Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas tunes with heart!

Now you can own a copy of A DVD/CD package featuring Christmas In Maine 25th Anniversary Concert Live from the Gracie. The 90-minute show features a variety of artists, including several Grammy Award winners, singing holiday classics and new favorites. A significant portion of the sales will benefit the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger. It will soon be available in credit unions throughout the state! You can also order a copy by visiting

You can also watch the concert in prime time on WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2 on Saturday, December 8, from 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., and on the stations of the Maine Public Broad¬casting Network (MPBN) on Sunday, December 9, at 7:00 p.m. The show that airs on WCSH 6/WLBZ 2 will be the edited 60-minute version, while MPBN will air the 90-minute, unedited version. MPBN is also planning multiple airings of the concert throughout the month of December.

Click here for a sneak peak!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Countdown to Holiday Savings

It’s December, and the countdown to the holiday shopping deadline is on! If you’ve already wrapped up your holiday shopping, congratulations! If you’re like many of us however, your holiday to do list is still waiting for a burst of productivity. When under the pressure of a ticking clock, it can be easy to let your plan, and budget, go out the window. Here are some ways to keep your spending in check, and your holiday happy!

  • Make a list. Make a list of everyone you want to give a gift to. Make sure to write down any extra holiday gifts that may be outside your circle of family and friends, such as for an office gift swap, or a donation to a family in need.
  • Make a projection. How much money would you like to allocate for each person? Add it up. How much is this going to cost you overall? If the number is too high or scary you might have to…
  • Make revisions. After seeing how much these gifts are truly going to cost, it might be time to think of alternatives gifts. Maybe homemade cookies are a more realistic gift than matching sweaters for 10 of your closet friends.
  • Make a budget. And shop with it in hand to avoid going off course when something shiny catches your eye. Still tempted to splurge?
  • Go credit card free. Consider going cash only! Got? Going cash only is a great way to keep you on track, and gives you a better idea of what you are spending.
Best wishes for a happy (and budget conscious) holiday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Skip-a-Pay can really save the day!

The holidays are just around the corner, and if you haven’t prepared your budget for holiday parties and gift giving you may be feeling the pressure.  Looking into your local credit union may help.  Many credit unions offer Holiday Loans and Skip-a-Pay plans.  

A holiday loan is a short term loan to help out with seasonal expenses including gifts, decorations, and even heating oil.   These loans typically come with a low interest rate and can help keep you from using a credit card with a high interest rate.   A Skip-a-Pay program allows you to skip or defer a loan payment for one month; this can really free up some money for the holidays. 

The best way to avoid having to worry about your holiday finances is to start a Club account.  These accounts allow you to make small monthly or weekly deposits throughout the year and in most cases the money is automatically transferred into your checking account at the beginning of October.  Stop by your local credit union and ask how they can help you with your holiday spending.  To find a credit union near you visit

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Walk On!

As we take a moment to give thanks this week, food pantries throughout Maine have one person to be extremely thankful for. Brenda Davis, Executive Director of Cross Roads Ministries and Food Pantry, has been spending the month of November completing the Eleventh Annual Maine Credit Unions’ Ending Hunger Walking Tour.

The Walk is an effort on the part of Maine’s credit unions and Davis to build awareness about the problem of hunger in Maine during the month of November, which has been designated as Ending Hunger month. The Walk officially began on Friday, October 26 at Maine State CU in Augusta, and will conclude with a ceremony at Changing Seasons FCU in Hampden on Friday, November 30.

Upon its completion, The Walk will have encompassed more than 1,500 miles, with approximately 700 of that on foot. Brenda will have visited a record-setting 77 communities from Kittery to Madawaska. At each of the 84 credit union branches Davis visits, she picks up a contribution from the Campaign as a way to support her cause. This year, the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger has made a $111 donation to a food pantry in each of the 77 communities that Davis visits. The Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger will contribute nearly $30,000 to help end hunger through the Tour.

Thanks Brenda, for another wonderful walk!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

There’s more to consider when traveling this time of year

The holidays are here, and that means it is time for traveling and visiting family. Whether you are driving a few towns over, or flying across the country, there are a few things you should remember to do. Traveling during the holidays can be hectic, so it is important to keep important documents, such as your license and any debit or credit cards with you at all times as well as the number to your financial institution in case your cards are lost or stolen. If you plan on making large purchases out of state, you should let your credit union know to expect out of state charges for the dates you will be there. Simple safety precautions, such as never leaving your bag or purse unattended, can keep your money and possessions safe while you are traveling this holiday season.

Should you need to access your account on your trip, many credit unions are a part of the Shared Branching network, where you can access nearly 5,000 credit union branches nationwide, with more than 150 locations in Maine. You just need your license, your home credit union name and your account number. You can easily access your account, make deposits, withdrawals, and even make a loan payment just like you were at your local branch. Look for a shared branching location near you here!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Give Thanks to CU Benefits!

The feeling of Thanksgiving is something that can last all November long. And while we are grateful for our family, friends and health, credit unions also give benefits that we can be truly thankful for all 365 days a year!

• With over 150 branches, Maine’s credit unions have more locations than any single bank in Maine!

• Maine’s SURF ATMs comprise the largest surcharge-free ATM network in Maine

• When you belong to one of Maine's Credit Unions, you are not just a “customer”- you are an owner! As a member/owner, what you say matters, as each member has an equal vote in electing a volunteer, unpaid board of directors.

• Credit unions have lower fees, resulting in member savings that totaled $10.5 million for Maine CU members in 2011, according to a recent survey.

• 95% of Maine’s Credit Unions offer free checking accounts, and 90% offer free checking accounts with no minimum balance!

Find more reasons to be thankful for credit unions by joining one today!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Young & Free Maine Spotlights Ending Hunger Advocate Danielle Carr in "On the Road"

With November designated as Ending Hunger Month, Young & Free Maine’s On the Road program shines its spotlight on a young person working to end hunger in Maine. This month, Young & Free Maine Spokester Kylie Keene interviews Danielle Carr, whose volunteering at the Good Shepherd Food-Bank proved to be a life-changing experience – and the beginning of a career there. Now on staff as a hunger study coordinator, Danielle helps research and fight hunger across Maine. “In a month that’s all about giving thanks for what we have, this 24-year-old gives to those who have not,” Keene explained. “She hopes others her age will do their part to help those in need.”

Kylie’s interview with Danielle can be seen at the “Young & Free on the Road” section of There, visitors can also follow Kylie, as the site maps out where she is headed each month, and features the best, brightest, funniest, quirkiest, most artistic and inspiring 18-25 year olds in her “On the Road” spotlights. This webpage also provides an opportunity for consumers to recommend an innovative member of Gen Y for her to feature there. Learn more about Carr, nominate a young person to spotlight, and see who will be featured next at