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How to Talk Money with Your Partner

What happens when you and your partner have different approaches toward money? How do you bring up this loaded topic without it spiraling into a heated argument?

Once again, it’s CSE to the rescue! Here is the ultimate guide to discussing finances with your partner.

1. Dedicate a time

Let your partner know you’d like to talk about money and, together, pick a time and place that works for both of you. Choose a time when both of you can completely focus without distraction.

2. Prepare your thoughts

Prepare a mental list of topics you’d like to discuss. Include the basics like budgeting, saving and sharing living expenses, along with any specific issues you’d like to change.

3. Start with a vision

Don’t jumpstart the discussion with accusatory statements. Instead, start with a goal.

Here are a few to get you thinking:

  • Would you like to spend a month touring Europe?
  • Wouldn’t it be amazing to move out of this apartment and buy a home of our own?
  • I’d love to retire at 55. Would you?

4. Create a saving plan

Now you can start talking numbers. How much would it cost to spend a month in Europe? How much would we need to save for a down payment?

Together, create a savings plan that will help you reach your shared goal. Work out exactly how much money you’d need to put away each month, and how long it would take you to reach your goal.

6. Build a budget

Before you can start saving, you’ll both need to trim your spending. Without pointing fingers, discuss specific ways to cut back. Together, work out a monthly budget that accounts for all expenses and your new savings goal.

7. Discuss money management

If you aren’t already sharing expenses, now’s the time to bring it up. There are no hard rules here; every couple has their own system. But, if you’re living together, it makes sense to split some basic costs. You may want to go 50/50 on this or make another arrangement that better suits your individual incomes.

At this time, consider linking one of your accounts or opening a shared account at CSE.

Be sure to keep at least one credit card open in your own name. It’s important to establish and maintain your own credit history independent of your partner’s. Check out CSE’s low interest rate credit cards!

When dividing financial responsibilities, assign appropriate tasks that play to each partner’s strengths. Is your partner a stickler for dates and deadlines? Have them assume responsibility for paying the bills on time. Are you a numbers freak? You might want to be in charge of managing your joint investments.

You’ve made it through the money talk. Now, go make those dreams happen!

CSE 2020 Sponsorships

Partners in Education

Cypress Cove Elementary

Brenda Hunter Head Start

Lake Charles Boston Academy

LaGrange High School University Program

 

Donations in the School System

Welsh High School

Barbe High School

Reeves High School

LaGrange High School

Washington Marion High School

Sam Houston High School

Jennings High School

Westlake High School

Sulphur High School

Iowa High School

DeQuincy High School

SJ Welsh Middle School

McNeese State

Sowela

Calcasieu Parish School Board

 

Sponsorships

JDP Chamber

SWLA Chamber-Economic Alliance

Jennings Festival Association

Derby for Dollars

NAMI

CADA

Vines and Tynes

Black Heritage Festival

Big Brother Big Sisters

St. Jude’s

DeWannas Closet

Citgo MDA Golf Classic

Mae’s Mission

American Cancer Association

Potters House

Children’s Museum

Fusion Five

LC Pit Bull Rescue

Arts & Humanities of SWLA

Wheels of Hope

Music Makers

Council on Aging Cameron Parish

Council on Aging Calcasieu Parish

Oasis- Calcasieu Women’s Shelter

 

How to Succeed at Your New Job

Q: I just landed a new job, and I’m really nervous. How can I best succeed?

A: Congrats on your new job! It’s super-exciting, but we totally get the nail-biting nerves. What if you sit down at the wrong desk? What if you mess up your first assignment? No worries, though — we’ve got your back! Here’s all you need to know about how to succeed when starting a new job.

How do I start off at my job? 

You’ll never have a second chance at that first impression, so be sure to ace that first day! Prepare everything you’ll need the night before, leave extra time for those unexpected delays and try to get to work a few minutes early.

Get ready to introduce yourself to all your new workmates. Remember, these are the people you’ll be spending most of your day with, so flash your best smile!

Next, pay attention to your surroundings. You’re a foreigner in a new land, and you need to learn the language, the culture and what makes these people tick if you’re going to succeed.

How can I succeed professionally at my new job?

You want to go far at your new job, but first, make sure you know the details about what’s expected of you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is unclear. Research shows that new employees perform better when they ask more questions.

What should I focus on during my first month on the job? 

Give yourself a round of applause — you’ve made it past that first week!

By now, you know where to find the best K-cups and that you’d better greet the front-desk attendant or you’ll hear about it later.

It’s time to step up your game.

During the first month at your new job, focus on adopting good work habits. That can mean setting your alarm a half-hour earlier or using an app like Cold Turkey to keep from checking your Instagram feed every two minutes.

Keep your productivity up and set ambitious professional goals. You can reach the stars. Go get ’em!

10 Tips to Buying Your First Car


Nothing feels better than getting your first car, it is one of life’s most memorable moments. Being a first time buyer in today’s world gives you countless options, all available at your fingertips. The road map below will help you navigate the process of purchasing your first car.

1. Determine Your Budget

When you decide to look for a car having a realistic budget is very important. The budget should be centered on what you can afford per month. When determining the amount that you can spend each month, consider all your expenses throughout the month.

2. Know Your Affordability for Each Month
Although this may seem similar to determining your budget, the matter of indebtedness is different than that of monthly commitments. Neither expenditure should be out of balance in regards to your other assets and will help in concluding what you can spend monthly.

3. Narrow Your List to a Few Cars
Many cars have probably caught your attention by now so you should start out by researching them to see if they will fit your needs and your budget. Take note of the suggested retail prices and the invoice prices of those cars you think would be a good fit for you. Keep in mind that by choosing a less expensive car you can have some leeway within your budget for other monthly expenses.
4. The ‘Wants’ vs. The ‘Needs’
When purchasing your first car you should take note of your wants as well as your needs. The extra attention you pay to these details will help you fulfill those needs and wants. Prioritizing your needs and wants will help you find a car that best fits you.
5. Do Your Research
Take the time to do your research. The internet is a great place to start to gain insightful information on everything ranging from the price, to consumer opinion regarding a particular model. This can help you narrow down your choices and single out exactly what you are looking for. Car dealerships can also be helpful when doing research, however they are trying to sell their vehicles and they often lure customers into purchasing a car that does not fit all the requirements of the buyer.
6. Finding A Dealership
Dealing with a local dealership can be beneficial especially if they hold a good reputation and you can easily take advantage of the car care services they may have to offer.
7. Test Drive
Although you might think that you have found the perfect car, taking a test drive can change your perspective beyond what the reviews or comments have disclosed. You will want to take the car for a test drive in the conditions that are similar to your daily routine to determine whether or not to purchase the vehicle.
8. Determine the Proper Price for Purchasing
Once you have chosen the car that fits your criteria now is the time to negotiate the purchase price. Some lending institutions can help you in gaining perspective for an appropriate purchase price and may even have a contact at the dealership. If that is the case talk with the referral before talking to the salesperson. Also keep in mind, when negotiating the financials, not to reveal what you can pay each month but to stick to a total purchase price.
9. Secure Financing
It is wise to have financing lined up before you speak to a finance representative from a dealership. Talking with a financial institution or insurance provider before you go to the dealership and having your financing ready to go is in your best interest. This will allow you to have more control over the situation. Check out CSE’s Auto Rebates!
10.  Enjoy the Process
Buying your first car is one of the largest investments you will make and it only happens once! Taking your time and understanding the process will make your first car buying experience an enjoyable one.

28 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

Since the 1970s, the month of February has been designated as the time to celebrate and commemorate Black history. Schools, television networks and private organizations use this month to increase awareness and to educate people about the rich history of Black Americans.

There are so many ways to celebrate! We challenge you to do one thing for Black History Month on each of the 28 days of February. Here are 28 ideas to help get you started:

  1. Support a Black-owned business. Many small businesses are hurting now. Show your support for a business in your community that is owned or operated by a Black person, partnership or family.
  2. Visit a Black- or civil rights-history museum. If museums are not open for in-person visits in your area, you can take a virtual tour at almost any museum, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the DuSable Museum of African American History or the  National Civil Rights Museum.
  3. Read the poem  “I, Too,” by Langston Hughes and have a family discussion about the poem’s meaning.
  4. Read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
  5. Binge-watch your favorite movies and documentaries on Black history and the civil rights movement.
  6. Learn about the life of Rosa Parks, one of the most influential figures of the civil rights movement.
  7. Read “On Beauty,” a novel by contemporary author Zadie Smith that explores beauty and feminism within the context of race.
  8. Volunteer for a Black charity. You can find a full list here.
  9. Tune into blues music to read up on its history in the Black community.
  10. Look through James Karales’s photos of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights marches and discuss their significance.
  11. Learn the lyrics to “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” released by James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” in August 1968, just four months after King’s assassination.
  12. Donate to a racial justice or educational cause, such as The Sentencing Project, Thurgood Marshall College Fund or the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
  13. Explore Black history through the thousands of sources in the National Archives. This photo series of Chicago in the 1970s is a great place to start.
  14. Read the poem “A Pledge to Rescue Our Youth,” by Maya Angelou. You can also watch this video to learn more about Angelou’s inspiration for this remarkable poem on youth and education.
  15. Learn the unique art of stepping, a form of dancing that uses the body to create rhythms and sounds. Check out Step Afrika!for how-to videos and information.
  16. Play a family game of Mancala, the ancient African game.
  17. Learn the lyrics and the background of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” often referred to as the Black National Anthem.
  18. Learn about an unknown hero of Black history.
  19. Submit a blog to a Black media outlet.
  20. Read a memoir written by an influential Black figure. Some great picks include “Becoming,” by Michelle Obama, “The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History In The Old South,” by Michael W. Twitty and “Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir Of Family,” by Condoleezza Rice.
  21. Create an ‘I Have a Dream’ garland with your family. Look up instructions here.
  22. Watch these student-made documentaries on notable African Americans.
  23. Make a reading list of great books by Black authors.
  24. Make a list of your favorite inspirational quotes by well-known Black personalities.
  25. Tune into the free educational program and performance on Black history and culture by the Chicago Children’s Choir. The event will livestream on Facebook and YouTube on Feb. 25.
  26. Learn the songs of the civil rights movement, like “This Little Light of Mine,” and “Oh, Freedom.” Have a family discussion, or open a discussion on your favorite social media platform, about the way the lyrics reflect the hopeful spirit of the era.
  27. Do you know who was the first Black tennis player to win the U.S. Open? Brush up on your knowledge about the many famous firsts in Black history.
  28. Take a virtual tour of Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters in Savannah, Ga.

What Do You Need to Know About Debt Consolidation?

Q: I’m up to my ears in debt, and I’d love a way out. I’m strongly considering debt consolidation. What do I need to know before I move ahead?

A: Debt consolidation is the process of moving several (possibly) high-interest debts into a new loan or line of credit. Debt consolidation can help you pay off your debt quicker, with less money going toward overall interest payments.

Here’s what you need to know about debt consolidation:

What are the benefits of debt consolidation? 

Saving on interest payments. The primary benefit of debt consolidation is saving on interest costs. Long-term debt with a high interest rate can cost thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loan. That’s money you may not need to pay! Moving that debt to a new loan or line of credit with a lower interest rate, or sometimes no interest rate at all, can translate into significant savings.

Simplified payments. With just one monthly payment to make, managing your debt will be a lot easier.

Fixed payment timeline. Debt consolidation often means having a fixed payment timeline. This makes budgeting easy and allows you to make long-term financial goals, with a fixed date for when you will be debt-free.

Boost your credit score. If you’ve been falling behind on your monthly payments, moving your multiple debts to a single low-interest loan can help to boost your score.

What are the disadvantages of debt consolidation? 

May prolong the payment timeline of the debt. Moving debt to a new loan can sometimes involve extending the term of the loan. This means the borrower will be in debt for longer.

Doesn’t eliminate irresponsible spending habits. If overspending and irresponsible money management is what landed the borrower in debt in the first place, consolidating debt on its own will not solve the problem.

Lower interest rate may not last. Many low- or no-interest credit cards only offer these features as a temporary promotion. Once an introductory period ends, the borrower will be hit with high interest rates.

How can I consolidate my debt?

You have several options for debt consolidation, each with its own pros and cons.

1. Unsecured loan. Taking out an unsecured loan from CSE will enable you to pay off all your outstanding loans immediately and move your debts into one low-interest loan.

Unsecured loans may have origination fees and other charges. Also, since they’re unsecured, the interest rates on these loans can be high.

Lucky for you, though, as a member of CSE you have access to unsecured loans with low interest rates.

2. HELOC. A home equity line of credit uses your home as collateral for an open line of credit.

The drawback of using your home as collateral to help you pay off debt is that you risk losing your home to foreclosure if you fail to meet your payments. Also, if the value of your home drops, you may end up owing more on your home than what it is worth. Finally, repayment terms for HELOCs can be upward of 10 years.

As secured debt, interest on HELOCs and HELs will be affordable and may provide you with significant savings. Interest on home equity loan products is often tax-deductible as well.

3. Balance transfer. Moving your debt to a new credit card with a low interest rate offer will make it possible for you to pay off your debts immediately.

The obvious disadvantage with opening a new credit card is that it can cause you to rack up a new credit card bill with your expanded available credit. Also, as mentioned, you may be hit with high interest rates once the introductory period ends. A third downside to going this route is that credit cards have no end date, which means you may not achieve that debt-free life anytime soon.

Fortunately, as a member of CSE, you can take advantage of our low interest credit cards to help you get rid of your debt quicker.

If you’re ready to consolidate your debt, we can help! Call, click or stop by CSE today to discuss your options.

 

Do you need to withdraw your funds early?

You’ve done your part to save… Now let us help you access those funds.

Have you been affected by Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta and need to access your hard-earned money NOW?

We want to help during this time of need. We are offering a penalty-free* early withdrawal from your share certificate held at CSE. CSE will be offering you the choice of withdrawing from your term certificate, without a penalty, through the end of the year, 12/31/2020. Whether you wish to make a partial withdrawal, or close your certificate, there will not be a penalty imposed. If you wish to take advantage of this, please contact us at 337-477-2000 to speak to a Member Service Representative or email us at info@csefcu.org.

Thank you for choosing CSE

Learn More

*Minimum balance requirement will still apply on partial withdrawals. 

 

Jennings Branch Birthday Celebration!


WOW WE CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S BEEN A YEAR!

 

 

Join us for our Jennings Branch One-Year Birthday Celebration Nov. 30th – Dec. 4th! Stop by our Jennings Branch for giveaways and to enter to win our Grand Prize Giveaway, a Pitt Boss! We are also giving away an Elton Louviere painting and a one year supply of rice! We hope to see you there! 

 

Pitt Boss- Official Rules

Elton Louviere Painting- Official Rules

Year Supply of Rice- Official Rules

RV Loyalty Rebates




Get up to $500* Cash Back on RV Loans!

*Offer ends DEC. 31, 2021 on Boats, Travel Trailers, Off-Road Vehicles and Wave Runners. Min. loan of $20k earns $200 cash back. Min. loan of $30k earns $300 cash back. Min. loan of $60k earns $500 cash back. Rebate will be deposited into member’s share account at loan closing. Current CSE loans are not eligible to refinance. Some restrictions may apply. CSE has the right to cancel promotion without notice. Subject to credit approval. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Contact a CSE Lender for more information. Membership and eligibility required. Insured by NCUA.

Click here to view our consumer loans and to apply.

Call 337.477.2000 and speak with a Consumer Lender today!

 

How to Replenish Your Savings

The last few months have been rough on finances and most people have used savings to get by. Using emergency funds to survive prolonged unemployment, an unexpected large expense or a medical emergency is the best way to make it through a financial hardship. If your savings are depleted, though, it’s best to start rebuilding as soon as possible.

Here’s how:

Set a goal

Before getting started on saving up money, establish a tangible goal. You can try to recover the value of the savings lost, or start smaller, with a more attainable goal. Bear in mind that experts recommend having funds to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses set aside in an emergency fund or savings account.

Trim your spending

A good place to start finding extra dollars for saving is by reviewing your spending for ways to cut back. Look for expenses that can make a difference in a monthly budget without dramatically affecting quality of life.

Find a side hustle

A great way to land extra funds is to find a side job that doesn’t require a major investment of time. Some options include taking surveys on sites like Swagbucks and doing gig work for companies like Uber and Lyft.

Sell your old treasures

Turn forgotten treasures into moneymakers by selling them online. You can sell old clothing on ThredUp, unwanted jewelry on Worthy.com and unused sports equipment on Swap Me Sports. Use the cash earned from these sales to jumpstart your new nest egg.

Make a plan

Once you have a goal in place and you’ve maximized monthly contributions toward savings, it’s time to create a plan. Map out a timeline of how long it’ll take to reach your goal when putting away as much as possible each month. Remember: The more aggressively you save now, the sooner you’ll reach your goal.

Start saving

The best way to ensure that putting money into savings each month actually happens is to make it automatic. You can set up an automatic monthly transfer from your CSE Checking Account, or any checking account, to your CSE Savings Account on a designated day of the month. Give us a call at to discuss your options.

Put unexpected windfalls in savings

To speed up the process of rebuilding depleted savings, you may want to resolve to put unexpected windfalls into an emergency fund or savings account. This can include tax refunds, a work bonus and gift money.

Rebuilding depleted savings isn’t easy, but the security of having a safety cushion to get you through a financial setback will make it well worth the effort.