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No matter how or who you help, know that even seemingly small acts of assistance can instantly make a positive difference to someone else. It can also provide several benefits to you.
Hands together Everyone Could Use a Helping Hand – Assisting Others
It might be tough to recall, but when you were younger, you were almost always in need of someone else’s help. The person you are today is the result of a lot of people – family, friends, teachers, neighbors and more – who’ve helped you along the way.
 
Everyone could use a helping hand at some point (or many) in their lives. Maybe it’s a parent who is busy taking care of work or a younger sibling who could use your help in the kitchen. Or perhaps elderly neighbors who would appreciate you weeding their garden. It could even be someone you just met, like a busy checkout clerk who might instantly brighten up after hearing your helpful, encouraging words.
 
No matter how or who you help, know that even seemingly small acts of assistance can instantly make a positive difference to someone else. It can also provide several benefits to you.
 
For example, researchers have found that helping others makes us happier. In a five-year study of 2,000 people, those who said they’re “very happy” volunteered at least 5.8 hours a month. When we help others, studies show our brains release hormones that boost our moods and reduce stress hormones.
 
Among teens, one study found that those who help others did better in subjects like reading, math and science, and are more likely to finish high school. Colleges and scholarship selection committees love to see applications from students who’ve volunteered to help others.
 
Helping others can also boost your job-hunting success. Job applicants who listed volunteer service on their resume increased their chances of getting a job by 27%, according to a national study.
 
To help you decide how to help, ask yourself:
 
  • What am I most interested in? The more interested you are in the help you’re providing, the more likely it’ll be enjoyable for all.
  • Who would I like to help? For example, you might prefer helping kids, such as those in youth sports.
  • What knowledge or skills can I offer? If you have specific skills, like knowing how to fix things, that may be a specific helping opportunity.
  • How much time do I have? Even a couple of hours of help may prove immensely beneficial to someone in need.
  • What are my goals? Helping others should be a two-way street, potentially allowing you to learn new things and even meet new people!
 
As a Dinero member, know you’re part of an organization that is wholly supportive of your efforts to help others. Each Advancial employee receives 16 hours of paid time annually to provide volunteer help in their communities, so don’t be surprised when you’re out helping others if you meet someone from Advancial doing the same thing!
There are scammers out there trying to do harmful things like steal your identity, damage your reputation, drain your financial accounts and much, much more. Do these five things to…
Teen online It’s Smart to Protect Your Online Presence
Wouldn’t it be great to see around corners, like some of the action heroes in the movies, to know if anything dangerous is coming your way? Of course, that’s impossible in real life. But you can do the next best thing and help ensure you’re protected against danger before it comes your way.
 
That’s the concept behind several safeguards designed to protect your online presence from all the “baddies” out there trying to do harmful things like steal your identity, damage your reputation, drain your financial accounts and much, much more. Deciding whether to use such safeguards really comes down to this: Are you willing to leave yourself vulnerable to those who work 24/7 to take you down and profit off of you? Or are you willing to do what it takes to help prevent that from happening?
 
If you want to enhance the protection of your online presence, do these five things:
 
  1. Lock down your smartphone – Use a unique passcode to lock your smartphone and never share it with anyone else except a trusted parent or guardian. If your smartphone allows a biometric lock – voice, fingerprint, facial or iris scan – you should also consider taking advantage of this high-level security feature.
  2. Use passwords unique to you, or a password manager – Pick passwords unique to you that no one, not even your friends, could ever guess. Change them regularly – every six to 12 months. Or, subscribe to a free or low-annual-cost password manager, which will act as a storehouse for all of your passwords and accessible solely to you through a “master” password.
  3. Mark your social media profiles as “private” – Unless you specifically block off your social media profiles as “private,” anyone can access them and copy (or screen-grab) your information and/or photos – items you may not want anyone else to see. Don’t just settle for a social media provider’s “default” setting; double-check it to be sure you are protected.
  4. Don’t post inappropriate material, comments or photos of yourself or others – Something posted online that might seem funny, clever or cool now may not be tomorrow or even years from now. Don’t post something about yourself or others that might prove personally embarrassing or damaging, or potentially harm your future college admission or job chances.
  5. Don’t leave your devices lying around or loan them to others – Whether you have a smartphone, tablet, laptop or some combination, your personal online devices are a part of you. If you leave any device lying around, like at school, home or a coffee shop, it’s potentially accessible to anyone, especially if your device password is weak. And if you give your device to someone else after you’ve unlocked it, you should hope this person is trustworthy – or be prepared for the potential consequences.
 
For more information about protecting your online presence, visit the federal government’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.
Learning more about money management while you’re a teen is important, both now and for the rest of your life. Read more for five tips to help make managing your money less confusing.
Piggy bank How to Make Money Management Less Confusing
If you think managing your money is challenging, you’re not alone! Nearly three-quarters of teens (74%) say they’re not confident about their personal finance knowledge, according to a recent survey.
 
Who can you turn to for learning more about money management? While most people (83%) agree parents are the most responsible for teaching their children about finances, about three in 10 parents (31%) “never” do and 24% discuss finances with their kids less than once a month, per a separate survey.
 
Some schools offer or even require students to take a personal finance course, but it depends on where you live.
 
Learning more about money management while you’re a teen is important, both now and for the rest of your life. Studies show that teens who learn about personal finance make better money management decisions later on, including around college financing, savings, loans and investments.
 
Here are five tips to help make managing your money less confusing:
 
  1. Have “the talk” with your parents – If your parents haven’t yet discussed personal finance with you, ask them about it. For example, “What’s the best advice you’ve heard for managing money?” The subject doesn’t need to be covered in one sitting. Instead, regularly discuss it when it’s relevant, such as when you’re shopping together.
  2. Track expenses and stick with a budget – Whether your money comes from a job, gifts or an allowance, regularly track what you spend and stick within a weekly or monthly budget you set for yourself. Within your budget, plan for what you’d like to spend on yourself, what you’d like to save for the future, and give as gifts or to charity.
  3. Keep in mind buying “needs” versus “wants” – While having a smartphone might be a “need” for you, buying the latest and priciest smartphone is likely a “want.” Before purchasing anything you’d define as a “major” expense (such as, anything more than $20) decide if it’s really something you “need.”
  4. Understand “credit” and “credit scores” – A credit card or loan are both types of credit in which someone provides you with money under the expectation you’ll pay it back. Those who get in financial trouble with their credit have spent more than they’re able to pay back. This in turn negatively affects their “credit score,” which predicts how likely someone will pay back credit. Know that having a bad credit score can affect your ability to get a loan for a car or home, rent an apartment, or even get a job.
  5. Keep saving regularly – If you have a Dinero savings account with Advancial, that’s great! Keep saving your money regularly and you’ll be amazed how quickly your efforts add up!
 
For high-quality money management information as well as a variety of financial tools built especially for teens, turn to Dinero from Advancial.
Advancial will never text or call and ask for your username, password, security questions, or any other personal information. Stay alert!
Beware of Spoofed Texts and Calls

Fraudsters are more active than ever and targeting credit union members and bank customers. Their new method is very clever and very deceiving.

The member receives a call or text with the number spoofed to look like it's from Advancial. It claims to be alerting the member to a fraudulent transaction. When the member responds that the transaction isn't legitimate, the fraudster then claims to be able to help and asks for the member's cuAnywhere® Online Banking username and password so they can fix the fraud for the member. Don't be fooled! These texts and calls are not legitimate. Here's an example:

Breach-Purchase-Confirmation.png

No one is safe, including you! You must protect yourself and your personal information.

Here are some friendly reminders to help you avoid being scammed:

  • Don’t respond: If you aren’t familiar with the source of call, email, or text, hang up. Don’t click on any unknown links and don’t reply to unknown texts.
  • Don’t always trust your caller ID: Numbers can easily be spoofed and may appear legitimate – even Advancial or another financial institution. If a call or text seems suspicious, hang up and call using a number you know is legitimate to verify the information. 
  • Check for yourself: If a text or call alleges a transaction has been made on your account, log in to cuAnywhere Online Banking or the Advancial app and check your accounts.
  • Don’t give out your information: Never provide your username, password, security questions or any personal identifying information.
When you receive a call about fraud, remain calm and consider the situation and what the caller is asking you. Is it really about fraud that has happened or is the caller attempting to commit fraud, right now?

Remember, Advancial will never ask for your sensitive information over the phone. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and call Advancial directly at 800.322.2709.
College can be one of the most exciting times of your life — a place to grow, learn, meet lifelong friends and jumpstart your career. Learn how to get prepared for college expenses.
article preview image Thinking of college? Start saving now.

College is the most exciting times of your life — a place to grow, learn, meet lifelong friends and jumpstart your career. There’s no question, however, that college is expensive. If you’re a current high school junior or senior in the process of applying to colleges, here’s how to get prepared.

Financial Aid

Financial aid in the form of grants, federal loans, tax credits and deductions can help pay for college. You can fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to find out if you qualify for financial aid.

According to data from the College Board, undergraduate students received an average of $14,940 in financial aid in 2019-20. However, the cost of going to college keeps rising. The average budget for the 2020-21 school year was estimated at $26,820 for a public four-year in-state college or university and $54,880 for a private nonprofit four-year college. This includes tuition, fees, room and board.

Here are some tips to help you plan for and manage college costs:

  • Talk with your parents. Find out how much they are able to contribute.
  • Meet with school counselors. They may be able to help you search for scholarships and grants. They can also steer you toward schools that offer the best financial aid packages.
  • Consider community college. If you complete required courses at a community college, you may be able to transfer to a four-year school later. Be sure to find out whether your targeted school will accept the credits. You can also take introductory courses at a community college and transfer over the credit to the university you’re attending.
  • Get a job. Many schools offer work-study programs. You could find a job on your own, but be realistic about balancing work while keeping up with your studies.

Save, save, save

A college education is an investment in your future. Save as much as you can, from the money you receive for your birthday, graduation or part-time jobs, in your Dinero savings account at Advancial. Small changes you make now can pay off in greater job satisfaction and higher earnings later.

Source: The College Board

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