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Blog Archive

2022(43)
2021(62)
2020(61)
2019(62)
2018(63)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

How to Spot a Survey Scam

Laptop with scam surveySurvey scams are almost as old as the internet. They’re so prevalent that you can hardly spend an hour online without running into an ad for a “super quick” survey promising a reward for just a few minutes of your time. What actually happens, though, is that the scammer walks away with a free survey, or worse, your information and/or your money. While an alert consumer can spot a survey scam easily, fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated at making them look legitimate.

Don’t get caught up in a survey scam! Here are eight ways to spot a fake survey and what steps to take if you’ve been tricked:

1. You’re asked to pay to participate in a survey

Authentic survey companies need you – you don’t need them. There’s absolutely no reason to pay to take a survey of any kind. If you’re targeted by an ad asking you to take a survey and to pay for the privilege of doing so, don’t respond.

2. You’re asked to share sensitive information before you can take the survey

They’d really appreciate it if you could take this quick survey for them. They just need some information from you first, like your Social Security number, date of birth and maybe even your checking account number. If a survey company asks for anything more than basic information from you, sign out as quickly as you can.

 

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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

All You Need to Know About Student Loans

High school graduate at desk, researching student loans online.While it might be tempting to approach student loans the same way you would a venomous spider—that is to say, by not approaching it—that’s not exactly the best tactic. Unfortunately, just like term papers or finals, student loans are a necessity that allow you to continue your higher education when funds are tight.

If you have already borrowed funds from a private lender, you will likely need to start making payments toward your loan before you graduate from your chosen college, university, or trade school. Fortunately, Community Financial and many Federal loan options don’t have this requirement, and alternatively offer in-school deferment options. However, it’s still a good idea to start making headway on any loans as soon as you’re financially able.

Here’s all you need to know about managing your student loan debt and transforming something daunting into a breeze:

1. Set It and Forget It

The best way to make sure you never miss a payment is to set up an automatic payment plan. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to check and see if your lender offers discounts for auto-payments. Community Financial, for example, can potentially reduce your rate by 0.25% by enrolling in automatic, electronic payments during repayment from your account. Just make sure your account is ready for the auto-withdrawals so you don’t end up with an overdrawn account!

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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

August is Wellness Month

Hands holding cartoon smiley face.Wellness comes in many forms: physical, mental, emotional, financial, and more. Staying on the top of your wellness game may seem like an easy task, but it’s one that requires dedication and persistence. We’ve compiled some of our favorite wellness activities below to help jumpstart your journey.

Mental Wellness:

Considering that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness each year, mental wellness techniques are at the top of the list. While public awareness on this topic has expanded, stigma can still create a barrier to reaching out for help. Let’s work together to break down that barrier and provide helpful tips on mental wellness:

  • You Are NOT Alone. 9-8-8 is available anytime. By texting or calling 988, you can reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 24 hours a day, without hearing a busy tone. No judgement, no requirements, just trained crisis counselors waiting to help. All help is both free and confidential!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Summer of Sharing Spotlight: Plymouth Pollinators

Plymouth Pollinators receive $1,000 Summer of Sharing donationIn our 12th year of Summer of Sharing, Community Financial is fortunate enough to donate $60,000 in total to 60 local charitable organizations, community programs, and educational funds in Michigan. One such organization, who was selected as a Summer of Sharing recipient at the beginning of June 2022, is the Plymouth Pollinators.

In 2019, Plymouth residents David and Carly Cirilli started working alongside the City of Plymouth and the Department of Municipal Services to identity open spaces that could be better utilized as gardens for pollinator plants. With restoration in mind, the Cirilli family began creating garden spaces within both city and residential landscapes, educating as they go.

What are Pollinators?

Just a few of the pollinators these amazing gardens provide food and shelter for include bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles, and certain flies—all which do the majority of pollination activities in the wild.

Why are Pollinators Important?

Did you know that over 80% of all flowering plants need assistance from pollinators? In order for flowers to bloom, grow, and return each year, pollination is necessary to complete the reproduction process. In fact, 1 in every 3 bites of food is made possible by pollinators!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2022

How to Start Retirement Planning Early

Man holding sign that says 'What's Your Plan for Retirement?'Retirement looks different for everyone. Whether that includes lounging on a beach reading your favorite books, having the flexibility to volunteer your time, or just plain enjoying your post-career life. Regardless of your retirement goals however, one thing remains the same. Planning for retirement is a process that takes years and should be started as early as possible—ideally, at the beginning of your working career. Below, you’ll find our top tips on how to start planning early so you can retire when and how you’ve always dreamed.

Investing is a great way to grow your funds and secure your financial future. However, choosing your first investments can be tricky. If you are currently employed, you likely already have a retirement plan available through your workplace. There are many ways to maximize this account or even open additional retirement options. Here are some of the most common retirement plans:

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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Raising Financially Independent Children

Child saving money while parents look on proudlyRaising children in today’s society has a variety of challenges, but none so timeless as the need to teach one’s children about finances. Financial education is a topic often missed in traditional schooling, leaving parents and loved ones to teach healthy financial habits on their own. While it may seem overwhelming to do so, raising financially independent children will help smooth the transition into adulthood, giving them the tools needed to achieve and maintain financial wellness throughout their entire lives.

 

To help get your financial education discussion rolling, we’ve compiled a variety of tips for raising your children to be financially independent.

 

Start with the Basics: Budgeting

 

Successful budgeting is the foundation of every financially independent household. You can introduce your children to the concept of earning money and spending it mindfully when they’re still young, and then build upon that knowledge as they grow older.

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