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We’re a full-service financial institution, serving anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Wilmington. As a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative, we’re dedicated to giving our members value. Instead of making profits for a small group of stockholders, we return our profits to our members in the form of competitive savings yields and lower loan rates. Our mission is to provide financial services and financial literacy to the Harbor Area community. Our Vision is to be the trusted financial institution to the Harbor Area.

FFCU recognized for serving immigrants

Family Federal Credit Union has earned a "Juntos Avanzamos" designation, which identifies us as a financial resource for organizations that serve the immigrant community. This positions us as a trustworthy partner and lets development agencies and other groups know we are a trusted organization ready to assist underserved Hispanics. Learn more.

Juntos Avanzamos

Don’t Let Friends Pay Debit Card Fees

Because they know you, your friends and family don’t have to pay debit card fees. Just let them know they can open a Family Federal Credit Union account and get:

  • FREE Checking
  • FREE, Unlimited Debit Card Transactions
  • FREE use of 55,000 ATMs Nationwide

It’s easy. Just have them call 310/ 835-6132 — or visit our office — and tell us that you sent them. It’s the friendly, and right thing to do.

Budgeting for a Better New Year

Whoever said money can't buy happiness probably never had to worry about the lights going out because they couldn't pay the bill. One way to ensure a happier (and brightly lit) new year is by making a budget.

You may think that you don't make enough money to bother with a budget, but you'd be wrong. Everybody should have one. A budget helps you live within your means and save for the future.

Examine your income and spending
Begin by totaling all the money that comes into the household: wages, investments, child support payments and any other sources. Put that in one column.

Next, break down all the expenses that rarely vary: rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, groceries, debt payments and transportation. Then factor in incidentals like entertainment and restaurant meals.

Finally, subtract your expenses from your income. Hopefully, there's a surplus of money. If so, you're ready to begin the next phase: building an emergency fund, and starting or fattening up your retirement accounts.

If you come up with a deficit, it's time to scrutinize your finances. First, see whether you could boost your income. Are you underpaid or underemployed? It may be time to look for a new job or a way to moonlight.

Then look at what you're spending. For example:

  • Could you downsize your home or move to a cheaper neighborhood?
  • Do you really need both cable TV and the Internet? Shows and many live sports are available via streaming, and cutting cable TV could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
  • Are you ordering takeout food often? Better meal planning could help you resist the convenience of buying prepared meals.
  • Are you paying high fees for your bank accounts? Consider switching from a bank to a credit union that offers free or low-fee checking, like Family FCU.

Set goals for savings
A budget is only as good as its goals, so be sure to set some. Establishing an emergency fund? That money has to be easily accessible, so put it in a savings or money market account. Saving for retirement? Those funds should be as untouchable as possible, so that money could go into an individual retirement account or 401(k).

Don't think you can afford to set aside money for savings? Anything you can stash away, even if only a few dollars a week, will help you when you most need it.

Try setting up an automatic savings plan, with at least 10% of paycheck deposited directly into a retirement fund. If you don't see the money, you can't spend it.

Tackle your debt and credit
Getting out of debt may seem impossible at the moment, but stack your debt in order of interest rate, paying off the highest interest rates first. If you can, transfer your credit card debt to a low- or no-interest card, but make sure balance transfer fees won't negate your savings.

You're entitled to free copies of your credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion once a year. A good strategy is to check one report in January for signs of theft, then stagger the other two reviews throughout the year so you can periodically check in.

If you follow these tips, you will not only be able to keep those lights shining bright, you'll be able to make 2016 your best financial year ever.

Judy McGuire, NerdWallet

© 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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