Author Archive for Heather Lee – Page 2

DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN PREPARING YOUR TAXES

Not everybody can afford to hire a professional to do their taxes. In fact, most people are now doing it themselves for a fraction of the price via tax software programs. However, for all the praise this do-it-yourself tax software has earned, it is not 100% perfect. That’s why you need to be aware of some potential pitfalls that you could easily fall into. Let’s take a closer look at some of the mistakes Americans make when preparing their taxes.

Don’t let the government keep your money
Here’s a statement that is going to surprise you: Getting a refund is a bad thing! Why? Because it means that you allowed the federal government to hold on to a portion of money you overpaid – interest free! Rather than overpaying each year so you can get a refund, it is better to actually underpay by a few hundred dollars. By doing this, you will have enjoyed accruing interest on this money for the year. In addition, paying the balance won’t feel like such a horrible blow to the wallet.

So, when you prepare your taxes this year, don’t apply any of your refund to next year’s taxes. Instead, put that money in a dividend-bearing account at the credit union and focus on not overpaying on your taxes in the coming year.

Don’t file an extension
Filing an extension does not mean you don’t have to pay any owed tax for six months; it only means that you don’t have to finish filing. You still have to pay any owed tax by April 15. This can make it difficult to figure out what you owe, and, if you calculate it incorrectly, you could be looking at penalties from the IRS. You still have time to get your taxes filed on time. Don’t put it off.

Do pay your taxes
Believe it or not, there are still people who argue that the government has no right to levy taxes. However, this is an argument that was settled years ago. Failure to pay taxes can result in jail time and stiff financial penalties. After all, this was the only way the Feds were able to catch Al Capone, the crime king of Chicago during the Depression! Those individuals who even take the time to argue it before a court will generally find themselves on the losing end – with a hefty fine to pay for wasting the court’s time.

Paying taxes is a fact of life. Procrastinating is never advisable, and by filing on time, you won’t have additional penalties. In the end, it is best to be prepared to file and pay your taxes in a timely and efficient manner.

Holiday Stocking Giveaway

2018 Holiday Stocking Giveaway                                                                                           

OFFICIAL RULES

 

  1. Prize: Jumbo Stocking filled with Christmas toys
  2. Eligibility. All CSE Federal Credit Union members, a legal resident of the United States, and a member in good standing are eligible for the drawing. For the purpose of this contest, a member is a primary account owner of a CSE Share Savings account. Any person, who is not an account owner, is not eligible to win. Employees and Board Members of CSE FCU are not eligible. If the name of an ineligible person is drawn, they will be disqualified and another member will be drawn. This giveaway is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
  3. No purchase is necessary. Void where prohibited. CSE Federal Credit Union reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend this promotion and contest at any time. Any and all applicable taxes on each prize won are the responsibility of the winning member.
  4. How to enter. CSE Federal Credit Union members can register for a chance to win at any CSE location during December 18, 2018. Another form of entry is hand printing the words “Holiday Stocking Giveaway”, your name, address, city, state, zip code, daytime phone number, date of birth, and email address on a 3X5 index card and mail in an envelope to: Holiday Stocking Drawing, 4321 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA 70605. All eligible entries received by CSE Federal Credit Union by 4:00 p.m. central standard time December 20, 2018, will qualify for all the drawing. All entries become the property of CSE FCU and will not be returned. No mechanically reproduced or facsimile entries are allowed. Regardless of the method of entry, you are limited to one (1) entry. By participating in the sweepstakes, you agree to the terms and conditions of these Official Rules, the eligibility requirements, and the acceptance of the judges’ decision as final in all matters relating to the sweepstakes.
    5. Odds of Winning. The odds of winning are determined by the number of eligible entries received. One (1) entry per member.
  5. Selection and Notification of Winner. One winner will be selected by a random drawing of all eligible entries. Member need not be present to win. Winning member will be notified by mail/phone and will be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity releases within 15 days of notification. Failure to return documents timely, or if winner is found not to be in compliance with these Official Rules, or otherwise ineligible, disqualification may result with an alternate winner selected.
  6. Prize Awarding. Drawing will be held Friday, December 20, 2018. Prize will be awarded only upon winner validation and verification by CSE Federal Credit Union. If winner is a minor, parent or guardian must sign a consent form. Prize must be picked up at CSE Federal Credit Union at 4321 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA. No substitution, transfer, or assignment of prize permitted, except that CSE Federal Credit Union reserves the right to substitute prize with a prize of equal or greater value. By accepting the prize, winner agrees that sponsor, CSE Federal Credit Union, their subsidiaries, affiliates, and related companies, advertising and promotion agencies, and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents, are not responsible for and will be held harmless by winner for any liability, loss, injury, or damage to person, including death, or property, due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly to possession, acceptance, use or misuse of any prize, or participation in this promotion.
  7. Limitation of Liability. CSE Federal Credit Union assumes no responsibility for; stolen, lost, late, misdirected, damaged, illegible, incomplete, or postage due mail, incorrect or human error. Other restrictions may apply. By participating in this promotion, entrants agree to be bound by the official rules and the decisions of CSE Federal Credit Union, which are final. CSE Federal Credit Union reserves the right to cancel or modify drawing if fraud or technical failures compromise the integrity of drawing as determined by CSE Federal Credit Union’s sole discretion. Neither CSE Federal Credit Union nor its officers, directors, employees, or agents, are responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information relating to the promotion or any of the prizes. Except as otherwise required by applicable statute or regulation, as a condition of participating in this promotion and contest, members agree that all issues and questions regarding the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforcement of these Official Rules, and the rights and obligations of members and CSE Federal Credit Union in connection with the promotion and contest , shall be determined by the Board of Directors of CSE Federal Credit Union, and such determination shall be final and binding.
  8. List of winners. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to CSE Federal Credit Union, Contest Winners, 4321 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA 70605. Winner name will be available at the Credit Union after December 20, 2018.
  9. Sponsor. This drawing is sponsored by CSE Federal Credit Union which is located at 4321 Nelson Road, Lake Charles, LA, 70605, with a local telephone number of 337-477-2000, and toll free phone number of 1-800-625-5747.

 

Revised 12/17/2018

Easy Thanksgiving Brunch Ideas

Apple Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  • 2 (6 ounce) containers vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 banana, broken into chunks
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg

Combine the yogurt, pumpkin pie filling, banana, apple juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into glasses and serve.

Crispy Potatoes with Green Beans and Eggs

  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • pinch of paprika
Cook green beans in a large saucepan of boiling water until crisp-tender, then drain under cold water.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot enough to sizzle a piece of potato. Spread potatoes in an even layer and cook, turning every few minutes with a wide spatula, until brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in green beans, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
Crack each egg into a small bowl and slip them into the pan one at a time on top of the vegetables, spacing evenly. Cover and cook over medium heat until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your taste, less than 5 minutes. Sprinkle the eggs with paprika and serve immediately.
Monkey Bread
  • 3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube/Bundt(R) pan.   Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.

In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Source: allrecipes.com

 

7 Ways To Save on Thanksgiving Costs

Between your turkey, ingredients for the holiday meal and décor to set the ambiance, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner is not cheap.
If you’re looking for ways to cut back without compromising on quality, read on for seven easy ways to save on Thanksgiving costs this year. 
1.) Verify your guests’ attendance
Get an accurate head count of your dinner guests. Verify that all who are invited are indeed planning on showing, and only then begin planning your menu.
2.) Find out what your guests like
While doing your inviting, find out your guests’ individual tastes and diets. Be sure to ask about particular foods your guests like to eat and those they won’t touch. If something on your menu isn’t very popular with your guests, skip it – even if you think it’s “obligatory” for a Thanksgiving table.
3.) Make it a potluck
Slash your spending and your stress in one step by answering an enthusiastic “yes!” to every guest who asks if they can bring something. Don’t just say “anything’s fine,” though, or you might have seven desserts. Instead, create a Google Sheet with your planned menu and let your guests input what they’d like to contribute to the meal.
4.) Serve on smaller plates
Most people will load up their plates to capacity, regardless of the plate’s size. Curb the wasting at your table by using smaller dinnerware. They can always take seconds later.
5.) DIY décor
You can set a beautiful holiday tablescape without blowing your budget with a little imagination. Shop the local dollar store for discounted décor that still packs a punch, like colored vases, fake flower arrangements and other centerpieces. Look for easy, inexpensive DIY ideas online. Finally, get creative by using things around the house – or yard – as your décor.
6.) Shop the sales
Supermarkets tend to run specials on Thanksgiving staples starting as early as Halloween. Plan your menu in advance so you can take advantage. You can also keep your menu flexible until you see the circulars and then base your dishes on the ingredients and produce that’s cheapest. Also, be sure to shop around for your turkey! Grocery stores tend to have the best deals on the birds, with some even running free turkey deals when you spend a specific amount on other groceries.
7.) Cook from scratch
Most everything is less expensive – and tastes better – when it’s homemade. Start your cooking well enough in advance so you don’t find yourself relying on too many convenience foods.
You don’t need to spend a fortune in order to create the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. All it takes is a little planning!
SOURCES:

Find Your Platinum Lining – Checking Account Promotion

 

Now through November 30, 2018, receive up to $200 when you open a checking account with direct deposit*. CSE Rewards Checking gives you all the perks of CSE’s Free Basic Checking, plus competitive dividends and ATM Fee refunds, up to $15 per month**, when qualifications are met.

Print your coupon by clicking HERE! 

Not a member of CSE? JOIN US! If you live, work, worship, attend school or regularly do business in Calcasieu, Cameron or Jeff Davis parish, you can join CSE with a one-time, $5 minimum opening deposit to establish your share savings account. Start enjoying the many benefits of membership with CSE Federal Credit union.

*DISCLOSURES: Cash bonus of $100 or $200 will be deposited after all program qualifications are fulfilled. Account must remain open for 6 months. Direct Deposit qualification must be a minimum of $400 per month and be received within 30 days of account opening. Cash bonuses cannot be used as opening deposit for share savings or checking accounts. This offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Rewards Checking details can be found online at csefcu.org or by contacting a CSE Member Service Representative. CSE has the right to cancel promotion without notice. Other restrictions may apply. Membership and eligibility required. Insured by NCUA. OFFER EXPIRES: 11.30.2018.

 Learn more about CSE Checking Accounts by clicking here.

National Boss Day

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Celebrate Bosses Day

It is a common sight to see respectable companies appreciate their employees by praising them or sharing their achievements at the workplace or even celebrating their birthdays with a simple celebration. Bosses appreciate positive recognition as much as anyone else. So how often do employees thank their bosses or supervisors for being kind and fair throughout the year?

Boss’s Day or also known as National Boss Day is an occasion commonly celebrated in a growing number of countries like the United States, Canada and Romania. This day, celebrated on October 16th was created in 1958 to strengthen the bond between employers and employees. Employees get to show their appreciation to their bosses or supervisors that generally are well deserved.

There are times employees do not understand the hard work and dedication that their superiors put in and the challenges they face on a daily basis. Boss’s Day is a great opportunity to appreciate and be thankful for all the things management have done for their employees.

“A good manager is a man who isn’t worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him.”

– H. S. M. Burns

Here are six great ways that employees could show their appreciation towards their bosses or supervisors on Boss’s Day:

Bake a cake

Let’s go back to the basic rule of Giving Gifts 101; making a gift from the heart – baking a cake. Baking a cake does not have to be a tedious solo task. You can get together with the rest of your colleagues and bake a cake together as a team exercise.

Besides adding a personal touch that everyone gets to enjoy, it also cultivates teamwork and simple team bonding. It gives a reason to encourage employee participation and this gives you the opportunity to get to know your colleagues on a personal level. A cake may sound simple but it is the thought and effort that counts.

Create a team card

So nobody is daring enough to bake an edible and tasteful cake. Another way to celebrate Boss’s Day is to get your boss a gift with a personal touch. A simple card signed by the employees is another way to say “We appreciate you”.

Select a card that fits the supervisor’s personality and then hand-write a note containing specific examples of the supervisor’s contributions. Once everyone has had a chance to sign the card, gather a group and deliver it to the boss.

Give a gift

Another way to celebrate Boss’s Day is to give a gift. Gifts are a fine idea especially if they come from a group of employees. Do make sure all your colleagues have got a chance to donate to the gift fund. The more personal the gift is, the better.

Examples of gift ideas include:

  • A gift basket full of different types of tea leaves with a mug is perfect for your boss who is a tea (not coffee!) drinker
  • An athletic supervisor? A gift certificate to her favorite sporting goods store might be the perfect “Thank You.”
  • A crafty manager deserves a canvas painting or a lesson voucher to pottery.

Do be cautious about giving overly personal gifts because they could lead to awkward moments, office rumors or other issues you want to avoid.

Award ceremony

Even bosses and managers deserve a pat on their backs for a job well done once in a while. Take a break from the desk during a scheduled tea or coffee break and have a simple award ceremony. Have a private team meeting with only your colleagues and no supervisors around and have a vote on which supervisors get what title.

Create a light-hearted trophies or badges for bosses with quirky awards such as:

  • Best Dressed Boss
  • The Coolest Supervisor
  • The Funniest Boss
  • Company record for the most coffee consumption per day

“The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work.”

– Agha Hasan Abedi

After work celebrations

Get out of the office and have a good time after work with bosses and colleagues. You can organize a night out packed with activities with your boss and the rest of your colleagues. Start with a simple dinner where the rest of your colleagues could also mingle and get to know the other colleagues outside the workplace.

Head somewhere after dinner or even hold a small competition with the bosses or management team over a game of pool or bowling. Heading out together as a team encourages employee engagement in a more relaxed atmosphere and it is also a very good time to bond with colleagues and for them to get to know each other better on a personal level.

Do take note that any event planned should always focus on the supervisor or bosses but it is also a good time for employees to relax, mingle and spend time interacting with each other.

Potluck party

Another one of the fun ways to celebrate Boss’s Day is by have a simple party in the office and get everyone to bring in a dish to share. It may not be considered team work but it creates opportunity for team bonding and employee participation. Get some colleagues to contribute a recollection of amusing or witty events that they encountered with the bosses and end the celebration by asking your boss to give a speech.

Potluck is easy to organize if all your colleagues truly participate. Send an email out with a list of dishes for anyone to bring and do not forget to inform the team the list of ingredients to stay from for those who have allergies.

In Summary

These are just six fun ways to celebrate Boss’s day. Put your thinking cap on, and I’m sure you’ll come up with many more.

It also is appropriate to offer a “Happy Bosses Day! Thanks for everything you do” greeting as you pass by your supervisor in the hallway. The gesture may be informal but if the sentiment is sincere, your boss will know and appreciate the overture. Even an email is better than no recognition at all. Take the initiative to tell your boss that you appreciate what she does and ask how you might better assist him to get the job done.

However you and your colleagues decide to celebrate Boss’s Day, always remember to have fun and have a great time getting to know your bosses and colleagues better.

Have fun organizing!

SOURCE: https://inside.6q.io/6-fun-ways-to-celebrate-bosss-day/

WHY DOES MY MORTGAGE LENDER NEED SO MUCH INFORMATION?

Q: Why does my credit union need to know so much about me to grant me a mortgage? 

A: Exhaustive research into the financial, personal and credit history of home loan applicants is not unique to credit unions. Every home lender will request similar information for processing the loan. 

Why are lenders so nosy? 

Actually, they’re not. They’re only trying to satisfy the criteria for a protected mortgage, or a Qualified Mortgage. 

In January 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) introduced the Qualified Mortgage (QM), a loan category that protects lenders from being forced to buy back a loan if the borrower defaults. To qualify, the lenders must follow the CFPB’s guidelines when determining a buyer’s eligibility for a mortgage. 

Essentially, lenders are protecting themselves through this process. That’s why most lenders will try to make a home loan eligible for a QM whenever possible.

Lenders must be able to prove they followed the CFPB’s ability-to-repay guidelines when granting a mortgage to a homebuyer. The more proof the lender has for the buyer’s reliability, the more protection they have. That’s where all that questioning and document-digging comes into play.

Qualified Mortgage rules

Aside from the strict eligibility criteria, QMs come with the following rules:.

  • Mortgages cannot have loan terms that exceed 30 years.
  • Mortgages cannot involve negative amortization, or a condition that increases the amount owed.
  • Mortgages cannot include balloon payments, or larger payments only going toward the loan’s interest.
  • Mortgages have specified limits on the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio and the amount of upfront points and fees a lender can charge the buyer.

Which documents will my lender ask for?

You will likely need to provide the following documents for your lender:

  • Financial account statements from the last two months
  • Tax returns from the last two years
  • A list of your assets
  • Your landlord’s contact information
  • A gift letter from anyone who gave you money to help cover the down payment and closing costs
  • Your credit report
  • Recent pay stubs
  • Photo identification

What kind of personal questions can I expect?

Each of the following questions can substantially affect your financial standing:

  • Have you been through a divorce? If yes, what were the terms?
  • Have you ever been involved in a lawsuit—on either side of the bench?
  • Have you ever sold a home through a short sale?
  • How long have you been employed at your current job?

While shopping around for a mortgage, whether it’s a QM or otherwise, remember to ask us about our fantastic home loan options. We offer better rates and quicker closings than most banks, along with the personal service and attention you’ve come to love and expect at CSE. Call, click or stop by CSE today to get started!

SOURCES:

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/money/4484440/credit-union-mortgage-home

https://www.newamericanfunding.com/blog/why-your-mortgage-lender-needs-to-know-so-much-about-you/#wqLY5pUbaqpXgaVO.99

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/best-credit-union-mortgage-lenders/

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/markgreene/2016/04/03/why-your-mortgage-lender-needs-all-that-paperwork/amp/

https://www.newamericanfunding.com/blog/why-your-mortgage-lender-needs-to-know-so-much-about-you/

CSE Online Upgrade!

Bake Sale!

 

Bring your goodies

– cookies, cupcakes, individual cake slices, chocolate-covered treats and more! –

to sell in support of the American Cancer Society!

Label with the price; let’s keep everything around $1 to $2.

A collection bucket will be set up on the honor system in the break rooms.

Thank you!

Easy Low-Carb Cauliflower Mac-N-Cheese

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 pinch ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Arrange cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, mixed herbs, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil; toss until well coated.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Place in an 8-inch baking dish.
  4. Combine Cheddar cheese, heavy cream, ghee, and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat; simmer until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Pour over cauliflower; mix well. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

SOURCE: Allrecipes.com

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