ATM Security

ATM’s are a quick and convenient way to access your accounts and perform transactions like getting cash, making deposits and checking your account balances. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind when taking advantage of on-the-go banking at an ATM.

Debit Card Security:
  1. 1. Always treat your card like cash and keep it in a secure place.
  2. 2. Memorize your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and never share it with anyone.
  3. 3. Do not disclose any personal banking information over a phone call or text message.
  4. 4. Always report a lost or stolen card immediately.
  5. 5. Keep a close eye on your statements and account activity.
ATM Security:
  1. 1. Always play close attention to the ATM and your surroundings – always try to find an ATM in a well-lit and populated area.
  2. 2. If the ATM is not working properly or appears to have been tampered with, avoid using it and if possible, report issue(s) to the financial institution that operates the ATM.
  3. 3. Always protect your PIN and cover the pin pad before typing you PIN.
  4. 4. When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, doors locked, and windows rolled up until you pull put to the machine.
  5. 5. Keep the time you spend at an ATM to a minimal.
To Report a Lost or Stolen Debit Card:

During business hours call: 256-355-5010

After business hours call: 1-800-253-0819 (Option 3)

SPOOKTACULAR Ways to Save This Halloween

October is a time FULL of fun and it’s easy to let expenses creep in, often without much thought. These tips are scary good and will help you save money this October!

Costumes

What we all think about when we’re getting ready for “spooky season”. What is going to be the most popular costume? What about the most creative or scariest? How about a Family costume? Pre-made costumes are often not the best quality and they can be expensive. Consider the following ways to save on a costume.

Get Creative!  Visit Pinterest and find an easy, inexpensive Halloween costume that you can DIY and have a Halloween costume that’s unique to you. There are so many options to choose from with just a quick search – find one for you, the whole family, and even pets!

Costume Swap – Find out if your friends have any costumes, they don’t mind you wearing and tell them what you have to save you both some money on your Halloween costume!

Decorations

There’s no way you can celebrate Halloween without a few pumpkins, at least! I know some people go all out on Halloween decorations and you can make that happen without spending dollar after dollar.

DIY – Yep, get back on Pinterest and find yourself some decorations that fit the style of your home or ideas on simple way to decorate! An old decoration from a thrift store or that you already had, add a coat of paint and you have an upgraded Halloween decoration!

Shop Smart! You can find some awesome, spooky Halloween decorations in dollar stores or in bargain bins. It may take some digging and some creative thinking but you can find some great things to “spook” up your house for Halloween. Also, shop online – you never know what you might find!

At the end of the season – stock up for next year!

Visit your favorite stores at the end of the season to find good deals on décor for next year!

Candy

The classic Halloween treats! We all need a bucket ready when the doorbell rings on Halloween night!

  • – Try to shop ahead of the demand to get the best prices on candy.
  • – Shop generic brands, as long as the flavor is there to satisfy the sweet tooth, it doesn’t matter the brand name!
  • – Check online, you may find good deals on candy in bulk.
GIVEAWAY!!
WCU is currently hosting a social media giveaway! Visit WCU Credit Union on Facebook to enter to win 4 FREE tickets to Hidden Rivers Farm + Pumpkin Patch. The winner will be announced on October 16, 2020!  

Budget-Friendly Fall Activities For The Family

Fall is officially here (& feeling like it too!) Fall is the most wonderful weather and there is always so much to do with your family during this time of year. Take advantage of the budget friendly options this fall and do some fun activities with your family!

go for a Hike

Get outside – take advantage of the beautiful, not too hot and not too cold, weather. Load the family up and hit the trails! Living in North Alabama, we have many places around us to take short, scenic hikes. Try Bankhead National Forest, Monte Sano State Park, DeSoto State Park for some good, family friendly hikes! The best part is hikes are very inexpensive, usually just a few dollars per car!  

Picnic

There are plenty of parks and outdoor areas that are easy to pack a meal and have a nice afternoon picnicking with the family! Enjoy the fresh air and the changing leaves while finding some play time for the kids!

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

This is the most obvious family friendly fall activity and we have plenty to chose from in our area! Make a quick Google search and take the whole family! At pumpkin patches, there are usually mazes, hay rides, and games for kids! What a fun way to spend a fall afternoon! And don’t forget to buy enough pumpkins for another fun activity listed later!

Carve / Decorate Pumpkins

Now, we get to take the pumpkins we got at the pumpkin patch and create another fun fall activity that costs close to nothing! Get a set of carving utensils or even some paint and decorate away! Having carved/decorated pumpkins add a personal touch to fall decorations and makes for a fun activity for the whole family!

go apple picking

Go apple picking, we also have many options around us for a trip to pick some apples, drink apple cider, and enjoy the weather. Easy and inexpensive way to make fun memories with you kids and family!  

bake yummy fall treats

‘Tis the season for apple pie, caramel or candy apples, oven smores, or fall shaped cookies! You can even find pumpkin slice and bake cookies at your local grocery store to pop in the oven for some added fall sweets for the family to enjoy!

Go to a Drive-In Movie

Drive-In movies are a fun (social-distanced) alternative to a movie theater. We actually have a few around North Alabama that are definitely worth a visit. They often play older movies and offer a double feature; the first movie is kid friendly and the second is geared more for adults. Check the websites and see what movies are being offered this fall!

Sometimes, A Bargain Is Not A Bargain

When you are shopping and you see that “sale!” sticker, think about a few things before jumping into a purchase thinking it’s a bargain. Sometimes, a bargain is not a bargain after all.

Here’s a list of five times a bargain may not be actually be a bargain:

When you don’t need it

The price might scream a good deal but, if the heavily marked down item is one you aren’t in need of, you are spending money that could be used for something you need or want more.

When it’s a faulty product

There are times when it doesn’t pay to be cheap. Often times, when an item is at a very low price or found in a “bargain store.” When you find a product you are unsure of, hold it up to this checklist to deterring if it is quality:

  • – Where was it manufactured? If a product looks to be a designer or name brand but has a made in china sticker, it’s sadly just a cheap knock off and really isn’t a good deal.
  • – Are there any noticeable defects or missing parts?
  • – Does it appear to have been worn out?
  • – Is the material good quality?
When the “sale price” isn’t really a sale

Sometimes, retailers will feature the items price as the “sale price” but in reality, the store has never even sold the product for lower than the sticker price.

Other times the price tag may say “original price: $59.99. Our price: $49.99.” The item has actually never been sold at $59.99 before. If an item is truly marked down you will find another price tag placed on top of the manufactured price tag.

When you’re paying the BOGO price

Though the title “buy one get one” sounds like a steal, but its simply not as good of a deal as it sounds. The deal hides the fact that if you weren’t planning on buying 2 items, it really isn’t a discount.

If it’s part of a liquidation sale

When retailers post signs that say “everything must go” the store owners are depending on shoppers to assume that all items in the store are being sold at a discount price, which often is just not true.

Save Money this Fall

School has started, hopefully the cooler weather is on its way, which means fall is almost here. With the change of seasons, its typical for us to switch gears and start thinking about the holiday season that is ahead – and the expenses that they include.

Cook with in-season produce

Plan your meals according to the in season produce, you will save money this way! Also, fall is soup season, make a huge pot and freeze some for later to save on an extra meal cost.

open the windows – save on ac

I know were in Alabama so it might be a few months before we can act on this but it can be a big money saver when do get the colder weather. Open your windows and enjoy the fall air while saving money on your utility bill!

DIY your fall décor

Fall is a great time to DIY fall décor, Halloween decorations and maybe even costumes. Pinterest and YouTube are a great place to find easy, inexpensive DIY projects to d this fall. You can even turn these crafts into fun family activities.

find Free community events

This year may be a bit different but the fall is a prime time to get outside and find somethings to do! Normally, there are carnivals, street fairs, concerts, hay rides, and pumpkin patches. Though those things have been cut down this year, consider getting outside and enjoying the brisk air by going on a hike, to a park, or just taking a walk around town.

Start planning ahead for the holiday season

It’s never too early to start putting some many back for the busy holiday season ahead. Try to find ways to cut costs so you can have a stress-free holiday season full of fun for the whole family! Stay tuned for a blog coming soon about starting early on holiday saving!