WELCOME TO BELLCO GIVES BACK: HOLIDAY EDITION!
This December, Bellco is turning up the holiday cheer by giving back to our members and the communities we serve. Our Bellco Gives Back Team will be out in the community spreading good will and surprising Coloradans with random acts of kindness. Whether it's paying for someone's groceries, volunteering at charitable organizations, donating to local food-drives, or covering someone's ice-skating costs, Bellco will be brightening the holidays for others now through the end of the year.
Bellco members will also have a reason to celebrate as our branches will be decked out for the season, including our annual holiday-tree displays. Every Friday, now through December 22, each branch will feature kids crafts, holiday refreshments, and snow globes (while supplies last).
Here are a just few of the ways our Bellco Gives Back Team team will be spreading good will throughout the season:
Dolls for Daughters: December 2
Bellco will provide gifts for the Dolls for Daughters Annual Holiday Toy Shop, that helps get them in the hands of kids in need.
Thornton Winterfest: December 8–10
Bellco is the presenting sponsor of Thornton Winterfest. Highlights include the turning on of the holiday lights, a miniature Santa’s Village, ice skating, a tree-decorating contest, a holiday marketplace, a fireworks show, and more.
KidsGiving365: December 9
Bellco is partnering with KidsGiving365 to transform the holidays for over 2,500 under-served children this holiday. Introduce your child to a world beyond their own; sign up for the Santa’s Elves program on December 9 and have your family give a gift to an under-served child in Denver, face-to-face.
Denver Post Foundation—Basket of Joy: December 9
Basket of Joy is an annual project of The Denver Post, Albertsons/Safeway, and Volunteers of America that brings holiday fruit baskets to limited-income seniors in the Denver area. Bellco is a sponsor this year and will participate by filling the baskets.
Boys and Girls Club Holiday Party: December 15
Bellco employees and volunteers will provide food and crafts for a Boys and Girls Club Holiday party in SW Denver.
For a complete list of holiday happenings and where our Bellco Gives Back Team will be next, visit BellcoGivesBack.org.
HOW TO SUCCEED WITH NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Each New Year’s Eve, many Americans optimistically set New Year’s resolutions, only to wind up breaking them within a few months—or less. Oftentimes, the resolutions are broken not because they’re impossible to achieve but because a year’s worth of time can be daunting, which makes the resolution seem impossible. If this has been your issue, why not try something different this year? Instead of setting a resolution, why not focus on something shorter by setting a January challenge for yourself? After all, you can do anything for just a month, right? For example:
- Are you wanting to reform your eating habits after indulging during the holidays? If you know from years of resolutions that going on a full-blown diet will fizzle pretty quickly, why not just focus on one change? Maybe you’ve been on a chocolate binge since Halloween—try setting a 31-day goal to eat fruit or a veggie whenever you have a chocolate craving.
- Perhaps you’ve been thinking of giving back to the community. Identify four local nonprofits—one for each week of the month. Pledge to donate a couple of hours a week to each charity; it won’t take too much of your time, and it can really make a big impact for the people, animals, or environment around you.
- Saving money is a big one for many people. If it’s on your list, consider a January savings goal. For example, if you dine out frequently, think about cutting out one restaurant night each week. The money you would have otherwise spent can go to your Bellco savings account, all toward your goal.
- If you’ve been dreaming of getting in better shape but are afraid that spending money on a gym membership will go to waste, start small with a January challenge. The internet is rife with this or that “30-day challenge.” You’ll be able to focus on anything from core strength to cardio to even running longer distances. Be sure to speak with your physician before you try any new exercise routine, though, and understand the risks associated.
After you’ve spent a month with your new challenge, you can reevaluate to see where you’ve ended up. And who knows? Maybe that month will stretch into another and another and another. Or it might inspire you to try a new challenge for February. Either way, choosing a month-long challenge instead of a year-long resolution might be the way to ring in 2018.
YOUR YEAR-END FINANCIAL CHECKLIST IS HERE
The year is quickly coming to a close, but December is a good time to get your finances in order. Whether you keep track of your money by computer or on paper, make sure your tracking system is up to date. Check if you’re on budget for the year or determine whether you need to make corrections for next year.
Tackle these year-end financial tasks before 2017 closes, and you’ll start the new year off right.
• Donate to charity. December 31 is the deadline for charitable contributions you plan to deduct from your 2017 tax return.
• Max out your retirement contributions. You have until you file your tax return next spring to make a 2017 contribution to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), but 401(k) contributions are deductible only when made in the same calendar year.
• Use up FSA money. If you still have money set aside in a flexible spending account for healthcare expenses, you must use the money in 2017 or you may lose it. (Check with your specific plan.)
• Check your beneficiaries. It’s a good idea to check the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts or insurance policies at least annually.
• Get your credit report for the year. You are entitled to one free copy annually of each of your three major credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
• Sign up for online bill pay, deposits, and financial statements. Save time, reduce waste, and increase account security.
• Schedule a meeting with a financial planner and accountant. Get these meetings on the books for early 2018. These professionals can help you manage your money and prioritize your goals.
The CFS* Financial Advisors serving Bellco, available through CUSO Financial Services, L.P., have years of experience working with Bellco members. They can help answer your questions and work alongside you to create a customized financial plan. Call 303-728-3443, email firstname.lastname@example.org , or stop by any Bellco branch to set up an appointment with a CFS* Financial Advisor.
Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Bellco Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.
CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS), does not provide tax or legal advice. For such guidance, please consult your tax and/or legal advisor.
DECEMBER CHARITY OF THE MONTH
During December, Bellco will collect donations for Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, a local nonprofit organization dedicated solely to advancing the mission of Children’s Hospital Colorado. As the only nonprofit children’s hospital in the region, Children’s Hospital Colorado relies on philanthropy to provide world-class care to every child who needs it.
In addition, all Bellco branches will help raise money and awareness through Holiday Icons! Just stop by any Bellco branch, donate $1, and write your name on the Holiday Icon. Everyone who donates will have their Icon proudly displayed to show support for the children and families in our community!
To learn more about Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, visit them online at ChildrensColoradoFoundation.org.