Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this April 2017

Spring has sprung! Time to enjoy the fresh flowers, warm weather, and great outdoor activities this April. Check out all of the fun events we have listed below – many of them are free or very inexpensive that you and your family and friends can enjoy this month. 

April 8: Early Spring Flea Market at Allaire Village (Wall) from 8am to 3pm. $1 admission for adults, children under 12 get in free. Hunt for hidden treasures amid books, art work, knick knacks, and so much more! The Historic Village, General Store, and Bakery will be open as well. For information click here or call 732.919.3500.

Made in Monmouth Expo from 10am to 5pm at the Ocean First Bank Center on the Monmouth University Campus (West Long Branch). Vendors of consumer products in Monmouth County will be showcasing and selling their products. For details click here, or call 732.431.7470.

April 9: Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Easter Egg Hunt at 1pm (Pt. Pleasant). Join the FREE family fun for the unofficial kickoff to the summer season! Open to children up to 10 years old. For information click here or call 732.892.0600.

April 15: Easter Egg Hunt at Allaire Village (Wall) from 11am to 4pm. Cost to participate is $6 and pre-registration is highly recommended. Over 10,000 Easter eggs will be scattered throughout the village for the day! For details click here, or call 732.919.3500.

April 16: Asbury Park Easter Parade at 1pm at the Paramount Theatre (Ocean Ave. on the Boardwalk). For information click here or call 732.502.5752.

April 22: Run a Palooza with the Jersey Shore Running Club (Asbury Park) from 8am to 1pm. The event features a Relay Marathon, Half-marathon, and 3 mile walk. Click here for details or call 732.681.9464.

April 22 & 23: First Annual Surf, Bike, and Skate Expo at iPlay America (Freehold) from 10am to 8pm. Get details here or call 732.577.8200.

April 29 & 30: Allaire BBQ and Brew Festival (Wall) from 11am to 5pm. There will be a general admission fee of $5, children under 18 years old are free. While you enjoy the festival explore the historic buildings, visit craft shops, listen to music and enjoy some good barbecue with family and friends! For information click here, or call 732.919.3500.

Baconfest at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Bacon! Bacon! Bacon and more Bacon! Food trucks filled with bacon! Visit LauritaWinery.com for more details or call 609.758.8000. Cost of admission is $8 per person/Kids12 and under are FREE. Discounted tickets available online.

April 30: Asbury Park Restaurant Tour from 12pm-4pm. Sample small bites while you experience the culinary culture at over 30 Asbury Park restaurants, bakeries, lounges & more. Click here or call 732.775.7676.

Red Bank International Beer, Wine, and Food Festival from 12pm-7pm. Join a family-friendly outdoor celebration of international food, live music, wine, beer & more at the White Street Parking Lot in Downtown Red Bank. Click here or call 732.842.4244.

We also hope you have a Happy Easter and Passover!

First Financial Foundation Sponsors Career Day Program at South Toms River Elementary School for a Second Year

Press Release

(L to R: AVP of Marketing at First Financial, Principal at South Toms River Elementary, Director of Business Development at First Financial, President & CEO at First Financial, Supervisor at South Toms River Elementary, and Guidance Counselor at South Toms River Elementary).

FREEHOLD, N.J. (March 2017) – The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation once again awarded $500 to South Toms River Elementary School to sponsor their annual Career Day Program for students.

This year’s grant money will be going to South Toms River Elementary and the Walnut Street School so the 4th and 5th grade students can attend the Teen Arts Festival at Ocean County College this June. The students will be spending the day at OCC taking part in the activities presented in the arts, having lunch on campus, and touring the college to see what OCC has to offer for various future career opportunities. After this visit there will be a follow up musical presentation by students at both elementary schools to promote careers in the arts.

First Financial’s Business Development and Marketing departments were also asked to come back to the elementary school to speak during South Toms River Elementary’s on site Career Day and discuss basic financial education with the students.

“We’re thrilled to be fortunate enough to help the students of South Toms River Elementary prepare themselves for a bright future during their Career Day for the second year in a row, and upcoming visit to Ocean County College. Since we began as a teacher’s credit union, we thrive on the importance of education and the success it brings – we’re happy to continue to support this great program,” added Issa Stephan, President and CEO of First Financial.

# # #

About the First Financial Foundation:

Since 1994, First Financial has supported the Monmouth & Ocean communities with the Erma Dorrer Scholarship Program. Today, that program has been extended into the First Financial Foundation to assist charitable organizations of the Monmouth & Ocean County Communities.  The First Financial Federal Credit Union Foundation is a non-profit working to support a variety of community programs and organizations throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  We direct 100% of your contributions to programs because all administrative expenses are paid for by First Financial Federal Credit Union.  To learn more, click here.

 

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth and Ocean Counties this February 2017

Couple of red hearts symbol with shadow isolated on white background, 3D illustration

Love is in the air – and there’s so much to love this February with a ton of fantastic events happening in a town near you. Check out the list below of free or inexpensive activities to do with your loved ones all month long.

February 9: Rockin’ Road to Dublin – Inspired by Riverdance (Monmouth University, West Long Branch) at 7:30pm in Pollak Theater. For more information visit https://www.monmouth.edu/events/arts.aspx or call 732.263.6889.

February 10: Family Date Night at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Pt. Pleasant from 6pm-9pm. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with the ones you love the most? Package includes admission for four to Jenkinson’s Aquarium, a plain pizza and pitcher of soda at the Pavilion, a $10 PlayCard for the Pavilion Arcade and 4 treats from the Sweet Shop (additional tickets can also be purchased if you have more than 4 people). For information go to www.jenkinsons.com or call 732.892.0600.

February 11 & 12: Can’t Buy Me Love Valentine’s Market (Convention Hall, Asbury Park) from 12pm-6pm each day in the Grand Arcade. Enjoy gifts for her and him, roller skating, market workshops, a Beatles cover band and gifts galore! For details visit http://www.asburyparkbazaar.com/

February 11 & 12: Chocolate and Wine Weekend at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Celebrate Valentine’s Weekend at Laurita Winery, chock full of wine and chocolate and lots of love! Visit lauritawinery.com or call 609.758.800. Free general admission.

February 12: Valentine’s Dinner and Show at iPlay America (Freehold), 6pm. Every Ticket includes a sit down, 4 course meal, live show and seat at a table. The live show features Captain Jack, a professional Billy Joel Tribute band consisting of some of the tri-state area’s top musicians. To purchase tickets visit http://www.iplayamerica.com/event/valentines-day-dinner-show/ or call 732.577.8200.

February 17 – 25: Seussical The Musical at Spring Lake Theater on Madison Avenue. Performances take place at 2pm and 7:30pm each day. For more information call 732.449.4530 or go to http://www.springlaketheatre.com/

February 19: George Washington’s Birthday Celebration at Historic Allaire Village (Wall) from 12pm-3pm. As the “Father of America,” George Washington was a hero and his birthday was widely celebrated with cannon fire and fanfare.  Join the villagers as they celebrate. There is a special program in the Chapel at 12pm. For more information go to https://allairevillage.org/ or call 732.919.3500.

February 24: Keansburg Boro Wine Glass Painting, 7pm to 10pm at New Point Comfort Fire Company on Carr Avenue. For details visit http://www.keansburgnewjersey.gov/ or call 732.787.0215, ext. 212.

February 25: Annual Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge, 1pm. Registration begins at 9am until 12:30pm. Plunge takes place at 1pm in the ocean in front of Spicy Cantina in Seaside Heights. For more information visit www.NJPolarPlunge.org

February 26: Annual Chili Cookoff in The Highlands, 3pm-7pm. All proceeds will benefit the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Sample delicious chili and refreshments at Claddah Irish Pub, 297 Bay Avenue. For details go to http://www.highlandsnj.com/ or call 732.291.4713.

We hope your month of February is filled with lots of love!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this January 2017

happy-new-year-2017Happy 2017! We’re ready to kick off the new year with some wallet-friendly activities for your family and friends. So, break out that new calendar and pencil in these dates for some free or inexpensive events happening in a town near you this month.

January 1: Fire and Ice – Food Trucks & Fireworks (Tuckerton) from noon to 6pm. Check out the ice cutting demo, ice sculpture, children’s activities, make and take crafts, marshmallows around the fire pits, and a hayride through the frozen woods. Top the day off with fireworks at 6pm over the lake. Featuring live music as well. Free admission, but donations are appreciated. For more information visit http://www.tuckertonseaport.org or call 609.296.8868.

January 4, 11, 18 and 25: Girls Night Out at Laurita Winery (New Egypt) from 4-9pm. Enjoy a night of fun and relaxation! Music by Gary C., Yoga Class (7-8pm), guidance readings and wonderful wine and food. Free General Admission. For more information, please visit LauritaWinery.com or call 609.758.8000.

January 6: Raiders of the Lost Ark at Count Basie Theater (Red Bank) at 8pm. To purchase tickets go to http://www.countbasietheatre.org/ or call 732.842.9000.

January 15: Winter Light on the Beach (Avon) from 2:30-5:30pm. Takes place at Visions Workshops Home Studio, 37 East End Avenue. For more information call 732.245.6699.

January 21 and 22: Ice Sculpture Fest at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Dress warm and come enjoy the Ice Festival at Laurita Winery! Huge luge for all to enjoy, included in the price. Food trucks will join for extra fun, and fireworks Saturday night. Check out LauritaWinery.com for all details. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for kids ages 4-17, kids 3 and under are free.

January 22: Fourth Annual Vacation Expo at Sickles Market (Little Silver) from 11am-3pm. Held in Sickles’ beautiful greenhouse, the Expo brings to you a range of trusted travel operators under one roof – cruise lines, exotic destinations, yacht charters, adventure holidays & more. Plan your getaway at the Vacation Expo! For more information visit http://njvacationexpo.com/ or call 732.741.9563.

January 28: Winterfest at Thompson Park (Lincroft) from noon to 4pm. Celebrate Winter with the family – join for ice skating, nature hikes on snowshoes, crafts, wagon rides and much more! For details visit https://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/ or call 732.842.4000 extension 4312.

January 29: Annual Beef and Brew in The Highlands, 3-7pm. Join for The Highlands’ Annual “Beef and Brew.” Proceeds will benefit the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Enjoy a buffet & refreshments at Windansea, 56 Shrewsbury Ave. For more information call 732.291.4713 or visit http://www.highlandsnj.com/

We hope you have a happy and healthy new year!

 

5 Money Problems Most People Deal With

Young girl dreams about their future

Not using debt correctly.

All debt isn’t necessarily bad. Debt is useful when getting your education and even when hard times hit. If you take on too much debt – you could put yourself in a hole that you’ll never be able to dig out of. On the other hand, if you’re afraid of ever having any debt, you may live a boring life. Use credit cards to build a good credit score and never use them for major purchases. If you take on debt, make sure you keep it under control and always remain aware of where you stand.

Overspending.

In an ideal world, we would all save 33% of what we earn. For most of us, this a problem, due to our overspending habits. Whether it be for housing, child care, student loans, or other debt, we’re spending those savings on other things. Try to save wherever you can – even a little bit out of each paycheck is never going to be a waste!

Relying on only one income source.

By counting on our full time job as our only money source, we’re setting ourselves up for problems. Having some side money coming in from a part time or freelance job can also be a nice crutch if something were to go wrong.

Only paying the minimum on credit cards.

When you only pay the minimum on your credit card balance each month, you end up costing yourself a lot of money in interest by carrying a balance. Make sure you don’t spend more than you can pay off at the end of each month. Credit card debt can easily feel like a black hole with no escape.

Not saving.

If you’re not saving, you’re probably not budgeting. Plan ahead and put money aside each month for emergencies. Take a long look at what you’re spending and figure out what you need to put away for retirement. If you don’t have an IRA or other retirement account, you need to enroll ASAP and take advantage of that compounding interest for your future.

First Financial can help you with all of these items!  Visit our website at firstffcu.com, stop into any of our local Monmouth and Ocean County branches, call 732.312.1500, or email info@firstffcu.com.

Article Source: John Pettit for CU Insight, https://www.cuinsight.com/5-money-problems-people-deal.html

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this December 2016

Outdoor Family Choosing Christmas Tree Together

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  With so many joyful and festive events happening this month, it’s definitely going to be hard to choose which ones to attend. Enjoy this special time of year with your family and friends – check out the many free or inexpensive activities happening this December in a town near you.  Happy Holidays from all of us at First Financial, and wishing you a prosperous 2017!

Town Tree Lighting Ceremonies:

  • Belmar – December 2nd at 5:30-7pm, Pyanoe Plaza at 9th Ave & Main Street
  • Manasquan – December 2nd 6-9pm, Main Street (plus candy cane hunt!)
  • Highlands – December 2nd at 6pm, Huddy Park

December 2: A Christmas Carol at Count Basie Theater (Red Bank) at 8pm. To purchase tickets go to http://www.countbasietheatre.org/ or call 732.842.9000.

December 2-4, 9-11, and 16-18: Scrooge at the Spring Lake Theater, 300 Madison Avenue. Two shows per day at 2pm and 7:30pm. For details call 732.449.4530 or go to http://www.springlaketheatre.com/

December 3: Spring Lake Candlelight Christmas Inn Tour from 3:30pm to 7pm. Tour Spring Lake’s famous inn’s and B&B’s decorated in their holiday splendor, sponsored by the Historic Inns of Spring Lake NJ. For more information go to http://www.historicinnsofspringlake.com/ or call 732.449.9090.

December 3 – 18: Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar – Every Saturday and Sunday in December until 12/18 from noon to 5pm, gather for one of the most spectacular holiday markets in New Jersey! The Bazaar is located at the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall, 1300 Ocean Ave. For more details go to http://www.asburyparkbazaar.com/ or call 732.829.2663.

December 3 – 24: Holiday Horse and Wagon Rides (Red Bank).  Ride through the Red Bank Business District and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season every Saturday and Sunday in December from 1-5pm through 12/24. There are two start locations to choose from: 26 Broad Street or Bridge Avenue (across from The Galleria). For more information call 732.842.4244 or go to http://www.redbank.org/

December 3, 10, 16, and 17: Christmas Lantern Tours at Allaire Village (Wall) from 5-8pm. 90 minute tours leave every 15 minutes at Historic Allaire Village within Allaire State Park Rt. 524, 4265 Atlantic Avenue. For details go to http://www.allairevillage.org/ or call 732.919.3500.

December 9 and 11: Christmas at Havens Homestead Museum (Brick). 12/9 from 3-7pm and 12/11 from 1-5pm. The Brick Township Historical Society has sponsored this annual event for 19 years. It features the Havens Homestead Museum and two other buildings on the property decked in its festive best with guides dressed in period costumes. This year’s theme is “A Vintage Christmas.” Guests will enjoy homemade refreshments and musical entertainment as they tour the rooms of this 1827 Homestead. $5 per adult, children under 12 are free. For information call 732.785.2500.

December 10: 5th Annual Christmas on the Island & Parade, including Santa Claus from noon to 5pm. A Christmas Parade along the Boulevard in Seaside Heights. Event is open to all Ocean County, NJ residents with gifts, giveaways, Santa’s Workshop, and a special Santa’s send-off with live entertainment as Santa’s way back home to the North Pole is lit up.

December 10 and 11: The Nutcracker at Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, 1pm and 5pm. To purchase tickets go to http://www.countbasietheatre.org/ or call 732.842.9000.

December 10, 11, and 17: A Christmas Light Show (2702 Wooley Road, Wall), 6:30pm and 8:30pm. The Christmas Light Show is a free, world class computerized lighting and pyrotechnic show. Returning for its 11th year, this incredible event has become an area tradition. The show is very much like attending a Disney World concert, featuring pyrotechnics, fog, color changing effects and thousands of lights synchronized to music broadcast over a concert quality sound system. Don’t miss this one of a kind Christmas event in Monmouth County, NJ! For more information go to http://www.thechristmaslightshow.com/

December 11: Breakfast with Santa at iPlay America (Schanck Road, Freehold) at 9am and 11am.  For information call 732.577.8200 or go to http://www.iplayamerica.com/

December 11: The Nutcracker at Ocean County College (Lakewood), 1pm.  The performance will take place at Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts. This delightful ballet is a dream story brought to life through music and dance. The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara, a young girl who’s magical journey begins with a Nutcracker doll and ends with the Land of Sweets. Along the way, you’ll meet the Mouse King, Flowers, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and a cast of enchanting characters.Tickets: Adult $12, Child $10. Call 732.255.0400 extension 2466 for information.

December 16, 17, 26, 27, 28: Jenkinson’s Sea of Lights at the Aquarium (Pt. Pleasant) from 6-9pm. Join Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant Beach as they light up the Boardwalk during Jenkinson’s Sea of Lights. This Holiday Lights Spectacular inside Jenkinson’s Aquarium is a real gift to your family at the special admission price of only $7. For more information go to http://jenkinsons.com/events/sea-of-lights-2016/