Tuesday, November 10, 2015


It’s a good feeling when we know that we are able to pay for everything we have to pay for on our own. However sometimes, when something unexpected comes up or you simply want to spend more money than you have on a certain item, we will naturally want to lean towards taking out a loan. 

Loans are extremely common and can be a huge benefit in someone’s life. However, it is important that before applying for a loan, you fully understand how they work. Not understanding how they work could lead to poor planning for paying it back which can result in a variety of consequences when missing a payment or even defaulting on the loan. 

This month’s “It’s a Money Thing” video is targeted towards teaching you all the basics about taking out a loan. Find out about the different types of loans and how they all work. Surf’s up dudes and dudettes!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What Is Your Money Persona?

How do you look at money? Money is something that is handled and viewed very differently depending on who you ask. Some people may see money as a source of freedom where others may see money as a source of anxiety. Each person carries a persona in the way that they tackle finances.  In fact, most people carry a combination of personas. It is important to identify which type of persona you are so that the next time you are making financial decisions, you can play into its strengths while avoiding its weaknesses. We have split the most common money beliefs into 4 personas. So which one sounds like you?

Relate to Multiple Personas?
Great! As mentioned before, a majority of people can relate to more than one persona and that is okay. It is normal to relate to any and all of these views about money because money is something extremely important to all of us. Just like anything else in life, however, keeping a healthy balance of habits is key to success! So keep an eye out for the strengths and weaknesses of each persona and you will get more bang for your buck, and more satisfaction in your life.



Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Today, outdoors and motorsport enthusiasts all over the world are gravitating close to compact sports action video cameras such as GoPro Cameras. This is largely due to the fact that they allow you to capture every amazing experience with crystal clear quality from some of the best perspectives that you just can’t get with other methods of recording.

I compete in automotive motorsports and several of the drivers including myself utilize compact action cameras as a crucial tool. Using these cameras we can record and analyze several driving techniques which we can then use to improve our routine when it comes time for competition, and greatly improve our overall performance. Without these cameras to use as a tool, it can be very difficult to manage all the different aspects that go in to setting a fast lap time. There are several other types of tools out there but for most people, including myself, monitoring activity with your own eyes is still the best way to stay ahead of the game and make corrections where necessary.

Similar to racing, when it comes to finances it can be very difficult to keep track of all the aspects that go into maintaining proper money management. However there are tools that assist with finances similar to the way action cameras help out professionals in motorsports. FinanceWorks is an application created by Digital Insight that allows people to manage their finances such as checking, savings, credit cards, and loans all within the Credit Union’s online banking site. With FinanceWorks you can live your life while capturing all of your financial action from the best perspective. Then look at where you can make your corrections and adjust your financial management techniques in order to get the best plan possible and stay ahead of the game. This is one of the reasons that FinanceWorks is provided by Tropical Financial Credit Union as part of the online banking program. We want our members to always have the best perspective of their financial activity so that they have the tools needed to GoPro and conquer life’s toughest financial challenges.

-          ^Alec


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ready For College and Life on Your Own?

The moving boxes are unpacked and you’ve completed all your college checklists. Being on your own for the first time can be exciting and full of new experiences.  There probably won’t be anyone over your shoulder telling you how to spend your money, so you’ll also want to make sure you’re financially ready.

Here are three ways to be prepared:

1. Create a personal budget
Without your parents there to pick up all the tabs, you’re going to be buying more stuff on your own. It will be important to know how much things cost beforehand, so you don’t overspend. Take some time to figure out the costs beyond tuition and textbooks such as lab fees, gas and food that won’t fall under your school meal plan.

Write out a tentative budget that shows how much you could spend each month. As part of the budget, set aside a little cash for an emergency savings fund. This could help pay for unexpected costs, like parking tickets or laptop repairs.

2. Choose your checking options
After you’ve written a budget, you’ll want to keep track of your money to make sure you’re following your plan. One of the easiest ways to do this is to set up a checking account that offers online banking. In doing so, you can monitor where your money is going seven days a week by reviewing your account on your smartphone or computer.

Consider top checking account perks such as debit cards with purchase rewards, and accounts with no monthly service charges or minimum balance requirements. Financial institutions like TropicalFinancial Credit Union offer products for young adults that have all these features.

When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to slip up and spend more than what’s in your account. Look for institutions with forgiveness programs that discount the first few overdraft fees each year, and don’t charge extended overdrawn balance charges.

3. Weigh the benefits of establishing credit
If you’re responsible with your money and have regular income, now could be a good time to open your first credit card and establish a positive credit history.

Apply for a card that accepts first-time borrowers and offers competitive interest rates. If you manage your account well, it will be reflected on your credit report, which could make it easier to buy a car or home in the future.

Leaving home for college, you need to know how to handle your money. By setting a budget and choosing the right financial accounts, you’ll have the tools you need to do so.

Margarette Burnette, NerdWallet

© Copyright 2015 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 28, 2015


As Tropical Storm Erika inches closer to SE Florida we all are pulling out our storm checklists to make sure that we are ready. I’ve heard on the news that water is already becoming scarce, so hopefully you’ve already stocked up on bottled water along with batteries, propane, and all the other necessities that are the first to disappear off store shelves.

BUT what about your finances? There are three important things to do before the storm hits:
  1. Seal up important documents in zippered plastic bags
  2. Document all your belongings with photos and/or video
  3. Get cash

I’m sure you all know that even if Erika dissipates over the weekend, we are still in line for a heck of a storm and that will mean a LOT of rain along with flooding. Water can cause a lot of damage to a home and can destroy important documents if they aren’t protected. So be sure to stock up on plenty of large plastic bags that have a seal so you can put all those important documents safely inside. Make sure to keep them off the ground as well…just in case.

In addition, make sure to take some time in the next few days to take pictures and/or video of all the belongings in your home, it will help in case you need to file an insurance claim if you can show exactly the items that were damaged or destroyed in a storm. In addition make sure you have protected that policy in one of those plastic bags and have the phone number to your agent printed out and close by…without power you may not be able to access any websites.

Before the weekend gets underway you should also stop by the credit union or an ATM to get a little extra cash. Remember if there are power outages, card machines and ATMs may not be working so it’s important to have a little extra cash just in case.

Regardless of what Erika does over the weekend, she is an important reminder that we always need to be prepared for storms by having a plan and sticking to it. It’s a small price to pay when you live in paradise! Be safe everyone!!


Thursday, August 27, 2015


This week marks the start of a new school year for students all over Southeast Florida. Looking back I remember always looking forward to the first day of school and wondering if I would like my teachers or make new friends. One thing about me is I'm always looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, and often I did that by finding humor in things and thinking creatively…like turning the required uniform tie, into a bow tie. 

Alec in a bow tie
Yes this is actually me, with my over-sized bow tie

High school can be an exciting place to experiment with your personality and if it is a new school, then it is practically a clean slate where you can recreate yourself however you see fit.

I also always loved learning so I always got excited about what kind of things I was going to learn in each class. Now that I’m out and I can look back I realize there really were no classes on how to take care of my own finances as well as be responsible with my money so that I could structure the lifestyle I wanted once I graduated. If I could go back to high school, I would have looked for ways to get a head start on finances so that I didn’t feel so panicked and out of place after graduation.

As part of the Gen Next Program, Tropical Financial CreditUnion is visiting schools across South Florida for this very reason. We are teaching students about everything from the difference between debit cards and credit cards, to budgeting basics and the difference between leasing and financing a first car. If you would like us to come visit your school, head over to www.tropicalfcu.com/GenNext to submit a request.  

High school is the best time to get a head start on skills you will need for the rest of your life.  The more you learn, the better off you will be in the next stage of life.


Monday, July 20, 2015


The 14th Annual Christmas In July event sponsored by the Kiwanis and Broward County Board of County Commissioners took place this past Sunday in Ft. Lauderdale.  This event serves to provide some of Broward County’s homeless children with clothing, school supplies, book bags, books, toiletries, toys and a day of fun and entertainment.  Tropical Financial Credit Union had a team of employees volunteer at the event to help with the distribution.  Employees also collected donations and hosted jeans days at work to collect funds for this great cause. This is the latest example of TFCU employees being Everyday Heroes in the community.  

Tropical Financial employees are everyday heroes at work too.  They are dedicated to helping members achieve their financial goals, whether its buying a home or guidance on how to  repair their credit, helping members is what it’s all about for us! Together we create The League of Financial Goodness!

The truth is, heroes are all around us.  TFCU is looking to recognize ONE  local hero as the official League of Financial Goodness Local Hero  and, we need your help! If you know a local everyday hero, tell us about them by August 21st at www.submitahero.com.  TFCU will be choosing one Local Hero and will be awarding them $2,500! Plus, TFCU will donate an additional $1,000 to the winner’s favorite charity! Click here for the official rules.

Tell us all about your local hero so they can get the “thank you” that every great hero deserves!