Top 10 Tax Scams

It starts with your phone ringing — the most prevalent tax scam making the rounds this year. The caller claims to be from the IRS and demands your money NOW. Don’t think you’re the only one singled out for this tactic; aggressive, threatening phone scams occur regularly across the country. But, scamming also happens via email, U.S. mail or in person.

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5 Security Strategies for College-bound Students

If you are a college-bound student or the parent of one, you know computers and mobile devices are must-have tools for academic and social activities. But do you know the best ways to stay safe surfing, shopping, banking and socializing online?

College dorm: Students moving in

Study these tips to keep your personal information personal and protect your stuff while you’re away from home.

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Should My Spouse and I File Taxes Jointly or Separately?

Whether it’s something as simple as picking a restaurant or as complex as deciding whether to have children, marriage requires lots of mutual decision-making.

Financial advice

Couples who tie the knot will have another choice to add to that growing list next tax season, as they can either file joint or separate returns. This choice can affect the amount of taxes they owe or the size of their refunds.

Here’s a closer look at these two options and how to determine which filing status is best for you and your spouse.

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It’s a Money Thing: Pay Yourself First … Automatically

Like going to the gym or eating a healthy diet, saving money is one of those concepts that’s simple to grasp but weirdly challenging to put into practice. We understand its benefits. We agree that it’s essential to our wellbeing. We know that it’s something we should be doing. But paycheck after paycheck, it’s the same routine: after the bills have been paid and the regular expenses have been looked after, there just isn’t quite enough left over for our savings goals.

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It’s a Money Thing: How to Overcome ‘Credit Card Shyness’

News outlets and credit card companies are quick to label millennials as being credit card-shy. According to a recent survey, millennials apparently fear their credit card debt more than climate change, the threat of war and even death. It may sound like an overreaction, but the underlying trend is substantial: millennials are carrying fewer cards and have lower balances, compared to the previous generation of young adults.


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A Tax Tip if you Didn’t Receive a W-2

By Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®

Before you fill out your federal income taxes — or have an accountant complete that chore for you —  you’ll need to collect W-2 forms from your current or former employers. Companies are supposed to send out your W-2, also known as a Wage and Tax Statement, by Jan. 31 of each year. Unfortunately, not all businesses meet this deadline.

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Affordable Ways to Refresh Your Home

Home improvements can rejuvenate a stale dwelling. But remodeling and renovations could set you back thousands of dollars for each room.

A “midrange minor kitchen remodel” — including hardware, countertops, flooring and a refrigerator — is about $21,000, on average, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value report. But with the right approach, you can give your abode some TLC without busting your budget.

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Engagement Rings: Study Shows Spending Less Leads to Longer Marriages

By Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®     

I’ll never forget the night my husband Earl popped the question.

We were on a business trip and staying at a beautiful hotel in San Francisco. After a whirlwind day, we stood on the hotel balcony overlooking the city, talking about all we’d accomplished together. All of a sudden, Earl got down on one knee, told me how much he loved me, and asked me to be his wife. I immediately said yes. In my excitement, I didn’t realize that Earl proposed without giving me a ring.

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Ask the Expert: Get to Know your Financial Advisor

By Janet Mendez

Janet Mendez is Assistant Manager of Trust & Investment Services at SchoolsFirst FCU.  She has more than a decade of experience in the financial services industry. She joined the SchoolsFirst team in 2009.  Her previous positions were Senior Retirement Advisor and Financial Advisor. Janet believes it’s important to guide Members through every step of their financial planning goals.

There are many reasons people don’t get professional financial advice — they may worry about the cost, or feel like they don’t have enough money to warrant formal planning.

Whatever your reasons may be, 2019 may be a great time to schedule a one-on-one with a SchoolsFirst FCU financial advisor. This guidance is a benefit of your Membership to help you make good financial decisions and plan for a secure future. Here are some things you should know to help you get started. Continue reading