3 Ways to Kick Instant Gratification

Instant gratification is the desire to experience or have something right now. It’s you hitting the snooze button on an alarm, eating chocolate the second you crave it, or buying a sweater you found while casually scrolling through social media. Instant gratification is the lack of patience and willpower – and guess what, it costs you money. Three ways you can kick instant gratification are to:

Monitor Smart Phones.

Monitor how much time you spend on your phone. It’s no secret that the norm for today is to have your phone on you 24/7. You may have a watch connected to your phone as well. Constant notifications and messages can be distracting – not only to your daily lives but also to your financial goals.

To help, try to treating your smart phone like a landline phone. Keep it in a set location and only check it when necessary.  If you have a hard time staying off of social media, log out of your accounts after a certain time. The need to type in your passcode will remind you you’ve reached your limit for the day. If you need a more accountable solution, some phone have a settings options that lock you out of social media after you go over your set time limit. There are apps that do that as well. Turning off notifications can help keep distractions to a minimum.

Social media is a breeding ground for comparison. It’s important to keep a healthy mindset, and remember that while the grass tends to look greener, that is generally not the case. Remember that the stage you are in right now is where you are meant to be. Your purchasing decisions now determine your financial future. Waiting a few days before purchasing something can help determine the level of necessity, as well as the true desire to have the product.

Write Down Your Goals.

Grab a piece of paper and a pen and jot down your financial goals for the year. Maybe your goal is to pay off a loan, a credit card, or a car. Write down the total amount owed, what you want to pay this year, and then break it down into a smaller timeframe – monthly or weekly.

It’s vital to keep your goals attainable and measureable. If they are not, you won’t stay on track. This can lead to discouragement, stress, and financial struggles. Be gentle with yourself and your budget!

Once you set goals, track your progress! You can do this through an app, but it’s also fun to have a chart on a wall at home. An app can be easily avoided, whereas a chart on the fridge or a wall is a great motivator to keep going and a great reminder to save money!

Rely on the People Around you.

Have a couple friends or family members hold you accountable. It could be as small as seeing a clothing ad on social media and calling a friend to talk to them about how you want to buy the clothes but you are trying to save money. While finances are different for every person, everybody has debt they’ve incurred or something they are saving for. You could get a group of friends or family members to be your “savings buddy”. People have gym buddies, so why not? It can be as little as $5 a week – but you keep each other on track.

By exercising your willpower, you can resist instant gratification and save more money. In the end, it’s all about your personal health and wellbeing. Learn about the psychology behind instant gratification. For more ways to save money, visit our blog post 5 Tips to Save Money.

Security at MLCU

Security is very important at MLCU, and we know it’s a topic of interest to you – our members. Being a part of the financial industry means that we hold a lot of sensitive information- and we want you to be confident that we keep it safe. Today, we’ll go over some of the security measures we have in place.

A Secure Firewall With VPN Connections

A VPN – virtual private network – is a secure connection between your device and the internet. It’s like an encrypted “tunnel” – keeping information safe as it travels from one place to another. Because this information is encrypted it is not able to be viewed by others. A firewall protects by acting as a guard and only letting in trusted sources. Both of these work together to protect us and all information against viruses, hackers, and other intruders.

Shredding Documents

Before we are striving to be more virtual everyday, we rarely have to print things. Of course, printing is necessary in some circumstances. As soon as those documents are no longer required, they are shredded. To ensure proper disposal, we work with a certified shred company!

Quarterly Training With Staff

The purpose of these training sessions is to keep our team up-to-date with the latest information. During these sessions, we go through the latest policies and regulations to equip our team with the knowledge and resources to keep information secure. Our team understands the importance of cybersecurity. In addition to annual audits about risk and security, we have a CISP policy and a disaster relief program in place.

Mobile and Online Banking Security

The security of online and mobile banking can be a concern for some, so we want to put your mind at ease. To make sure your the one in control, we have multi-level authentication in place. You have the option to set up a more secure profile as well! This includes setting up added passwords for purchases, setting times you can log-in (for example, no log-ins available between 11 pm and 6 am), and more. If interested in setting this up, our member services would be happy to assist you! Contact them at 800-552-8643. We also have mobile alerts available for when your account is accessed via debit or credit card.

Questions about our security measures or interested in setting up a more secure profile? Feel free to contact us at 800-552-8643 or email us at memberservice@michiganlegacycu.org.

5 Tips to Save Money

Have you ever looked at your dwindling savings account and wondered what you could do differently? When people tell you to “stop spending” but it’s not that easy? Everyone has been here at some point. Perhaps you’re happy with your savings account, but want to feel inspired by fresh saving tactics. Whatever the situation, we are happy to offer you five tips on how to save money:


Analyze where your money is going every month and not only in your head! Keeping track of your budget on paper or through an app will help you set realistic goals for saving. Besides, it will provide an answer to that “where did my money go?!” question.

To begin, start tracking your spending, analyze where your money goes, and how much. How much do you spend on gas each month? Groceries? Have a standard budget but allow yourself some flexibility. If you are hosting a family holiday or going to visit an out-of-state relative, your food and gas budget is going to be different than the previous month. Remember that balance is key.

Kick Instant Gratification

The mentality that you have to have everything right NOW is one of the things that cost you the most money – there’s a lot of psychology behind why people follow this pattern. Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that the more you cave into instant gratification, the worse it gets. Every time you give in to that habit, a short burst of dopamine is released in your brain. It doesn’t last long and leaves you craving another.

Try implementing a rule where you wait a certain number of days to make a purchase. Whether it be 7 days, 10 days, 3 weeks, or a solid month. The desire to buy an unnecessary item disappears with time. Be mindful and spend out of functionality and not emotion.

Create a Visual Reminder of Your Debt.

While you might think this sounds discouraging, it’s quite helpful because you can see your progress as you work toward achieving your goals. Creating a color-as-you-go or interactive chart may motivate you to spend less money!

Avoiding Fast Food

Easier said than done, for sure. When you pass that certain fast food place and all of sudden you crave a burger, fries, and shake. Perhaps it’s a coffee place. Did you know the average American woman spends $2,327 on coffee per year? And the average American male spends $1,934.

How to help: make a meal plan! A lot of times, eating out is a quick fix – you’re not sure what to make for dinner, and stopping to grab food is an instant fix with no mess. Having meals planned helps eliminate this issue. If you’re feeling ambitious, take a shot at prepping those meals ahead of time! Try planning your meals around the grocery coupons you receive in the mail or online.

As for the coffee, making your gourmet coffee at home will save you money. Invest in a coffee maker, your choice of coffee, and syrups if you like flavor. Get a couple of travel mugs for when you’re on-the-go. In the long run, this is less expensive and you get to make your coffee just how you like it!

Use Community Resources

While COVID makes this challenging, use whatever community resources you feel comfortable with. Keep track of community events- a lot of communities are hosting virtual ones right now. Check with your library, city hall, or community website! Using these resources cuts down on boredom and helps alleviate spending. Instead of buying, get a book or movie from the library. If you prefer e-books, check with your library – most are partnered with an app that allows you to borrow e-books for free!

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The Importance of Financial Education

Some people think that money doesn’t matter to them, however the truth is – it does, or it should. Our livelihood is connected to it. Money doesn’t have to consume you, but it’s something you should be knowledgeable about and aware of.

Finances are stressful and some of that stress is due to lack of understanding. Credit cards, student loans, secured versus unsecured loans, emergency funds, retirement funds…the list goes on. There are so many options and rates- yet they all present themselves as being the best. So how do you know? A lot of Americans are not financially prepared for an emergency and building that savings accounts can be intimidating. Student loans – pay-off options, should you consolidate, etc. – there are so many choices to make and options to choose from. How do you know what’s best for your financial future? And will what’s best work with your current income and situation?

Finances quickly become overwhelming which can cause people to avoid them- causing more stress. The goal of this blog is to encourage a different route. We want to answer your financial questions, and hear what content and topics you are interested in! Follow our social media platforms to connect with us.

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