Valley Updates

Tips to help you navigate through new financial territory

Overwhelming, scary and uncertain are some of the words that come to mind when thinking of the times we are living in. Through these unprecedented times, we at Pioneer Valley Credit Union are proud of resiliency of our members and staff amid the COVID-19 outbreak. We are in this together with you. Know you can count on us to continue to provide you with service and information to help you to navigate your finances. Whether your income and expenses have or have not been impacted by the pandemic here are some useful tips to help you.

Household Spending: With many at home and routine activities at a halt it can be easy to rack up the spending without even noticing it. Overspending on household supplies to stockpile may seem like a good idea but think before you spend on how it may impact your finances over the long-term. Take a look at what you have been spending over the past few days and weeks to see you are not engaging in poor spending habits. For example, looking at what you need vs. what you want is a good place to start when reviewing what to spend your money on.  If you do not already have a budget, now is a good time to sit down and write one out to help you to stay on track. Calculate what you are bringing in for income and what you are spending on important expenses to insure you can cover your needs. Mindful spending is key to helping you to stay ahead of your financial well-being. Click here for more information about our financial education and wellness program. 

Be Careful of Fraudsters: Monitor your accounts and credit card activity frequently to ensure the charges being made are by you. Checking your mailbox daily is important to ensure no one is getting to your mail before you do. With many people receiving an economic impact payment via mail otherwise referred to as a stimulus check from the government, it is crucial to make sure no one is cashing in on your money before you receive it. Fraudsters are reaching out to individuals via telephone or other electronic means of communication. Do not give out your personal information as this could be a trap used to scam you. As information is changing frequently, be careful as to where you are getting updates to ensure it is from a trusted source. When receiving emails, texts or social media messages do not respond or click on links from people or companies you do not know. Vigilance is key since fraudsters often prey on people when they are most vulnerable. Click here for more information on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. 

Emergency Fund: As a rule of thumb, anywhere from three to six months or more of expenses should be saved in case of an emergency. This amount may seem like a lot, but savings can happen one step at a time. With so many organizations we frequent being closed we are forced to do some of these services ourselves or forgo them altogether. Many companies which would have charged you a monthly fee to use services have suspended payments or have programs in place to help you. You could transfer the funds you would have spent on services you cannot use at this time to a Secondary Savings Account to start or increase your emergency fund. Every little bit adds up.

As we work to get through these challenging times, know that we are here for you. We are stronger together and we hope you and your family stay safe and well. For more information and questions about your account contact us at 413-733-2800.