letter from the President
 we all need a friend we can lean on
No matter how satisfying and rewarding our lives may be, how contented and happy we feel from day-to-day, there are inevitably moments, situations, issues, or conflicts that make us long for support, understanding, and connection. For many of us we might look to an old friend who’s known us for years, through all the ups and downs, and still chooses to love and support us. For others it may be family, teachers, mentors or professionals we’ve come to trust over time. In my case, I have two close friends, a husband and a team of co-workers who I trust to give me honest feedback. They support me even when I’m at my worst, are there for me unconditionally and push me to be the best version of myself.

No matter who we turn to, there are a few things these special people all have in common – their care and concern are real, they understand that listening, understanding, and support can be as important as advice, resources, and solutions. They’ve earned your trust. They’ve got your back and they’re not going anywhere. 

Charlotte Nemec, President/CEO
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new homeowner challenge: how to adapt your budget

First-time homebuyers face more than just the challenges of moving into a new place and making it feel like home. Afterall, with Canopy Credit Union’s low rates and monthly mortgage payments, you may be tempted to run out and start buying new furnishings, appliances, and décor – or planning a big remodeling project like creating the chef’s kitchen you’ve always wanted. But one of the most important things you’ll need to do first is evaluate and refocus your finances to take a lot of new responsibilities and potential expenses into account.

resetting for fall: five steps to creating a new budget
For many of us, Fall represents new beginnings – back to school for the kids, refocusing on work and responsibilities closer to home after a few months of summer relaxation and fun. Here are a few things to consider as you review and reset your budget for Fall. 

1. Know how much is coming in
The first step to building a budget that works is to understand exactly how much money is coming in each month. Combining all sources of income after-tax will show how much cash you’re working with and provide a framework for adjusting expenses, determining realistic savings rates, and preventing shortfalls.

"Canopy Credit Union has always been great with my banking needs and loans. My family and I have been members for a long time."

~ Evan S.
paying down debt: principal vs. interest, what’s the difference?
When you apply for a loan or any type of credit, you’re asking to borrow money from your credit union or other financial institution with the understanding that you agree to pay back that debt with interest. 

The principal is the original amount you borrowed. Normally, the lender specifies in the contract that they’ll charge a certain amount in exchange for providing you access to those funds – this is called the interest.

Here are a few terms and definitions to help explain what that means: 

your values and beliefs are key to understanding your attitudes about money

Our values and beliefs color every aspect of our lives. The ways we view and use money reflect those attitudes more than many of us imagine.
Exploring and understanding our attitudes and values about money is an exercise worthy of our time. Awareness of our financial values is information we can utilize to improve our financial habits by implementing tips and ideas that are in sync with the things that really matter to us.

According to Brad Klontz, an associate professor at Kansas State University,
there are four basic attitudes or “money scripts” that most people fall into: money avoidance, money worship, money status and money vigilance.

Those who avoid money may believe they don’t deserve it or fear they won’t know how to handle it. They have low incomes and net worth and tend to be younger, which may reflect their inexperience and a lack of tools and knowledge.

Those who fall into the money worship and money status camps believe more money will solve all their problems, or that the status that comes with wealth will magically make all their problems and concerns disappear. Unfortunately, that means they can easily wind up in debt, which doesn’t really solve their problems in the long run.

Those in the money vigilance group do not like to talk about their money and are highly unlikely to spend foolishly." On the downside, excessive wariness about spending can keep these people from enjoying the benefits of what money can buy.

how to identify your financial values

So how do we become more “money mindful”? Many of us spend a lifetime thinking about financial goals, hopes, and dreams. 

CFS* Financial Advisor
financial basics for millennials
Poor money management can lead to debt, stress, and dependency on others. Fortunately, good money management skills can make it easier for you to accomplish your personal goals. Become familiar with the basics of planning now, and your future self will thank you for being responsible.

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