Category Archives: TO DO

Time sensitive things you should get on right away!

Story of Stuff

[NOTES ON] “The Story of Change”

I’m watching the entire Story of Stuff series.  Let’s watch it together, or check out my notes on all the videos, here.  Thanks – h!

Notes I took on this video:

  • Voting with your dollar Real change is demanding solutions that work.
  • They studied movements of the past that were successful in creating change.
  • 3 rules of changing the world:  sharing a big idea for change at the heart of the problem,  we will work together until the problem is solved, creative massive actions with all kinds of citizens.
  • Changemakers: investigators, communicators, builders, resisters, nurturers, networkers.  Take the quiz.
  • It doesn’t end at the vote; there are steps afterwards.
  • *** Watch this video if you just need a quick refresher or an upper as you’re about to take on another huge task!

After taking the quiz above, I found that I am an “investigator”…and it rings true:

Investigators like you play the crucial role of exposing both the problems we face and the solutions. Here’s how:

  • Reading, inquiring and learning constantly.
  • Researching facts questions, issues and stories thoroughly until the entire picture is clear.
  • Asking the hard questions and finding the sometimes-dark truths, even when it’s challenging and uncomfortable.

Notable Investigators who have done awesome things to find truth and change the world:

  • Sandra Steingraber

  • Rachel Carson

  • Seymour Hersh

  • James Hansen

  • Peter Gleick

Move Your Money to a Credit Union TOMORROW – Saturday, 11/5

The Occupy demonstrations have made one thing clear: big banks and corporate America can no longer gouge the every day account holder with arbitrary fees and random exploitation. There seems to be a tacit understanding between us: we no longer want to support big businesses that don’t support us. But if our money walks, where will we put it?

 

Well, I’ll tell you. Tomorrow is National Bank Transfer day, where millions of Americans will leave their big bank and join a financially responsible, people oriented, and community-minded credit union. (Besides, you really shouldn’t be hiding your riches under a mattress. Mattress fires are a real thing.)

 

To make it even more official, take the pledge to move your money to a credit union this Saturday, NOVEMBER 5, 2011 HERE . Be one of the 650,000 Americans who have already transferred their available funds to credit unions in the last month, and haven’t turned back since running far, far away from their former big bank’s fees

 

To keep this simple, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel. You’ll find below some links (all found via Google) to help you prep for tomorrow. Know that the credit unions are READY FOR YOU with extended hours and possibly, pastries. Also, bring 2 forms of photo identification, your SSN card, proof address, and your money (oh yeah, that) to start an account.

 

Read what I’ve gathered below, and go visit the Move Your Money Project for more details.

 


What is a credit union?
A credit union is a member-owned, not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution. Credit unions are similar to traditional banks in the sense that both institutions offer financial products to customers. Credit union members, like bank customers, have access to checking and savings accounts, CDs, loan products, and credit cards.

What is the difference between a credit union and a bank?

Table taken from this link

Credit Unions Banks
Not-for-profit Profit-oriented
Returns profits to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, and free or low-cost services. Returns profits to stockholders
Each person who deposits money is a member with a share of ownership Customers have no ownership in the corporation
Members elect a volunteer Board of Directors to represent their interests Controlled by stockholders and paid officials
Member-service driven Profit-driven
Are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration or a private insurer Are federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Can serve only those individuals within their field of membership Can serve anyone in the general public

Why are credit unions better?

According to this site:

A credit union is a democratic, member-owned cooperative. So when you join a credit union, you’re more than a member; you’re an owner—and that means you have a say in how your credit union is run.

Credit unions provide the same products and services as other financial institutions—but credit unions are non-profit and exist to help people, not to make a profit. As such, all earnings are returned to their members in the form of high-interest savings and low rate loans.

Credit unions across the country are committed to their communities, offering financial services to underserved populations, engaging youth in financial education, and returning profits to their members.

Credit unions also tend to offer more competitive rates (via DailyFinance):

Credit unions offer most or all of the services you need from your bank, and they generally charge lower fees, offer higher interest rates for your savings, and lower interest rates for loans. Compare these rates for June, 2011, the most recent data available from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA):

Credit Unions(national average) Banks(national average)
5-year CD 2.09% 1.78%
1-year CD 0.75% 0.59%
$1,000 in a regular savings account 0.25% 0.20%
30-year fixed mortgage 4.78% 4.64%
Classic credit card 11.64% 13.17%
Unsecured fixed 36-month loan 10.37% 11.98%
36-month used-car loan 3.88% 5.61%
60-month new-car loan 3.91% 5.22%

Where can I find one:

http://www.findacreditunion.com/

or go to Google Maps and search for “credit union”

If you’ve successfully moved your funds to a different bank – tell us where in the comments below!

Story of Stuff

[NOTES ON] “The Story of Stuff”

I’m watching the entire Story of Stuff series.  Let’s watch it together, or check out my notes on all the videos, here.  Thanks – h!

The Story of Stuff is a very simple video that everyone must watch. When RF first saw this video a few years back, we were like, “OH SNAP! HOMEGIRL IN THE BLUE BUTTON DOWN IS CORRECT!” Imagine, being able to explain the mode of production, the dangers of corpocracies, imperialism, true democracy, and the effects on communities to 1.5 million people?

Let’s be real. ”Stuff” is what got us all into debt in the first place. Gadgets, cell phone bills, and expensive meals. What struck us at RF was when homegirl said @4:46 – “And if you don’t buy, or own a lot of stuff, you don’t have value.” (Let’s return to this idea soon.)

 The most important lessons:

  • history of production since the 1950s
  • planned obsolescence & perceived obsolescence
  • local living economies
  • close loop production

Please take the time while you fold your laundry:

31 Days to Fix Your Finances

Next week, I will begin The Simple Dollar’s 31 Days to Fix Your Finances program.

 

Hopefully by the end of this, I’ll be like this lady in the picture frolicking in some benjamins!

 

If you’d like to follow along with me, please click on the link above to purchase your own copy for $2!  I’ll be documenting my progress and reflections for the next 31 days – over the month of September.  So, if you want to see the qualitative changes this makes in my life before you decide to invest, then make sure you come back from time to time to check in with the POVERT series.

 

But seriously, the book is only $2 on Paypal.  That’s like.  A slice of pizza.  I say just do it.