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Brokaw Credit Union

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The Best Ways to Use a Few Hundred Dollars

Sometimes it can feel like you need thousands of dollars to move the needle on your finances even a little bit.

So if you find yourself with a few hundred dollars--say from a tax refund or an unexpected windfall--the temptation to spend it can be great. After all, how much difference can $500 make? But used wisely, even a few hundred dollars can put you on the road to a more financially secure future.

Here are some ways to make even a small amount of money count.

  • Start an emergency fund. Ideally you want six months of living expenses stashed to cover unforeseen expenses, but $500 is a good start. And once you have a good start, it can spur you to keep contributing.

  • Take advantage of compound growth. Before spending that money, consider putting it into your IRA (individual retirement account). Not only will compounding increase your balance over time, but increasing your pretax contributions can cut your tax bill.

  • Save for a bigger-ticket expense. Whether it’s for a major house renovation or a dream vacation, put the money in a credit union savings account; whenever you have a little extra money come in, set it aside as well. You could end up with a gift the whole family will cherish for years.

  • Donate to charity. If you itemize deductions on your tax return, consider helping an organization whose works you admire. Not only can you deduct the gift, but it might ultimately mean more to you than spending the money on yourself.
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The Lease is Up--Should You Buy the Car?

You auto lease gives you a right to buy the vehicle for a fixed price at the end of the lease. But should you? If you have less than three months remaining on a lease, now's the time to decide. So, find your lease and read on.

1. Do you like the car? If it's performed well with a minimum of unexpected cost and repair, then it might be good to renew the lease.

2. Will it still fit your needs? If you're driving a 2-door sports coupe but are expecting a baby, you probably need a new car.

3. What is your lease-end buying price? You'll find the purchase option price in your lease. Let's assume it's $14,000.

4. What is your vehicle actually worth? Check websites such as Kelley Blue Book ( and Let's assume your highest wholesale value is $15,000.

5. How does your vehicle's wholesale value compare with its lease value? If it's higher than the lease value, then it's a good deal. In our example, your lease says you can buy for $14,000. You've confirmed wholesale value is $15,000. You're buying a car you know and like for $1,000 less than its wholesale value. Buy the car.

6. What if the wholesale value is less than the lease value? If it's a lot less, don't buy the car. It doesn't make sense to buy the car if your lease's buy-out price is $14,000, and the car's wholesale value is only $11,000.

7. What's the bottom line? If your lease car is a good friend, and you can buy it for no more than $1,000 over wholesale value, that's a smart buy. Your next smart decision is to finance it at Brokaw Credit Union!

Brokaw Office

300 Everest Ave
PO Box 151
Brokaw, WI 54417
Phone: 715-675-2319
Fax: 715-675-5511

Lobby Hours:
M, T, Th 9:00-4:00
Fri 9:00-5:30
Closed Wed and Sat

Drive-up Hours:
M, T, Th 8:30-4:30
Fri 8:30-5:30
Closed Wed and Sat

Weston Office

2006 Schofield Ave
PO Box 199
Weston, WI 54476
Phone: 715-359-7012
Fax: 715-355-5295

Lobby Hours:
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
8:30 am to 5:30 pm

Drive-up Hours:
7:30 am to 5:00 pm
Tues, Wed, Thurs
8:30 am to 5:00 pm
7:30 am to 5:30 pm
9:00 am to 12:00 noon

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