Thinking of using a ridesharing service?


Make sure you’re covered if you get hurt as a passenger.

Businesswoman in CarRidesharing is becoming more common around the state and the nation, particularly in large cities. Capitalizing on the new “sharing economy” and to a certain extent the coolness factor, this simple concept is thriving. Passengers, however, are generally not aware of the insurance implications, and that their driver’s insurance may not properly cover them.

Q: What is ridesharing?

A: In the new sharing economy, ridesharing allows vehicle owners to transport passengers in their own cars for a fee or a “donation”.

  • Drivers sign up with a service that charges a fee to connect passengers with drivers via a website or smartphone app.
  • Passengers arrange rides and pay with a credit card using the app.

Q: Why is ridesharing an issue?

A: Ridesharing is not the same as riding in a taxi or limousine. Taxis are licensed by the state or a local authority and subject to strict standards, from vehicle inspection and driver licensing to insurance that protects passengers and others who could be hurt in an accident.

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber or Lyft are not subject to the same requirements.  However, they have drawn increasing attention from state regulators and legislators concerned that the public may not be properly protected. In fact, various state regulators have issued consumer alerts to warn the public about possible risks of using a ridesharing app when riding as a passenger.

Q: How is the ridesharing company insured?

A: Insurance is the crux of the issue. Drivers are using their personal vehicles. Personal auto insurance generally excludes coverage when transporting passengers for a fee. An increasing number of TNCs are indicating that they are going to provide some protection by covering the driver’s commercial exposure for liability and collision coverage. The nature and scope of coverage provided by the TNC varies from company to company, and its coordination with the driver’s personal auto policy can leave uninsured gaps, in some cases significant.

Q: How do I know if I’m covered as a passenger?

A: If you are considering using a ridesharing service, you should:

  • Research the companies that operate in your city
  • Find out how these companies protect their drivers and passengers, including their liability limits.

If you have a personal auto policy yourself, you may be able to claim some coverage under your policy if you are hurt in an accident as a passenger. If you do not own a car, you will not have that option, unless you purchase a “named non-owner” policy.

Q: Why should I worry? How likely is it that a bad claim will occur?

A: There is no way of knowing what kind of accident could occur. Hopefully, none. However may of the insurance issues that have come to light have stemmed from catastrophic claims. While often downplayed by those who have an interest in the ridesharing business, coordination between the commercial and personal auto policies can pose challenges. The timing and circumstances of any accident will have a bearing on whether coverage extends to the driver and the passenger. At this time, coverage gaps still exist in a number of circumstances.

Q: Is this insurance issue settled?

A: No. A number of state legislatures have passed laws to address proper insurance coverage (among other things), but the issue is not fully settled. Some personal auto insurers are revisiting the issue and considering new ways to close those gaps in insurance.


Contact us today for a FREE quote on your auto insurance policy!

Click here or call us at (800) 283-2328, ext. 5245.

*Insurance Services available to PA and MD residents only. Insurance products are not federally insured and are not obligations of or guaranteed by Members 1st FCU, Members 1st Insurance Services, or any other affiliated entity.

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Short-Term or Long-Term, Budget and Save for Your Goals


Not all financial goals are the same, which means they shouldn’t necessarily be approached the same way. Depending on your circumstances, some goals might take longer to reach than others.

Short-term and long-term goals might seem self-explanatory, but some cases aren’t exactly clear-cut. Here are a few ways to identify your goals, plus budget and save for them accordingly.

What are short-term goals?

Short-term goals are your more immediate expenses. Although timelines vary, these are the things you’ll spend money on generally within a few months or years. Short-term goals include expenses such as rent and insurance, saving for a vacation or wedding and paying down student loans, and wants or luxury purchases like a new piece of furniture.

What are long-term goals?

Long-term goals are usually your big-picture costs. These goals may take several years or even decades to reach. For example, long-term goals are things like paying off your mortgage, starting a business, and saving for your child’s college tuition and your retirement. Your distant goals typically involve more money and regular attention than short-term goals.

The gray area

There is often overlap between the two categories that can make things fuzzy. Medium- or mid-term goals fall between short-term and long-term goals. These include things like buying a new car or saving for a house down payment and tend to take a few years to achieve.

Other goal periods can be tougher to estimate. For example, you might not need an emergency fund for several years, or you might need it right away. There’s no way to know when car repairs or medical bills will pop up. And the amount of time it takes to chip away at your debt depends on how much money you’re willing and able to contribute.

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How to prioritize your goals

You’ll likely have a combination of short- and long-term goals to balance. Work your goals around your usual expenses, focusing on needs like food and shelter first. Emergency and retirement funds are also high priority; contribute to these funds and pay off debt next. Then you can decide how to allocate the rest of your money toward your wants and other savings goals.

How to budget and save

Know where you stand before you start to budget and save for your goals. Determine how much money you can spend and save per month based on your income. Use the 50/30/20 budget calculator as a starting point. Set a timeline for your goals, then work toward them. Track your expenses using an app or method like the envelope system to stay on target.

Try to cut back on purchasing things you don’t need and set the savings aside for your goals. You might spend (or save) some of this leftover amount immediately on short-term goals or to make a dent in your long-term goals.

Where to save

Find a safe place to store your nest egg until you need it. For short-term goals and your emergency fund, you’ll ideally want to keep your money in a place you can access it quickly and without penalty, like a savings account.

You may reach your long-term goals quicker by putting your cash into a savings account or certificate of deposit with a high interest rate, or by investing, especially if you don’t plan to use this money for at least five years — say you’re starting a college fund for your newborn. That way you’ll allow time to build up a positive return. For retirement funds, weigh your options between IRA and 401(k) accounts.

Information courtesy of Nerdwallet.


Need advice?

Short-Term Savings: For information about savings accounts including Goal Savings and Certificates, click here or call TeleBranch at (800) 237-7288.

Long-Term Savings: For long-terms savings information and advice, contact our Investment Services and Wealth Management division at Members1stInvestments.com or call (800) 283-2328, ext. 5592.


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Millennials & Money: Financial Resources for Young Adults


By Rachel Mathias, Members 1st FCU Financial Education Coordinator

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It’s without debate that millennials today have a plethora of resources at their fingertips when conducting research. We don’t just go to the library anymore when we need information; we go straight to our phones.  Being a millennial myself as well as our Financial Education Coordinator here at Members 1st Federal Credit Union, I’m all too aware of the lack of financial literacy shared with our young people throughout their academic career. Since many students aren’t provided with this material in school, it’s crucial we equip them with relevant resources they will have quick access to in a platform they’re comfortable with.  Below are a few of my personal favorites when it comes to financial education sources that are perfect for millennials and young people alike:

  • Podcasts are one of my all-time favorite ways to keep up with the growing trends in finance and budgeting. Throw on a podcast during your commute or while you’re on the treadmill at the gym. A few personal favorites of mine are The Dave Ramsey Show and The His & Her Money Show, but there is a podcast out there to suit all of your finance and budgeting needs!
  • Blogs can be a great source to gather best practices and information on perfecting your budget. Blogs allow you to engage with the author, interact and discuss with other readers and offer input on their content. It’s important to verify the accuracy of the information since anyone can create a blog. A few popular finance blogs include Broke Millennial, Life and My Finances and Millennial Money Man.
  • Apps. The holy grail of budgeting for young people? Budgeting apps. With today’s technology, there’s absolutely no excuse for not getting involved with your finances. Budgeting apps allow you to set financial goals for yourself while controlling your spending. There are tons of options out there, while I love the Mint app and EveryDollar.
  • YouTube. A growing resource for finance tips and tricks are YouTube channels! This is an engaging platform where you can even watch various shows stream live and chat with other viewers throughout the show. My favorite is The Rachel Cruz Show and other popular channels include Good Financial Cents, Frugal Chic Life and Young Finances.
  • Instagram Accounts. Instagram is probably the most widely-used social media platform amongst millennials, making it a great way to empower young people to take control of their budget. From posts to stories to hashtags, there are plenty of ways to stay connected. A few great accounts I follow are @CleverGirlFinance, @BudgetBytes and @TheFinancialDiet.

While these are just a few of my personal favorites, there are many other fantastic resources out there for the inquiring financial mind. Do you have a favorite account you follow for your budgeting and money needs? Anything particular you want to see on our accounts? Comment below, we want to hear from you!

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First Job Tips


Congratulations! You’ve passed the interview and have found your very first job.

Now what?

One of the first things your new job will have you do is complete a W-4.  This instructs your employer to withhold the right amount of income tax from your paycheck and will affect your tax refund/bill in April. You should do your research to find the right filing status for you so that you don’t pay too much or too little in taxes.

Whether it’s a summer job or your first full time job you will want to budget and make sure that you are saving enough of your paycheck to help you reach your goals. Do you want to have to work when you head back to school in the fall? Are you looking to buy your own car? What about rent for an apartment and the pieces that go along like water and electric bills? Establishing your budget will help you determine how much of your paycheck you should save and how much you can spend.

A way to help make saving money a “brainless” task is to sign up for direct deposit. This means your paycheck would automatically be deposited in your account.  You can then sign up for payroll deductions or automatic transfer and have your money automatically allocated your accounts, sub-accounts and so on in a way that suits you and your budget best.

Here at Members 1st FCU we are proud to grow alongside our members and help them through the stages of life.  Keep an eye out as we celebrate National Credit Union Youth Month in April to learn about even more ways to save and start good financial habits.

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Happy Birthday!


Today is our birthday so we thought we would share some of our history with you! Members 1st Federal Credit Union is a member-owned full service financial institution located in southcentral Pennsylvania. In 1950, we opened our doors with a desk and small counter outside the personnel office at the Naval Supply Depot in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. We officially adopted the name of DAFCU (Defense Activities Federal Credit Union) in 1972 and opened our first branch office at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle that same year.

Our name changed to Members 1st in 1994 to reflect our growing field of membership. Our 300,000+ members reflect the changing landscape of our geographical footprint as owners of the Credit Union. We offer convenient branch locations across a 7-county area (Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties). We also have branches located with several area schools and within local supermarkets. Being member-owned means we don’t have to pay out big dividends to stockholders. Since 1950, our members have been an integral part of who we are, and that remains so today.

Individuals may become members through their employer, organization, school or church providing one of those groups offers membership with us as a benefit. Businesses, organizations, schools or churches interested in offering credit union membership as a free benefit, click here.

We are a growing credit union, but over the years we kept our focus on what really matters – to put our members first.

Join the fun at our Whiteford Road Branch!


We hope you will join our Whiteford Road branch on Friday, April 13, 2018 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.!

While you’re visiting us, open a free checking account, and you will receive a free cooler, perfect for your summer travels! You can also take advantage of a number of additional special offers that we have available.

105.7 The X Live will be broadcasting from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Bring the family to enjoy free prizes, food and beverages (while supplies last) and enter to win Hersheypark Ticket Giveaway

The staff at our Whiteford Road branch hopes to see you on Friday, April 13th!

Instilling Good Habits Young


As parents, we aim to instill good habits in our children at a young age. We teach them to say “please” and “thank you,” we encourage them to share with others and we send them to school to learn; but what are we teaching them about their finances? As our children continue to grow, educating them on making sound financial decisions will create young adults who insist on having an active role in their finances. Currently, Pennsylvania does not require students to take a financial literacy class in school, so here are some tips on how to make budgeting a family affair at home:

 

  1. Introduce them to the concept of money at a young ageKids-playingstore
    Is your child learning how to count? Why not help them learn to count with money, suggests CNN Money. Play pretend “store” at home where kids are given a set amount of funds and miscellaneous items around the house have a price tag. Help them to determine what they can and cannot afford. Encourage children to assist with grocery shopping. Discuss with them your budget and calculate items as you place them in the cart. Give your child the responsibility to ensure you are within the allotted budget. Make money, finances an open topic in your household, and encourage kids to ask questions!
  2. Get them involved in the family budget. Sit down with kids and help them to brainstorm line items for the budget; what do they think should be included? (Groceries, electricity, clothing, etc.) As an introduction to budgeting, CNN Money suggests labeling three jars: Save, Spend, Share. Each time they receive money, help them determine how much should go into each jar. Explain to children that there should always be a goal behind your budget and help them to determine short and long-term financial goals for themselves.
  3. Discuss the importance of saving. When teaching your children how to save, stress to them the importance of saving from the top. (Putting money into savings before any other expenses.) Discuss why we save money, and some of the things we save for like emergencies, vacations and Christmas. Provide your kids with real examples of unexpected expenses that can occur and how an emergency fund can help plan for these incidents. Utilize visual aids when kids are saving, allowing them to put a sticker on a poster or color in a box when they have reached periodic savings goals.
  4. Teach them the dangers of too much debt. Instilling the mentality of delayed CreditScore.jpggratification early on in life is crucial. Those scenarios in the toy aisle when your child is asking for that toy is the perfect opportunity to talk about saving and why we can’t always buy things immediately when we want them. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of credit and credit cards, as well as proper use of both. It is crucial for our kids to realize a few financial missteps early in life can take years to repair their credit.

 

The conversations we have with our children about money do not have to be perfectly scripted; they just need to happen sooner rather than later! Actively engaging kids in our daily finances today creates smarter savers and spenders for tomorrow.

 

CNN Money Link: http://money.cnn.com/pf/money-essentials-kids-financial-responsibility/index.html

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