Since graduating college, some of my sparky idealism has worn away. As a result, I’m realizing it’s not as easy to make a serious impact on society as I once thought. For a while, this was a bit of a downer. I still hope to make a lasting impact, as many of us do, but haven’t found out yet where I am best suited to do so. However, in thinking a lot about this, I came to the realization that there are some easy steps I could do to improve your life and your community and help contribute to a greater good. While this notion isn’t groundbreaking, I thought I’d present some of the ways in which I am trying to make a positive difference day to day in some clear easy steps in hopes that I may inspire others to do the same.
Step 1: Move your money into a Credit Union.
It’s no secret that the greed of Big Banks have not only greatly contributed to the current recession, and furthermore millions of taxpayer dollars have slipped into the hands of BB CEO’s thanks to the botched bailout. If this is the first you’ve heard of this do a google search and type: I have been living under a rock for the past 2 years. Continuing to leave your money in the hands of Big Banks like Bank of America and Chase only supports a crooked system and crooked businesses. This is why you should pull your money out now and join a local Credit Union.
Credit Unions are locally-based, non-profits which act like co-ops. Which means, when you open an account with one of these banks, you own a piece of the company. Here’s some internet-style bullet points which should make the decision clear.
Why should I join a Credit Union?
1. Not supporting the crooked Big Banks and their economic poison.
2. Credit Unions are local institutions, which means the money stays within the community as opposed to supporting global or national interests.
3. CU’s are non-for-profit, which means they’re not out to make a serious profit. Of course they have to survive, so there are fees, but you know where their interest lies.
4. CU’s are co-ops, which means you own a piece of the company and can vote as to what direction you want the company to move.
5. Better interest rates. You make more money.
So to recap. By joining a CU you’re: Supporting your community, not supporting a volatile system, and making more money.
When I first considered joining a CU, I was a bit concerned that their online system may not be advanced enough to handle transactions as well as my BB. I was pleasantly surprised that not only did my local CU have a system just as advanced as any BB, they also supported green by rewarding paperless accounts with even better interest rates.
Another concern of mine was receiving money abroad or when out of state. But like all banks, CU’s give you a nifty Debit/Credit card and most of the more established ones have a wide network. My CU doesn’t charge fees anywhere, and I can deposit and withdrawal in most 7/11′s or almost any other CU around the US.
Joining a CU may seem like a stretch at first, but it’s really easy to do. If you’re nervous about it, try moving some of you money first and sit on it for a couple months. You may not realize the impact on your wallet or community right away, but trust me, this is a step in the right direction. (Cue cheesy end of sitcom music.)
If this brief, non-data supported article didn’t convince you to act, maybe Bill Maher will.
Have you joined already joined a Credit Union? Why or why not? Share your experience!
Need more convincing?: