Check Yourself Before You Rec Yourself – Tips for RV Purchases

It is fair to say that summer 2020 is also shaping up to be…unconventional. It may seem as though your summer fun is quickly becoming summer none, but a solution may be in reach. Enter: A recreational vehicle. Whether it be a boat, an RV, or even an ATV – summer excitement may just be on the horizon.

How do you decide which one is right for you and your family?  Do you want to take to the road, the water, or forested trails? Here’s a little insight on this thrilling (but important) decision.

RVs

Picture this: You and your family are on the open road. Your destination is ahead of you. Your children laugh as they play a card game at the table behind you. Best of all, you don’t have to stop for bathroom breaks.

A recent study found that RV vacations cost much less than other travel, even when factoring in fuel prices and RV ownership cost. According to the study, there are cost savings of between 21-64% for a four-person travel party, while a two-person travel party may save 8-53%. That’s some serious savings if you do it right. You can instead spend that money on food, experiences, and souvenirs from your trip.

Before purchasing an RV, be sure to do your research. There are multiple packages and floor plans that may not be right for every family. Be sure to shop around to find the RV that fits your needs the best.

Keep in mind that, like all motor vehicles, an RV will also require maintenance and upkeep. This is an expense that must be factored into RV ownership.

Boats

Did you know, Vitamin D deficiency affects 50% of the population worldwide? What’s an excellent source of Vitamin D? Sunlight.

There are many ways to get under the sun, but one of the most fun is boating. Not only that, but taking to the water can be as relaxing or as exhilarating as you want. Gently float along soaking up that Vitamin D, or test your balance on a wakeboard. The possibilities are endless.

2019 saw a 6% increase in the number of people who purchased personal watercrafts, bringing the U.S. total to approximately 73,000 new boats on the water.

The next logical question, “what type of boat is right for me?” There are so many options you can choose from. Do you want a sailboat or one with a motor? If you opt for a motor, what horsepower should you choose? What size boat is perfect for your needs? Will you take your boat to the lake, river, ocean or all of the above? Consider all of these factors before purchasing a boat.

Four-Wheelers (ATVs)

Gritty. Dirty. Fun. Four-Wheelers can be a major source of excitement, but they can also be dangerous if you are not careful. Before purchasing an ATV, be sure to do your research and brush up on ATV safety. There are also other things to consider – like your four-wheeler brand, size, and tire size. Fun fact: At low speeds, a four-wheeler’s wheels move in opposite directions to make parking and maneuvering easier.

What will you do with your Recreational Vehicle Loan?

There are many things to consider when purchasing a recreational vehicle, and we are here to help with one of the most important – financing. We offer recreational vehicle loans that make funding your summer fun (and beyond) more accessible than ever, no matter which type you choose. We’re your credit union, contact us today if you have questions about RV loans – or you can learn more and apply online 24/7!*

*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Not all applicants will qualify, subject to credit approval. Additional terms & conditions may apply. Actual rate may vary based on credit worthiness and term. A First Financial membership is required to obtain a First Financial RV, ATV, Boat or Motorcycle loan and is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties. See credit union for details. A $5 deposit in a base savings account is required for credit union membership prior to opening any other account/loan. Federally insured by NCUA.

Financial and Preparedness Tips for Summer Roadtrips

Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, as bigger trips get cancelled and flights are limited – some may be considering road trips to other states as this year’s family summer vacation. While the CDC still urges limited travel, those who decide to take a roadtrip should consider the following before hitting the road:

  • What’s actually open? Planning is especially important this summer because many state parks and businesses in certain states may still be closed. Do your research ahead of time.
  • Face masks – Bring one for every passenger, and wear them in public. Even places where it looks like social distancing is in force can become crowded in a hurry.
  • Call ahead – Be sure to confirm any potential restrictions for where you are traveling.
  • Call the hotel – If you plan to stay overnight at a hotel, call ahead to make sure it is still open and will have rooms available.
  • Stop early and often for fuel and breaks, just in case. Check online to see which state-run highway rest stops are open and which facilities are operational.

Auto Maintenance Tips for Traveling by Car:

  • Bring your own protective equipment – This includes gloves for pumping your own gas, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. Some gas stations/rest stops may be limited in what they have available, so be sure to bring your own just in case.
  • Prepare in advance – Be sure to stay up to date on oil changes and have your tires checked before you go. Also check your windshield washer fluid level, coolant, light bulbs, battery life and so forth. Book a service appointment for your vehicle prior to leaving.
  • Do you have a roadside assistance plan? If not, you may want to enroll in one before your trip.

Packing and Preparedness Suggestions:

  • Don’t overload your car, and store the heaviest items low (or opt for a rooftop cargo carrier).
  • Be sure to bring a car phone charger, basic tools, road flares, a flashlight, spare tire and changing kit, and jumper cables.

Did you know that First Financial’s mechanical repair coverage can help you limit out-of-pocket costs should you ever have a covered breakdown? Be sure to check it out before you hit the road this summer. To research, compare, and buy Mechanical Repair Coverage, visit creditunion.forevercar.com/firstffcu or call 855.927.0224

*Mechanical Repair Coverage is provided and administered by Consumer Program Administrators, Inc. in all states except CA, where coverage is offered as insurance by Virginia Surety Company, Inc., in WA, where coverage is provided by National Product Care Company and administered by Consumer Program Administrators, Inc., in FL, LA and OK, where coverage is provided and administered by Automotive Warranty Services of Florida, Inc. (Florida License #60023 and Oklahoma License #44198051), all located at 175 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago Illinois 60604, 800.752.6265. This coverage is made available to you by CUNA Mutual Insurance Agency, Inc. In CA, where Mechanical Repair Coverage is offered as insurance (form MBIP 08/16), it is underwritten by Virginia Surety Company, Inc. Coverage varies by state. Be sure to read the Vehicle Service Contract or the Insurance Policy, which will explain the exact terms, conditions, and exclusions of this voluntary product.

Article Source: Patch.com

3 Ways to Save on Your End of Summer Vacation

August is only two weeks away, but you still have some time left before the kids go back to school. For some of you, that may mean one final road trip or vacation with the family. Sometimes, the decision to take an August vacation boils down to whether or not you’re willing to spend the funds at a time when you have to pay for back to school items. But don’t worry, you can probably still take that trip and make it as affordable as possible.

Here are three ways you can save on your final getaway of the summer:

Stay close: You don’t have to stay at a hotel across town, but try to pick a destination that isn’t more than a couple hours away. You’ll end up spending less on gas and you can also buy food at your local grocery store before you go. Avoid buying anything at your destination that you could have brought from home. If you’re going to a main tourist spot, you’ll also be able to avoid paying marked up prices on things by getting them at home in advance.

Find freebies: Instead of taking another beach trip, find a place that has fun things to do that won’t cost an arm and a leg. If you’ve enjoyed free activities around your town, look for similar or low cost events in other cities near you.

Relax: You may love a summer vacation that’s packed full of outings and delicious restaurant meals. But for an end of summer vacation, remember what the purpose of the trip is – to take it easy one last time before it’s back to the grind of the school year. Cook all your meals, put your feet up with a book, and have a relaxing time with your family.

Article Source: John Pettit for CUInsight.com

Disney Vacationing on a Budget

How can you experience the magic of Disney without going broke? Is it possible to travel to Disney World without completely blowing your vacation budget? Here are a few tips to make your Disney vacation a bit more affordable.

Timing is everything. Whether you have to fly or not, the time of year you visit Disney can make a huge impact on the bill. Airfare will be cheaper during non-peak travel times, and so will the park entrance prices. Try to travel from September to early November, or January through mid-March (before Spring Break). If you travel during these times of the year, you’ll not only save money, you’ll also save time waiting in lines. Not to mention the Florida sun won’t be as overbearing. Even if you can’t get away during the off-peak season, try to plan to go during the week. Weekend fares are always more expensive, both in the air and at the park.

Look for less expensive lodging. Disney has a big variety of resorts on their property. Some of the pricier hotels are as much as $2,000 a night! Thankfully, there are also the Disney Value Resorts. There are three levels of pricing for these on Disney property hotels. The Pop Century Resorts will save you the most, with prices as low as $69 per night in the off-season. Outside hotels are also an option. You just have to decide if you want to trade travel time for the money you’re going to save. If your family likes camping, you could stay at the park for less than $50 a night. Florida’s warm weather makes it possible to camp outdoors in the off-season without freezing. Plus, you’ll also have free access to transportation to the parks with the Disney shuttle service.

Think about a meal plan. Disney meal plans can save you up to 25% on eating. You can also take water and snacks inside the park to save some additional cash. Study your restaurant options online before heading into any of the parks. You don’t want to blow your food budget on meals at Cinderella’s Castle at $65 a person, when you can eat at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot for the Princess Storybook Dinner and pay a lot less to eat with a princess.

Try to find other places to get more for your money. Fastpasses help you get into rides quickly and waste less time in lines, but they’re first come, first serve. Disney now has FastPass+ for on Disney property reservations. You can book your rides before you leave home!

Skipping Fastpass? Look for attractions that are lesser known, where the lines are shorter. You should also buy multi-day passes depending upon the length of your stay. This can save you over $100 per person a day, since a one day pass is about $150 a person.

Disney has also developed My Disney Experience, an interactive space (and app) for you to plan your vacation. It lets you make reservations and find fun things to do, make payments, and allows you to split your Walt Disney World vacation into manageable financial segments.

If you are planning ahead for a future summer vacation, think about opening a First Financial Summer Savings Account. This account will allow you to save all year long, and deduct the funds in July and August when many families plan to vacation.

*A $5 deposit in a base savings account is required for credit union membership prior to opening any other account. All personal memberships are part of the Rewards First program and a $5 per month non-participation fee is charged to the base savings account for memberships not meeting the minimum requirements of the program. Click here to view full Rewards First program details.

Article Source: Vincent King for Moneyning.com

6 Easy Ways to Save Money for a Vacation

Don’t have much of a vacation budget this year? Here are several pretty painless ways to score a getaway on a budget this summer.

1. Don’t Forget About Credit Card Rewards Points

Do you have a rewards or cash back credit card? If so, be sure to log in and see if you have racked up any rewards points that can be redeemed on airfare, cash back, or travel related gift cards. Some cards even have perks good for hotel stays and discounts. Don’t let these points go to waste!

2. Set Up Small Automatic Transfers to Savings

If you take a vacation each year, setting up a small automatic transfer from your paycheck into an earmarked savings account is a painless way to build up your vacation fund.  Even if you only transfer $10 per week, you’ll have accumulated $520 in one year.  You probably won’t even notice that $10 transfer — but it will feel great to have an extra $500 or more for your vacation. And if you can transfer more, even better.

3. Cash In Your Change

Do you have any spare change laying around in a jar? Find a local coin cashing machine, and cash in! Then deposit the funds into your vacation savings account.

4. Recycle Scrap Metal or Aluminum

If you have any scrap metal from appliances or items you no longer use, your recycling efforts can really add up. Scrap yards will take a variety of scrap metals. You can turn aluminum, copper, iron, brass, and more into cash that can be deposited into your vacation savings account.

5. Find Some Easy Side Jobs

Know someone you can babysit or pet sit for, complete surveys, fill in at a family member or friend’s small business, craft, repurpose and sell old furniture? Any of these or similar tasks can earn you some extra cash for your vacation savings account. Plus, there’s nothing better than getting paid for something you enjoy doing.

6. Sell Items Online

What’s better than decluttering your home and earning money at the same time? Hold a garage sale or use a selling app like Let Go for household items/furniture you no longer have a need for, sell clothing on apps such as Poshmark or Mercari, and so on. You’ll get some spring cleaning done and make money for your summer vacation!

Article Source: Alexa Mason for Moneyning.com