3 Famous Scary Stories and What They Teach Us

3 famous scary stories

It’s that time of year again! The nights get longer. Haunting winds rattle shutters, and swaying trees cast spooky shadows in the moonlight. It’s time to tell ghost stories!

These stories scare us, but they can also show us something. Let’s see what three of the most popular ghost stories can show us about financial responsibility for a spook-tacular Halloween!

1) The Ghost in the Attic

The Story

It starts a little differently each time. Maybe there’s a bump in the night. A squeaky floorboard creaks and groans even when no one is walking near it. More and more squeaks and bumps that no one can explain keep happening. The cabinets open and close by themselves. Loud noises come from nowhere in the middle of the night. Everyone is terrified, and no one can sleep. Blood starts dripping from walls as screams come from the vents and doors slam. This house is haunted.

It turns out there’s some history to the house. A gruesome murder took place there. It was built on an ancient Native American burial ground. The attic was home to an abandoned child who was forced to live there because of his hideous deformity. The only way to get back to normal is to give these angry spirits what they need.

The Reality

If your house has creaking floorboards, or your heating and cooling system goes bump in the night, you might be headed for a far more serious problem than ghosts. Unexplained noises in the house could be signs of serious structural problems. Knocks in the walls can be a plumbing issue about to break loose. Uneven construction can really make cabinets open by themselves and doors slam uncontrollably. Like in the story, many of these problems come out of your house’s history. It might have been built on an old mine site or just built in a hurry.

Left untreated, these little problems can create big trouble. Squeaky floorboards can break, pipes can rupture and foundation problems can ruin your home. If you’re counting on homeowners insurance to pay for these accidents, think again. Homeowners insurance policies broadly don’t cover “construction defects,” which means you’ll be stuck holding the bill.

Consider getting out in front of these problems. You can use your home equity line of credit to repair your foundation, fix structural problems in your home and perform other necessary upgrades. Don’t let the specter of uncertainty ruin your ghoulish good time!

2) Vampire Infestation

The Story

Up a winding mountain pass deep in the Transylvanian high country sits an ancient mansion. The simple folk who live in the valley will not go near it, nor will they even speak a word about it, for fear of attracting the dark attention of the master of the house. The man is never seen and the house might be assumed empty if it were not for the ominous cackling that echoes through the farms and pastures that surround the mountain.

Legend tells that the man in the mansion is an unholy abomination who subsists on the blood of the innocent. Young children have been found by the road leading up to the mansion, their flesh cold and clammy as though the life itself has been drained out of them. Travelers who arrive at the village scoff at the tale of Dracula’s Mansion, but those who journey up to it are never seen again.

The Reality

While you don’t have any vampires in your life (probably), you do have something you never see that’s sucking the life out of your financial success. Outstanding debt is a seldom-seen figure that casts an ominous shadow over your household finances. Make no mistake: The beast is feeding on your innocent salary and putting your whole household in its sight. The average household has $17,000 or more in debt and faces an average minimum payment of $423 per month.

If you want to drive a stake through the heart of this monster, consider a debt consolidation loan. These loans can repair your credit, lower your monthly payment and free you from the control of the heartless creature. Best of all, you won’t need to deal with the smell of garlic!

3) Zombie Apocalypse

The Story

The streets are quiet. There are no cars or pedestrians. An overcast sky casts flickering shadows on the desolate streets. The ordinary noises of a city are starkly absent. The only clearly audible sound is the slow chomping of the walking dead who are feasting on the bodies of recent victims.

Cowering in basements and perched on rooftops, human survivors band together. Their goal is simple: Stay alive for one more day. Long past the point where rescue helicopters stop flying, these brave souls will go their own way and resist being part of the zombie horde.

The Reality

Zombies are a cautionary example of what happens to us when we consume just for the sake of consumption. A zombie is a sad creature who lacks the capacity to plan or see further than the next meal. We’ve all been there – splurging on a candy bar in the checkout lane, not because we were hungry, but because we wanted it and it was there.

The best way to zombie-proof yourself is to make a realistic budget and stick to it. Make a plan for your income that includes saving and investing. Be sure to include space for planned indulgences – like discount Halloween candy on Nov. 1.

Sources:

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/homeowners-insurance-cover-foundation-repair-63590.html

http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/

http://www.free-online-calculator-use.com/credit-card-minimum-payment-calculator.html

 

8 Reasons to Love Your Freedom Membership

 

We Are Grateful for Our Members!

This holiday season, we want to thank all of our members for being a part of the Freedom Federal Credit Union family, and are grateful we are here to serve you and your financial needs. We know you made a great decision to be a member of Freedom, and below are 8 reasons to love your Freedom membership.

8 Reason to Love Your Credit Union

Superior Member Service

At Freedom, you’re always greeted with representatives who are ready and willing to help you. We’re truly invested in your financial wellness, and we’re here to help you achieve and maintain it, every step of the way, either in-person, over the phone, or trough online and mobile banking.

You Are an Owner of the Credit Union

Credit unions are member-owned and member-operated. You have a vote on our major decisions instead of being forced to follow along with whatever the “higher-ups” decide. Your Money = Your Voice.

Access to a Variety of Financial Services

At Freedom, we provide our members with a full suite of financial products and services to meet every money-related need at every life stage, including savings, checking, certificates, money markets, home loans and home refinance, auto loans and auto refinance, personal loans, lines of credit, credit cards, business savings and checking, commercial loan and lines of credits, and a host of technology services to provide better access to your money 24/7.

Better Savings Rates

We’re proud to provide you share certificate, money market and savings rates that are well above the national average.

Free Checking Accounts

Checking accounts and debit cards at Freedom are completely free to set up, maintain, and use. You’ll have a safe place to keep and access your money without it costing you a dime.

Lower Interest Rates

Take your pick of personal loans, home loans, auto loans and more, all with incredible rates that are often lower than average. You’ll have the funds you need with a rate you can actually afford!

We Support Small Businesses

Here at Freedom FCU, we’re happy to offer small business loans to qualifying members at extremely reasonable rates. We also offer business checking, business savings, and merchant services so you can run the financial side of your business without worrying about high rates and exorbitant fees.

Fewer Fees

We’re not in the business of feeing you to death. We keep our fees low or nominal, much less than the big banks, and we work to help you understand how to better manage and be on top of your money.

We also want you to have access to your money without worrying about expensive ATM fees. Freedom members have access to a surcharge-free ATM network of over 33,000 ATMs across the country.

From all of us at Freedom, we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday!

Freedom CEO Appears on WMAR-TV to Share the Difference Between Banks and Credit Unions with Midday Maryland

 

What is the difference between banks and credit unions? This is a question that comes up often around credit unions. President and CEO of Freedom Federal Credit Union, Mike MacPherson, joined Elsa M. on a recent Midday Maryland segment, produced by WMAR-TV, to explain not just the difference, but the advantage to becoming a credit union member.

In the interview, MacPherson explains the member-owned structure of credit unions and how these not-for-profit organizations deliver the same services as banks with fewer fees and better rates, combined with superior customer service, and a focus on supporting the communities they serve. The members of the credit union are also the owners, not outside shareholders aiming to make a profit. Because of the not-for-profit structure of credit unions, “after we pay the bills, our objective is to put our money back into the community, into the credit union, and to the members”, MacPherson states during the five-minute interview.

MacPherson touches on the history of credit unions in the United States, including their role in helping to maintain financial stability during the 2008 financial crisis. The segment covers the structure of credit unions, how consumers are eligible, and the focus on being the “heart of the community”. “[For Freedom], we believe in giving back…we have a focus on volunteerism, on philanthropy, doing more for our members, and making the community better”, states MacPherson.

How does someone become a member of a credit union? Every credit union has eligibility requirements. For example, Freedom is community chartered, so if you live, work, worship, volunteer or have family in Harford County, Maryland, you are eligible to join. According to MacPherson, all it takes is one dollar, placed in your own savings account, to become a member and have full access to all the services and benefits of credit union membership.

To learn more, watch the full segment above.