Volunteering at the Les Murakami Stadium

This past Saturday, October 17, HiTel FCU employees had the opportunity to volunteer at University of Hawaii’s Les Murakami Stadium to help with renovations.  Armed with brushes, rollers, and green paint, we broke into groups and were tasked with painting the dugouts and sprucing up the stands.

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It was a bright and sunny day for the most part, but a few showers caused the newly painted walls to run!  Despite the rain, we persevered and continued to paint and retouch the areas that got wet.

After a daunting 4 hours, we completed our share of the stadium renovations and were rewarded with pizza and refreshments.  The UH baseball coach and the team were even there to join us and thanked us for our efforts.

This was the first time that HiTel FCU volunteered at the stadium and it was time well spent.  It was a fun, new experience for our employees, and with ICU Day having just passed, it was a great reminder of who we are and what we do – we are people helping people make their dreams come true.

Mahalo to everyone who came out to volunteer!

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5 Tricks to Help You Pay Off Your Credit Cards Every Month

iStock_000016074423_LargeResponsibly managing credit card accounts is an excellent way to build and maintain a good credit score — just as charging more than you can afford to pay off is a surefire way to hurt your credit score.

If you’re looking to protect your credit, follow these five tricks to ensure you pay off your credit cards each and every month.

1. Don’t settle for the minimum

If it’s within your financial means, don’t simply make the minimum payment each month. Sure, paying the minimum is all you’re required to do, but don’t stop there. Make a habit of paying off the entire balance. When you don’t carry debt month to month, you don’t pay interest.

2. Treat a credit card like a debit card

It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: Don’t use your credit cards to spend more than you can afford. If you’re having a difficult time with this, try treating your credit card as if it’s a debit card. Don’t swipe any plastic unless you know you already have the money in your bank account. This mindset may help prevent costly impulse buys.

3. Set up automatic payments

If your credit card payment problems are more about organization than spending, set up automatic payments. The amount you owe will be deducted from your bank account each month, without any action on your part, so you’ll avoid that last-minute stress of getting your payment in on time. Just ensure you have sufficient funds in your account to cover the payments without incurring overdraft fees.

4. Remind yourself

If you don’t think you’ll remember to pay on your own and you’d rather not use automatic payments, there’s a third option: text, email or other push notifications from your credit card provider. This can include balance, payment and/or statement notifications. Of course, you don’t have to wait for such a reminder. Act as your own notification system and pay off your credit card after every purchase you make (or at least more often than once a month). Paying it off quickly may be the best tracking system, and if you know you’ll need to pay right away, you may be discouraged from charging too much in the first place.

5. Keep your balance low

Finally, if you maintain a low credit card balance, it’ll be much easier to pay off. You don’t want to stop using your card entirely—after all, credit card use is essential to building credit. Instead, set aside your credit card for certain purchases (online transactions only, for example).

Limiting your purchases — as opposed to putting everything on your card — will not only leave you with less to pay off at the end of the billing cycle, it will also mean you’ll be using a smaller portion of your total credit limit. Keeping your credit utilization ratio low can boost your credit score.

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A Lesson from Rachel Pross

iStock_000075063043_LargeSometimes we are so caught up with work, we forget to just sit back and enjoy life.  For those of us with children, it is sometimes hard to find a balance with working and spending ample time with family.

I recently came across an article written by Rachel Pross about one of her personal experiences regarding her outlook on life, fittingly entitled “How an Awkward Middle Kid and a Super Blood Moon Changed My Outlook”.

In her article, she talks about her son, who is going through his awkward teenage phase and is fascinated by the blood red super moon that came out a couple weekends ago.  Although the family initially all stood out in their yard to watch the moon, they soon started to disperse back into the house…except for her middle child who was still looking into the telescope.  Pross heads back out to accompany her son, and he simply turns to her and says, “this is really something, isn’t it, mom?”

Those words alone put everything in perspective for Pross as she silently studied her son.  She learned to appreciate that moment with her son and appreciated his innocent wisdom and fascination of the universe.

Her article is a great reminder for us to appreciate our children and the little things in life that we may overlook.  Rachel Pross is an advocate for credit unions and has written many helpful and thoughtful articles.  You can read the full story about her son and the blood red moon here, or check out more of her articles here.

ICU Day 2015

2015 ICU Day FB postSince 1948, International Credit Union (ICU) Day has been celebrated on every third Thursday in October. It is a day designated to reflect on the credit union movement’s history and to recognize its achievements over the years. The ultimate goal of this special day is to raise awareness to the community about the outstanding work credit unions provide to their members.

This year’s ICU Day will be celebrated on Thursday, October 15, 2015 and the motto is “People helping people.” In appreciation of their loyal membership, HiTel members may stop any of our branch locations: King Street (Kalihi), Fort Street (Downtown), Kaimuki, Kapolei, Kunia, Mililani, Sheraton, or Wheeler to receive for a small gift. We look forward to seeing you!

Hele Mai You Belong!

World Teachers’ Day

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
– Carl Jung

We all have that one teacher (or maybe a few) who stood out to us and made a difference in our lives.  It could have been that kindergarten teacher who taught you how to read, or the high school trigonometry teacher who finally helped you understand math.  It could even be your college philosophy professor who helped you appreciate the works of Aristotle and Socrates, or your art teacher who encouraged your creativity.

Whoever they were, they are what makes education so important to us.  Today is World Teachers Day, a day for us to honor and appreciate those who helped make a difference in our lives.

Thank you to all teachers—your hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed!

Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.
– Andy Rooney