Black Friday & Cyber Monday

November 24, 2014 by

Thanksgiving is Thursday, which means we are almost upon Black Friday 2014: The biggest, craziest shopping day of the year. Some people thrive in these shopping situations, finding amazing deals amongst huge crowds of people. Others (like me), would rather stay in bed during those early Friday morning hours and find deals on Cyber Monday. Either way, there are lots of deals to be found, and we have compiled some information to get you ready to shop ’til you drop!

According to lifehacker.com, JCPenney offers the highest average discount on Black Friday, with Macy’s and Sears not far behind. Also, you’re going to find the best deals on jewelry, with an average 58% discount, while electronics are only going to see about a 30% discount. Wallethub.com has conveniently compiled lots of research and findings here so you can see exactly which stores to visit on Black Friday and which ones aren’t worth the crowd. If you’re more of a Cyber Monday fan, get all the scoop here, and don’t forget to always check sites like RetailMeNot.com before purchasing because you might even get an even better discount!

Also, it’s important to remember that it’s the holidays for scam-artists, too. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge for online sales but also for identity theft, so keep this information in mind when shopping this year:

  1. At the moment, there are too-good-to-be-true coupons that offer free phones or tablets on sites all over the Internet. Don’t fall for it. Make sure the offers are from a legitimate company.
  2. Watch out for alerts via email or text that you just received a package from FedEx, UPS, or the US Mail, and then asks you for some personal information. Don’t enter anything. Think before you click!
  3. There is a fake refund scam going on that could come from Amazon, a hotel, or a retail chain. It claims there was a “wrong transaction” and wants you to “click for refund” but instead, your device will be infected with malware.

So, especially now, the price of freedom is constant alertness and willingness to fight back. Remember to only use credit cards online, never debit cards. Be super-wary of bulk email with crazy good BUY NOW offers and anything that looks slightly “off”.  If you think you might have been scammed, stay calm and call your credit card company, nix that card, and get a new one. If you don’t have a credit card for online shopping, consider our Visa Platinum credit card. It’s honest, reliable, and you can get triple ScoreCard bonus points now through the end of December on all holiday purchases. It’s a win-win! We hope you find lots of deals this holiday season! If you have some more ideas for Black Friday/Cyber Monday savings, please leave them in the comments!

Twelve.Twelve.Twelve.

November 17, 2014 by

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Who wants to spend the holidays stressed out over bills? I sure don’t, and I bet you guys feel the same way. For years now, NWGACU has offered our very popular 12.12.12 Holiday Loan for members looking for a little extra cash for this busy time of the year.

The offer is $1,200 at 12% interest for 12 months, which makes payments around $100 per month – very manageable. Credit unions are in the business of helping people, and we love to be able to help when you may need it most – the holidays. Stop by and let us know how we can help you right now – 12.12.12 Holiday Loan, a great low-interest credit card with awesome rewards, or refinancing a loan from somewhere else to save some money. Whatever your need – let us help!

Call or stop by either Rome location.

Showing Thankfulness

November 10, 2014 by

November brings out everyone’s thankful side, whether they are posting daily “I’m thankful for…” Facebook statuses or just getting ready for Thanksgiving. If you’re tired of the thankful posts but want to do something to show your thankfulness, we have come up with a list of some very clever and unique ideas. There are tons of things you can do, but these are some of our favorites, and you might can incorporate them into your family traditions for many years to come.

1. Gratitude Jar // This fun idea is a very easy DIY project that takes seconds to set up. All you need is a jar and a way to attach the free printables and you’re set! You and your family can answer the questions each day and read them aloud on Thanksgiving for a fun new tradition. You can even keep it out year round to have a year’s worth of gratitude to read about for Thanksgiving 2015. For a different take on this activity, check out this Thanksgiving Countdown Jar.

2. 27 Days of Gratitude // This time of year often shifts our focus solely onto our kids, but we can’t forget about our spouses! This fun, free printable is a great way to keep your spouse a priority during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. If you have kids or not, this is a great way to keep your relationship thriving during a busy time filled with traveling, families, and lots of food! This link also includes a free printable that you can frame and put up in your house. All you need is a dry erase marker and you can write each day what you’re grateful for. It’s easy, inexpensive, and it could just make your day a little brighter!

Want more ways to show gratitude to your spouse? Find over 100 ideas here!

3. Acts of Kindness Banner // This banner is a DIY project that might take a little time to put together but will be so worth it in the end. It gives your family a random act of kindness to complete each day leading up to Thanksgiving, cultivating a wonderful attitude of gratitude during this most thankful of seasons. If making the banner seems too daunting or you just aren’t big on DIY projects, you can easily just print out the acts of kindness to complete. The most important thing is showing others that you care!

4. Thankful Tree // This tree is very similar to the Gratitude Jar (above), but with a fun twist. All you need to do is find some sticks in your yard and put them in an urn or pot, using stones to hold them in place. You can use the printable thankful cards found in the link or here and hang them from the branches. You could designate a time each day for everyone in the family to write what they’re thankful for, or just add to the tree when the mood strikes. Either way, it’s a fun way to remind yourself to be thankful for both the little and big things in life.

5. Thankfulness Placemats // This really couldn’t be any easier. Put down butcher paper over your tablecloth and, with a Sharpie, write at each place setting, “I am thankful for…” or some variation of that, with room for guests to leave a response. This is a great reminder to guests as they eat their delicious meal what the day is truly about. It is also very inexpensive and cuts down on what you have to have out as decorations on the table, so bonus points! Guests can read aloud what they wrote as everyone enjoys coffee and pumpkin pie.

We hope some of these ideas can one day become traditions in your homes. Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

2014 Halloween Costume Contest

November 3, 2014 by

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Another Halloween has come and gone and 2014 was a fantastic one! We invited our Little Sprouts and Acorn Club members to dress up in their most creative costumes, eat some Halloween inspired treats, and compete in our costume contest.

As you can see it was a great turn-out and we were so impressed with the creativity!

The winner of the Little Sprouts, 0-4 age group, was the firetruck and 2nd place went to the cutest little doctor!

The winner of the Acorn Club, 5-12 age group, was the creative trio, Snap, Crackle and Pop. 2nd place went to the handstand lady.

Congratulations to our winners! They will be getting $50 put into their savings account and 2nd place gets $25. We hope they will use it as encouragement to continue to save for their futures!

Get to Know the Unbelievable NWGACU Team: Mandy

October 27, 2014 by

MandyIt’s time again to get to know more about your friends at NWGACU. This week you get to meet (or learn more about) one of our unbelievable tellers at the main office, Mandy! She lives in Summerville, GA, and first began working at the credit union in the summer of 2014. We are so glad she is a part of the NWGACU team! Here are a few fun facts about Mandy:

What is your most prized possession?: A jewelry box from my great-great-great grandmother

What is your favorite quote?: “Never help someone unless they are willing to help themselves.”

What do you like about working at NWGACU?: Interacting with members and meeting new people!

Home-made-chocolate-ice-cream-recipeWhat is your favorite ice cream flavor?: Chocolate

What is your favorite movie?: The Notebook

What was your favorite subject in school?: Math math

What are your favorite things to do when you’re not working?: Swimming and hiking

 

We hope that, now that you know her well, you’ll come by the main office and say hi to Mandy soon!

International Credit Union Day 2014

October 20, 2014 by

October 16 was International Credit Union Day, and it was lots of fun this year!  International Credit Union Day has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948. The day is recognized to reflect upon the credit union movement’s history and to promote its achievements. It is a day to honor those who have dedicated their lives to the movement, recognize the hard work of those working in the credit union industry and show members our appreciation. We served free BBQ to our members to show just how much we appreciate you.

Enjoy these photos from the day! (Click any photo to enlarge it.)

Branch_Christi and Maegan Branch_Christi and Robin Branch_Christi Branch_David and Mardi Branch_David Branch_Dr Harris Branch_Line Branch_Mardi Branch_Members Branch_Members2 Branch_Rita  Branch_Robin2 Main_Joy and Rhonda Main_Joy Main_Members Main_Members2 Main_Rhonda and Joy Main_Scott Moody 2

We Appreciate You!

October 13, 2014 by

October 16th is International Credit Union Day, and this year’s theme is “Local Service. Global Good.” Credit unions continually demonstrate their ability to improve the lives of individuals, families, communities, and countries around the world, and have done so for generations. As we celebrate International Credit Union Day this October, we celebrate the good work credit unions do with more than 196 million people worldwide.

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This year, we want to celebrate International Credit Union Day by celebrating you, our members! Please join us for a Member Appreciation BBQ on Thursday, October 16, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at both offices.

What: Member Appreciation BBQ

When: Thursday, October 16, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Where: Both Northwest Georgia Credit Union locations

The Member Appreciation BBQ is our really delicious way of showing our appreciation for our members. Join us at either location from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. as we serve up a perfect plate.

Thank you for Un-banking – we really do appreciate you!

Kids Club Halloween Costume Contest

October 6, 2014 by

It’s finally fall, which means the holidays are right around the corner. First up: Halloween!

We will be having our annual Kids Club Halloween Costume Contest on Thursday, October 30, at 5:30 p.m. at our Redmond Road office. Winners from both the Acorn Club and Little Sprouts will get $50 deposited into their savings accounts and runners-up from both clubs will receive $25!

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Do you have kids that haven’t started their savings accounts yet? It’s super simple! Stop by either branch location on or before October 30th to get them signed up so no one has to miss out on the fun!

Do You Love Your Credit Union?

September 29, 2014 by

As your primary financial institution, we certainly hope that you love NWGACU. If you need more reason to love us, though, check out these exciting discounts you get, just for being a member.

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Sprint Discounts
NWGACU members are eligible for 10% off most regularly priced Sprint individual service plans, waived activation fee on new activations, waived upgrade fee, and national rates with no roaming or long distance charges. Click here to get your discount.

Turbo Tax and Jackson Hewitt Discounts
File your simple tax return for FREE with TurboTax Federal Free Edition or save $30.00 on Jackson Hewitt tax preparation. Click here to get started.

Save Three Ways on a New GM
We’ve teamed up with Invest in America to bring you the Credit Union Member Discount from GM to help you save three ways on a new vehicle: save hundreds, even thousands, with exclusive member discounts; add dealer incentives onto that discount; and don’t forget our great low auto loan rates! Get the details at LoveMyCreditUnion.org.

Still only just like us? Check out the full list of member discounts on our website here and hopefully we’ll win you over!

Falling for Fall

September 22, 2014 by

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather, the anticipation of the holidays, and, most of all, all things pumpkin. A lot of people start to stress when fall rolls around, though, because with that anticipation of the holidays comes costumes for your kids, expensive ingredients for holidays meals, and, of course, holiday gift buying. The holidays often put a dent in our wallet, but we have some great money-saving tips for you. I love fall so much, and I want you to love it, too, without spending a huge amount of money.

Make your own Pumpkin Spice Latte. You know it’s almost fall when Starbucks starts advertising the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte, the #PSL hashtag splashed all over social media (Did you know the PSL even has its own Twitter page?). As I said before, I love pumpkin everything, so I am all about drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte (and I honestly don’t even like coffee). But stopping by Starbucks everyday adds up quickly. If you buy a tall at about $4 a pop, that’s $20 just during one work week! No, thank you! So we found a recipe on 100 Days of Real Food that will save you lots of money without sacrificing your pumpkin-y deliciousness. This recipe also tells you how to make a Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate for the kids (or, let’s be honest, for you), so it’s a win-win! (Can’t get enough of the PSL? Try these delicious Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes!)

Stock up early. Every year, stores start putting out holiday items around this time. Sometimes it seems ridiculous for them to start so early, but take advantage of it! Most people will wait until the last minute to purchase gift wrap supplies and even gifts, and, unfortunately, that means everything is very picked over or sold out. If you go ahead and get these items as soon as the stores put them out, you’ll find you have a much better selection to choose from. Prices also might be cheaper since the items aren’t yet in high demand.

DIY. From fall decorations to Halloween costumes, you almost always save money when you make things yourself. For example, if your child wants to be Darth Vader, you might spend upwards of a hundred dollars on a store-bought costume. Instead, you could grab some black sweatpants and a black shirt, make an easy cape out of some fabric, and just purchase the mask for far cheaper. You don’t have to be a professional seamstress to create a costume, and it can save you so much money. Making your own decorations is also a great way to save money, and it’s so much fun when you can get the kids involved! There are so many DIY decoration ideas on Pinterest, from wreaths for your front door to fall-themed snacks for your Halloween parties. Get some more budget-friendly fall decorating tips here.

I hope these tips inspire you and help you to fall in love with fall. Do you have other budget-friendly tips for the season? Share them with us in the comments!


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