Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Charms of Charity

BrightStar Credit Union is happy to help the community with a brand new contest

 photo shutterstock_169952327_zpsb95114b9.jpgWho doesn’t love a good charity? Whether it’s making a child’s wish come true or helping someone who lives in poverty, charities have a way of making the world a better place. You may be someone that donates on a weekly basis or maybe you have always thought about donating but it always slips your mind. Whatever the case may be, donations to any organization have benefits that are not only physical, but emotional as well.

Most of us can agree that donating money, time or property would make even the scroogiest person feel good. But there are more benefits than just making yourself feel better.

1.Show your appreciation

Maybe you went through some hard times and there was a food bank that was always there when you needed help. Donating time, money or food is an excellent way to show your gratitude toward them. Another way to show your appreciation is to make a donation under the name of a lost loved one. It’s a great way to honor them and their beliefs. Just choose an organization that meant a lot to them and give what you can. Any donation will show your appreciation and give back to the community.

2. Stay informed about social injustices

A social injustice is something that is happening in society that is unfair. For example, maybe you heard of the KONY 2012 campaign sponsored by Invisible Children. It is a viral video that taught the world about Joseph Kony, a war criminal that kidnaps children in Africa to make them apart of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The children are often forced to kill their family with “blunt tools” and girls are abducted to become sex slaves. It’s a very horrific topic but still something the world should know about. Well, that campaign raised more than $15,000,000 back in 2012 and is still fundraising today. By donating to Invisible Children or any other organization, you can stay up-to-date with social issues that are important to you.

3. Simple as Paying It Forward

Imagine you’re in line at the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, waiting to pay for your medium coffee and an egg and cheese bagel. When you pull up to the window (with your BrightStar Credit Union debit card of course) the worker tells you your breakfast has been paid for. It turns out the person in the car in front of you paid for your meal. This is known as Pay It Forward. If someone did a random act of kindness for you, all you have to do is Pay It Forward by doing an act of kindness for a stranger. This could be anything from complimenting a stranger to packing a lunch for a homeless person. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just something that will make your community a better place.

4. Tax-deductible donations

A tax-deductible donation is simply an item or expense you donated to a qualified tax-exempt organization. You then subtract your donation from your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) to lower the amount of taxes you pay. These donations will actually help you because tax laws let you claim a deduction for most of the cash or items you donate as long as the value is more than $250.

5. Clean the clutter

Do you have a garage that is filled with old furniture, like couches, TV’s and dining room tables? Spring cleaning may have already passed but you can get rid of the furniture and donate it to organizations like Goodwill. It offers limited at-home pickup in certain areas for large, gently-used items.

6. Make new friends

If you’re new to the area and don’t have many friends or just interested in meeting a new group, volunteering is a great way to meet people. South Florida offers tons of opportunities to help your community, like becoming a Literacy Ambassador to help at-risk children enjoy reading or helping out at a charity dog wash to support the South Florida Siberian Husky Rescue. Wherever you decide to volunteer, you’re sure to meet new people and maybe even find a new hobby.

Now it’s time for the fun stuff! BrightStar Credit Union wants to help you help your community. Keep checking the BrightStar Credit Union Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on an exciting contest coming up that could help out your favorite charity.

 

 

 

 

 

Wanderlust, Not Wanderbust

Pineapple   If you’re jealous of the pineapple, it might be time for you to start thinking about saving for a vacation

Beaches, barbecues, and the blistering heat is what we expect for South Florida’s summers. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a vacation and visit somewhere you’ve always wanted to go? Of course it would be. But tapping into that savings account unexpectedly would make anyone a little nervous.

At BrightStar Credit Union, we want to help make all of your dreams come true. Whether it’s a road trip to Savannah, Georgia or flying across the world to Fiji. When you open a vacation savings account, you can set aside money to make your wildest traveling dreams a reality. Here are some tips that will help the most careless spender save for their next summer vacation.

  1. Establish a Budget

Creating a budget is easier said than done. When you’re budgeting for a vacation, expenses can range anywhere from food to flights. If you’re working with a smaller budget, consider a staycation. Naples and Marco Island are just a few beach towns in Florida that are a couple hours away with numerous things to do. If you’re working with a larger budget why not start saving for the trip of a lifetime. Your list of expenses will be a bit longer if you have to include flights and passports. (If you’re a shopaholic like me don’t be afraid to put a little money aside for those must-have vacation shoes.)

  1. Open a FREE Savings Account at BrightStar Credit Union

Now that we’ve established your budget it’s time to do something about it. When you open a Checkings Account at BrightStar Credit Union you get a free Savings Account that will help you set aside your hard earned money. As long as your balance is $25 or more in your Savings Account we’ll pay you interest at a higher rate than most banks. At BrightStar Credit Union, members receive full benefits which includes being an equal shareholder.

  1. Save Money Automatically

But what happens if you forget to transfer your money over? No worries my friend. Here at BrightStar Credit Union we will help you set up automatic transfers to your savings account that can take place weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. There’s no need to stress about when you’ll find time to head to one of our many branches across South Florida. BrightStar Credit Union offers FREE Online Banking where you can check your account activity and transfer more money.

Now that you have all of these helpful tips, head to you nearest BrightStar Credit Union with locations in Davie, Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lauderhill, Margate, Pembroke Pines and Pompano Beach. One of our Member Service Representatives will be happy to help you create a savings account for the trip of a lifetime.