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News and Insights

Welcome to Mutual Security Credit Union's news and insights page where you'll find updates, tips, and tricks for your banking, borrowing, and financial planning needs.

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Budgeting  |  Financial Wellness  |  Halloween  |  Savings

What to Buy and What to Skip in October

There are no big shopping holidays on the calendar this month, but you can still pick up a scary-good deal in October. Here’s what to buy, and what to skip. Buy: Jeans Shop your favorite retailers and check out some new ones you thought you couldn’t afford for incredible savings on jeans this month. Skip: Winter apparel Warm-weather wear won’t start dropping in price until Thanksgiving at the earliest, and the best markdowns will only appear on shelves around the holidays. Buy: Outdoor gear As the weather cools down and people head indoors, prices on all things outdoor will start dropping. This includes patio furniture, gardening tools, grills, camping gear and so much more. Skip: Cleaning supplies Are you in the market for a new vacuum? Looking to score a deal on a robot sweeper? You’re best off waiting a bit until Black Friday. On the biggest shopping day of the year, big-ticket cleaning items get steep discounts. Buy: Halloween costumes and decor As with any holiday, the closer the calendar gets to Halloween, the discounts you’ll see on related paraphernalia get steeper. This includes party decor, costumes, yard decorations, candy and more. Skip: Appliances Don’t spring for a new oven, refrigerator or washing machine just yet! Being hot Black Friday sales items, you’re best off waiting a bit to reduce the amount of money you’ll spend on new appliances. Buy: Autumn apparel You can pick up some in-between weather wear this October at super-hot prices. Retailers need to make space for the winter stock, and will be discounting all autumn wear. Take advantage of this by cashing in on fantastic sales. Use this guide to learn what to buy and what to skip in October. Your Turn: Have you picked up any great deals in October? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Economy  |  Finances  |  Financial Wellness  |  Savings

6 Ways to Pay Less at the Pump

With gas prices still rising nationwide, the pain at the pump is real. There isn’t much you can do about the price of gasoline, but there are ways you can pay less at the pump. Here are six ways to save on gas. Use cash Many gas stations offer a discount for paying cash, sometimes up to 20 cents per gallon. This can quickly add up when pumping a full tank. Just be careful to have the cash handy when you need it, as you don’t want to lose all those savings to ATM fees if using machines not connected to your credit union. Use a rewards program or credit card If you don’t like the idea of carrying around tons of cash, but you still want to save at the pump, consider getting a rewards program or credit card. Tread carefully though; not all of them actually benefit the consumer. Find out about a possible annual fee, a rewards cap, membership requirements and the exact redemption value of each reward point before signing up: Check your tire pressure According to the US Department of Energy, a well-inflated tire can save you 15 cents a gallon by boosting your gas mileage by 3%. Check your tires regularly to ensure they’re always inflated. To make this easier, consider springing for a tire pressure gauge that will automatically monitor the health of your tires. Use a gas-tracking app In 2022, there’s no need to search for the gas station with the best-priced gas. There’s an app for that! Popular gas-tracking apps include GasBuddy, Upside and Waze. Using the gas station that’s right near your home or workplace might be easy, but taking the extra time to find one that sells gas for less can save you a bundle. Purchase a club membership If you don’t already have one, this may be the time to buy a club membership. Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart Plus all offer discounted gas exclusively to members. Of the three, Costco tends to feature gas for the lowest price, up to 34 cents less per gallon than a typical gas station. In today’s gas-crazy climate, that’s a huge difference. Of course, you’ll want to find out how much a club membership will run you before joining. Buy gas at the right time of day If you pump gas during the midday hours, after the sun has been beating down on the gas reservoir all day, the gas has likely expanded. This means you’ll be paying the same price for less-dense gas, which won’t last as long. Pump when it’s cooler outside, typically during the morning or late evening hours, for the densest gas. Use these tips to help save on gas despite the rising cost of fuel. Your Turn: How do you save on the price of gas? Share your best tips and hacks in the comments.

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Energy Efficiency  |  Finances  |  Savings

Benefits of Getting a Mobile Home Loan Through a Credit Union

Purchasing a manufactured or mobile home can be a great way to find an affordable place to call home. However, you’ll probably need to fund this big purchase. Unfortunately, most large lenders and banks offer little flexibility in terms, conditions and rates when it comes to financing manufactured or mobile homes. But a credit union, on the other hand, can be a great way to help pay for one of these homes. 

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Budgeting  |  Finances  |  Savings

What to Buy and What to Skip in September

Get ready for big savings on big-ticket items this September! Retailers want to bring the crowds back after the big back-to-school storm has passed, and to clear the shelves before the holiday season blows in. All that, plus the Labor Day sales, means big savings in September – but not on everything. Here’s what to buy and what to skip in September. 

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Home-Buying  |  Safety  |  Savings

Following Up on Your Home Inspection

If you’re under contract for a new home, you’ve likely had an inspection conducted on your new home. This inspection is an important part of the home-buying process, and is generally required by the mortgage company. It can help you find any major defects in the home, such as a faulty roof or dying HVAC system, which may prompt you to walk away from the deal. Alternatively, the seller can choose to repair any areas needing major work before the closing. 

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Budgeting  |  Savings

Back-to-School Shopping Hacks

It’s back-to-school season, but that doesn’t mean you need to break your budget. Here’s six back-to-school shopping hacks to get you started.

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Budgeting  |  Finances  |  Savings

Step 7 of 12 to Financial Wellness: How to Pay Yourself First

“Pay yourself first” is a catchphrase that refers to prioritizing your personal savings above other expenses. To achieve it, savings should be a fixed line on your budget that happens every month without fail. 

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Budgeting  |  Finances  |  Savings

Step 6 of 12 to Financial Wellness: Pay it Forward

[Now that you’ve started paying down debt, you and your partner have tackled big money issues, and you’ve mastered the art of spending mindfully, you’re now ready to think beyond your own needs by learning how to pay it forward.]

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Budgeting  |  Finances  |  Savings

What to Buy and What to Skip in August

Independence Day sales are over and Labor Day is a month away, but great deals can still be had in August. Here’s what to buy and what to skip this month. Buy: Back-to-school supplies Look for weekly deals on school and office supplies at big-box stores, pharmacies and e-tailers this month. Think beyond school – you can stock up on a year’s worth of pens and paper for your home printer at a bargain price this August by shopping back-to-school sales.

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Auto Loans  |  Budgeting  |  Car-Buying  |  Energy Efficiency  |  Savings

Should I Buy an Electric Car?

Q: With gas prices soaring and expected to continue climbing into the foreseeable future, I’m wondering if this is a good time to consider purchasing an electric car. Should I buy an electric vehicle now?

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