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4 Habits of Self-Made Millionaires
November 20, 2014
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Do you want to achieve financial freedom? Do you want to become a millionaire in this lifetime? If your answer is “Yes!” to the questions above, these habits will you get you on your way to financial security.

1. Establish and Work Towards Your Plan Patiently: Self-made millionaires don’t become wealthy by accident or overnight. It takes a well-researched and well-thought out plan to get them on their way. Setting the intention is important. If you’re serious about heading into millionaire-hood at some point in your life, you have to set a clear intention and shift your lifestyle choices to mirror your goal. Consistent investment effort turns into millionaire success. 

2. Be Proactive: You don’t need an Ivy League education to become a millionaire. What you need is a strong commitment to learning. Whether you’re starting a business or working hard at a job, make the commitment to learn everything you need to know. Self-made millionaires are actively involved in creating their own wealth. This includes: learning the ins and outs of finance, paying attention to what’s happening in their industry and making wise decisions with their money.
 
3. Save and Invest: Self-made millionaires are focused on saving and investing their money, instead of making and spending their money. As a result, they are constantly seeking ways to generate more income. For starters, you should already be saving at least 10% of your pay checks. Create a budget and stick to it. Consider ways to make more money. This may be creating a stellar app, building a powerful website that draws in investors or starting your own business selling unique apparel. Whatever the focus is, self-made millionaires are flexible enough to take measured risks. Without risks your money never has the opportunity to grow.

4. Live Below Your Means: After some extensive research, I’ve learned that the wealthiest people are also the most frugal people. Just pick up the book The Millionaire Next Door. The number one car brand among millionaires is not BMW or Porsche or even Mercedes – it’s Toyota! Just ask Mark Zuckerberg who drives a $30,000 Volkswagen. Self-made millionaires understand that if you’re too busy spending money on objects you don’t specifically need, you’ll never have money to effectively save or invest in something better. Consequently, a healthy relationship with money matters. Self-made millionaires pack their lunches, drive reliable, low maintenance cars and spend below-to-within their means.  

Created by Brittany Spell/St John’s University – Major: Psychology

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4 Apps You Should Have on Your iPhone
November 6, 2014
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Nowadays you can do just about anything on your phone – including save money! Check out these 4 incredible financial resources and start managing your money today!

1. Mint —User-friendly and efficient, this application brings all of your financial information to your desktop and mobile device. If you have difficulty figuring out where all your money’s going, Mint will be a lifesaver. Securely connecting to your checking, savings and credit card accounts, Mint automatically organizes your various purchases into categories to display exactly where you spend your money. It also offers a budgeting program that allows you to create budgets and savings goals to keep you on track for financial success. Whether you’re establishing your food expenses for the month or planning for a successful retirement, Mint is a one-stop shop for personal finance management and it’s FREE.

2. Bill Tracker – With this useful tool, you will never pay a bill late again! Bill Tracker is a simple, straight-forward app for keeping track of bills. It records due dates, amounts owed and confirmation numbers for payment. With the click of a button, you can set reminder alerts for upcoming and overdue payments. From student loans to cellphone bells, you can keep track of all of your payments for a low-cost price of $1.99.

3. Gas Cubby – Are you tired of spending tons of money on gas? Then Gas Cubby is for you! With this app you can save money and keep your car up to speed. Using your phone’s GPS to chart car mileage, the app tells you how much gas you’re using.  Also, it tracks gas prices at various locations to find you the best local deals. Use this FREE app to get reminders about when to change your car’s oil and other maintenance needs.

4. Retail Me Not – Whether you’re at the store or shopping online, Retail Me Not shares up-to-date coupons and promo codes for thousands of your favorite stores. At Target? Simply search Target on the search box and receive the latest Target coupons applicable towards your purchase.  Whether you’re looking for a deal on apparel, electronics, phone bills or flight tickets, Retail Me Not has a deal for that. Not to mention, the application posts the latest and greatest deals on its home page to keep you in the loop about the best deals of the moment. Go download this FREE app and never miss out on a deal!

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3 Tips on Writing a Stellar Scholarship Essay
October 23, 2014
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Whether it’s fall, winter, spring or summer, it’s scholarship season for college students. Read the following tips for pointers on writing a stellar scholarship essay!

1. Answer the Question – You can follow the next 2 tips, but without this one, you will be missing a significant piece – the essay question. Read the instructions and make sure you understand what the question is asking you before you start writing. Once you clearly understand what you’re being asked, create an outline to help organize your thoughts. Ask yourself, “What do I want to say?” and “What story do I want to tell?” Focus on developing a strong introduction, supporting evidence and an appropriate conclusion. Whether the essay calls for structure or creativity, make sure you have a beginning, middle and end that flows. 

2. Add Your Personal Touch – Don’t be afraid to include a dash of personality to your piece! Remember, scholarship applications ask for GPAs, extracurricular and community service activities – all things you and other applicants may have in common. What will make you stand out is your essay.  Be descriptive, but make sure you share information that bolsters and not inhibits your essay.  

3. Proofread – We all know the importance of putting our best foot forward, that’s why grammatical and spelling errors are frowned upon. Scholarship judges see your essays as a reflection of you. As writers, sometimes we overlook silly grammatical mistakes, but it makes us appear negligent in the eyes of the judges. To ensure your essay is in tip-top shape, have at least one person proofread it for clarity and grammatical soundness. The goal is to have your essay stand out for its excellence and not its errors.

At NEFCU, we offer excellent scholarship opportunities for all college students!  To learn more about NEFCU’s scholarship grants, visit www.myNEFCU.org/scholarships

Created by Brittany Spell/St John’s University – Major: Psychology

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10 College Tips for Incoming Freshman
October 9, 2014
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1. Pay very close attention to the dates on your syllabus! Often, professors don’t remind you when things are due and it is your responsibility to keep up with deadlines.

2. Take great use of all of your resources. Utilize the library, tutoring services, writing center, career services and freshman center.

3. Study a little each day. Don’t wait until a couple of days before a quiz or test to study – cramming doesn’t work with college courses.

4. Keep a planner with you at all times. It is the best way to stay organized and develop a daily schedule.

5. Check your college email often – colleges communicate important information, as well as amazing opportunities through email.

6. Avoid missing class. Much of the material covered in class will be on your exams.

7. Make sure you keep up with the textbook reading and take active notes.

8. When you’re in the classroom, solely focus on learning. Leave texting and surfing the internet for after class.

9. If you are confused, don’t be afraid to ask your professor for help. Chances are you’re not the only one in class in need of additional help.

10. Get a full night of rest –you’ll thank yourself. It’s actually been proven that lack of sleep impairs your ability to learn, remember and process new information! As a result, students who are sleep-deprived have noticeably lower GPAs than students who get a full night of sleep. Start getting into the rhythm of sleeping earlier. 

Created by Brittany Spell/St John’s University – Major: Psychology

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4 Back-to-School Tips for College Students
September 25, 2014
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1. Avoid Paying Full Price for Textbooks
Buying textbooks is easily the most dreaded task of the semester. Why? Because without a strategic game plan, you can spend upwards of $1,000 on textbooks. Yikes.

Here’s the trick – the moment you identify what books you need is the very moment you should start searching for them from your peers. Several students are holding on to old books they’ll happily get rid of for a great price. Look for students who took the class already. Post on your social media sites, as well as Facebook pages for your college stating what book you’re seeking. 

If you still can’t find the book, try searching your college library, a local library and online sites like Amazon or Postyourbook.com. In the hunt for books, feel free to purchase an older edition of the required textbook.

Whatever you do, make sure the college bookstore is your last resort.

2. Set a GPA goal for the semester
If you don’t set a goal for your life, how can you know you’re making great strides towards it each day? Establish a GPA goal that you’re willing to commit to – and mindfully perform tasks that support your goal each week.

3. Adjust your sleep schedule
Did you know lack of sleep impairs your ability to learn, remember and process new information? As a result, students who are sleep-deprived have noticeably lower GPAs than students who get a full night of sleep. Start getting into the rhythm of sleeping earlier. 

4. Get Involved:
Last, but certainly not least – get involved! Whether you’re a college freshmen or college junior, involvement in community service or extracurricular activities is an important component of your college career – it’s also something that will be vital throughout your life.

Created by Brittany Spell/St John’s University – Major: Psychology

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I’m Planning to Retire in my 30′s – Here’s How
September 18, 2014
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Ever wondered how it might be possible to retire sooner rather than later? Then read this interesting blog from the Huffington Post which provides some great down-to-earth suggestions.

Personally, I loved 178098337[1]the ideas mentioned for fast-tracking to financial indepence and ideas on ‘Super Savings’.

What are your tips or suggestions for making your finances work to your advantage?

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The Freshman Manual: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed and Thrive
September 11, 2014
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482109205[2]Every college freshman walks in with hopes of not only succeeding but excelling. The following tips will equip you with the insights you need to make excelling your reality!

Know your resources: College campuses offer an abundance of tools that make success a possibility and reality for all students, especially freshmen. What separates possibility from reality is action! As a freshman it pays to be inquisitive. Questions like, “Where is the library?” “Do I get a guidance counselor?” and “What is the school’s grading system?” are all worth investigating. Think about it, how can you get an A if you don’t know what grades you need to achieve that goal?

If you have a question, don’t let it go unanswered. There’s no such thing as a silly question when it comes to your success! It is your curiosity that’ll lead you down the road to achievement. By the end of your first month in college you should be familiar with the library, career center, names, office hours and syllabi of all teachers, as well as the freshmen center (if your school offers one).

Unbeknownst to many, college campuses offer special opportunities solely for freshmen students. This could be study abroad opportunities, honors programs or scholarships. Search the college’s website to see what offers are available. Ask teachers or counselors for their guidance as well. While one person may not have the answer, another person may be able to provide you with valuable information you can use – so be persistent!

Know what’s happening: The first month of college is truly dedicated to the freshmen class. If you see flyers for career fairs, resume building workshops, exercising classes or any academic or social opportunities, get involved. The great thing about college is you’re not obligated to stick to one group. Feel free to test out as many organizations and events that interest you. An extra bonus – you’re bound to meet a lot of awesome people along the way.

Know your spending habits: Though college is a new environment, don’t lose track of your purpose—to receive an education. Unlike high school, college is not free. Whether you’re spending your own money or using your parents, you want to get a bang for your buck!

All freshmen students make the same mistake—paying full price for textbooks. If you can avoid this frightening habit, please do! This is where knowing your resources comes in handy. Check if the school or local library offers the book you need. Pay attention to any book sale flyers. Use websites like Amazon or Postyourbook.com, to get the best prices. Most importantly, if your teacher asks for a certain book edition, ask them if you can get an older edition. They’re usually much cheaper.

Know your worth: The transition from high school to college is a daunting and invigorating task. It’s natural for feelings of anxiety, excitement or even fear to arise. However, the most important thing to know is that you’re worth it. Applaud yourself for making it this far. You’re a high school graduate! You’ve completed a special chapter in your journey. Whether you completed every goal you had for yourself in high school or not, acceptance is key. Move into this next chapter with the wisdom of the past and the readiness for the future. You are intelligent. You are capable. You are worth it. Success begins in your thoughts before they manifest in your world. Now is your time to shine!

Created by:  Brittany Spell/St John’s University – Major: Psychology

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6 Ways for College Kids to Make Money
August 28, 2014
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178098337[1]There’s no doubt college can leave you in one heck of a financial drought with your pricey tuition bill, expensive textbooks and considerable dorm expenses. By the time it comes to tending to your personal needs, there’s only so much you can do without borrowing money.

Let’s face it, it’s always ideal to make some extra cash, especially if you have the time. Why? Because 1) having your own money means independence; you define your own possibilities and 2) you can save your money for bigger financial goals such as going to California during spring break or even bigger, like getting your own apartment with your friends. 

With these 6 money-making activities, you’ll have just enough information to get you going!
 
Part Time Job/Work Study:  Most college kids have a lot of free time on their hands outside of the class room. You know how people say spend your money wisely? Spend your TIME wisely! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick up a part time job! Dedicating 9 hours a week to a part-time job on campus has 3 benefits – you get paid, you make friends, you find out about exclusive opportunities. College campuses understand what it means to be a college student, so a lot of work-study opportunities are low-key, low stress jobs that don’t require too much from you. You literally have nothing to lose and an awesome thing to gain – cash.
 
Sell Your Old Things: Chances are every college kid has at least one thing they don’t need anymore. Used textbooks, CDs, DVDs, video games, video game systems, clothes, iPods and old phones are just HALF of the things you can get rid of. Any of these materials can be sold at local stores or online at websites like Amazon.com, Cash4books.com, PostYourBook.com. I’ve even gone as far as selling my old things to friends or other college students. If I complete a class that I know someone else will be taking next semester, I always offer to sell my book at an unbeatable price. College bookstores are way too expense – and no one turns down a good deal!

Provide Tutoring Services: Many college courses are hard, which is why tutoring is a lucrative business. If you are skilled in a specific academic area (chances are, you are), then you’re in the perfect situation to make some extra cash. Post flyers around campus and on your social media platforms to promote your services. Always commit to doing a stellar job. Once people catch wind that you are a great tutor and help other kids reach their academic goals, more and more people will come to that wicked tutor who continues to help students get A’s.
  
Babysitting: You can never go wrong with the tried and true. Those babysitting jobs you took throughout high school are ready to come to greater use. And with age comes even greater trust from adults. If you have relationships with any parents to younger kids, offer your services. Even if they say they’re not looking for a babysitter at the moment, supply them with a bright smile and your phone number. Let them know you’re always open to help relieve their duties. Even encourage them to take a night off. Everyone needs a break. Earn some extra cash and give those hard-working parents a 5 hour vacation from their parental duties. Bonus: Show those kids a GREAT time and you’ll more than likely be hired again, and again. Cha-ching!

Become a Campus Representative: Pay attention to any campus representative opportunities at your school. Companies look for awesome students – aka people like YOU –to represent their company on college campuses. These great resume boosters provide cash and opportunity to grow within the company. These jobs can last around 2 months and become a recurring job. In most instances, the pay is phenomenal. Companies like Apple, Asos and Macy’s are popular for encouraging opportunities on campuses. In fact, if you’re interested in becoming a campus representative for Apple, check out their website for more information. 

Sell Your Craft: Put your budding talents to great use, network, expand your brand and make money in the process. If you love doing makeup, photography, art, modeling, playing instruments or even singing, you should certainly explore ways to make an extra buck from it. For instance, photography is very popular and well-needed on college campuses – whether for special events on campus or personal events off campus. Develop any skill you have or are willing to learn. You may have to do a few free events to show people that you are the incredible performer or crafter you are, but once your talent is apparent, you can certainly make a buck from it.
  
Created by: Brittany Spell/St John’s University – Major: Psychology

 

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NEFCU’s Back to School Auto Sales Event in August!
August 15, 2014
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153571311Between August 15th to August 31st, 2014, you can get $500 off your best deal on a new or used vehicle at participating dealers AND become eligible for a $100 gas card! Members will be asked to complete a brief online form in order to print their $500 coupon(s) which includes your name, email and phone.

Keep in mind:
-  You must obtain and close the vehcile loan through NEFCU in order to be eligible for the $100 gas card.

-  You will be sent the gas card via certified mail approximately 30 days following closing.

-  The $500 coupon cannot be comgined with any other dealer or GrooveCar promotions.

-  You may present the couon to the dealer at any time during negotiation of the vehicle purchase price, but may not apply the coupon after the contract has been signed or the vehicle has been purchased.

To access the coupon, click here.

 

 

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5 Reasons You Should Care About Saving Money
August 14, 2014
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154271153Financial Independence
Despite how comforting it is to fall back on mom and pop’s money, doing so comes with its own challenges. Parents, rightfully so, determine the limits on how much money you can receive. They also, rightfully so, have the power to place requirements on their cash. Duties can range anywhere from walking the dog twice a day to being a chauffeur for your younger siblings. That’s why financial independence is a supremely important goal to strive towards. When we’re dependent on our parents for money, we’re riding shotgun to our financial destiny.

The majority of your daily expenses require money—gas, food, clothes, bathing essentials, internet access (yes, WIFI is not free!), television access and phone access to name a few. Not to mention, the extra activities you love to do, such as bowling, movies and going to restaurants aren’t free either. I say this not to scare you, but to motivate you to be the overseer of your life because knowledge is power. There’s simply no way to (legally) head out in the world without having some source of funds to satisfy your daily expenses.
The best advice I can give when it comes to saving money is to save within your means. Every time you receive a paycheck—pay yourself back first. For example, if you consistently put aside $15 in your savings account every paycheck – and don’t touch it – it adds up in a hurry. It’s better to consistently put aside a reasonable amount in your savings than to put aside a large amount and then dip into those funds to satisfy an immediate financial requirement.
The more you actively perform actions that create and support financial independence, the closer you get to achieving it. Perform within your means and see how far this takes you. Be the driver of your financial destiny!

Facing the Unexpected
As much as we would like to think we can foresee the future, none of us can predict the twists and turns of life—they just happen. That’s why it’s important to have an emergency fund established for those unpredictable moments. Can you imagine being stranded on the highway with a flat tire, no cash or no spare tire to remedy the situation? I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. When it comes to saving your cash, adhere to the popular saying—better safe than sorry.
  
Turn a Distant Dream into a Reality
You know that brilliant business plan you’ve been secretly conjuring up for the past year? That apartment you want to get with your two best buds? That vacation to California you want to take to attend Coachella? As a dreamer and visionary, I believe in dreams. As a goal oriented and focused person, I believe in getting the job done to bring those personal dreams into fruition. Money often plays an integral role in making these things happen. Each time you have a goal, a dream, a special thing you want to accomplish, always consider the financial aspect. Not to frighten you, but to remind you to add that aspect into your planning. We make certain things a reality when we prepare. It’s never too early to save and it’s never too early to dream big. You may be 18 right now, but within the next 4 to 8 years, you’re going to want to get your own apartment or car, or attend graduate school – save now.   

Less Stress, More Options
Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. Having money aside comes in handy when you and your friends spontaneously decide to take a weekend road trip to a camping site. It also comes in handy when you receive a job offer at the end of senior year for your dream job located across the country. What separates these awesome events from being and not being a possibility is preparation. Having money saved serves you. Experiences like these can sometimes be once in a lifetime. They become options when your personal financial investments are able to meet them.

To Validate Yourself
No matter how perceivably small an accomplishment is, it is a success in my book. When you invest in yourself, whether it’s financially or even physically, you reap not only physical or material results, but you gain something very valuable—confidence. When you celebrate the actions that move you forward, you help put yourself one step closer to the reality that you personally desire. Living within your means is a challenge that feels extraordinary when conquered. Begin saving and bask in the joy of a personal victory!
  
If you don’t have a NEFCU savings account and you’re ready to invest in your future, visit www.mynefcu.org or call 516-561-0030 to get started. Your future self will thank you!

Created by: Brittany Spell/St John’s University – Major: Psychology

 

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