Toot Toot!

Toot Toot!

That is just me tooting the Unison horn! We have a few good reasons for making some noise. Recently, Unison was chosen by nerdwallet.com as one of the credit unions offering “The Best Place for Back-to-School Discounts” and having the best deals for summer discount tickets. Our Great America ticket prices were $22.99 less than the gate price! http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2012/place-backtoschool-discounts-local-credit-union Nerdwallet’s website is chock-full of financial tips, deals and comparison-shopping research. Their info is also featured on the online sites of Money Magazine and the New York Times!

Yours truly offers money-saving advice for an article featured in the September issue of Women Magazine (it is the one with everyone’s favorite dancing Packer player, Donald Driver, and his family gracing the cover). Pick up your copy or venture to the online version http://mywomenmagazine.com/sections/mind/250-practical-savings-tips-sep2012.html and read “Practical Savings Tips” in the Mind section.

Have you seen them? Members of the Unison family have been out and about taking part in community events. Clear blue skies and the sun smiled on us during the Annual Walk for Suicide Awareness in Kaukauna on September 8th. The conditions were absolutely perfect for face painting and kids crafts at the Kaukauna Farmers Market Fall Fest as well as a little competition action at the Luke the Duke Kickball Tournament on September 15th.  The “Unison One Kick Wonders” teams made their kickball debut and placed 4th and 8th. Despite the sore and stiff muscles that followed, the “One Kick Wonders” are already talking strategy for next year!

Do you know what else combines honking horns and strategy…car buying. Unison bloggers I will need your help and support. It seems I suffer from Motorspendophobia, a fear of shopping for and purchasing a different car. There are so many questions that should be answered to start: new or used; what kind of car offers me the best fuel efficiency; go with a dealership or try online, what is my budget; which one can handle my size needs; will Dingo, Rex and other furry friends fit; manual or automatic; silver vs. burnt orange; sell or trade-in? Eeekkkk!

Unison Auto Buying Center to the rescue! This section on our website http://www.unisoncu.org/resource-center/auto-buying-center.aspx is a one-stop-shop of information and is a fantastic resource for those of us in the market for a vehicle. Auto loan rates, a payment calculator, buyers guides, purchasing advice, program discount info and a loan application are listed or have a link. Our current loan rates are updated regularly and can always be found on the left side of your screen in the blue box. Use the link to the auto loan calculators to determine payment amounts, if it cost-effective to buy vs. lease or would opting for a rebate be better than low-interest financing. (There are over 50 other calculators on that page so allow for extra time because you’ll end up playing with all of them!) Invest in America is a unique program between GM, Chrysler and participating credit unions, such as Unison, to offer discounts on new American-made vehicles for eligible Unison members. To help you decide if a new car is a better option than used, links to the Federal Trade Commissions Facts for Consumers gives advice and helps you understand what to look for in a vehicle Buyers Guide.

Once I reviewed, highlighted, circled and underlined all the relevant information, I came up with a few steps to help with my car buying strategy:

Step #1: Consider how much I can realistically afford, how much I can put towards a down payment and what loan amount would I qualify for. Once I answer those questions I can confidently move on to the next step.

Step #2: Research vehicles and make a list of the top 5 I could shop for.

Step #3: Evaluate dealerships and online buying options.

Step #4: Print a map of places to stop and shop for my potential new car, apply my ready-for-battle face paint, pick up a quadruple espresso shot jumbo caramel non-fat latte along the way and grab a friend who is intimidating and a good negotiator to take with me on as I conquer my Motorspendophobia.

Wish me and other car buyers luck and please feel free to send any tips or advice!

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