March 27, 2007
Lately I have been finding so many things to spend money on! My wife wants a pressure washer, I want a shop vac, I need a car so i can give my mother’s truck back to her!(that I’ve been driving for 5 months now) I don’t know if the reason for my current spending urge is the wonderful weather we’ve been having or the fact that I received a tax refund of much more than I expected this year. I think its a combination of the two. From Christmas until now I’ve been in the mindset of trying to save money. Now that I have some money it seems like it just wants to jump out of my pocket. Perhaps you can relate? When you get out in the nice weather it is so easy to look at your house and think of ways to improve it. My neighbor borrowed a bull-dozer and is trying to level out his back yard. I am hosting my daughter’s first birthday party next month and the house needs to be spic and span inside and out. There are so many things that need to be done. The siding needs to be cleaned, the basement needs to be organized, I need more gravel on my driveway. That is the short list, if you want the long list ask my wife.
Here’s the point of my typing this morning. I have to find some way of saving some of the money I have. It’s ok to spend money, nobody likes a scrooge, but first I must take a few minutes to sit down and think about how much I want to save from this years tax refund. Then perhaps I’ll have a better idea of what I can afford. I’ve got to prioritize my purchases and watch out for the little things that make my money vanish, like a quick stop at a fast food store, or a new flash drive that’s on sale! Stuff like that adds up quickly. If the Spring heat is making my money melt away, I need to put some in the freezer, and thaw it out when I really need it. Share certificates and IRA’s are good for that sort of thing because the money can’t be withdrawn for just anything. But a secondary savings account is also a good idea, one that’s not tied to an ATM card. That way I would at least have to talk to a teller in order to get my money, and I would not be tempted to use it while I’m out and about.
So that’s my encouragement for all who think their money is just melting away. If anyone(PCU member) reading this would like some help with establishing some savings habits, feel free to give me a call at the credit union. You know I just realized something funny. Last year at this time I bought a new freezer!
March 20, 2007
Last night I went by Danville’s new Office Depot. Quite an impressive store! Everything is very clean and new looking. The young lady who printed my daughter’s birthday invitations was very helpful especially when it came time to pay up. I’m a credit union employee who knows that when I use my debit card I need to always process it as a credit card transaction in order to avoid the significant fees charged by the point of sale machine. I can think of so many new debit card users who have asked why they were charged $1.00 every time they used it even when their total purchase might have only been $0.55! It’s because when you enter your PIN at the cash register the store is going to hit you with that fee just like a foreign ATM would. Well last night, when the cash register asked for my PIN I confidently pressed the “Clear” button thinking “Ha, Ha, Ha you’re not going to get my $1.00! I’m going to do a credit transaction and circumvent your little fee.” When nothing happened, I tried pressing “Clear” again. And again, no change, it only wanted my PIN and nothing else. There were no other buttons anywhere on the device so I asked Alex, my helpful cashier, for help. She told me of the “invisible” button located beneath the “7” which would take me to the familiar credit card transaction screen. How clever is that? WalMart has been automatically asking for the PIN for some time but at least they didn’t hide the “Credit” button! Lessons to learn from my experience:
1) Always treat your cashier with respect. If you’re nice, chances are they like you more than their boss who wants to maximize the stores profits by charging that $1.00 to everyone.
2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. (unless you didn’t do #1)
3) Just start pressing random places on the screen until it does what you want!
Happy Check Carding!
March 15, 2007
Next month Piedmont Credit Union’s NetBranch will get a security upgrade. If you have used NetBranch since March 14 then you have undoubtedly seen a notice about this. I promise that the pop-up will not become a permanent feature of our site! I thought I would use this forum to give a little more detail about this thing called Multi-factor Authentication. It is all designed to protect our members from Phishing. Phishing is when an Internet thief creates a website or an email that asks you to put in some type of your personal information. You might say “But I would never do that!” But it is easier to get scammed than you might think. According to phishtank.com, a website devoted to fighting this type of theft, eight of their top ten copied websites were bank websites. The reason thieves do this is to try and get bank customers to enter their logons and passwords into a “fake” bank website. The thieves in turn take that stolen info and attempt to steal other information or gain control over the accounts. Our new MFA upgrade will completely change the way we login to our NetBranch so that the possibility of such a thing ever happening to PCU is virtually eliminated.
Piedmont Credit Union
March 7, 2007
Great news! Danville’s George Washington Eagles are playing for the VA state boys basketball title this Saturday! They defeated Booker T. Washington by a score of 67-61 per the Register & Bee.
So why did I choose the title for this post that I chose? It’s great that the Eagles have a chance to bring lots of attention to our region, leave their mark on history, and bring a trophy home to brag about. I have been a Danville resident for the past 14 years, my wife is from Danville, and I have made a very nice home and life for myself here. It’s a really great place to live. I want only the best for Danville. The only problem is that the Eagles are playing against my alma mater, the Highland Springs Springers! So I am totally confused! Am I still a Springer at heart who bleeds black and gold even though I haven’t been to any of their sporting events since I played for their tennis team in 1993? Or do I cheer for the hometown heroes, the GW Eagles, some of whose parents are members of our credit union and whose children might be applying for the new Dr. Harold Henry Scholarship, and whose teachers are members of our credit union.
I will choose to think of it as a win-win situation. Either way I can celebrate, either for my new home town of Danville, or my old home town of Highland Springs. The great thing really is that all these kids are playing their hearts out to try and do something great. So lets all take note and cheer them on to victory whoever you are pulling for(publicly or privately).
Piedmont Credit Union
F.Y.I.: For all you GW fans who want to “know your enemy” Here’s a link to some history on Highland Springs, VA. Highland Springs HS school website here. The Game will be broadcast on WBTM 1330 at 5:00pm.
March 5, 2007
The George Washington High School boys basketball team advanced to the Virginia state semi-finals on Saturday by defeating Wakefield HS by a score of 85-64! The full story is at the Danville Register and Bee . Next up for the Eagles is Booker T. Washington High School. The game will be held at the VCU Siegel Center in Richmond, VA this Wednesday night at 7:30pm. The game will be broadcast on WBTM 1330 starting with the pre-game starting at 7:00pm.
Let’s Go Eagles!
March 1, 2007
On March 1, 2007 Piedmont Credit Union launched Member Connect to test the waters of the Internet 2.0 world. I hope that this forum will become a place that fosters the cooperative, “people helping people” attitude that has driven Piedmont Credit Union since its creation. Since 1969 our credit union has grown from serving local educators to serving educators across Southside Virginia as well as employees from almost 50 Dan River Region business. For our credit union to continue to thrive it will need that same spirit of teamwork to be shared by all of our members, volunteers, and employees. So if you are a Piedmont Credit Union member or if you simply have an interest in credit unions, financial cooperatives, or just want to leave your feedback, please leave a post or comment on our new blog. Together we can keep making a difference for years to come!
In the future I hope to post some helpful information about what’s new at the credit union. Your comments are welcome.
Piedmont Credit Union