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If this is the screen you see when you boot up your computer (nearly a quarter of computer users do), April 8, 2014, is a very important date for you. The image above is from Windows XP, which Microsoft released with much fanfare in October 2001. They tried to replace it with Windows Vista in January 2007, but due to problems and bad initial reviews, most people did not upgrade. So, 12 years after its release, over 29% of computers are still running Windows XP. By comparison, only about 3% of all computers are using Vista even though it was released five years more recently. Continue reading

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We’ve always heard that owning a home is a great investment. The problem is, barring a plumbing catastrophe, that investment is not liquid. Your home’s value is locked up and hidden deep inside those four walls. Before 1997, due to stringent homestead protections, Texans weren’t able to tap the equity in their home, but since then the laws have changed and you can gain some liquidity from your most precious investment, with some limitations.

Texas protects homeowners

In an effort to protect homeowners, the Texas Constitution lays out some stringent rules for lenders in regards to home equity loans and lines of credit. Continue reading

At EECU, we’re committed to your financial success. That’s why we offer affordable products and services along with financial tools to help you reach your goals. To make things even easier, we’ve included several useful tools in Online Banking to help you keep track of your money.

Track your spending with FinanceWorks™

EECU’s Online Banking comes with money management software built in. With the FinanceWorks™ dashboard, you can monitor all your checking, savings, credit card and loan accounts, whether they’re with EECU or another institution. You can also track your spending and set up a budget to make sure you know where your money is going each month.

Find It: Manage Money > Account Overview Continue reading

We know how exciting it is to receive a tax return from the IRS. Having some of your hard-earned money returned to you can be a huge relief. But if you don’t need the money to pay bills right away, the temptation to spend it on things you might not need can be strong. Who wouldn’t like a new TV? If you feel like putting your funds toward something more financially rewarding, however, here are a few options to help you make the most of this year’s tax return. Continue reading

As your credit union, EECU is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. And, with the new year about to begin, we want to help you achieve your financial resolutions. During the coming weeks, we will be looking at ways to help you become financially fit. But don’t let us do all the talking! Stop by our Facebook page or tweet us with your own money tips using the #FinanciallyFit hashtag.

One of the hardest, but most important, components of financial fitness is saving money. It’s important that you keep some funds set aside to cover unexpected expenses. If you’re not already putting money into a savings account regularly, start out with just a little and add more as you move along.

Make 2014 the year to establish your savings with this 52-week savings challenge. Put a little bit of money aside each week, and come 2015, you’ll have a nice amount earning interest to help cover expenses when you need it. Continue reading

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In today’s unsettled economy, many people are looking for ways to stretch their money and sometimes this includes altering insurance coverage to dangerously low levels or eliminating coverage entirely. If you’re thinking about changing your coverage to save money, consider these key issues below and give us a call. We can help make sure you have the right protection at a price you can afford. Continue reading

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Shopping on the big three sales days, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, can get mind-numbing. How do you know what to buy, when? The worst feeling is buying an item on one of these big shopping days only to find the deal got better later on.

Here is a run-down on some best bets based on the past two Black Friday seasons. Use these rules of thumb while crafting your perfect, personalized Black Friday shopping game plan. Continue reading

EECU’s investment services team works each day to help our members choose investments and build portfolios that support their immediate and long-term financial goals. And in doing so, our advisors have become familiar with common concerns and misconceptions of the investments world. Here, they weigh in on a few of the most frequently asked questions.

Can you get me higher returns on my investments?

The short answer is, “Yes.” The long answer contains an honest question: “How much risk are you willing to take?” You see, there are always investments that offer higher rates of return, but it’s not comparing apples to apples. Higher risk—and sometimes lower quality—investments often have to pay higher yields to attract investors. Not all investors can afford or stomach the risks associated with these. There are, however, investments that balance out the risk and have a good track record of producing above-average income without as much risk. Of course, it’s important to note that these still carry more risk than a federally insured savings account or certificate of deposit (CD). Continue reading

Laura Edgar is a senior writer for NerdWallet.com, a consumer finance comparison website committed to helping you save money.

Considering a new car? Buying a car, especially if you’ve never done it before, can be extremely stressful, just because there’s so much to think about. That being said, it’s well worth putting in the extra time to plan ahead. In doing so, you’ll save time and money. Plus, you won’t end up with a lemon! These five tips will help you get started.

1. Leave room in your budget

Buying a new car? You’ll probably need at least a few thousand dollars in your savings account for the down payment, plus some room in your budget for regular auto loan payments of several hundred dollars. Even used cars are expensive, but in many ways, they’re a lot more economical than a new car. According to Kelley Blue Book, most cars lose 20 percent of their value in the first year, and 60 percent of their value within five years. When you consider the fact that most five-year-old cars don’t have many problems, a used car is a great deal.

2. Do your homework

Make sure you learn as much as you can about your car before you buy it. Websites like ConsumerReports.org and kbb.com (Kelley Blue Book’s official website) can give you unbiased information about the value of your vehicle, its reliability and even the driving experience. If you’re buying a used car, make sure to get the repair records and, ideally, a CARFAX report. It’s also important to test drive a vehicle before you consider purchasing it. This is the only way to know if the vehicle is comfortable for you and handles the way you like it. Continue reading

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April is Financial Literacy Month, and we want to hear from you. What questions do you have about managing your money and finances? We’ll be accepting questions all month and giving you the answers to what matters most to you.

Submitting is easy! Just leave a comment below, tweet us at the @EECUdfw handle or post on our Facebook page at facebook.com/eecudfw. We’ll keep you updated with answers to the questions we receive here on our blog, on our Facebook page and through our Twitter account, so be sure to Like us, follow us and keep checking back for insight into the issues that matter most to our members. Continue reading