Are Meal Delivery Services Worth the Money?
With almost $5 billion in sales in 2017 alone, it’s safe to say meal delivery services are catching on. If you haven’t sampled the savory selections from companies like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or Home Chef already, you’ve probably seen more than a few of their sponsored ads pop up in your social media feeds. You may even know someone who uses the services for themselves. While these chef-designed, pre-packaged meals can be a phenomenal way to try new recipes, are they a solid choice for stretching your grocery budget?
According to a recent Morning Consult poll, 59% of survey respondents listed high costs as their main concerns. But with projections suggesting the meal-delivery industry could become a multi-billion dollar market by 2022, it seems like plenty of consumers are still willing to jump on the meal delivery bandwagon. The widespread appeal appears to be based on a variety of factors other than monetary savings.
Costs can be measured in more than money.
Meal delivery services enjoy the highest popularity among millennials and individuals earning more than $100,000 a year, particularly those living in cities. These results point to the fact that busy people appear to value time savings and food quality as much as, if not more than, financial savings.
There’s no denying that it takes time to plan your meals, create a grocery list, and actually shop for the food. By creating recipes and sending all the ingredients right to your door, companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh can save you the time you’d normally spend on planning and shopping. The busier you are, the more value this service becomes.
Quality of Ingredients
If saving money on your groceries is your main goal, it’s easy to reduce costs by buying low-quality food. Unfortunately, this strategy usually leaves you with an abundance of processed foods that lack nutrition and flavor. The most popular meal prep services rely on culinary chefs to design meals that combine high-quality ingredients to create a meal that’s healthy and delicious.
With the most popular 2-person meal plans starting at $60 per week for 3 meal kits, the cost averages $10 per meal. While you can certainly spend less shopping for yourself, these options are considerably less expensive than the average meal at a restaurant. So, if your busy schedule leaves you dining out on a regular basis, meal delivery services may provide financial savings after all.
What kind of savings do these services actually deliver?
There’s no denying the growing demand for meal delivery services like Purple Carrot, Green Chef, and Blue Apron. The fact that retail giants like Amazon and Walmart are scrambling to be part of the meal kit market only serves to confirm the rising popularity. As you try to decide whether one of these services is the right solution for you, the value depends on your expectations. If you’re looking to spend less than you would by planning your own meals and shopping for yourself, you’ll probably be disappointed. But if you view these services as a time-saving bridge between home-cooked meals and going out to eat at restaurants, the value is much easier to see.
Can Your Mortgage Change the Way You Feel?
We offer a wide range of unique mortgage options to match the unique needs of our members. Whether you're looking to lock in a lower payment or pay off your home faster, we're here to help you find the mortgage that is best for you!
Choose from 30-, 15-, and 10-year fixed-rate mortgages along with some adjustable rate options. No matter what your situation, we work hands-on to help you find the right fit. Plus, we'll pay $1,000 toward your closing costs*!
Get started online or by phone at 800-635-7128.
*Restrictions apply. Promotion will run through June 30, 2018. We reserve the right to suspend or cancel this promotion as necessary without prior notice. Lending criteria must be met. Jessica McLaughlin is employed by CU Members Mortgage, a division of Colonial Savings, F.A. NMLS 401285 and is acting as an agent for Welcome Federal Credit Union. This is not an offer to extend consumer credit as defined by Section 1026.2 of Reg. Z. Rates and terms are subject to change. Home loans are provided in partnership with CU Members Mortgage a division of Colonial Savings, F.A. NMLS #401285. This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration and is an Equal Housing Lender.
It’s summer lovin’ for Welcome Credit Union members. When you switch to Sprint®, you can get a $100 cash reward for each new line you activate, up to three lines. That’s Sprint’s best plan with unlimited talk, text, data, and HD-streaming including Hulu!
During The Summer of Hundreds, you get:
- $100 cash reward for each new line activated with Sprint*
- $50 loyalty cash reward every year for each line activated or transferred*
- $50 cash reward for lines transferred into the program*
- 25% discount on eligible accessories
*Three lines total, including all activated and transferred lines.
Here’s how to sign up for Sprint cash rewards:
- Become a Sprint customer and mention that you’re a credit union member
- Register at LoveMyCreditUnion.org/SprintRewards
- Allow six to eight weeks to see cash rewards directly deposited into your credit union account
Make summer picture-perfect with a new phone and a $100 cash reward! It’s just one more benefit of credit union membership.
The Smart Option Student Loan® for Welcome Federal Credit Union by Sallie Mae®
For borrowers attending degree-granting institutions
Now you can pay for college the smart way with three great repayment options and competitive interest rates! This loan is an ideal solution to help you pay for college expenses not covered by scholarships and federal loans. To learn more or to apply, please get started here.
The Smart Option Student Loan features and benefits:
- Multiple in-school repayment options plus a choice of competitive fixed and variable interest rates, providing even more flexibility
- No origination fee and no prepayment penalty
- Benefits and an interest rate reduction available
- Rates that reward creditworthy borrowers
- Applying with a creditworthy cosigner may help you qualify
- 100% US-based Student Loan Specialists
To learn more, please get started here.
Route 66 Extended Warranty
Don’t let unexpected car repairs stress you out! You never know when your car is going to break down. WFCU offers three coverage levels through Route 66 Extended Warranty. Your plan will be determined by the make, model, age, and mileage of your vehicle. Click for more information
In an effort to save WFCU money that is better spent on member services and to become a greener business, eStatements are the preferred method of delivery. We cannot automatically convert you to eStatements. Therefore, we highly encourage you to make the switch and enroll in eStatements (if you haven’t done so already).
If you aren’t enrolled in Virtual Branch (VB), that will be your first step. Just click the "getting started" link from the left-hand menu bar on VB for important information, then click the "Enroll" button and follow the prompts. Virtual Branch URL: https://www.financial-net.com/gwecu.
To add eStatements:
- Logon to Virtual Branch
- Click Self-Service
- Under Additional Services, click eStatements, follow the prompts to add your account. When you enroll, your checking and/or loan accounts within your primary account are automatically included. However, if you have sub-accounts, you will need to enroll them individually.
If you prefer to keep receiving paper statements, we will gladly continue to provide that service for a $2.00 monthly fee per statement. Printing and postage costs continue to rise and it’s only fair that we ask those who choose the more expensive paper option to help share in that cost. Remember, you can avoid the fee by enrolling in eStatements.
Members exempt from the paper statement fee:
- Members who are twelve (12) and under
- Members who are seventy (70) or older
Receive your monthly statements safely, quickly, and electronically. Electronic statements provide secure, anytime, anywhere access to your Welcome Federal Credit Union statements. Here are a few features:
- eStatements are free!
- Automatic email notification when your statements are available usually by the 3rd of the month.
- Six months of statements available for instant retrieval.
- All data is fully secured, encrypted, and protected by the latest SSL technology
- eStatements can be downloaded and/or printed.
- When you elect to view your statements online instead of receiving a paper statement by mail, it helps protect you from confidential information being lost or stolen from your mailbox.
- Safest, quickest, and most convenient way to receive your statements.
- eStatements help save trees!
Shared Branching: Another Credit Union Difference!
Welcome Federal Credit Union (WFCU) has partnered with other credit unions across the country to provide you with more access to your accounts and money. Proudly, we are a part of the Shared Branching network, a fast-growing national network of credit unions that allow members of other credit unions to use their branches to conduct basic teller transactions.
There are more than 5,300 Shared Branching locations nationwide, including more than 99 in North Carolina. What can you do at a Shared Branching location? Almost everything you normally do* with an MSR/teller at WFCU including:
- Make Deposits
- Cash checks
- Withdraw funds
- Transfer monies from one account to another
- Obtain balance inquiries
- Make loan payments and advances
When conducting a transaction at a Shared Branching location, the host credit union will require your credit union name (Welcome Federal Credit Union), your account number, and a photo ID.
Accessing your WFCU accounts has never been more convenient. Find a Shared Branching location near your home, work, or favorite vacation spot, using the Shared Branching Web site at www.co-opsharedbranching.org.
This logo will be posted at all credit unions that participate in Shared Branching:
We are pleased to offer Shared Branching at the following WFCU branches:
- Main Branch; 10810 Chapel Hill Road; Morrisville, NC
- Greenville Branch; 250-C Easy Street; Greenfield North Plaza Shopping Center; Greenville, NC
- Zebulon Branch, 125 E. Gannon Avenue, Zebulon, NC
- **Moore Drive Branch; 5 Moore Drive; Sanders 17.1379; Research Triangle Park, NC)
- **Zebulon Branch–GSK; 1011 N. Arendell Avenue; E.130; Zebulon, NC
**Shared Branching access at the Moore Drive and Zebulon Branches is restricted to GSK employees.
For more information, contact us toll-free at 888-932-8148.
*Some fees may apply.
WFCU's Emergency Phone Number
In the event of a wide-spread disaster or emergency for the Credit Union in which you cannot reach one of our branches, you can phone our toll-free emergency information number, 1-866-803-3267. Updates to the message will be made as they become available.
Benefits of Membership!
As Welcome Federal Credit Union grows and changes, we will continue to expand our field of membership. Offering a better financial option to more groups promotes the Credit Union philosophy of "people helping people". We are happy to invite other companies and organizations to join Welcome Federal Credit Union and begin taking advantage of the benefits of membership in our Credit Union.
Please help us spread the word by inviting your co-workers and families to join!
With the Invest in America (IIA) Credit Union Member Rewards* program, just for being a member of Welcome Federal Credit Union (WFCU), you have access to valuable offers from Sprint, Allied Van Lines, FTD.com, CU Benefits Express, CompleteTax, DIRECTV, Shop America, and Members Auto and Homeowners Insurance. Information on all discounts is available at www.lovemycreditunion.org or you can use the URLs below for specific programs.
*Individual Member Rewards offers are subject to change or be discontinued without notice. Members agree to hold WFCU and each of its officers, directors, employees, members, representatives and agents harmless from any liability arising from participation in Invest in America (IIA) Credit Union Member Rewards program. WFCU is not responsible for any negligence, claims, liability, injury, property loss or other damages arising from, or in connection with your participation in Invest in America (IIA) Credit Union Member Rewards program.
One of the member rewards in the Invest in America (IIA) Credit Union Member Rewards program is the Sprint Credit Union Member Discount Plan*. The following is a list of Sprint discounts being offered to you just for being a member of Welcome Federal Credit Union:
- 10% off most regularly priced Sprint service plans
- Waived activation fee on new activations
- Waived upgrade fee
- Sprint Discounts
- Call 877.SAVE.4.CU (877.728.3428)
- Visit your local Sprint retail location
Just tell them you're a Credit Union Member** to get these exclusive discounts.
Ask to be attached to the NACUC_ZZM Corporate ID.
*The Sprint Credit Union Member Discount Plan offers are subject to change or be discontinued without notice. Members agree to hold Welcome Federal Credit Union (WFCU) and each of its officers, directors, employees, members, representatives and agents harmless from any liability arising from participation in the Sprint Credit Union Member Discount Plan. WFCU is not responsible for any negligence, claims, liability, injury, property loss or other damages arising from, or in connection with your participation in the Sprint Credit Union Member Discount Plan.
**To ensure your Sprint benefits continue, it's important that you meet Sprint's membership verification requirements. If you haven't validated your Credit Union membership, you will lose your discount (including any waived activation fees) and fall off of the Credit Union program. New Sprint customers are required to verify Credit Union membership within 30 days of activation. If you are a current Sprint customer, you must provide proof of membership when you upgrade your device if it's been more than 20 months since your last validation.
The verification process takes just a few minutes to complete.
- Smart phone users can download an Invest in America App http://www.lovemycreditunion.org/IIA-Application-961.html
- Click here to view/download an instruction sheet.
- Click here to view/download a verification form.
We invite you to phone any of our branches for answers to your questions or for information.
|Moore Drive Branch-RTP:||919-483-8844|
|Zebulon - GSK Branch:||919-269-1225|
Articles of Interest
Should You Pay for Credit Repair Services? Probably Not.
Call it a coincidence. Call it savvy marketing. Whatever you call it, there always seems to be a spike in credit repair advertisements when end-of-year and holiday bills arrive. Maybe you’re staring wide-eyed at a balance that’s higher than you expected, wondering how you’re even going to keep up with the minimum payments. This kind of uncertainty can the stage for bad decisions. So, before you scramble and sign-up for credit repair services, take a deep breath and realize you have more control than you think.
Risk vs. Reward: Is credit repair worth the cost?
It's important to remember that some credit repair services are legitimate businesses, able to follow through on their claims. Unfortunately, the reputable companies reside in a corporate landscape littered with scam artists and opportunists. If you're willing to devote enough time and research, it's possible to separate the upstanding services from the scams, but as NerdWallet columnist Liz Weston points out, "If you’re able to do that kind of research, then you can certainly figure out credit repair and do it yourself."
While the trustworthy credit repair companies aren’t necessarily too good to be true, there’s a good chance they’re too costly to be worth it. When you consider that many of these services charge monthly fees ranging from $30-$100, the boost in your credit rating may not justify the ongoing expense.
Facing credit challenges? Welcome Credit Union can help.
Good credit isn’t the result of tricks and trade secrets. It’s established by applying solid financial habits over time. The same holds true for credit repair. While there may be some additional steps required to clean up your credit report, rebuilding good credit requires a consistent commitment to responsible money management.
Credit unions exist to ensure the financial success of their members. Educating people on proper credit management is part of that mission. If you’re drowning in debt and struggling to regain your financial footing, your credit union could be the lifeline you’re looking for. While they may not advertise it, many credit unions offer free credit counseling for their members. Discussing your current challenges with one of the credit union’s representatives can be the first step towards putting those struggles behind you.
Repairing damaged credit is no walk in the park. But with a little hard work and dedication and the guidance of your credit union’s financial professionals, you can be on the way to reclaiming the good credit you deserve.
Debt and Dating: Can Poor Financial Habits Keep You in the Friend Zone?
Dating is all about discovery. It can be fun to open up and share a few personal details with someone we’re attracted to. In turn, learning more about the other person is a great way to spark conversations that go beyond polite formalities. But while we’re more than happy to show our highlight reels, we all have those things we’d rather not talk about. You know, things like misspelled tattoos. Failed relationships. An affinity for Nickelback. High school, in general. But what about our financial habits?
Is it possible that the way you manage money could have an impact on your relationship prospects? It’s a fair question, and a recent survey of 2,000 millennials uncovered some interesting opinions about debt and its impact on a person’s dating potential.
Does debt matter? Yes. And no.
In short, significant debt is frowned upon, but according to survey responses, it’s not viewed as negatively as being a workaholic. That’s the dating game in a nutshell, isn’t it? Don’t work too little and don’t work too much. Apparently, sensible moderation is attractive. So, what do you do if you’re interested in someone but your finances aren’t as solid as you’d like?
Before you start fumbling for the right words to confess your mountain of debt, don’t get ahead of yourself. Less than 10% of people thought that this kind of information should be shared early on. More than 87% thought it best to wait until the relationship becomes exclusive or moves to the point of sharing household expenses. So, if you’ve just started seeing someone and have more debt than you’d care to admit—relax. You’ve got time.
To share or not to share, that is the question.
Maybe all this talk about debt and dating has you wondering whether you’d be willing to share your most intimate financial details with a potential partner. The survey designers wondered the same and posed an interesting question: Would you rather tell your partner about your large debt or a pre-existing STD? Not surprisingly, the majority of respondents said they’d rather spill the beans about bloated borrowing. But it’s worth noting that more than 39% said they’d find it easier to divulge their most personal medical details.
If almost 40% of people would rather reveal their personal medical history instead of discussing monetary struggles with a potential partner, it’s safe to say debt-related anxiety can impact us emotionally as well as financially. If there’s a takeaway from this survey, maybe it’s the fact that debt and relationships have something in common: Neither improves when ignored.
Three tips for navigating the debt discussion
- Understand your debt. Rather than lumping everything you owe into one negative category, it’s important to remember not all debt is bad. Home mortgages and student loans are traditionally viewed as desirable, while credit card debt and payday loans can be roadblocks to financial success. Knowing the details of your debt is essential to managing it effectively. (It can also help you sound smarter if, and when, the topic comes up on a date.)
- Eliminate bad debt ASAP. High-interest credit cards, auto loans, and title loans can throw you into a tailspin of making minimum payments that never pay down the principle balance. Whether you cut frivolous spending or pick up a side job, find ways to pay off the accounts with the highest rates first.
- Get a good wingman. When it comes to your finances, there’s no shame in admitting you need help. With debt management tools ranging from credit counseling to low-interest consolidation loans, credit unions can play a pivotal role in your financial success. And judging from thousands of survey responses, a solid financial foundation may improve more than just your credit rating.
Do You Have What It Takes to Be an Airbnb Host?
If you’re a homeowner in 2018, there’s a good chance you’ve kicked around the idea of renting out your house through Airbnb. Whether you travel for work or suffer from a perpetual case of wanderlust, you’ve probably thought about opening your house to Airbnb guests while you’re on the road. Maybe you don’t travel, but you’ve considered renting out a spare room to earn some extra money. Either way, you share the same enterprising spirit that helped Airbnb’s founders stumble across a simple idea that changed the way people travel.
Big business with humble beginnings
When a popular design conference led to a sellout of San Francisco hotels in the fall of 2007, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia decided to rent out their apartment to Bay Area visitors. After a positive hosting experience, Chesky and Gebbia saw the potential for success on a larger scale. In August of 2008, the roommates teamed up with Nate Blecharczyk and launched Airbnb.
Since then, the company has brokered more than 260 million guest arrivals and amassed more than 4 million listings across 191 countries. While the global scale of Airbnb’s success is impressive, the genius of their business model lies in the fact that it offers average homeowners an opportunity to participate in the $1.6 trillion travel industry.
Make your home work for you
If you travel throughout the year or have a spare guest room, listing your house on Airbnb can be an excellent way to leverage your investment, generate additional income, and accelerate your progress towards your financial goals. But before you get blinded by the prospects of teaming up with a business that reported approximately $1 billion in Q3 revenue, it’s wise to consider what it takes to be a successful Airbnb host.
Creating an inviting home atmosphere is important, but there’s more to it than that. As with any business venture, there are risks and rewards. Before listing your home with Airbnb, here are a few pros and cons to consider:Pros
- Extra income. We can all agree this one belongs in the “pro” category.
- Cultural engagement. Since Airbnb offers global exposure, you have the potential to connect with people from diverse cultures around the world.
- Improved maintenance. When you routinely welcome others into your home, there’s a greater tendency to keep your house in order even when you don’t have guests.
- It’s a business. Operating a quality Airbnb property requires regular attention to business-related details like marketing, customer communication, insurance and property maintenance.
- Digital business still involves real people. If you’re not a people person, extended interactions with customers may prove frustrating.
- Risk of loss or damage. While you’re careful with your things, guests may not always be as considerate. When you rent your home, you assume the risk of accidental property damage and unexpected repairs. (This explains the aforementioned insurance.)
When it comes to business opportunities, it’s always a good idea to count the costs before launching your venture. However, if you’re a homeowner searching for an additional income stream to help you establish an emergency fund, pay off student loans, or set aside retirement savings, Airbnb may be the opportunity you’re looking for.
Your Express Pass to a Stress-Free Vacation
Vacations, the time when we step out of the office and back out into the world. Finally untethered from the desk, it should be easy to kick back and relax, right? Not when you are stressing about the costs associated with getting away. Break free from the ordinary without breaking your budget when you take advantage of a quick and easy Welcome FCU Vacation Loan.
Enjoy the view, breathe fresh air, and find yourself somewhere new with a Welcome FCU Vacation Loan.
Financial Quick Fixes Come at a High Cost
Prohibited in 18 states, payday loan companies still manage to offer more than 20,000 locations across the United States, making them more common than McDonald’s restaurants. Banking on consumer desperation, these programs market their services to financially vulnerable customers.
When potential borrowers encounter an unexpected money crunch, the appeal of getting instant cash with minimal qualifications seems too good to pass up. If the borrower is employed and receiving regular paychecks, that’s usually all it takes to get a loan. However, these loans traditionally charge rates of 300% annual interest (APR) or higher, saddling the already-struggling borrower with an even heavier financial burden.
Even though a payday loan is designed to be paid off when the customer receives their next paycheck, the outrageous interest charges often make it incredibly difficult to pay off the full amount. Since the average payday loan payment consumes 25-50% of a borrower’s income, the threat of default is extremely high.
To avoid defaulting on the loan, many customers elect to pay only the interest charges and roll over the loan for another pay period. According to recent CFPB research, almost 4 out of 5 payday loan customers re-borrow within a month. What started as a temporary fix becomes an ongoing cycle of debt.
High-interest consumer loans; spending too much over time
While payday lending companies are traditionally limited to loans of $1,000 or less, there is no shortage of consumer lending companies willing to offer similarly unfavorable terms on higher loan amounts. Like payday lenders, these lenders commonly target individuals with less-than-perfect credit or little to no collateral. But rather than charging outrageous interest rates for short periods, they make their money by charging slightly-less-outrageous rates (59% instead of 300%) over longer periods of time, often 2-3 years.
Consider this example (shown in the graphic above): borrowing $2,100 at an interest rate of 59.39% for 36 months would result in a total payment of $4,644, more than double the original amount borrowed. You don’t need a financial advisor to explain why that’s a bad deal. Fortunately, these lenders aren’t the only game in town.
WFCU offers a convenient, cost-effective alternative
Because they’re structured as not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperatives, credit unions can reinvest their earnings into programs that benefit their members – instead of paying dividends to shareholders like traditional banks. This distinction allows credit unions to approve personal loans with lower interest rates and higher flexibility than programs offered by payday lenders or banks