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Child Tax Credit Calculator

July 15, 2021

Smiling Family With Parents Giving Children Piggyback Rides

What Is The Child Tax Credit?

A child tax credit is a tax incentive for families with dependent children under the age of 18 and is linked to a taxpayer's income level as well as the number of children in the household.


How It Works

The Child Tax Credit Calculator will help you estimate the amount of your 2021 Child Tax Credit refund. To use the calculator, answer the following questions with the information you provided in your most recent tax filing.

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Starting July 15th, 2021, millions of families across the country will be receiving the first payment of the newly expanded child tax credit. Under this enhanced stimulus package, the IRS will pay all eligible parents half the credit in advance monthly payments. The other half will be included in 2021 tax returns. The IRS will use 2020 (or 2019, if applicable) tax information to determine eligibility and will automatically enroll individuals for advance payments. For more information, visit irs.gov.


Live Smarter

If your financial situation has recently changed or if you’re simply looking for help managing your spending, we’re happy to help. Make an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today.

 

Article adapted from Banzai Financial Education Program. Not intended to be tax or financial advice. Please see your tax professional for further information.

Posted in: Child Tax Credit

A Shift In Savings Strategies

July 29, 2020

A woman reviews her finances from her home.Forming New Spending and Saving Habits

COVID-19 has caused shifts in many of the things we do that make up our daily lives. One major shift has been with money management. 

What have you noticed about your spending habits in the past few months? With stores, restaurants, venues, attractions and so many other places closed during lockdown and beyond, the options to spend money outside of our home, other than online shopping, or for essentials, were few and far between. In that time at home, away from our usual daily stops, we were given the opportunity to reflect upon our past spending habits.

We’ve been able to look at that daily cup of coffee we used to get on the way to work, the places we’d go to on our lunch breaks, and meeting friends out on the weekends with a different view. All of a sudden that money wasn’t being spent. It was being, more or less, saved. People are now spending less, saving more, and planning ahead. 

Statistics show that over the past 5 months, including both during quarantine and post quarantine, entertainment, social activities, traveling (even gasoline) and impulse buying are all down. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to CUNA Mutual Group’s Trends Report, indicating COVID-19 impacts, personal spending fell 13.6% while savings balances in credit unions rose 4.7% in April. Consumers, it seems, have been sticking to purchasing essentials only- and only when needed.

This shift in spending, along with stimulus checks and relief loans, have helped to ease the financial burden of furlough and layoffs, enabling many of us to get by. Even for those that may have been fortunate enough to continue working in an essential industry, we still see those consumers driving less, eating out less, traveling less, shopping less, etc. This has helped increase the balance of their savings. 

If you have been able to create some pockets of extra funds, now is the perfect time to consider looking at your budget and deciding more strategically on what it is you really need. It is a time to scrutinize your own past habits and channel those funds to what is really important. Use our Budget Calculator to find out your net monthly and yearly income.

Paying owed bills is certainly a great start. Paying off loans is yet another. Once loan payments are more manageable, or possibly gone quicker than you were expecting, you can take the money you were using to make those payments and use it for something else- like building up your savings again. 

If this experience has taught us anything about our spending habits, it’s to consider planning ahead with serious, realistic goals of saving. 

To help you get going on starting a new savings strategy, try a Term Share Certificate or Money Market Account. These are great places to save that can earn higher dividends.

Can you refinance and consolidate your debt? Rates are very low right now on car loansmortgageshome equities and more.

Use this helpful Savings Goal Calculator to find out how long it will take you to reach your savings goal.


Save Smarter

We are here to help you plan for the future with our Savings Account Options. Call 315-735-8571 to talk about your options or make an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today. Simply click on the button below and select the “New Accounts” service from the menu.


Making Smart Choices: Experienced Investors

May 9, 2019

Experienced Investors review their finances.New choices for the future

There are many reasons an experienced investor might seek out investing consultation. If you already have investing experience but aren’t happy with your current situation or results, have questions you aren’t getting satisfactory answers to, want better attention and service, or possibly have additional funds you want to invest, we are here to help.

A big part of continued investing is evaluating your current situation, and making adjustments based on market changes and any changes to your financial life.


Invest Smarter

As a seasoned investor, you can always learn more, improve your investments, and consider new options. First Source and Choice Investments invite you to take advantage of our superior experience and Member service. Call 315-735-8571 to discuss your current level of investment and risk, your goals, and any changes you’d like to make to your portfolio or make an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today. Simply click on the button below, select “Advisory Services” from the menu and choose “Investment Services.”


Stocks/Stock Funds, other securities, and advisory services are offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor and Member FINRA/SIPC. These products may also be offered by a First Source "dual employee" who accepts deposits on behalf of the credit union and also sells non-deposit investment products on behalf of Choice Investments LLC through Cadaret, Grant & Co. Choice Investments LLC, Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. and First Source are separate entities. You can check the background of these financial professionals through FINRA’s BrokerCheck. First Source Federal Credit Union is not a registered broker dealer and is not affiliated with Choice Investments LLC. 

NOT FEDERALLY INSURED    •    MAY LOSE VALUE    •    NO CREDIT UNION OBLIGATIONS    •    NO CREDIT UNION GUARANTEE 

Funds invested through Choice Investments are not federally insured, may lose value, and are of no way obligations of First Source FCU. Involves investment risk and may involve loss of principal. First Source has no guarantees of securities and annuities products offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. Financial Professionals associated with this site are registered to conduct securities business and licensed to conduct insurance business in certain states. Response to, or contact with, residents of other states will be made only upon compliance with applicable licensing and registration requirements. The information in this website is for U.S. residents only and does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to purchase brokerage services to persons outside of the United States.

Starting Out: New Investors

May 9, 2019

Begin your journey with smart choices

If you’re young and just getting settled in your career and adult financial life, you may feel you’re finally earning enough to consider investing some of your money. Our first piece of advice is to make automatic deposits from your paycheck into an employer-sponsored 401K or other retirement plan (if your employer makes one available). If your employer matches contributions, it’s an even more attractive investment choice. You'll want to take full advantage of this wonderful investing opportunity. Once you’ve done so and are ready to consider other investments, we will be happy to guide you with some prudent recommendations about your savings. 


Investing Your Savings

Investing always starts with saving. Since there are inherent risks in stock market investing, and greater gains and losses are possible, we encourage beginning investors to set aside enough for their immediate and emergency needs before putting money into the stock market.

When we meet with you, we’ll start with a thorough conversation about your financial standing, well-being, and current needs. We’ll look at your needs for the future, as well as your risk tolerance, and create a unique plan just for you. Part of that plan is working with you to decide how much you can comfortably invest initially, and each month. Investing is a dynamic process that you should adapt to changes in your financial life, so you can increase, decrease, or stop the amount you invest at any time without penalty. We can show you projections of how those changes could affect your future funds.

When investing, think diversification over the longer term. It is recommended to give yourself a minimum of 3-5 years to see how your investments do. Since funds do fluctuate over the short term, longer is better.


Getting Started

Let us and our friends at Choice Investments help put stock market investing principles to work for you. Call 315-735-8571 to talk about your options or make an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today. Simply click on the button below, select “Advisory Services” from the menu and choose “Investment Services.”


Stocks/Stock Funds, other securities, and advisory services are offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor and Member FINRA/SIPC. These products may also be offered by a First Source "dual employee" who accepts deposits on behalf of the credit union and also sells non-deposit investment products on behalf of Choice Investments LLC through Cadaret, Grant & Co. Choice Investments LLC, Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. and First Source are separate entities. You can check the background of these financial professionals through FINRA’s BrokerCheck. First Source Federal Credit Union is not a registered broker dealer and is not affiliated with Choice Investments LLC. 

NOT FEDERALLY INSURED    •    MAY LOSE VALUE    •    NO CREDIT UNION OBLIGATIONS    •    NO CREDIT UNION GUARANTEE 

Funds invested through Choice Investments are not federally insured, may lose value, and are of no way obligations of First Source FCU. Involves investment risk and may involve loss of principal. First Source has no guarantees of securities and annuities products offered through Cadaret, Grant & Co., Inc. Financial Professionals associated with this site are registered to conduct securities business and licensed to conduct insurance business in certain states. Response to, or contact with, residents of other states will be made only upon compliance with applicable licensing and registration requirements. The information in this website is for U.S. residents only and does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to purchase brokerage services to persons outside of the United States.

Posted in: new investors

It Pays to Save Early

May 2, 2019

A great saving strategy for the long term can be summed up as, “Save early and often.” Why do we hear the advice so often that it pays to start saving early? The key: compounding. Dividend or interest compounding is simply the idea that, as our savings earn interest or dividends, those earnings are added to our total, and the next dividend is calculated on our new total. As a simple example, say you invested $100 at 2.5% interest. When your interest is earned, you’ll add $2.50 to your $100, for a new total of $102.50. Then your next 2.5% interest is on $102.50, which is $2.56, added to $102.50 is now just over $105, and so on. If your account compounds monthly, the total is updated every month, and you earn more as you go. 

To add to this strategy, we recommend in addition to your initial savings, that you add to your savings every month. Once again, the earlier you start the more months you have to save, and the more your savings will grow. As your life and career progress, the more you might earn enabling you to save more every month. All these factors can add up over time, with positive results. 

Our graphical example shows that if you start at age 20, with even with a small initial deposit and relatively small monthly contributions, a smaller investment can yield you more over time than if you waited until you were 40, with a much larger deposit and twice the monthly contributions. 


When Should You Start?

Everyone’s life is different, but the rule is to save as much as you can, as soon as you can, and keep up with your savings. Over time, compounding will reward you. Learn more about our Savings Account Options, and Save Smarter. 

Call 315-735-8571 to talk about your options or make an appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today. Simply click on the button below and select the “New Accounts” service from the menu.


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