Happy Thanksgiving! Quiz included.

November 21, 2007

Here is a fun little quiz to test your Thanksgiving History knowledge. Link to quiz. I’m ashamed to admit that I only scored a 60 out of a possible 100 points.

Here’s another link to a History.com video about Thanksgiving, so that you can prepare for the quiz.

From your friends at Piedmont Credit Union, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Savings Tip of the Day, Nov. 20, 2007

November 20, 2007

This morning one of our board members asked me to figure out how much money our members can potentially save by financing things like appliances and furniture at the credit union instead of at the store or on a credit card. Here are the results.$1,200 Fridge

To buy at 25 cubic foot refrigerator you will spend around $1250. That’s also pretty close to the cost of a really nice TV, an Apple MacBook, or a furniture suite. To borrow this amount at a typical store account rate of 21% and paying minimum payments of about $40 per month, the total interest paid would be around $575. It would take over three years. (That’s if you start making payments immediately. Sometimes stores offer ‘no payments for 6 or 12 months’. That just postpones your having to pay for it and stretches the loan out longer than it needs to be, oftentimes longer than the warranty on the item you bought.)

The same loan when made at our credit union’s average personal loan rate of 12.31% is much cheaper. At $76 per month that same amount of money would be paid off in 18 months and would only cost you $125 in interest charges. That’s an extra $350 that you’ve saved and you never missed the money because there’s the added convenience of payroll deduction payments.

In all fairness if you were to pay $82 per month on the store account you would bring your total finance charges down to $218 and pay it off in 18 months. That’s only about $100 that you missed out on saving! Then there’s the pleasure hassle of dealing with the store employees who have foreign accents and try relentlessly to sell you add-on products that you’re not interested in. With that there’s no comparison to hanging out with the nice folks down at the Piedmont CU.

So to make sure you’re getting a good deal, do a little figuring before you do any signing. Here’s a link to our calculators page which among other things can help you figure out how much you can afford before you go shopping. Speaking of shopping, the credit union will be open the day after Thanksgiving to serve you if you run across any fantastic deals.


Athletic Excellence Just Around the Corner

November 14, 2007

Hargrave Post Grad FootballHere’s a little known fact about the Dan River Region. The town of Chatham is home to a very prestigious preparatory school called Hargrave Military Academy. Today I had the pleasure of meeting their Post-Graduate football coach, Robert Prunty. Coach Prunty took some time to explain the Post-Graduate program to me. It is a program designed to give extra personal, educational, and athletic development to athletes before they enter college. Their players keep all their years of college playing eligibility while at the same time competing against college level teams and taking classes to prepare them for college.

This one year program has a long list of great players who have gone on to play in college and many in the NFL as well. Several of them were first round draft picks. (One of whom plays for my favorite team, Carlos Rogers of the Washington Redskins.) The school website also tells of many other prominent alumni who have graduated from Hargrave. There are U.S. Congressmen, CEO’s of major companies, high ranking military officers and public service leaders to name a few. Hargrave is clearly committed to excellence in all aspects of life. Here’s a quote from their website:

Since 1909, Hargrave has cared for the development of young men guided by these concepts. While our campus has grown and evolved, the caring and earnest desire to see young people better themselves remains the same. We do not promise miracles. Rather, Hargrave prides itself on the small, often hard-won achievements found within each graduate.

“Stong in Mind. Strong in Body.” That’s their school motto and it certainly appears that they’re living up to it.


All the Signs of an Election, & Voting

November 5, 2007

One thing I love about credit unions is that, like our great country, they are democratically run. Once per year everyone is invited to come to our Annual Meeting to cast their votes about major issues facing the CU. I am thankful for one big difference though… CU elections are not marked by an invasion of multi-colored signs which appear at every stoplight and every other lawn in the county. Here is but a single view from the stoplight in Gretna.

Campaign SignsIt’s almost as colorful as the Blue Ridge Parkway! There are 78 signs within 50 yards of this intersection! But this myriad of signs is itself a sign of a flourishing democratic society. Lets hope the candidates are as committed to representing their constituents as they are to getting elected.

Don’t forget to get out and vote tomorrow! It’s your responsibility for being part of a democracy.


Time Change This Weekend

November 1, 2007

Don’t forget to set your clocks back this Saturday night!  This year’s time change is a week later this year than normal.  The reason Congress changed it this year was to help conserve energy costs by extending daylight hours.  What do you think?  Did it save you any energy?  Did you enjoy the extra daylight?