Cards

Credit Card

While credit cards and debit cards may seem quite similar, they are actually very different when it comes to how they are used. A debit card is directly linked to a checking account or money market and transactions are taken from the available balance in that account. Credit cards, on the other hand, are not linked to a checking account and there is no balance due immediately after a transaction. Instead, it works with monthly payments.

Credit cards often get a bad reputation, because of the delayed balance due and temptation surrounding that, but the truth is they can be very advantageous to your finances! Credit cards are a great tool for earning rewards, traveling, building credit, and handling emergencies or unplanned expenses. And, if you use them correctly, these advantages can even earn you money!

Benefits of Using a Credit Card

Let’s talk about the biggest benefit. Building your credit. A credit card is a line of credit and paying it off in full every statement can help you build your credit.

Along with that, when used responsibly, they can be beneficial when traveling. Major hotels and car rentals often require a hold on a credit or debit card. If you don’t currently have the funds in your account for the deposit/hold, it’s great to use a credit card for the time being.

You can also earn rewards on your card for purchases you make. These rewards can be in forms of cash back, discounts, or even travel miles! For those who use their cards regularly, a rewards card might be the best option for you so you can earn those extra points and redeem them for rewards!

How Do I Use Credit Cards Responsibly?

Treating your credit card as a debit card is a top priority. You should never spend more than what you can pay back. It’s essential for anyone who decides to open a line of credit to consider how they plan to make the payments and how to use their new purchasing power responsibly.

Credit cards also offer balance transfer options. These options allow a cardholder to transfer the balance on one or multiple credit cards to another card. The transferred balance is now subject to the interest rate and terms of the new card. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of you are to utilize the balance transfer option!

Which Card Should I Apply For?

There are credit cards options for every kind of spender. Some are specifically tailored for people trying to build up their credit, usually with a deposit attached to the card. There are some cards with low-interest rates for users who want to keep money on their card and there’s also rewards cards that offer enticing rewards in exchange for spending.

RMLEFCU offers three credit card options for our members. The Classic Visa, the Platinum Visa Select, and the Platinum Visa.

These three cards all have the following benefits:

  • Accepted worldwide
  • No fee for cash advances or balance transfer
  • Competitive rates with no annual fees
  • 25-day grace period to pay for purchases
  • Make payments and view statements online

Don’t know which card to choose? Watch this video to see which card is right for you!

If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call at (303) 458-6660 or visit a branch today.

20 Mar

2019 RMLEFCU Unparalleled Community Impact Award

2019 Unparalleled Community Impact Award

It’s that time of year again for the annual RMLEFCU Unparalleled Community Impact Award!

This award is designed to honor a local law enforcement officer who demonstrates outstanding community service consistently. We created this award because we are constantly impressed with the exceptional community service our local law enforcement officers demonstrate and believe their good deeds should be formally recognized and appreciated. We value our members and their noble professions and would like to acknowledge the great community we serve.

In addition to the Unparalleled Community Impact Award, we will be honoring two additional officers with Outstanding Act of Service Awards, which honor individuals who have displayed a recent act of outstanding service.

Have anyone in mind?

Please submit your nomination below by filling out all required information. The more detail you can provide, the better the selection committee will be able to choose a winner.

Deadline for all nominations is Friday, April 19th, 2019.

 

Unparalleled Community Impact Award Nomination

  • Nominee Information

  • Your Information

  • Any More Relevant Information or Attachments

  • Drop files here or