Author: Compass Community Credit Union

America Saves Week was established in 2007 as a call for everyday Americans to commit to developing a habit of saving. It’s an initiative where credit unions can help members develop better financial habits. Compass Community Credit Union is proud to participate and provide financial resources to our members. Each day of the week focuses …

America Saves Week

America Saves Week was established in 2007 as a call for everyday Americans to commit to developing a habit of saving. It’s an initiative where credit unions can help members develop better financial habits. Compass Community Credit Union is proud to participate and provide financial resources to our members.

Each day of the week focuses on a different area of finances to help individuals and families address savings goals to achieve better financial stability, along with strategies for how they might get there. Click here to learn more.

Wheel and deal this Presidents’ Day

What comes to mind when you think of Presidents’ Day? Besides a welcome day off for some of us, Presidents’ Day is actually a great time to buy a car!

Dealers everywhere offer great sales on both new and used vehicles. You can score great deals on last year’s models and new inventory is on display. So it’s the perfect time to go car shopping!

Plus, you’ll get up to 1% cashback, up to $500, when you finance or refinance your auto with Compass. This is for a limited time and certain restrictions apply so click here for details.

Make your next car buying process easier with a pre-approval for an auto loan from Compass. With our online application, you can be pre-approved in minutes. Then use your pre-approval to land a great deal!

Five simple steps to take now that can make tax filing easier later

Welcome to 2021! That means that the 2020 fiscal year is over. While there’s nothing fun about filing tax returns or paying taxes, taking steps in January to organize your paperwork could help you avoid getting frustrated, frazzled, or befuddled come tax time. Here are 5 things you can do now:

1. Make a copy of last year’s tax return and attachments. With this to guide your tax prep, you’re less likely to forget a source of income or a deduction.

2. Collect the tax IDs you’ll need. This includes your dependents’ Social Security numbers and the SSN of anyone you employed (e.g., a babysitter, housecleaner, or nanny).

3. Create a file folder labeled “Income”. Use this folder to organize the following tax forms you should receive in January or early February:

  • W-2s and 1099-MISCs from employers
  • 1099-INTs reporting interest income and 1099-DIVs for mutual fund or stock dividends
  • 1099-Bs reporting brokerage transactions

4. If you typically itemize your deductions, start another folder labeled “Deductions”. Some of the information that goes here will come by mail; the rest you may need to supply yourself.

  • 1098s reporting interest you paid on mortgages and equity loans (also real estate taxes, if included in your monthly mortgage payment)
  • A receipt for real estate taxes if you paid them yourself
  • A copy of your W-2s showing state and local income taxes you paid
  • A receipt for personal property tax from your town or the taxing authority
  • Receipts for charitable donations, including mileage
  • Receipts for medical expenses, including mileage
  • Receipts for bills incurred while job-seeking

5. Rev up your retirement saving. There’s still time before the April filing deadline to contribute to a Traditional IRA or Roth IRA. For details, search “IRA Contribution Limits” at www.IRS.gov. Don’t have an IRA yet? Ask us about our insured IRA options.

Compass Community Credit Union does not provide tax advice. We recommend consulting a qualified tax professional to determine how tax laws may apply to your situation.

Making the most of COVID-19

Tips for staying happy and healthy at home.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into virtually everyone’s 2020 plans.

While we’re all focused on trying to make ends meet and adjust to the “new normal” despite the social distancing measures still in effect across most of the world — not to mention the pandemic’s impact on the economy — we wanted to remind you not to overlook one of the most valuable assets of all: Your health, both physical and mental.

 It’s all too easy to let your old exercise routine slip by the wayside when you’re focused on more pressing matters like paying bills and managing your child’s school day.

But you know the old saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”? It’s true — we all need to make our health and happiness a priority. Especially in these challenging times.

If you’ve put “you time” on the back burner for the past few months, start small. Set aside 10-15 minutes for a walk, run, or even just sitting someplace quiet to read a book or listen to music. Make it a goal to get outside every day. It will boost your energy and help you to focus when it’s time to get back to work.

And if you’re among the millions of Americans that are now spending an unprecedented amount of time at home, you may also want to invest in your space by clearing out the clutter and livening things up with pictures, paint, or plants. It doesn’t have to be expensive — or extensive. Every bit helps!

Tax Time

It’s that time of year again. To make it a little less stressful, Compass has partnered with TurboTax. Now our members can save $15 on any paid service, have the ability to talk to a tax pro onscreen for advice, and be sure your returns are 100% accurate. Click on “Membership”, then “Member Benefits” to learn more.

Where did all my money go?

If you find yourself running out of money before you run out of days until your next paycheck, you’re not alone. In fact, even people who earn tons of money find themselves in this situation every month. And the reason they do is because they have no idea where all their money went.

To figure that out, start with a money diary. Every time you buy or pay for something, write it down. This includes everything from your mortgage and car payment to something as small as a candy bar. Then at the end of the month, take a look and see where all your money is going.  Now look to see which expenses you can reduce or eliminate — like that large cup of fancy coffee every morning.

Once you find and reduce frivolous expenditures, take that money you would normally spend on them and deposit it into your savings account for a rainy day fund.

Next, establish a budget. Most financial experts recommend the 50/30/20 budget. 50% of your after-tax dollars on necessities like a mortgage, groceries, and other bills. 30% on wants like clothing and eating out. And 20% on savings and debt repayment. Tracking expenses and living on a budget may take some getting used to in the beginning, but over time it will give you a better financial future.

How much is in your checking account right now?

That may seem like an odd question, but knowing the answer can help ensure that you’ll never have to pay any fees for overdrafts or insufficient funds.

Today, with so many different ways to withdraw from your checking, it’s easier than ever to mistakenly take out more funds than your checking account has available. Checks, ATM transactions, debit cards, automatic bill pay, electronic payments – they can all lead to overdrafts or insufficient funds if you don’t keep accurate track of every transaction.

To make matters worse, the recipient of the non-paid check can also charge you an additional fee of their own — and refuse to accept checks from you in the future.

To avoid finding yourself in this position, keep track of how much money you have in your account by recording all debit card purchases, checks written, ATM withdrawals, and automatic bill payments or other electronic payments. You might also want to get into the habit of using banking tools like mobile or online banking to check your account balance before you make a purchase.  In addition, you can also ask us about setting up overdraft protection from your savings account. 

In short, a credit union is a cooperative financial institution where people work together to make everyone’s lives better. Everyone who has an account here is a member. And every member is an owner.

Rather than making profits to send to far-off shareholders, Compass CCU reinvests in our credit union. Which means we reinvest in YOU. That’s why we say that, at Compass Community Credit Union, we guide you to better banking.