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How to Cut Food Costs Without Sacrificing Quality

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One of the easiest ways to save money is being smarter with your food budget. Although easier said than done, being more conscious where, what, and how you buy your food can save a lot of money without sacrificing too much quality. Here are some tips to consider when trimming down that food budget.

  1. Bring your own lunch to work. Although it may seem more convenient to grab a quick bite during work hours, you’ll be saving more time and money in the long run if you make a lunch at home. By making your own lunch in the morning and avoiding eating out, you’ll be saving yourself hundreds of dollars during the year.
  2. Limit buying prepared items. Chopped fruit packages, pre-made salads, pre-cut chicken, and other prepared items are always marked higher than their original counterparts. Although buying these may save a bit of time, it doesn’t take too long to prepare these items yourself. The money saved may be well worth it.
  3. Plan beforehand. Impulse buys may often be associated with shopping at the mall, but they apply to grocery shopping as well. While one impulse buy is probably harmless, aimlessly wandering around the store and buying things that simply look good can be expensive. While the ideal strategy is to plan out meals a week or two in advance and then shop based off that, simply formulating a list of necessities will cut costs as well.
  4. Keep a list of what’s in the freezer. Freezing food is a great way to increase its longevity, but sometimes we can forget what is in the freezer. Make a list of things you put in the freezer so you don’t discover it months later when it’s bad and freezer burned.
  5. Reduce frequency of expense rather than dollar amount. Instead of saying you’ll spend $10 at a restaurant rather than $20, choose instead to cut back on the frequency that you go out. When changing spending patterns, it is easier for most to cut back on the dollar amount rather than the behavior.
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Buyer Relax Auto – Why It's Good to Get Pre-Approved

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Buying a car can be stressful, that’s why at UCCU try to help you get the best deal and lowest rate possible. At UCCU Relax, we have useful tips and information for those who are buying a car, or a boat, or an RV. Read the  10 ESSENTIAL CAR BUYING TIPS  to help you through each part of the car buying process.

One of the best things to do, before even looking for a car, is to get pre-approved. It will save you the hassle of haggling at the dealership when you tell them right from the start what you can afford. Plus at UCCU we have the lowest rate—guaranteed. So you can shop with confidence.

Utah Community Credit Union makes buying a vehicle easy. We take pride in helping you with your vehicle purchase by offering low interest rates on all of our Auto Loans! Apply now!

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Stop by any UCCU branch or call our Auto Buying Experts at 801-223-UCCU and we’ll help you make an effective car-buying plan. We’ll also get you pre-approved for the lowest rate and review every transaction with you before you sign the deal.

*ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR). Late payment fee is 5% of the payment due or $25.00, whichever is greater. Some restrictions apply. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. **84 month financing available for loan amounts over $20,000.


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What's Your Financial Wellness IQ?







It’s always important to gauge your financial wellness. Financial situations can change very quickly. Understanding how to make adjustments as needed is an important skill to learn. Take this quiz to see where you stand financially and help address any problems shown by the results. The first step toward a financially stable tomorrow is facing the situation today.

Ready to begin? Answer True or False to the following questions, and then tally your score. See scoring beneath the quiz to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for financial counseling.

  1. I normally pay only the minimum amount due on my credit card bills.
  2. My credit card balances increase each month.
  3. There are arguments in my home about money.
  4. I sometimes hide purchases from my spouse.
  5. I frequently charge items that I used to pay for with cash.
  6. I have thought about filing for bankruptcy.
  7. I have begun using cash advances to meet my obligations.
  8. My credit cards are near the limit, so I’ve begun applying for new lines of credit.
  9. I do not know the total amount that I owe.
  10. I skip paying my bills some months, or pay late.
  11. I have depleted my savings.
  12. I am consumed with worries about debt.
  13. My debt interferes with my job and/or home life.
  14. Collectors have begun contacting me.
  15. I have taken money from my retirement account to satisfy debt obligations.
  16. If I lost my job, it would mean an immediate financial crisis in my life.
  17. I use balance transfers.
  18. I have no emergency savings account.
  19. Next month’s bills arrive before I’ve paid this month’s.
  20. I do not open my bills when they arrive, or soon thereafter.
Most people answer “True” to two or three of the above questions. If True was answered more often than three times, you might consider financial counseling. BALANCE offers free and low cost assistance, whether the problem stems from needing more financial education, debt concerns, meeting your mortgage payment, or a host of other personal finance concerns. Discussing it with a certified counselor/3rd party will add insight to help you to resolve the situation.
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Take the First Step – Start Planning Your Financial Future

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Get Away Today – Disneyland Diamond Celebration

This year Get Away Today and Utah Community Credit Union are excited to share in the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration! For 60 years, there’s been one place where friends and families shine together…. magic is always bright… smiles sparkle in a whole new way… and dreams really do come true!

Kicking off May 22nd, the Disneyland Resort will celebrate this very special milestone with special surprises and three new nighttime shows: World of Color Celebrate- An all new show telling Walt’s story using water, lasers, special effects and more! Paint the night- Inspired by Disney’s Electric Parade, watch beloved Disney and Disney Pixar stories come to life! Disneyland Forever- A fireworks spectacular unlike anything ever before!

Get Away Today wants to help in make this celebratory year even more exciting by offering Adults at Kids’ Prices on 3, 4 and 5-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper tickets! By purchasing your 3-day or longer tickets before May 31, 2015, you will receive up to $16 per ticket savings, one Magic Morning Early Entry and two ESPN Zone Offers! Tickets are valid for travel during May, August, September and November 2015. Don’t wait! Mention Utah Community Credit Union to book your 60 year anniversary vacation today!

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Visit getawaytoday.com or call 855-GET-AWAY



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Mortgage Rates Have Dropped in 2015


2015 is a new year for everyone. Amid all of the New Year’s resolutions, many people are trying to save money and get more financially sound.

At UCCU we want to help you reach your goals. If you thought you missed the refinance windowthink again. Mortgage Rates have dropped! Call UCCU for a free mortgage analysis to see if a refinance might make sense for you. Any of our qualified Mortgage Loan professionals can help you calculate a mortgage rate that keeps your goals in mind while benefiting you the most. 

Visit any one of our 18 branch locations or call us at 801-223-7640 to find out how you can meet your financial goals this year

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How to Make Your New Years Resolutions a Success

New Year’s resolutions are common practice after the first of the year. Many of the most popular resolutions regard health, finances, and careers/education. According to University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology the top 4 most popular resolutions among Americans are to lose weight, get organized, spend less and save more, and to enjoy life to the fullest.

In order to help make this new year a more successful one here are some tips to help:

  1. Focus on one goal at a time – Trying to incorporate too many goals and resolutions all at once can be overwhelming. Taking your progress slowly will motivate you without causing too much stress.
  2. Isolate what makes it important – Recognize what makes your goals pertinent and important to you. If you need to lose weight for health reasons, remind yourself that. Isolating the WHY is the most important way to motivate success.
  3. Make it tangible and specific – Avoid sweeping statements like “I want to live abroad one day”. Making vague generalizations is the difference between a daydream and reality.
  4. Put a date on something – Dates help create motivation. We all work that little bit harder when there is a deadline and a time frame to work under.
  5. Think BIG but act small – Choose something that will stretch you but not overwhelm you.
  6. Don’t go off course two days in a row – If you make mistake –like go off your diet–don’t let it completely de-rail you. Pick yourself back up again and keep going. Don’t give up because you missed one day. We are all human, so just keep pushing forward.
  7. Tell other people your goals –  We are innately social beings and alerting people to what you are trying to accomplish will help you stick to your guns. Tell your family, friends, co-workers, etc. and they can become your cheerleaders and allies in reaching your goals.

Once your goals have been isolated, planned, and written down, remember to be patient with yourself and keep pushing forward. Along with the new year comes tax returns. That’s why at UCCU we offer discounted services through Turbo Tax for all of our members. Head to our Turbo Tax website for more details and the opportunity to win up to $15,000.

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Distributions From Retirement Plans


If you’re like many Americans, you’ve been setting aside money for your retirement. Now that you’re near­ing retirement age, it may soon be time to start drawing money from your qualified retirement plans. Withdrawing money from a retirement plan is called “taking a distribution,” and there are a variety of ways to do it. We’re going to review several approaches.

UCCU Financial Group provides a wide range of services, with the primary commitment of helping our clients pursue their unique financial objectives. Our firm wants to help you develop a financial strategy tailored to your goals, values, and risk tolerance.

Some retirees may have several sources of income. Among them are retirement plans, such as traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs, as well as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Of course, you may receive Social Security ben­efits and some people also have other investments and savings that they intend to use during retirement. If you’re nearing the age when you may consider drawing money from your qualified retirement plans, you face a number of important distributions decisions.

Remember, withdrawals from traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, and other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.

To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, Roth IRA distributions must meet a five-year holding requirement and occur after age 59½. Tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal also can be taken under certain other circumstances, such as after the owner’s death. The original Roth IRA owner is not required to take minimum annual withdrawals.

Keep in mind that the information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult a professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.

Learn more at:  www.ucinvestmentservices.com
Or, contact Steve Lloyd at (801) 223-7502 or by email: Steve Lloyd lloyds@peakfns.com to set an appointment with one of our financial professionals.
Curtis Willardson, CFP, CLU, Daniel O Palmer, Stephen Martin CFP, CLU, ChFC and Travis Morgan are registered representatives offering securities and and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. David Palmer is a registered representative offering securities through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.  Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Registered address: 188 W River Park Drive, Provo, UT 84604.
Not NCUA/NCUSIF Insured – No Credit Union Guarantee – Not A Deposit – May Lose Value
Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency.
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Christmas Shopping Tips


Christmas is fast approaching, and sometimes it can seem impossible to buy presents for everyone, host and attend parties, stay in a budget, and keep your sanity. We hope the following tips will help you navigate through the holiday shopping season so you can enjoy this time of year.

Make a list

Making a list is one of the easiest ways to organize yourself this holiday season. Write down everyone you are planning to buy a gift for–no matter how small the gift is, and ideas for what to get and an amount you would like to spend. By planning everything out, you will be better equipped to handle this crazy and sometimes stressful season.

Start early

We’re already into December now, but in the future try not to wait until after Thanksgiving to start shopping. So often while shopping we find the perfect gift for our boss or best friend when we aren’t looking for it. If you do keep your eyes open earlier in the year, once December hits you’ll be so glad you already have people crossed off your list. Just make sure to keep all your gifts purchased in advance in a designated spot so that you  don’t forget what you have already purchased.

Do your research – Shop Smart

Purchasing a present you do not know much about can be a daunting task. For example, if your husband wants a new camera and you are unsure  which brand or model to buy, search online for reputable reviews that can help in the decision making process. There are hundreds of websites where you can look up expert reviews on every kind of product available. Shopping smart is also a good idea, so use a price comparison website to find the best deal possible on whatever you need this holiday.

Pay with cash or debit card if possible

It may sound completely old-fashioned, but paying with cash is something that can help keep you on budget this year. If you want to take it a step further, getting larger bills like hundreds and fifties may make you think twice before putting up the big bucks. No one likes breaking a one-hundred dollar bill.

If carrying cash seems a little too old-fashioned, You can also try shopping with a debit card that only has a certain balance completely designated for holiday shopping. That way when the money’s gone, it’s gone.

Keep a running tally of your credit-card spending

When you come home from a day of shopping, immediately subtract what you’ve spent on your credit card from your checking-account balance. This helps give you a visual record of how much you’ve spent and also it ensures that you’ll have enough money in the account to pay the bill when it arrives.

Take advantage of Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is known for being the biggest online shopping day of the holiday season. As a spin-off of Black Friday it takes the camping outside for days and long lines out of the picture. Cyber Monday allows you to find amazing deals, all from the comfort of your home. To help you stay even more in the know during this season, you can sign up to receive emails from your favorite stores to help you get advanced notice and member only deals.

Buy gifts online if traveling

If you are going out of town this season a great way to up convenience is to shop online. There is so much less hassle if you can ship the presents directly to where you are going to spend your holiday. Especially with flying, suitcases are prime real estate that should be designated for essentials, not Christmas Presents.

One great way to cut back on cost with online shipping is to find free shipping for the presents you buy. A great website that offers information about getting free shipping this holiday season is freeshippingday.com. On their website you will find a list of hundreds of retailers that will be participating in “Free Shipping Day”. All Free Shipping Day offers will be revealed on their website at 12:01am EST on Thursday, December 18, 2014.

Do it yourself

If you’re creatively inclined, try and find a way to harness your creativity into a thoughtful, handmade gift. Bake a batch of cookies, sew personalized tote bags or make beautiful earrings for friends and family. If you need to learn a new skill, look into taking some classes locally or invest in a how-to book. With so many online, and print resources you can make Christmas presents an easier, more thoughtful experience.

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