6 Ways To Keep Your Finances Intact This Holiday Season

You don’t have to rack up a huge credit card bill or go into debt to cover your holiday expenses. Enjoy a financially stress-free season with these six tips:
 
1. Create a detailed list of all your expenses
 
Draw up a list of every holiday expense you anticipate. Include all gifts, décor, travel expenses and donations. Try to keep it as trim as possible by cutting out non-essentials and using stuff you may have in storage from previous years.
 
2. Determine how much money you can spend
 
Work on finding a magic number that will cover everything on your list and that you can realistically afford. Ideally, this money should come from funds you’ve set aside just for this purpose.
 
3. Divide and conquer
 
Next, assign specific amounts of money in your budget for each expense category and for every person on your gift list. Again, make sure your numbers will work from both a financial and practical perspective.
 
4. Track as you shop
 
As you shop, keep careful account of exactly how much money you’ve spent for each person and in each expense category. Review your budget often to make sure you’re staying on track.
 
To make this job easier, use an app, like Santa’s Bag. It allows you to set a budget for each person on your list and then makes tracking the amount you spend super simple.
 
5. Shop smartly
 
Keep your spending to a minimum with these hacks:
  • Use shopping apps, like the Coupons App and Shopular, to get your favorite retailers’ best deals and coupons delivered right to your phone.
  • Shop online on Tuesday morning. Research shows this time of week is when you’ll find the hottest online deals.
  • Shop with a friend. Take advantage of BOGO sales by splitting the cost of a single item with a friend and each of you taking one item home.
  • Shop late. Prices actually fall in the weeks leading up to Christmas as retailers get ready to clear out their holiday inventory.
 
6) Let WesTex Federal Credit Union help
 
Here are three ways WesTex Federal Credit Union can take the financial stress out of the holiday season:
  • Skip-a-Payment. We get it. The holidays are crazy-expensive. That’s why we allow qualifying members to skip one payment on a loan [or credit card] this time of year without hurting their credit or defaulting on their loan.
  • Personal Loan. If you can’t come up with the funds you need for the holidays, consider taking out a WesTex Federal Credit Union Personal Loan.
  • Holiday Club Account. Spread the cost of the holidays across the year with an account created just for that purpose. You’ll set aside a little bit of money each month, and next year, when the holiday season rolls around, you’ll have all the funds you need.
 

Have you been trying to start a long-term savings fund?

You may be planning on purchasing a home five years down the line and need to save up for the down payment. Or, you might be dreaming about a luxury cruise in honor of your 10th anniversary. Whatever your goal, you want to give your money its best chance at growth.

In your quest to find a place to park your savings, you may have considered a share certificate (referred to by banks as “certificates of deposit” or just “CD”).  While these products offer attractive dividend rates, the restrictions surrounding them can make you feel hesitant.

For one thing, traditional share certificates have locked-in rates. In a rising-rates environment, this can mean losing out on significant growth as rates climb. In today’s fickle economy, you may find yourself regretting a decision to lock your funds into a share certificate.

Also, if you choose to withdraw your money before your share certificate matures, you may receive an early withdrawal penalty. Those penalties can sometimes actually include the principal (original) amount you used to open the account.

It’s difficult to predict the future. Who’s to say you won’t need those funds in a pinch? What if there was a way for your money to earn those interest rates without the accompanying restrictions?

At WesTex Federal Credit Union, we’re happy to provide you with Regular and Jumbo CD’s. 

 

Why You Should Finance Your Next Car Loan At Your Credit Union

When shopping for a new set of wheels, your first stop should be WesTex Federal Credit Union. While many people start at the dealer’s lot, you’ll enjoy a lower rate, a simpler loan application, and other big benefits when choosing to finance your car at your credit union.

Let’s take a look at the differences in the auto loan process.

Financing an auto purchase at a car dealership

At a dealer’s lot, the dealer will likely try persuading you to push your self-imposed car budget to the max or even to go over your ceiling price.

But, if you’re financing your car through the dealer, that’s only the beginning. Once you’ve chosen your car, you’ll need to submit a complicated auto loan application form, which the dealer sends to the finance companies it partners with. This can include lenders and financial institutions – even ! The dealer will then share the lender offers with you and ask you to make your choice.

However, in most cases, the dealer is only the middleman. This means they are going to present your options in a way that most benefits them – and not you.

Most lenders will pay a larger commission for a car that is sold at a higher price and for a loan that is established at a higher APR. As a result, your dealer will always try to get you to sign up for a loan that is more expensive than what the lender is actually willing to offer you. Even a fantastic offer from will be presented as higher than it really is, or may not be presented at all.

Financing an auto purchase at a credit union

When you work with WesTex, you’ll be dealing with people who know who you are and what your financial reality is like. No one will try to push you into a loan you can’t afford.

The process of applying for a Auto Loan is simple, quick, and easy. [You can even apply online or over the phone.] Also, as a member of , you already have a headstart on getting that pre-approval.

One of the biggest advantages you’ll have when financing an auto loan through your credit union, though, is a lower APR. You’re working directly with the lender and you’ll only hear the actual rate we offer instead of the marked-up rate the car dealer presents to you. Also, credit unions famously offer loan rates that are consistently lower than those offered by large lenders and banks.

Another advantage you’ll enjoy at WesTex is a pressure-free setting when determining how much you can afford to pay each month toward your new car. In contrast, when you’re standing in the dealer’s lot surrounded by cars you wish you could afford, you’re more likely to make a decision you’ll later regret.

Have you financed a car purchase through your credit union?

How Long Does It Take To Become A Millionaire?

A million dollars. For many people, it’s the pinnacle of financial success. For others, it’s just the first stepping stone toward their outrageous dreams. But how long does it take to actually reach that goal? How much would you need to save on a monthly basis to net a cool million? And, most importantly, is achieving millionaire status even within the realm of possibility for most Americans?
 
If you’ve ever seriously considered these questions with the intention of implementing the answers in your own life, or you’re simply curious, we’ve got the inside scoop. We’ve crunched the numbers and worked out the math to help you find out exactly how long it takes to become a millionaire.
 
Who wants to be a millionaire?
 
Believe it or not, a million dollars is approximately four times the median net worth of retirement-aged people in the U.S. Even more incredible, a net worth of a million dollars is well within the reach of most Americans. You don’t need a six-digit salary to make it to the millionaires’ list; all you need is enough time and a sound investment strategy.
 
How long does it take?
 
There is no pat answer to this literal million-dollar question. The amount of time it will take you to become a millionaire depends on the following factors:
 
1.   The amount of money you invest
2.   The rate of return on your investment
 
The table provided here gives you an idea of how much you’d need to save, and how many years it would take you to reach $1 million, at various rates of return.
 
Monthly Savings
Years to $1 million with 10% annual returns
Years to $1 million with 8% annual returns
Years to $1 million with 6% annual returns
Years to $1 million with 4% annual returns
$100
44.5
52.9
65.7
88.6
$500
28.8
33.4
40.1
51
$1,000
22.4
25.5
29.9
36.7
$1,583
18.4
20.7
23.8
28.4
$2,083
16.2
18
20.4
23.9
$3,166
13
14.2
15.8
18
$4,166
11
12
13.2
16.8
 
The amounts used after the $1,000 mark in this table represent the numbers that single and married employees can contribute to their IRAs and 401(k) plans, with $4,166 representing the collective maximum monthly contributions for a married couple. Note: Maximum contributions, as of 2019, are set at $19,000 a year for 401(k)s and $6,000 a year for traditional IRAs.
 
If you already have a tidy sum saved up, and/or you’d like to see how long it would take you to reach a million by socking away a monthly amount that is different than any amounts shown on this table, you can input your own formula into this calculator to get the answers you need.
 
Getting started
 
Now that you’ve determined how long it will take you to reach your first million, don’t waste any time getting started. If you’ve made this your goal, the sooner you begin investing, the less money you’ll have to put away each month, and the sooner you’ll reach $1 million.
 
The easiest and most basic starting point for your million-dollar prize is to maximize your contributions to your employer’s 401(k) and your own IRAs and HSAs. Next, look into investing with a low-cost index fund, mutual fund or lifecycle fund.
 
If you can’t spare the money you’d need for investing enough funds to achieve your goal, take some time to review your budget and to plug up any expensive holes. Look for pricey habits you’d be better off giving up, subscriptions you can do without and entertainment costs you can trim without feeling the pinch. It might not be easy to make all those changes, but with a million-dollar finish line in sight, you should have all the motivation you need to start living a financially responsible life today.
 
Two neglected factors
 
One crucial factor most people forget about when trying to invest their way toward a million dollars is the rule of inflation. Simply put, a million dollars today does not have the same value as a million dollars 30 years from now. When you adjust for inflation at 3 percent a year, $1 million in 2020 would need to grow to $2,427,262 to have the same purchasing power in 2050. For this reason, you may want to tweak the amount you invest as a way of accounting for inflation. This way, you can be sure you have a true $1 million at the end of your investment timeline.
 
Another point that is often overlooked is the fact that no one can accurately predict the future. There’s no way to know what life events you’ll experience over the next three decades. Some of those can significantly affect your finances in either direction, such as windfalls, expensive medical emergencies, market crashes and the like. It may end up taking you a lot less time than you’d anticipated to reach $1 million, or you may never get there at all.
 
Are you ready to start investing your way toward one million dollars? Speak to a representative at today to discuss our investment and savings products, as well as get some beginner investment advice. You can be a millionaire!
 

The Credit Union Difference Part 2: What’s In A Membership?

As a member of WesTex Federal Credit Union, you are uniquely positioned to manage your finances and watch your money grow on the best possible terms. Like the member of an elite club, you are entitled to exclusive privileges and individualized service, courtesy of your credit union.
 
Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits you can enjoy as a member of a credit union!

1. Highly personalized service

Credit unions are well known for the highly personalized and attentive service they provide to members. A 2017 American Customer Satisfaction Index Finance and Insurance Report found that members rate credit unions as having better service than banks, scoring an average of 82 out of 100. It’s part of what makes credit unions unique.

When you step through the door of , you know you’ll always be welcomed by familiar faces, warm smiles and friendly greetings. There are no impersonal tellers who don’t know you or your financial situation — just our helpful service representatives who treat you like family. No matter your age or stage, our MSRPs are happy to guide you through any monetary challenge and assist you in reaching your financial goals.

At WesTex Federal Credit Union, our outstanding member service means we’re personally invested in your financial well-being and only want to see your success. To that end, we’ll grant you a loan quicker than most big banks, graciously looking past some tarnished credit history and skipping the overly thorough background check. We also host financial education seminars for members and the larger community throughout the year, enabling you to broaden your money knowledge and to learn how to make smarter financial choices.

2. Increased value for your money

As a not-for-profit cooperative, your credit union has modest overhead and marketing expenses. is proud to pass these savings on to you in the form of low or no account fees, better loan terms and higher dividend payments on your savings.

According to a report by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), which studied credit unions in New York from March of 2017 through March of 2018, credit unions provided average financial benefits that were equivalent to $85 per member and $178 per household. Another 2018 study performed by Bankrate found that 84 percent of the nation’s 50 largest credit unions offered their members checking accounts with no monthly maintenance fee. [Here at we’re proud to offer our members the same; our checking accounts are completely cost-free.]

We don’t have outside investors to answer to. This enables us to be more attuned to your needs without worrying about increasing our own worth. Our not-for-profit status frees us to offer you optimal terms on share certificates, savings accounts and more. It’s more money in your pocket just for being a member.

3. A voice in how the credit union operates

As mentioned, your credit union does not need to answer to stockholders. Instead, is member owned, operating with only your best interests in mind.

As a full-fledged member of WesTex Federal Credit Union, you have a voice in how your credit union runs. You are invited to cast your ballot in our [annual] elections in which we vote on a volunteer board of directors. The board is then charged with oversight of the credit union and forming all official decisions regarding the way the credit union operates. Our board comprises members of the credit union, just like you. This means the decisions they make will always be advantageous to our membership and to the general community instead of trying to pander to outside stockholders. We’re all about doing what’s best for our members.

4. A chance to give back to the community

We’re strong believers in giving back to the community. We support many community initiatives and organizations, and we are committed to making decisions that benefit the entire community. 

When you choose WesTex, you’re choosing to give back to the community, too.

You are entitled to enjoy all of these benefits and so much more. Whatever your particular needs are, we’re here to help you manage your finances every step of the way. Call, click, or stop by today to learn how to make your membership work for you in the best way possible.

Experience the credit union difference.

The Credit Union Difference Part 1: The History Of Credit Unions

As a member of , you know that credit unions are always striving to serve their members and community in as many ways as possible. We value each member’s input as an equal owner in the credit union, and offer flexible loan terms as well as low-cost accounts. We also reward our members with higher dividends, and proudly donate our time and our resources to community initiatives and organizations.

This article is the first in a series celebrating the history, contributions and benefits of credit unions.

Both credit unions and banks provide those they serve with a broad range of financial services and products. However, there are multiple distinctions between the two institutions. The primary credit union difference lies at its core: Banks are created to generate profit for their owners; credit unions are created to provide members with a place to manage their finances at the best possible terms.

The noble goal of putting members first is deeply rooted in the rich history of the credit union movement. Let’s take a quick look at the backstory of credit unions and how they came to be the thriving financial institutions we know today.

The first credit union was established in 1864 by Friedrich Raiffeisen in rural southern Germany. Raiffeisen believed his neighbors and friends could enjoy an enhanced standard of living if only they had access to common funds. He proposed that all community members pool their resources so individuals in need of loans could easily access the necessary funds. Raiffeisen’s idea was well received by his community, and the first credit union model was soon established.

In 1909, the credit union movement crossed the ocean to reach American shores. With Edward Filene serving as its pioneer, the movement gained momentum and continued its growth. In 1920, Filene hired attorney Roy F. Bergengren to assist him in generating the movement’s expansion. Bergengren soon created a more systematized concept for the credit union model we know and love today.

Credit unions were gaining popularity and popping up all over America, but it was only in the 1930s that the credit union movement achieved federal recognition and national acceptance.

When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law in 1934, federally chartered credit unions in every state became legally authorized to create a system of not-for-profit cooperatives to promote thrift and sound financial practices.

The Federal Credit Union Act enhanced the public’s confidence in the credit union movement, and it continued to spread across the country. In 1970, that sense of security grew stronger when the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) was established. Credit union deposits gained federal insurance that functions much in the way the FDIC insures bank deposits. Your money is always safe at !

With the credit union movement growing at its most rapid pace, prospective members flocked to join the new member-owned financial institutions being established all over the U.S. In fact, between 1970 and 1979, credit union assets in America tripled.

In 1977, another credit union-friendly regulation was signed into law, empowering credit unions to offer more services and products to their membership, most notably mortgage lending and share certificates (which function much like CDs).

Today, the credit union movement continues to thrive in the path charted by its predecessors and is backed by the “full faith and credit of the United States Government.” These not-for-profit institutions serve more than 103 million members by always putting their members’ needs first and helping them achieve their personal goals through sound financial practices and targeted advice.

Here at , we’re proud to be a part of the collective institutions dedicated to the credit union mission. At the core of our values is an unwavering commitment to creating mutual benefits for members and the larger community. To that end, we are always here to help our members and enable them to optimize their savings or manage their finances as smoothly as possible. Our innovative banking solutions, low fees and high dividend rates, along with personalized service, help members achieve and maintain financial wellness no matter the financial goals they have. As a member-owned institution, our only objective is your satisfaction and your success.

Credit union history is still in the making. Be a part of it by calling, clicking or stopping by today to learn about our exceptional financial products and to benefit from our highly personalized service.

Experience the credit union difference!

75th Annual Meeting

President’s Report

Celebrating a 75th Anniversary is such a wonderful milestone and is a special occasion to be celebrated. Our celebration this evening isn’t exactly what your Board, Supervisory Committee or Staff had envisioned. The past year has been a challenge for our country, state, and city due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have many policies and procedures we are required to have in place per the National Credit Union Administration. One of the many policies we’ve had in place for many years is a “Pandemic Policy”. When the pandemic began all, financial institutions had to review their policies and adjust accordingly to make sure we could conduct business as usual.

It has certainly been a 1st in my credit union career to guide and direct a credit union thru such unchartered waters. I know many wonderful things to be true about all of our volunteers and staff. This past year has certainly reminded me of what a dedicated group of individuals I have the good fortune of working side by side with. I want to sincerely thank each and every one of them for staying the course and delivering great credit union
service to all of our members.

Vicki Love
President/CEO

 


Board of Director’s Report

Welcome to the 75th annual meeting of WesTex Federal Credit Union. The annual meeting fulfills a requirement from the National Credit Union Administration, and more importantly, gives us an opportunity to provide our members a report on your Credit Union’s financial status. It is also the time when we elect members to the Board of Directors.

75 years ago, employees of the City of Lubbock joined together to create this Credit Union. They knew that together they could help each other meet important financial goals. They recognized that individually they did not always have what it took to get help from traditional banks. They decided to help each other. That spirit of cooperation and concern for their neighbors is still a guiding value of WesTex Federal Credit Union.

Now 75 years later, we are still working together to help each other meet our financial goals. Our credit union membership and assets continue to grow. Yet even as we grow, our concern for our members and our neighbors is arguably our strongest asset. We still have the same vision: WesTex is committed to fulfilling your financial dreams, while maintaining a stable, fiscally responsible environment. Thank you for your support of our Credit Union. Together, we will grow into the future and remain committed to being community connected.

Albert Perez,
Board Chair


I would like to take this opportunity to express the pride that I feel in being a member of WesTex Federal Credit Union. We are truly blessed to be part of such a great organization that is located in such a friendly and prosperous place known as the South Plains. You and I are served by a group of highly dedicated staff that puts customer service and serving our financial needs at the top of their prior-ities. We would like to thank the members for their patience and continued support during these unprecedented times. With the challenges that COVID- 19 presented this last year, our credit union continued to remain stable.

We ended 2020 with a net income of $169,297.72 and our total assets grew to $82,898,687.24. We made 1,081 loans totaling $9,721,329.07. We truly appreciate your continued membership and look forward to serving you for years to come.

Justin Koontz,
1st Secretary/Treasurer


The Supervisory Committee is tasked with reporting to the WesTex Federal Credit Union members on the financial and management practices of our credit union.

The committee performs many audit activities at all credit union locations. These activities include setting the annual audit, reviewing audit comments and recommendations, performing surprise vault and teller cash counts, scheduling and reviewing biennial member account verifications, and working with Waypoint, an external audit company, who audits more in depth functions of the credit union. The chairperson attends and reports committee functions to the Board at the monthly Board Meetings.

The Annual Audit is scheduled for the week of May 10th of this year and will be performed by Credit Union Resources, Inc. The audit allows us to properly assess the financial and internal controls of the credit union. The contracted scope of services satisfies the requirements of a complete Supervisory Committee’s Annual Review, as set forth in the Nation-al Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Rules and Regulations.

Our committee enjoys the opportunity to serve our fellow members and will continue to strive to improve the safe guards of our credit union.

Phyllis Brown
Supervisory Committee Chair


Cure For The Summertime Blues, Children’s Home of Lubbock

Curing-Childrens-Home-FB-Cover

We are happy to say THANK YOU to all who donated camping gear and sports equipment for our “Cure For The Summertime Blues” campaign this summer for the Children’s Home of Lubbock. Through your generous donations, we were able to supply the kids with bicycles, scooters, skateboards, baseball gloves bats and balls, footballs, water slides, hula hoops, badminton sets, frisbees, tennis rackets and balls and SOOOOO much more!

THANK YOU WEST TEXAS for your generous donations to help the kids at the Children’s Home of Lubbock have a great summer!!!


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Josh helps Andres Pays It Forward – KCBD Video

WesTex Federal Credit Union is proud to sponsor KCBD’s “Pay It Forward”  segment. You can see it every Monday night at 10pm.

 

KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

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