3 Bad Money Habits You’re Passing on to Your Children

It can be easy to forget in our busy day-to-day lives, that our children are paying close attention to our words and actions. They emulate what they see around them and grow increasingly impressionable with age. It’s important to positively influence them by demonstrating proper behaviors and habits they can learn from. When it comes to finances, there are a variety of ways you can properly educate your children, including discouraging them from practicing these three bad money habits.

Impulse buying

When you go shopping do you follow a set shopping list? If your answer is “no” and you shop with your children, it’s time to start sticking to your plan. When you’re shopping, and grabbing things without any forethought, you are showing your children that sticking to a budget is not your priority. They may also view your impulse shopping as disorganized and unstructured. Instead, instill in them the importance of writing down a plan and getting only what’s necessary, to stay on the right track with spending.

Not talking about money

As children get older and they begin to understand the value of money, it’s important they are taught to be open about financial issues. Some view money matters as difficult or awkward to talk about. But, when it comes to building confidence in your children, it’s vital they learn the skills necessary to effectively manage their personal finances. Developing healthy financial habits from an early age is extremely important and it begins with everyday conservations.

Living above your means

If your child asks for something at the store, but you don’t have the money to buy it, it’s okay to use that old saying, “money doesn’t grow on trees.” So many Americans live outside of their means in an effort to “keep up with the Joneses.” Instead of raising entitled children that expect everything no matter how tight funds are, teach them the importance of differentiating between “wants” and “needs.” Help them understand that it’s okay to splurge on occasion, but it’s more important to budget and save in order to maintain good financial standing for a happy, stress-free life.

Article Source: Wendy Moody for CUInsight.com

Don’t Miss These Labor Day Deals!

In between prepping for back to school and enjoying one last summer excursion, don’t forget to make the most of Labor Day sales.

According to RetailMeNot.com and DealNews.com – keep an eye out for the best deals on the following:

Travel: Look for everything from cheap roundtrip flights to deeply discounted hotel deals. It’s also a good time to make that dream European vacation a reality as flights across the Atlantic are at seasonal lows. According to CheapAir.com’s Holiday Cheap Flights Report 2018, all fares for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s flights are expected to go up in October. Lock in your holiday plans now!

Clothing and shoes: The change of seasons means stores are motivated to offload some inventory, which is good news for you and your bank account.

Furniture and decor: College students living in cramped quarters should check out Dormify.com, where all orders are 20% off. Those with homes to fill can find up to 75% off at modern furniture online retailer houzz.com.

Mattresses: Nearly every mattress retailer is runs a Labor Day sale. You’ll be sleeping better than ever knowing you saved up to 75% off your mattress.

Vacuums: If you don’t want to wait until Black Friday, now’s a good time to get that Dyson, Shark, or iRobot Roomba.

Appliances: Lowe’s and Best Buy are offering significant discounts on appliances through Labor Day – be sure to check them out.

Happy Labor Day Weekend and Back to School!

Article Source: Myriam DiGiovanni for financialfeed.com

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this September 2018

Summer is officially winding down and the kids are heading back to school for another year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great inexpensive events happening near you. Check out the list of activities that are kicking off the fall season. Enjoy!

September 1 – 3: Monmouth Park Racetrack’s (Oceanport) BBQ and Craft Beer Festival from 11:30am to 5pm all Labor Day Weekend! Don’t miss three days of delicious BBQ and a great selection of brews in Monmouth Park’s Craft Beer Garden. Admission and parking are just $5 each, and children 12 and under are FREE. For more information, click here or call 732-222-5100.

September 2: Asbury Park Fresh Farmer’s Market from 10am-3pm. This summer event will bring together the greatest collection of homegrown artisan food products, local produce, and handmade crafts in the region. Don’t miss out on an excellent opportunity to try something new while also partaking in some healthy habits! The farmer’s market location is at Kennedy Park on Cookman & Grand Avenues. For questions and more information, visit here.

September 4: Gentle Sunset Yoga at Beyond Organic Growers (Freehold) at 6:45pm. All levels are welcome, cost to attend is $10. For more information, call 732-303-1515 or click here to register online. *Please note this is a weekly Tuesday night event throughout September!

September 7 – 9: Asbury Park Oysterfest (Bradley Park in front of the Historic Paramount Theater and Convention Hall). Don’t miss this 3 day culinary event! There will be food, music, crafts, and more. Admission is $3, and kids ages 6 and under are free. Call 732-775-7676 for details. Learn more here. 

September 8: Ocean Grove’s Giant Fall Flea Market from 9am-4pm. Around the Great Auditorium, spend your day with over 300 vendors selling new, used, and antique items as well as a variety of food offerings. This is a rain or shine event. For more information click here or call 732-774-1391.

September 8 & 9: Apple Fest at Delicious Orchards (Colts Neck). From 11am-4pm, don’t miss this great early Fall kickoff event! There will be games, prizes, live music, local food vendors, an antique car show, and EVERYTHING apple you can imagine. Learn more here, or call 732-462-1989.

September 9: Paws in the Park at Breakwater Beach (Seaside Heights) from 3-5pm. End the summer season with your dog at Breakwater Beach! Your furry friend will be able to paddle in the Harbor Wave Pool and play catch in the Minuteman Express Pool. Admission is $20 per dog, $10 per handler, and extra guests are $10 each, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the local SPCA. For more information about registration call 732-793-6488 or visit this website.

September 15: Point Pleasant’s Annual Festival of the Sea from 10am-7pm. This Seafood festival is held downtown on both Arnold and Bay Avenues. Local restaurants and vendors provide delicacies such as crab cakes, shrimp skewers, paella, soups and bisques, lobster, and other seafood items. Don’t like seafood? No problem, there are plenty of other varieties of food to sample! There are also hundreds of craft vendors featuring hard to find and unique items. For entertainment, there is a stage set up on the corner of Arnold and River Avenues. For more information please call 732-899-2424 or learn more here https://www.facebook.com/events/1079663122199959/

Allaire Farm and Food Truck Fundraiser from 12-5pm at the Historic Allaire Village in Wall. Two great non-profit organizations are partnering to bring an amazing event to the Jersey Shore! The day will be filled with popular food trucks, live music, animals, history demonstrations, hayrides, and more, all held on the grounds of Allaire State Park. Advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended! Pre-Purchased Tickets are $8.00 each per person, $4.00 each for 12 years old and under. Parking is free and pets are welcome. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/312225732685584/ or call 732-919-3500.

September 15 & 16: Apple Festival at Happy Day Farm (Manalapan) from 10am-5pm. Join Happy Day Farm for live entertainment, activities and attractions. They will have a variety of apples, fresh apple cider & donuts, fresh apple pie, candied apples, apple slushies, and more! FESTIVAL ADMISSION INCLUDES: 10-Acre John Deere Corn Maze, Pirate Ship, Pumpkin Guess Who, Tractor Rides, Timmy Town Zoo, Pig Races, Hay Mazes, Pumpkin Bowling, Corn Tunnel, Corn Box, Rubber Duck Racing, Horse Bouncers, Corn Hole, Tire Mountain, Pedal Carts, Bean Bag Toss, Tetherball, Spider Web, Bridge Observation, Horse Swings and more. Admission (cash only) is $14 and kids 2 and under are free. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/1406681032797268/ or call 732-977-3607.

Belmar’s Feast of San Gennaro from 11am-5pm on September 15th and 16th. Be sure to visit Main Street for delicious Italian food, games, and live entertainment. Get the scoop here, or call 732-681-3700 x214.

September 16: Waterfront Brunch Buffet at MJ’s at Buttonwood Manor (Matawan) from 11am-2pm. Don’t miss a fun Sunday brunch with your loved ones. Enjoy a diverse buffet with hand-carved roasts, a made to order omelet station, an assortment of dishes and salads, and display of delicious desserts. Each adult entrée starts at $27.99 and includes all you can eat as well as a complimentary mimosa or bloody Mary. Children under 12 are $13.99. Call 732-566-6220 to reserve your spot today or learn more here!

September 22: Allaire Fall Festival from 11am-4:30pm in Wall. A must see event on the Jersey Shore, join the villagers in celebrating the harvest and try your hand at cider pressing, apple snap, militia demonstrations, old fashioned games, dancing, and much more! Additionally there will be blacksmithing, carpentry, tinsmithing, and hearth cooking demonstrations throughout the day. The Bakery and General Store will be open for you to visit. Check out vendors selling mums, vegetables, and other seasonal items. General Admission: $5 Adults / $3 Kids Ages 5 -12. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/1809252989095006/ or call 732-919-3500.

September 22 & 23: Annual ‘Que by the Sea BBQ Festival and Competition (Seaside Heights). This event features a BBQ lover’s weekend packed with mouth-watering specialties along with all day musical entertainment, artists and crafters, a kids zone, and the annual BBQ Competition on Grant Avenue. Saturday hours are 11am to 9pm and Sunday is 11am to 6pm. Entry into the event is free, for more information click here.

September 23: Bullock Farms Fall Fest (Cream Ridge) from 10am-6pm. Come spend the day on this 100 acre farm and celebrate the Fall season. Bring the whole family for pumpkin picking, hay rides, mazes, live music, delicious food vendors, and more! Bullock Farms is home to New Jersey’s only farm brewery, Screamin’ Hill Brewery. Stop in during your visit to sample some amazing craft beer grown and brewed right on the farm. Save a few dollars on admission by purchasing your tickets online early! Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/288930748538338/ or call 609-758-8726.

September 29: Annual Downtown Spring Lake Italian Festival from 12-5pm. Morris Ave from 3rd to 4th Avenues will become an Italian Village featuring live music, Italian food, a wine and beer garden, kids activities, and more. See additional details at http://springlake.org/italianfestival or call 732-449-0577.

Top 10 Ways to Prevent Cyber Crime at Work and Home

Cyberattacks are unfortunately a common occurrence and on the increase. In fact, an average of 200,000 new malware samples are discovered daily, presenting an ominous threat to consumers at work and at home.  The following is a list of the top 10 cyber security tips.

1. Don’t click on emailed links. Instead, type the website URL directly into the web browser’s address bar, or search for the site using a search engine like Google.

2. Avoid opening any attachments you were not expecting. However, if you must – scan the attachment first for viruses.

3. Keep computers patched and up to date. This includes operating systems like Windows and iOS, and applications such as Adobe and Java. Keep antivirus software up to date on all devices, including phones.

4. Clean your desktop and your desk. Lock your screen whenever you leave your workstation or office. When you leave work for the day, lock all paperwork in your file cabinets. Everyone has a smartphone camera today, you always want to be cautious with sensitive documents and information.

5. Double check your work. Breaches can easily occur due to simple miscommunication. For example, someone within a company thinks another person has changed the password – and vice versa.

6. Shred it. This goes for any paperwork you are no longer using at work and at home.

7. Use different passwords for different sites. For personal use, consider using a password tool that allows you to set different passwords for each site you frequent, while only requiring you to remember one strong password.

8. Beware of phishing scams. Unlike common spam, a phishing email is after personal data and will likely have a sense of urgency, asking you to click here, act right away – the offer is time limited. Delete any emails that don’t sound right to you.

9. Avoid oversharing. The most common consumer threat today is social engineering in unexpected places like Facebook. Don’t answer questions on where you went to school, whether you have ever done something, or what your nickname is. This information can be used to break into your accounts.

10. Consider turning Siri off, and Amazon Echo, Alexa, and all the new devices that are listening and recording. You need to have a healthy suspicion of where this data is going. It might not be going where you think it is.

Ultimately, we should all strive to be good net neighbors, protecting our own identity at work and at home. This means taking care of ourselves so we don’t get infected and harm others. The threat is real, but following the right security protocols can dramatically reduce our risks.

Read up on how to protect yourself even further with our ID theft prevention guidebook.

Article Source: Colette L’Heureux-Stevens for Co-Op Financial Services

Summer 2018 Newsletter

Summer is winding down, but before you gear up for back to school – take a look at our Summer Quarterly Member Newsletter. In a continued effort to go green, we’re publishing our newsletter electronically – it can also be found on our website and social media sites. Paper copies will be available in our branches.

The Summer Newsletter features the following articles:

  • Upcoming First Financial seminars and events (September – October 2018)
  • Article – Do 0% Interest Credit Cards Have a Dark Side?
  • Message from the CEO
  • Calling all Teachers! 2018 Classroom Grants – Call for Entries ends 9/30
  • IRC Article – Have you made any of these financial mistakes?
  • Donate your Boxtops for Education in any First Financial Branch
  • 2% Auto Loan Challenge – see if we can save you 2% on your car payments by Labor Day!
  • Article – Teach your kids to take a stand, a lemonade stand
  • Important information, holidays, phone numbers, and branch locations

 To view a copy of the newsletter, click here.

Enjoy the rest of Summer!

Small Business Spotlight: Adrienne Asta, Licensed Massage Therapist

I am pleased to present a monthly blog post which features one of our current businesses, how they got started, and how First Financial has helped them grow their business. If this inspires you to want to expand your business goals or see how First Financial can assist you further, feel free to reach out to me. Keep reading to learn more about our featured Business of the Month, Adrienne Asta: Licensed Massage Therapist. — Matt Brazinski, Assistant Vice President of Business Development

Adrienne Asta: Licensed Massage Therapist

With more than 16 years of experience, Adrienne is truly a master of her craft. She can help with stress reduction, pain management, injury management, improved quality of life, relaxation and even improved productivity in the workplace! Discover the numerous benefits of therapeutic massage.

Owner: Adrienne Asta

Years in Business: 16+

Previous Careers: Advertising Manager

What do you love most about the business? Massage Therapy is truly a profession of service. I feel honored to be able to deliver a skill that actually increases the quality of life for every client that gives me the privilege to do so. This profession is about connection and holding people in the highest regard, helping them to be the best version of themselves that they can be. This can only result in a positive trajectory for humanity.

What has your biggest challenge been in business? My biggest challenge is accommodating schedules. Everyone’s time commitments are unique, so being able to match availability is difficult.

What do you like most about banking with First Financial? FFFCU is like the “Cheers” of banking (“…where everybody knows your name, and you’re always glad you came…”). The personalized service is top notch.

What is your key to success? Make decisions for which your future self will thank you!

Contact Adrienne if you are interested in massage therapy:

Visit yourpartnerinhealing.com

Or email adrienne@yourpartnerinhealing.com

Ready to grow your business? Call the Business Development Department at 732.312.1500, email business@firstffcu.com or stop by any branch location. Learn more about our Business Account products and services on our website.