Archive for SEGment

DOLLAR STORES: ARE THEY WORTH THE PRICE?

Q: I love browsing my local dollar store, but I often end up spending more than I planned or regretting my purchases. Are dollar stores worth the price?

A: Dollar stores can be tremendous spending traps, but they can also be a great way to snag a bargain. It’s all in how you plan your visit.

 

Everything is just a buck, you say. How can you possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, with that mindset, you might find yourself going way overboard with your spending. Before you set out for the dollar store, create a physical or mental list of what you need to purchase.

Love to throw just-for-fun products into your cart? The dollar store is a great place to do that, so exercise caution. You don’t want to blow tens of dollars on stuff you don’t really need and might never use. Establish a limit of how many of those items you can pick up on your trip before you set out. If you always find yourself pushing your self-imposed limit, only shop with cash so you’re forced to stick to your budget.

What’s hot at the dollar store … 😛 

Here are some products that are great bargains at the dollar store:

• Cleaning supplies: Get clean for less by stocking up on Ajax, bleach, glass cleaner, scouring pads, spray bottles, off-brand Swiffer refills, sponges, dryer sheets and ammonia.
• Seasonal: Visit the dollar store before hitting chain stores for your holiday decorations. Halloween décor, cheap gift boxes and wrapping paper can all be had at the dollar store.
• Toys: Load up on bubbles, sidewalk chalk, balls, card games and kites.
• Groceries: Get your frozen fruit and veggies, string cheese, spices, name-brand condiments, rice, oatmeal and snack foods at the dollar store.
• Kitchenware: Stock up on bargain-priced storage bins and containers, whimsical kitchen décor and glasses. Paper plates, cups and napkins can also be bought at super low prices.
• Party gear: Greeting cards, wrapping paper, balloons, ribbons, streamers, birthday candles, party decorations and gift bags can all be bought for, you guessed it, a dollar each.
• School/office supplies: You won’t be able to find every item on your school supply list that’s actually worth the price, but you can load up on project display boards, tab dividers, binder clips and poster boards at the dollar store.
• Kids’ activities: The dollar store is a great place to stock up on rainy-day supplies for the kids. You’ll find some great books, puzzles, craft supplies, colored papers, stickers, activity books, coloring books and more.

… And what’s not  😥 

Not everything you’ll find in the dollar store is worth as much as a dollar. Plus, there are lots of things you can get elsewhere for a better price.
• Cleaning supplies: The following cleaning supplies at the dollar store are either made too cheaply to be worth the price or can be bought for less in other stores: dishwashing soap, tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, laundry detergent.
• Toys: Small toys for young children that aren’t made well can quickly become choking hazards. Also, dollar-store dolls and toy cars are likely to break the day you bring them home.
• Groceries: These foods can be bought for cheaper in a grocery store: pasta, soda, gum, canned goods, chocolate.
• Kitchenware: Plastic cutlery from the dollar store is too cheaply made to be worth the few cents you’ll save. Ditto for disposable baking dishes. You’ll also want to stay away from can openers, knives and oven mitts, as these items need to be well made to do their jobs.
• School/office supplies: The following supplies can be bought for less money and of better quality in stores like Walmart and Target: lined paper, composition notebooks, glue, crayons, markers, Post-its, pens, pencils and highlighters.
• Self-care: Cheaply made soap, shampoo and cosmetics can be harmful to your skin. Don’t buy name-brand travel-size toiletries either; you can usually get tiny shampoo and soap bottles for less than a buck at big-box stores.

When it’s not a bargain 😕 

When making a purchase at the dollar store, hold it up to this checklist. If your item fits any of these criteria, you’re better off without it:

1. It’s sold in tiny quantities. Often, what looks like a bargain is just a product in a really small package. Check the size on food items and cleaning products; you can often get more for less money when you buy a product in a bigger size at a larger store.
2. It’s made with harmful toxins. Check all health and beauty products for toxic and carcinogenic ingredients.
3. You don’t need it. A dollar spent on something you don’t need is a dollar wasted.
4. It’s made super-cheaply. If it’s going to break during the first day of use, or even the first hours, leave it in the store.
5. It isn’t food-safe. Check all products that will come into contact with food, like serving platters or dishes, for a label that proclaims them food-safe.
6. It’s expired. Be careful to check the “Sell by” date on candy and other foodstuffs so you’re not paying for expired products.

 💡 Learn how to shop smart at the dollar store and you’ll go home with true bargains! 💡 

SOURCES:

What to Buy at the Dollar Store, and What to Skip


https://www.bradsdeals.com/blog/things-you-always-should-buy-at-the-dollar-store

We’re Going Nuts for Santa!

We invite our youngest members to come and visit with Santa.  If your child is not a member yet, ask us how they may join and start saving for their future.

Free 4X6 Photo ( Limit 1)

Come experience the timeless tradition of the Nutcracker | Petting Zoo | Refreshments| Activities

 

STAY ON TOP OF YOUR FINANCES

MOBiLE Access

4 Ways To Stay On Top Of Your Finances While On The Go          

Most people have a checklist they go through before they leave the house. Is the stove turned off? Are the doors locked? Do I have my wallet, my keys and my cellphone? The only thing that has changed about that process in the last few years has been the addition of that last item on the list. Today, 92% of Americans have cellphones and 68% of them have smartphones. This is a remarkable change from just a few years ago. More than half of the people you see every day are carrying a computer that dwarfs the most powerful computing technology that was available a decade ago. It’s also connected to all of the world’s information, literally at our fingertips. What do we use it for? Drawing mustaches on our selfies and tossing wingless birds at shoddily made pig housing. If you’d like to use your smartphone for more sophisticated purposes, plus add a ton of convenience and peace of mind to your life, consider mobile banking. With a couple of taps, you can access a whole suite of financial information. Let’s look at four scenarios where mobile banking can save you some time … and even some money.

1.) Say goodbye to security woes

Despite all of the data breaches that have been in the public eye over the past few years, no one has figured out how to compromise mobile devices as a platform. Security leaks have affected PCs, Macs and point of sale terminals, but no widespread security vulnerability has compromised mobile banking. Despite the fear, mobile banking is actually a fundamentally secure platform. The first reason for this is the plurality of platforms. You and your neighbor may not be able to share cellphone chargers, much less apps or other experiences. This diversity makes it difficult for a single vulnerability to affect many users. Since there’s less possibility of large scale attacks, hackers have very little incentive to dedicate time toward trying to compromise mobile platforms. The second reason for this is the tight control placed on mobile devices. Because these devices have to send regular usage information back to your mobile provider, they tend to be far less prone to modification. There’s just not as much you can do to an iPhone or an Android as you can to a PC. While some users might override those protections, such modifications are not widespread enough to justify attempted infiltration. Mobile banking is secure and safe. Data transmitted from your cellphone to your provider is heavily encrypted. If you lose your phone, it can be remotely deactivated and passwords usually aren’t stored on the device.

2.) You can check your balance any time

Rather than waiting for your statement every month or booting up that slow PC for checking your account balances online, you can view transactions while waiting for a bus or in line at a restaurant. You can stay vigilant against illegal account access any time you’ve got your phone and a spare few seconds. The convenience of mobile banking can also keep you from making costly mistakes. If you know funds may be running tight, check your account balance while in the checkout line to make sure you can cover the cost of your purchases. You can see if your monthly rent check has been withdrawn from your account to avoid the costly fees associated with over-drafting. It’s easier than ever to keep track of your finances. You can also help to prevent errors with mobile banking. Accidental overpayment, duplicate payments and other errors are a regrettable reality of the modern high-speed economy. By regularly checking your account statement, you can catch these pesky problems before they turn into big issues.

3.) It’s where you’ll find the next big thing

Mobile payments and mobile check depositing are becoming more widely available and are already being used in many places. As technology gets better, these functions will become cheaper, faster and even more widespread. Getting involved in mobile banking on the ground floor will help you stay up to speed with this rapidly evolving world. Imagine getting turn-by-turn walking directions to your nearest ATM. You could get alerts when new houses are listed for sale along your daily commute. You might pay for your breakfast by signing a receipt on your phone.  These and other changes are coming and they are only the beginning. If mobile banking doesn’t do something you need, wait six months. Someone will probably find an app for that.

4.) 24-hour-a-day instant access

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night in a panic because you can’t remember if you paid your electric bill? Ever have a tiny freak-out on the bus because you suspect someone may have accessed your account? Are money worries preventing you from enjoying your vacation? If you have these concerns and are nowhere near your computer, you could just suffer through them. As an alternative, though, you could use a mobile app to check your balance and transaction history. See if your monthly bills have cleared. Make sure your balance is safe. You can do all of this any time you’ve got your phone, day or night.  Mobile banking won’t replace traditional, face-to-face interaction. There will always be a place in the credit union service standards for the human interaction. What mobile banking apps offer is a wonderful supplement to those high-quality services. Space-age convenience, top-level security, and blissful peace of mind are all available from your pocket, anywhere in the world.

 

For more information about CSE’s E-Services.

Direct Deposit

Q: I work for a small company, and my employer recently started offering direct deposit of paychecks. This doesn’t sound secure to me, and anyway, I like getting and depositing my paycheck. Is there any reason to opt for direct deposit?

A: There’s a very short list of things that really haven’t changed in the past 50 years: apple pie, your fourth-grade teacher’s fashion sense and paper checks. Despite the advances that have been made in financial technology, paper checks are really about the same instruments they always have been. In a digital world, they’re increasingly expensive, cumbersome and insecure.

Many employers already have or are moving to an all-electronic system for paying their employees, and at the center of that system is direct deposit. Direct deposit transmits your paycheck from your employer’s business account directly into your checking, savings or prepaid account(s). You still get a pay stub or an electronic equivalent from your employer that lists the amount of the transfer along with any deductions, like taxes, health care or retirement.

What you won’t have to do is hold on to that check until you can find time to get to a branch. Payroll deposits clear instantaneously, which means the money is generally available in your account the same day.

Direct deposit really is the way of the future. Many large employers and some benefit providers require it, and it’s easy to see why. Let’s look at three reasons why direct deposit is right for you.

1.) Safety

Think like a criminal for a second. A paycheck is the largest check most people see on a regular basis. This makes it a tempting target for theft. Think about how your employer would react to someone picking up your paycheck for you. Someone could pretend to be a spouse, babysitter or friend doing you a “favor.”

While the signature requirement is some protection, many check-cashing establishments don’t look closely for a match. It’s remarkably easy to cash a stolen check and the law provides little protection. Your employer might be sympathetic, but they’re probably not willing to issue you a second paycheck. The burden would be on you to prove the theft before you could get your salary.

With a direct deposit, those concerns are virtually nonexistent. There are no paper checks to keep safe. No one needs to pick up your paycheck for you. There’s no concern that someone else will accidentally be given your check. The whole transaction is handled seamlessly by computer.

2.) Simplicity

Believe it or not, the process of payroll is incredibly complicated for companies. Many of them hire outside firms at great expense to ensure they’re accurately paying their employees in compliance with various state and federal regulations. One of the costs involved in payroll production is the printing of checks. Paper checks must be printed, signed and recorded, all of which requires labor.

The cost of writing, verifying and safeguarding a paper check is about $1 per employee per pay period, assuming no lost checks or pay disputes. The lost time to distributing and depositing those checks is about $2 per employee, so it costs businesses about $3 to print and distribute paper checks. Direct deposit costs about half as much.

These savings may seem insignificant, but they add up quickly. Your employer spending less money on payroll means more money to pay you. Whether those cost savings result in a lower-priced product, more investment in the business or higher wages, you benefit. When your employer comes out ahead, so do you.

3.) Convenience

Obviously, direct deposit saves you an errand every pay period. The stress of fighting rush-hour traffic to make it to a branch office before closing time on payday is considerable. There’s also no need to worry if you got your paycheck deposited in time for same-day processing. Say goodbye to account guessing games.

Beyond the obvious conveniences, direct deposit opens up a slew of other possibilities. Once your direct deposit posts to your CSE checking account, you can use CSE Online to easily set up automatic transfers to your savings accounts, your children’s savings accounts, make your loan payments, and pay bills!  You may also be able to secure lower fees or a higher dividend rate on your checking account! CSE Members may also receive a 0.25% loan rate reduction* off of their qualifying rate when utilizing two of the following choices of CSE products/services:
E-Statements ● Checking Account ● Automatic Transfer for loan payments

Paperless payroll saves trees, it saves time and it saves frustration. It does all of this while being safer, faster and more secure. If you’re unsure about your direct deposit options, stop by or call CSE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION. Our helpful representatives can point you in the right direction for the information you need to set up direct deposit and can provide guidance to help you organize your deposits to meet your financial goals.

Call, click or stop by CSE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION today!

*Rate reduction limited to risk-based products only, ask a CSE Lender for more information.

Visit CSE’s Direct Deposit page for more information to get started.

For more consumer information visit: https://electronicpayments.nacha.org/direct-deposit/consumers/direct-deposit-consumers#dd-con-save-time

Direct Deposit. Safe, Simple, And Convenient

DIRECT DEPOSIT.  SAFE, SIMPLE, AND CONVENIENT


Q: I work for a small company, and my employer recently started offering direct deposit of paychecks. This doesn’t sound secure to me, and anyway, I like getting and depositing my paycheck. Is there any reason to opt for direct deposit?

A: There’s a very short list of things that really haven’t changed in the past 50 years: apple pie, your fourth-grade teacher’s fashion sense and paper checks. Despite the advances that have been made in financial technology, paper checks are really about the same instruments they always have been. In a digital world, they’re increasingly expensive, cumbersome and insecure.

Many employers already have or are moving to an all-electronic system for paying their employees, and at the center of that system is direct deposit. Direct deposit transmits your paycheck from your employer’s business account directly into your checking, savings or prepaid account(s). You still get a pay stub or an electronic equivalent from your employer that lists the amount of the transfer along with any deductions, like taxes, health care or retirement.

What you won’t have to do is hold on to that check until you can find time to get to a branch. Payroll deposits clear instantaneously, which means the money is generally available in your account the same day.

Direct deposit really is the way of the future. Many large employers and some benefit providers require it, and it’s easy to see why. Let’s look at three reasons why direct deposit is right for you.

1.) Safety

Think like a criminal for a second. A paycheck is the largest check most people see on a regular basis. This makes it a tempting target for theft. Think about how your employer would react to someone picking up your paycheck for you. Someone could pretend to be a spouse, babysitter or friend doing you a “favor.”

While the signature requirement is some protection, many check-cashing establishments don’t look closely for a match. It’s remarkably easy to cash a stolen check and the law provides little protection. Your employer might be sympathetic, but they’re probably not willing to issue you a second paycheck. The burden would be on you to prove the theft before you could get your salary.

With a direct deposit, those concerns are virtually nonexistent. There are no paper checks to keep safe. No one needs to pick up your paycheck for you. There’s no concern that someone else will accidentally be given your check. The whole transaction is handled seamlessly by computer.

2.) Simplicity

Believe it or not, the process of payroll is incredibly complicated for companies. Many of them hire outside firms at great expense to ensure they’re accurately paying their employees in compliance with various state and federal regulations. One of the costs involved in payroll production is the printing of checks. Paper checks must be printed, signed and recorded, all of which requires labor.

The cost of writing, verifying and safeguarding a paper check is about $1 per employee per pay period, assuming no lost checks or pay disputes. The lost time to distributing and depositing those checks is about $2 per employee, so it costs businesses about $3 to print and distribute paper checks. Direct deposit costs about half as much.

These savings may seem insignificant, but they add up quickly. Your employer spending less money on payroll means more money to pay you. Whether those cost savings result in a lower-priced product, more investment in the business or higher wages, you benefit. When your employer comes out ahead, so do you.

3.) Convenience

Obviously, direct deposit saves you an errand every pay period. The stress of fighting rush-hour traffic to make it to a branch office before closing time on payday is considerable. There’s also no need to worry if you got your paycheck deposited in time for same-day processing. Say goodbye to account guessing games.

Beyond the obvious conveniences, direct deposit opens up a slew of other possibilities. You can more easily automate your savings by depositing a portion of each payroll into a savings account and the rest into your checking. You can pay bills more easily online since you get confirmation your funds are available. You may also be able to secure lower fees or a higher interest rate on your checking account!

Paperless payroll saves trees, it saves time and it saves frustration. It does all of this while being safer, faster and more secure. If you’re unsure about your direct deposit options, stop by or call CSE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION. Our helpful representatives can get you the information you need to set up direct deposit and can even help you organize your deposits to meet your financial goals.

Call, click or stop by CSE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION today!

 

 

Call Center

CSE Federal Credit Union Announces the Opening of a Call Center

LAKE CHARLES, LA —Striving to meet the needs of our members, CSE Federal Credit Union announced the development of a Call Center, located in their main office at 4321 Nelson Rd. in Lake Charles.

The Call Center Representatives bring a natural ability for problem-solving and communication to the fast-paced call center environment, delivering solutions that keep our members connected.

“Our new call center is staffed with the most energetic and talented employees. Our goal and expectations are to enhance how we service our members. The call center gives us an opportunity to capture every call and provide assistance to our members, both locally and nationally,” said Tyler Theriot, CSE’s Call Center Manager. “In just the first week, we were able to increase our ability to answer calls improving our overall quality of service to our members.”

The call center improves efficiency. Improved efficiency will lead to a much more productive office atmosphere and allow CSE representatives to maximize their efforts to assist new and existing members. Currently, CSE averages over 400 daily calls.  The new Call Center currently employs five employees, and there are plans to expand in the future.  CSE has been serving SWLA residents for 75 years. We are locally owned and operated with a national reach. For more information about CSE’s newest addition call 337.477.2000 and speak with a CSE representative today.

 

LaTonya Broussard                                          Sherlonda Esclovon

 Therese Padua                                                   Courtney Bernard

SEG Highlight

Happy Birthday Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy!

“The Massage School” is having it’s 30th Birthday! In 1987, Lake Charles native Susan Salvo founded the Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy after developing a curriculum from workshops that she created and taught in the early 1980’s. In 2012 Alex and Carrie Chaumont became the new “Mom & Pop” of the school. The Institute was started by massage therapists, is taught by massage therapists, and has been operated by massage therapists since 1987. LIMT was one of the first massage schools to be licensed by the state of Louisiana and the first massage school to provide continuing education classes. They are the oldest continually operating massage school on the Gulf Coast and CSE is proud to have them a Select Business Group.

Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy offers a 510-hour program. Their curriculum is designed to be challenging, fun, and exciting. The teaching faculty is made up of highly qualified and dynamic massage therapists. Their dedication ensures quality delivery of the curriculum. Students develop technique-specific skills through many hours of supervised, hands-on instruction. The school continues to produce graduates that are among the most successful in the South.

They offer the lowest tuition rates along the Gulf Coast as well as affordable payment plans. The Louisiana Institute of Massage Therapy always refers their students to CSE Federal Credit Union for our great rates on loans to help cover the cost of attending their school.

CSE Celebrates People-First Banking

On October 19, CSE FCU will, along with more than 56,000 credit unions around the world, celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day), and the philosophy and achievements of the credit union movement.
CSE celebrates ICU Day because it believes, the not-for-profit structure and people-first principles of credit unions make them the ideal financial partners for everyone. This year’s ICU Day theme is “Dreams Thrive Here,” a celebration of how credit unions help people achieve their biggest goals in life.
The public is welcome to stop by any branch and celebrate with CSE, a worldwide movement that’s made helping people its No. 1 priority for more than 160 years.

Schedule of Events
ICU Day- October 19, 2017
11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We will have Paul’s Rib Shack Barbecue – The “Bishop of BBQ” at the main location for members who show their CSE debit or account card.
8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Pops and Rockets gourmet frozen pops will be at each branch in the lobby for members.
One name will be drawn at 3:00 pm on October 23 at the main location for a $500.00 gift card.
Beginning October 2, you will have the opportunity to enter-to-win the gift card by writing your dreams on a dream catcher and placing it in a CSE wishing well located at each branch.

Open Houses
We will host a membership appreciation at each branch. We are encouraging our members to stop, take a picture in front of our CSE logo wall and share them on social media. Light refreshments will be provided by each branch. Listed below are the times and locations:

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm open house at Moss Bluff – October 5, 2017
11:00 am to 1:00 pm open house at Sulphur – October 6, 2017
9:00 am to 4:00 pm Open house at Lake Charles – October 13, 2017

 

Click here to download coloring page.

Click here to download contest rules and guidelines for $500.00 gift card.

To download click here.

For more information on ICU Day call 337.477.2000 and speak with a CSE representative.

 

SEG Highlight Ad Source

AdSource Outdoor Advertising Company is the fastest growing billboard provider in Southwest Louisiana. With over 50 years of experience, they strive to allow advertisers to deliver their message with maximum impact. AdSource was founded in 2003 and is continuously growing to allow us to push our limits and think out of the box. AdSource is proud to have over 200 boards in the Lake Charles and Golden Triangle Area.

Why Outdoor

Outdoor has always been one of the most effective means of advertising money can buy. With AdSource you will reach more people for less amount of money than any other form of media.
Outdoor allows you to TARGET your audience with full color visual of your company logo, phone number, address. Outdoor simply cannot be avoided. More Americans are spending more time outside and in their vehicles which allow Outdoor to captivate the audience with ease.

• Outdoor allows you to geographically TARGET your audience
• Outdoor provides your own ad space.
• Outdoor offers full color visual of your company logo, phone number, address.
• Outdoor cannot be avoided.
• Outdoor allows single ads.
• Outdoor reaches ages 17yrs+ of age
• The same outdoor message can be seen multiple times a day.
• Outdoor does not charge extra for FULL-COLOR ads.
• Outdoor ranges from 12’x24′ ads to 14’x48′ ads.

Keep your business and personal credit separate

Taking steps to build a credit profile for your company, separate from your personal credit history, you may be able to access ten to 100 times more credit than you could as a consumer. On average, a business owner uses at least ten times as much credit as a consumer. It’s nearly impossible to run, let alone scale, a business using personal credit alone. What’s more, building business credit is easy to do, but too few business owners realize its importance.

1. Establish your business as a separate legal entity.
The most common forms of business are the Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, S corporation and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Sit down with your tax advisor or financial planner to determine which legal entity fits your business and financial situation.

2. Set up a business checking account.
It keeps your business financials organized and allows you to get a clear picture of where your money is going. It usually takes just 30 minutes to set up an account at your local credit union. Use the business account for all business-related expenses. When paying yourself, deposit the money into a personal checking account. Your business checking account also allows your business to use employee payments as tax deductions from income while letting you show personal income for the purpose of loans, credit, and taxes. Business lenders will want to see your bank statements to get a true picture of how you’re performing.

3. Build a business credit history.
Start by opening a business credit card and always paying on time. The business credit bureaus will add this positive payment history to the credit file dedicated just to your company. Unlike personal cards, you may be able to deduct interest from business credit cards. One of the biggest mistakes new businesses owners make is relying on personal credit cards to fund operations. Not only do you take on liability; you can damage personal credit. Along with getting a business credit card, you should also open credit lines with your vendors and suppliers; this is known as trade credit. It gives you extra time to pay for your supplies and services. As you establish a consistent history of on-time or early payments with these suppliers, your business credit scores will improve. It will allow you to access even more credit with even better payment terms.

4. Monitor your business credit regularly.
After establishing healthy business credit, you’ll want to stay on top of it. Lenders and creditors reassess your company’s creditworthiness on an ongoing basis. If your credit deteriorates, terms can be adjusted or stopped altogether. Without notice, you could be forced to pay cash on delivery for your supplies in place of your normal 30 days payment cycle. Regular monitoring helps avoid these nasty surprises. As a small business owner, you may feel like the odds are against you. Start building a strong business credit profile separate from your personal credit. Taking simple and proven steps, you’ll access more financing from more sources, and at better rates. Your credit will start to open doors rather than causing them to close.

You have to stay on top of credit. The reward is huge. Grow your business dream into a reality. Click here to view rates. To learn more about CSE Business Lending call 337.562.3141 or visit the Main office location and speak with Jim today!