Friday, December 16, 2016

5 Favorite New Mexican Holiday Traditions

Let's talk tradition! What are our top five favorite New Mexican holiday traditions? We've listed them below.

1.       River of Lights
Wear a heavy jacket and some good walking shoes because you aren’t going to want to miss the River of Lights. With millions of twinkling lights and more than 500 displays, make sure you add this to your list of holiday activities. The River of Lights landed on MSN’s “The 15 Most Spectacular Holiday Lights Displays in the U.S.” and definitely deserves a spot! Grab the family, head to the BioPark and witness this magical display of lights for yourself.

2.       Luminarias
The most infamous of all Christmas decorations: Luminarias. You just need three things: brown bags, candles, and sand. Place them all around your house and yard, and you are set. Luminarias are basically a Christmas staple here in New Mexico! In fact, ABQ Ride has created a Luminaria Tour to highlight just how much we <3 luminarias.

3.       Nob Hill Shop and Stroll
Check some gifts off your list at Nob Hill Shop and Stroll. Central shuts down, and local businesses keep their doors open later. Nob Hill expects to see 8,000-10,000 people at this event. Customers come to shop, browse, and grab a bite!  

4.       Twinkle Light Parade
Congratulations are in order for this bright and twinkly occasion! The Twinkle Light Parade has been named #2 Best Holiday Parade in the country by USA Today.  This infamous New Mexican tradition features over 300,000 lights stretching over a mile, cool cars, firetrucks, and of course, Mr. and Mrs. Klaus! Bundle up and grab a canister of hot cocoa because you won’t want to miss Albuquerque’s biggest holiday parade.

5.       Biscochitos
What goes best with all four traditions mentioned above? Biscochitos. Everyone in New Mexico loves biscochitos especially right out of the oven! You can get them anywhere…even at U.S. Eagle. In fact, when you purchase biscochitos at any one of our branches, all proceeds will benefit local organizations. Delicious cookies all for a good cause.
Well, this concludes our top five favorite New Mexican Holiday traditions! We would love to learn about your family tradition around the holidays. Leave a comment and tell us your favorite tradition. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Casa Esperanza, Meals on Wheels, El Camino Real Academy: OH MY!

It’s time for a community service rewind.

As some of you may know, the credit union philosophy is “People Helping People”. We fulfill this philosophy every day through volunteering, fundraising, and donating.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we want to recap some of our major community service efforts throughout 2016. We are so thankful for our community and the opportunities we are provided to help out around New Mexico.

Every other Tuesday, a group of U.S. Eagle employees head down to Casa Esperanza to put their cooking skills to the test. Sometimes lasagna is on the menu, other times it’s tacos, or maybe we’ll just host a BBQ! In honor of Thanksgiving, we will be preparing a delicious Thanksgiving meal this week for those residing at Casa Esperanza. Casa Esperanza provides appropriate housing and emotional support for patients and their families who reside temporarily in Albuquerque while the patient receives treatment.

Every Wednesday, Team Eagle delivers delicious meals to local New Mexicans requiring special dietary needs. Meals on Wheels provides us with the opportunity to serve those in need around Albuquerque. Over 500 clients are served, and over 100,000 meals are delivered every year thanks to Meals on Wheels.

 Annually, we have a bake sale in October at all of our branches to raise money for Making Strides Against BreastCancer. Employees donate baked or purchased goods to display in our lobbies. Thanks to our members and employees, we were able to raise $1,526 through our bake sale and have a huge group of employees walk in support of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. 

For our second year in a row, we were able to contribute $1,000 to El Camino Real Academy for their annual Thanksgiving meal provided to their students and their families.  This event provides students and their families with a healthy, fresh, and organic meal to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is an all-day event that everyone looks forward to!

Abrazos Family Support Services hosts an annual holiday dinner for families who may not be able to provide a home-cooked holiday meal. We were able to partner with Abrazos this year by providing a $500 donation to support their dinner. Thanks to Abrazos, the dinner will serve over 65 families and 300 people! Abrazos provides a variety of specialized educational, health, developmental, and parent support services that help families to meet the special needs of their infants, children, and adult family members with disabilities.

This year, our Jr. Board of Directors was able to volunteer at Galloping Grace Youth Ranch for their annual Pumpkin Patch. They stocked pumpkins, organized games, broke down corrals, moved bales of hay, childproofed the maze, and assisted with check-in. Galloping Grace Youth Ranch is a place where kids lead kids while learning how to raise livestock, grow crops, explore the outdoors, and enrich the community.

We are honored to assist organizations around New Mexico through donations, sponsorships, and volunteerism. Thank you to all of these wonderful organizations who ensure the sustainability of our community. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Authentic Difference

Every third Thursday of October since 1948, credit unions across the globe celebrate International Credit Union Day. For those of you who didn't know credit unions exist on a global scale - now you know. In fact, the first credit union was founded in Germany by Friedrich Raiffeisen. Moving on from my history lesson of the day, International Credit Union Day recognizes the history of the credit union movement and its achievements. This momentous day also celebrates the hard work of those who dedicate their lives to the credit union industry.
This year, the theme of International Credit Union Day is "The Authentic Difference". Not to toot our own horn, but there truly is an authentic difference in the credit union industry. Our goal is to serve our members and help them financially succeed. We do this as an organization, and each department has an integral role to make our members' experience as authentic as possible. Here is how some of our employees exhibit the authentic difference in their roles at U.S. Eagle:
Meet Theo. Theo has worked for U.S. Eagle for nearly 27 years! Theo was the "SEG Champ" back when the ball first started rolling. "SEG" stands for "Select Employee Group". In order to join U.S. Eagle you had to be a part of a select employee group or a family member of an employee. Theo added hundreds of SEGs so that all their employees and family members could truly experience the authentic credit union difference.
Meet Jeremy. Jeremy has worked for the credit union for almost three years and is one of our biggest cheerleaders! His favorite part of his job is helping people with their financial needs. Jeremy is passionate about the credit union movement and exhibits the authentic difference by providing the right services and products that will fit our members' lifestyles. Jeremy leaves work every day knowing he made a difference in someone's life.
Meet Patty. Patty has been working for U.S. Eagle for eleven years! Her favorite part about working for the credit union is the impact she has on families. Many families may be in need of guidance concerning financial situations. Her financial knowledge is continually developing and allows her to confidently give members different options that best fit their specific needs. Patty says the best part of learning is that it never stops - tomorrow is an endless day full of possibilities! Patty demonstrates the authentic difference to our members by helping them feel like a person and not a paycheck. She strives to offer them an experience of belonging and is always eager to share our meaningful mantra - "Where Everyone Belongs".

Meet Ina. Ina has been working for U.S. Eagle for nearly five years. Her favorite part about working for a credit union is how our organization lives out the credit union philosophy of "People Helping People". She recognizes how community-centered U.S. Eagle is and appreciates the many opportunities available to commit time to local non-profits. Ina exhibits the authentic difference through her position in human resources by ensuring our internal members are happy and confident in their position which allows better service for our external members. She is a trusted resource, her door is always open, and she commits daily to go above and beyond in her position.

Meet Diana. Diana has been lovin' life at U.S. Eagle for almost a year. Her favorite part of her job is interacting with our members and knowing that U.S. Eagle is helping them financially. Diana exhibits the authentic difference in a few ways. Farmington is such a tight knit community and everybody is familiar with one another. This allows Diana to demonstrate authenticity by acknowledging each member by their name and treating them as individual and not just a number. She welcomes them as soon as they walk through the door and treats them with kindness. Through membership interaction, Diana has become more outspoken and enjoys having important conversations with members to ensure their financial success.

Stop by any branch on Thursday, October 20th from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. and celebrate International Credit Union Day with U.S.!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beware of Fraudsters

Have you ever received an email from a random individual offering you a job, and even better – advance pay before you have even interviewed? What about receiving a message from someone who claims they are romantically interested in you and within days requests to deposit a check into your account with the promise to designate a portion of the cash to you?  Have you ever heard the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is”? Well that applies to these scenarios.

Recently, our Fraud Department has noticed an influx of our members falling prey to scams like these. Let me break down these two scenarios a little bit better.
Scenario 1: At some point in the past year or so, you have posted your resume on a job search engine. One day, you receive a job offer sent to your personal email describing a position the “employer” is pretty much giving to you with the promise of a paycheck before you even start. All you have to do is send your account information and you’re set! Should you send any of your information? NO. In fact, you should block the sender and report the email as spam.

Scenario 2: You have recently started online dating. After exchanging some messages with a promising contender for your heart, they ask if they can deposit a check into your account. Even better – since you two are exclusive, they want to provide you with some money for the trouble and have offered to deposit the check on their end using RDC (remote deposit capture). You agree and send them your login information. They download the app on their mobile device, deposit the check, and boom – your balance increases $5,000.  All you have to do is head to the credit union and withdraw the amount they want you to send to them. The things we do for love!

Both of these situations have one thing in common – you never meet the person on the receiving end. You never meet your “employer” nor do you ever meet your new “crush”. In the end, you’re the one with the negative balance in your account, and your information is in the hands of a scammer somewhere in the world.
So, what can you do to avoid these types of situations? Never give out any of your account information or personal information.  Stop all communication with the fraudster – they will be very persistent. These scams are common no matter what age you are. If you find yourself in a similar situation, please call our Fraud Department immediately at 505-342-8871.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Money Management vs. the Pythagorean Theorem

Growing up, kids and teens learn about the Pythagorean Theorem, ionic compounds, and how to diagram compound sentences. But after they finish school, do they actually remember all the information surrounding these topics? Maybe. How about actually applying these skills in the real world? Eh, probably not. Don’t get me wrong, the Pythagorean Theorem is great. I can’t say I have done much with it since I learned it back in middle school, but I am sure there are people out there that really enjoy solving problems using the Pythagorean. And, yes, I had to look up the spelling of that word. I think I am getting a little bit off topic. Back to financial literacy. So, why aren’t we teaching our children and teenagers how to balance their checkbook or how to manage their credit score - both skills that will last a lifetime. Most people apply these skills daily, and at least monthly.  Why don’t we teach our youth basic money management skills?

I know that first paragraph was kind of a downer, but there is good news. Your credit union (us, U.S. Eagle) tries to actively fix this problem to the best of our ability. We do this through financial literacy. We go into schools and organizations and actually talk with our youth about budgeting, understating credit, saving money, and more. We discuss these topics in their classrooms and engage them in conversation to help them learn about these basic financial concepts.

Now, my personal favorite financial literacy tool is “Mad City Money”. Kids love this game, as well as parents and you’ll see why. Mad City Money is a simulation that gives kids a taste of the real world. They have a family, bills, and a steady income. Participants must decide where they are going to live, how they are going to commute, what they are going to eat, and much more. They discover how much internet costs, how expensive groceries and eating out can be, and…how much diapers cost! I find parents who participate in this game sometimes enjoy it more than their kids…

Through these presentations and simulations, our youth are learning more about these important financial topics. They are engaged and they are having fun. This is one way we hold true to the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People”.  We encourage parents to bring in their kids or teens and teach them about the importance of saving their money in a savings account. Even if it just $5.00 per month. Getting into the habit of saving at a young age can really pay off in the long run.
If you are interested in facilitating financial literacy at your school or organization, please call Danielle at 505-342-8875.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

12 Ways to Spend $1,000

Imagine $1,000 falls into your lap. How would you spend it? Or would you save it? Here are some ideas on what you should do with that extra cash.

Kick Debt Out the Door.

Take the responsible option and get rid of that $865 balance remaining on your credit card. This option may not be the most adventurous route, but it will definitely be a weight off your shoulders. It could also add an extra $50 to your monthly disposable income and you can say "Good-bye" to interest.


Ever heard of the 700/300 ratio? Me either, but this option may work the best for you. Pay off some debt with $700 and have some fun with $300; a conservative approach with a spin.

Upgrade Your Wardrobe.

This may be a great opportunity for you to upgrade your wardrobe. Maybe purchase a new suit or that new purse you’ve been eyeing at your favorite high-end store. A new suit or new purse are style staples and can also come in handy when you need to look professional.

Quick Getaway, Anyone?

Sometimes we just need a break to relax, recharge, and getaway. Use $1,000 for exactly this. Purchase a roundtrip flight, or gas up your car and head towards that destination you’ve always wanted to visit. Spend a couple nights in a hotel, experience the culture, eat some delicious food, and then make your way back home.

Save, Save, SAVE!

Some people may consider this a less exciting option, but for those who want to play it safe – invest your $1,000 in a money market account or share certificate. Make that  money work for you!

Electronic Upgrade, Please!

It seems like every day there is a new upgrade available for your laptop or your cell phone. Maybe it’s time to upgrade your computer. If it weighs over five pounds, then it’s time to get rid of that desktop still using dial-up and invest in a new laptop. Upgrading your cell phone to the latest and greatest is always useful and, well, fun! Our society uses and relies on mobile devices more and more every day. You can make purchases by paying with your phone, find your location within seconds, or take a photo - all on your 5in x 3in device. It’s a good idea to invest in something so present and usable in today’s age.

Save It for that Unexpected Expense that WILL Come Up Next Month.

This seems to always happen. You get some extra money, spend it, and then shortly after you conveniently get a flat tire. Well, say “NO” to that unexpected expense by saving your spare $1,000. When you find yourself at the dentist with a $500 bill, okay let’s be real, a $900 bill, guess what? You can cover that no prob. Be prepared for these situations that conveniently hit you at the most inconvenient times.

Redecorating; Hello New Walk-In Closet!

Tired of staring at that old couch? Are your wooden floors starting to look like potential firewood? Time to consider a mini-home remodel! Use your extra $1,000 to do some spring cleaning around your house. Maybe organize your closet, hire someone to shampoo your carpets, replace some old furniture, or hire a landscaper to make your backyard a jungle of beautiful vegetation. Did we hear some say, "Pool Day"?

Continuing Education.

Dust off your thinking cap and enroll in some classes to further your skillset. Maybe learn a new language, improve your graphic design skills, or take some cooking classes. Improve yourself mentally by taking on a new challenge.

Healthy YOU!

Take advantage of your extra cash by hiring a personal trainer or joining a gym. Gyms can be on the expensive side, add a personal trainer and a new diet and watch that total grow. Clean up your diet by purchasing organic or shopping at your local grower’s market. Your body will thank you!


Give your extra cash to a charitable organization of your choice. The money will be much appreciated and you’ll feel good knowing you contributed to a worthy cause. Go all out and donate some of your time too!

Invest in a New Hobby.


Always wanted to learn pottery? Maybe gardening is more up your alley? Well the moment you’ve been waiting for is here – take on a new hobby with your spare cash. Escape your daily routine by cycling through the mountains or canoeing down the nearest river.

There are a lot of ways to spend $1,000. Just remember to weigh out the pros and cons, and make a decision that is right for you and your financial situation.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Vacay Without Breaking the Bank!

Summer is almost here which means a vacation is in order. How do we go about planning a vacation without breaking the bank? Here are some ideas:

1. ROAD TRIP! Gather the family (or friends) and hit the road. Make a stop at the Grand Canyon or Elitch Gardens and spend some time in nature or touring some shops and museums. Quality time with the fam or your closest pals is always a fun time.

2. Use Airbnb! For those of you who don't know, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries! Talk about some options. If you're home for the summer and looking to make some extra cash, put that spare bedroom on Airbnb and earn some money.

3.  Tour New Mexico. New Mexico is beautiful and if you like the outdoors, then you're in luck because you have a lot of options. White Sands, Santa Rosa Blue Hole, Carlsbad Caverns, camping in Ruidoso, zip-lining in Angel Fire...the list really goes a local tourist!

4. STAY-cation. Yes, this is a thing and it's pretty fun. Here's the idea- you stay at home, but you act like you're on vacation which means no work, eating junk food, going to the pool, shopping, and watching movies until 2am. Affordable, yet still a vacation.

5. Camping. Grab your cooler and fill it with hotdogs, marshmallows - the necessities, and head for the mountains. Set up your tent, lay out your sleep bag, and tell your best spooky story. Camping is affordable and away from the city, so you still get that vacation-feel with the plus of nature for the weekend.

Summer is right around the corner, so remember, you can still vacay without spending thousands of dollars. A vacation can be a tent in the backyard or a movie marathon in your living room. Just remember to take some time off, relax, and maybe spend some quality time with your loved ones or pet!

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Okay guys. We are about to talk about something cool, but also a little bit complicated. Not sure if you have heard the news, but one of our premier investment products is called the “Ladder Certificate”.

What’s a "certificate" and why is it called a “ladder”? Let me break it down…

First, let me start off with the question - what is a CD? And no, I am not referring to those circular disks from the 90s we used to listen to music in a stereo. This type of CD is defined as a certificate of deposit. At credit unions, we call them “Share Certificates”. A CD is a product where you place your money in an account for a period of time (as little as 3 months or as long as maybe 5 years) while you earn a higher interest rate; typically more than your savings or checking accounts.  U.S. Eagle offers a product that most banks or credit unions don’t…ahem, drum roll please…the LADDER CERTIFICATE!
So, what is this infamous ladder certificate you ask? It is five CDs (share certificates) in one. The ladder consists of a one year, two year, three year, four year, and five year share certificates.  Each one of these certificates will earn the 5-year interest rate. When the 1-year CD matures, (meaning coming up for renewal) it will automatically turn into the 5-year CD, while the 2-year CD is now the 1-year (because you only have a year left for maturity), and the 3-year becomes the 2-year, and so on.

The unique thing about this ladder certificate is you can contribute to the CD whenever you have $1,000.00 or more to equally disperse amongst the CDs, (in this case, $1,000.00 will be split into all 5 of the CDs) all the while you still earn the interest rate of the 5-year CD. 
This sets the Ladder Certificate apart from other CDs because it allows you to make continuous equal deposits into each of the 5 CDs whenever you want as long as you do not break your ladder. If you do close out any of the CDs when they mature, you can no longer contribute to the remaining CDs.

So, save up some money and invest it. You'll make money on your money. Plus, you'll sound cool when you explain this investment to all your pals, "Yeah...just invested my money in a ladder certificate...oh you don't know what that is?"


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Annual Meeting at U.S. Eagle!

Once you deposit $5 into your savings account at U.S. Eagle, you become a member-owner.  It’s the most unique benefit of being a member at U.S. Eagle, which is why we invite all members to our Annual Meeting. We want your voice to be heard.

Who attends an Annual Meeting? Other shareholders, but more importantly, local people in our community who have invested in the same financial institution and share the same goals for the future as you do.
 So, what goes on at an Annual Meeting and why should you attend? 
Status report of U.S. Eagle’s fiscal year
Learn about the current financial standing of U.S. Eagle. Key management officers will also discuss goals and initiatives for 2017.

Board of Directors elections
Members on the Board of Directors serve three year terms. Make your vote count if there's an election.

Open discussion with Board of Directors and  U.S. Eagle staff
Time for some Q & A!

Scholarship recipients announced
Three students will take home big giant checks valued at $2,000 towards school.


Social Hour
Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and meet some fellow Eagles.

So, on Wednesday, May 4th at 6:30pm, make sure you're at The Event Center at Sandia Golf Club. We'll see you there!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Crashing the GAC!!

What does “Crashing the GAC” consist of? Over 30 sessions, meetings, and discussions; nearly 85,000 steps; and a 90+ hour work week…all in less than six days. I can now proudly say, I am a GAC Crasher Alum.

Although the list above may seem a bit daunting, Crashing the GAC has been an invaluable experience and one of the best opportunities of my professional career. Before I go on, let me explain what the GAC is. The Governmental Affairs Conference is an annual meeting in Washington D.C. of credit unions from around the nation designed to ignite the credit union movement. The GAC guest list includes top leaders at credit unions, associations and leagues, keynote speakers, and mainly just really important people who have worked hard to get where they are…cue 52 millennials in bright yellow shirts. That would be me, us, THE Crashers. Now, let’s review what exactly a “Crasher” is. A Crasher is a young person selected from each state to attend the GAC and shake things up. We are there to network, learn, and network.

Selfie with Rep. Ben Ray Lujan
Crashing the GAC was amazing. The main thing I took away from this experience is, understanding the credit union movement. I want to make a difference in my position and help people, now, I know even more ways to make that happen. I met so many passionate people at the GAC who were inspiring and on fire about the credit union movement. Credit Unions are more than just financial institutions. Credit Unions are places where people can go to financially succeed. Credit Unions are places that will, of course, hold your money, BUT they serve our members and have their best interest in mind. Credit Unions will sit down with members and have that tough conversation, but then do all we can to help you in the long run. Credit Unions are owned by its members. Credit Unions serve people.

I’m excited to make a difference and impact lives while representing my credit union every day. Being a part of a credit union means that I am an advocate for the credit union movement. I get to spread the news about how people can join a credit union. People need to know they can join and not feel nervous or burdened by their financial situation. People can expect a trusted relationship with the place that takes care of their money. People CAN improve their financial well-being, and, we will do our best to ensure we are there for them every step of the way.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Tax Refund Tips

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Tax Season is here! Let's fast forward to the fun stuff (hopefully). Your tax refund. How are you going to spend your tax refund? Will you tuck your money away for a rainy day? Or, will you buy that new iPad you’ve been eyeing? Before you make a decision, check out these tips from the Eagle!

1.       Emergency Fund

You never know what life is going to throw your way. When something unexpected does happen, make sure you're prepared. Make sure you have money tucked away to cover yourself should something unfortunate ensue. If you’ve been reading up on our blog posts, you know the recommended amount one should save is six months’ worth of expenses. Add up all your bills and multiply the total times six – there’s your goal. This is not an account that will accumulate overnight. This is a long term goal you can set for yourself, but adding a chunk of your tax return to this account definitely would not hurt!

2.       Pay Off Debt

Let me introduce you to what I call the "Debt Cloud". This lil' guy is your shadow when you have credit card debt. He's quiet, and just looms over your shoulder. Maybe the Debt Cloud is hangin’ out with you as we speak. How great does it feel when that cloud is gone? Seriously, can he just leave already? It’s a great feeling to no longer have to make a payment on a credit card. I know for me personally, it’s amazing to have the feeling of freedom from debt! The average American balances around $5,000 in credit card debt. No Bueno. Use your tax refund to pay off some debt. Get rid of the Debt Cloud that’s been your constant companion for the past year. Say “Goodbye” to those monthly payments, interest rates, and credit card balances that never seem to diminish.

3.       Add to Your Retirement Fund or Invest

It’s never too early to save for retirement. It’s never too late to save for…wait. It’s never a bad time to add to your retirement savings! If your current finances are in check, stash some money away for retirement. If you already put in enough money per paycheck into your 401(k) for your company to match, consider starting an IRA. An IRA allows you to have more control over your savings than a 401(k). The sooner you save; the better off you’ll be in the future. In addition to securing your future, consider investing your money in stocks or bonds. Choose to be risky and invest in stocks, or be conservative and invest in bonds. Another saving option is a designated college savings account. Earn a return on your savings by opening a Coverdell IRA and save for your kids or grandkids’ college education.  
4.       Maintenance, Repairs, and Home Additions

Tired of creaky wooden floors? Duct tape no longer working on those leaky pipes? If you’re anything like me…a swimming pool in the backyard will do. Okay, okay, maybe a little bit too extravagant. Take advantage of your tax refund and repair your house or manicure your yard. Save even more by becoming Mr. Fix-It for a day.  

5.       Save, Save, Save! 

If you have an emergency fund already set aside, consider saving for an upcoming large purchase you see in your near future. Maybe you can add some of the funds to your Holiday Account. You can never do wrong when you save your money.
6.       Fun?

Fun?! Did she just list “Fun”? Yes, yes I did. There is nothing wrong with spending your tax refund on a family vacation or that swimming pool you’ve been dreaming of for years because you love swimming and reading a good book near the pool while drinking some iced tea…oh, am I talking about me again? Sorry, got a little bit distracted. Anyways, as long as your savings are in order – have FUN with your tax reFUNd! See what I did there?
7.       Give to Others

You can never go wrong by using your tax refund for the greater good. Donate your funds to charities around town or use the money to help someone else in need. The return will never seem sweeter.

Friday, January 8, 2016

New Year's Financial Resolutions

It’s that time of year again - time to pencil down your New Year’s Resolutions. According to, “Spending less and saving more” is in the top three New Year’s resolutions in 2015. We are here to help! Although New Year’s resolutions may seem cliché or redundant, they don’t have to be. Resolutions can be a great way to start off the year with a fresh goal in mind. U.S. Eagle has some ideas to help you accomplish your financial resolution – Spend Less, Save More!

The first thing on the list is to create a budget.  How many of our readers budget already? If not, that’s okay – it’s never too late to start! According to, a  good rule of thumb is to balance your budget using the following breakdown: 35% housing, 15% debt, 15% transportation, 10% savings, 25% other. Check out your checking account and divvy up your expenses under these categories…it’s surprising how much money we can spend in one month on coffee or eating out. Identify where you overspend. You may overspend on something and not even notice. Keeping track of your transactions allows you to be conscious of every purchase and constantly aware of your balance.  Once you have created a budget, find ways to make sure you stick to it! Some suggestions we offer are: direct deposit, manually balancing your checkbook (not relying on online banking), and setting a goal amount to have in your savings account at the end of the year.

Another financial goal that will never go out of style is improving your credit score. cites that “…the annual difference in cost between good and bad credit is roughly $650 in credit card payments, $1,400 on your auto loan and $2,300 on a mortgage.” That’s a lot of money you could be saving! Keep in mind that debt is not always a bad thing; in fact, it is necessary to build credit. One way to improve your credit score is to maintain a credit card responsibly. Use the credit card and make your payments on time or pay off the balance monthly. This will report positive information to credit bureaus each month. If you’re in trouble with your credit score, U.S. Eagle offers a Credit Builder Credit Card to help you get back on your feet!

Our third financial resolution is to build an emergency fund. Unexpected expenses happen and we need to be prepared for when that time comes. What’s a good amount to have in savings? Six months’ worth of expenses is a good starting point. Calculate how much money you spend every month on your mortgage or rent, car payments, insurances, gas, groceries, etc. and multiply this amount times six. Create your emergency fund based on that number. We encourage you to save a little more than six months’ worth of expenses, but this will take time.

Our fourth financial resolution recommendation is to utilize automated payments. Avoid missing those due dates by scheduling payments to come out of your account automatically. Missing a payment usually results in a late fee, damage to your credit score, and lastly, a phone call to the company asking for mercy for about thirty minutes. If you don’t like automated payments, set up reminders. These alerts will notify you when a payment is approaching.

Our last financial resolution for 2016 is to make financial literacy a priority for you and your family. In a 2015 survey by Stanford & Poor’s, the United States ranked 14th globally for financial literacy. We need to work together to improve our understanding of managing money starting with our youth.  The internet is a great resource to find information about budgeting, your credit score, saving, and more. U.S. Eagle offers free financial literacy for youth. We also offer free and confidential financial counseling and education through Balance. If you have any questions, come visit one of our friendly staff members who are more than willing to assist you. Remember, our mission at U.S. Eagle is to “Improve the financial well-being of each member and the communities we serve through trusted relationships.”