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Romance on a Budget

Flowers, fancy dinners and Hallmark cards add up quickly. According to the National Retail Federation, only about 55% of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day, but those who do will shell out an average of $146.84, up a few bucks from last year’s average of $142.31. In total, Valentine’s Day spending is expected to hit $19.7 billion this year.

If you choose to celebrate Valentine's Day but don't want to blow your budget, you're in luck. Here are 5 ways you and your significant other can enjoy a nice Valentine's Day without breaking the bank.


  1. Skip the Fancy Dinner. Restaurants are very busy on Valentine's Day. Save time and money by stopping at the store in advance and picking up something for you to make together. If you aren't into cooking, grab some wine and order a pizza or opt for take out. You'll enjoy a great meal for a fraction of the cost at home. 
  2. Burn a Custom CD. Do you remember the song you and your significant other first danced to? Make a list of special songs or songs that remind you of your special someone for a memorable gift. 
  3. Make a List. Write down all the reasons why they are special to you and compile it in a book. It's extremely thoughtful and won't cost you anything. 
  4. Leave Notes. Whether they find them in their breifcase or lunch bag, a little note is a fun gesture that is sure to make them smile. 
  5. Skip the Flowers. Flowers aren't cheap, especially in the winter months. Save money by skipping the flowers or creating your own arrangement. You could even opt for a plant that is sure to last much longer than fresh cut flowers. 





Super Bowl Party on a Budget

The big game is coming up and many of you will be preparing for a big party this week. Big events don't have to equal big dollar signs, though! Here are some ideas on how to have a Super Bowl Party on a budget.

1. Plan a Potluck. Prepare a few dishes yourself, then ask everyone to bring their favorite football food. You can set a theme for the party (chili bar, taco bar, etc.) and assign certain toppings to your guests, or you send your invitations electronically and ask your guests reply to the list with what they’ll bring to avoid duplication (although you really can’t have too many meatballs, can you?). It's always fun to see what people come up with and having a variety of snacks is ideal for a football party. 

2. Grab a co-host. Having a friend help with the party will save you both time and money. Choose the house ideally with the most seating and split the cost of food and essentials.

3. Eat on the cheap. Just because you are hosting the party doesn't mean you need to break the bank on shrimp coctail and smoked salmon. Some of my favorite football foods are chili, nachos and potato skins, none of which are expensive to make, but delicion nonetheless. Check out Pinterest or Google for some fun and frugal recipes. 

4. Don't be afraid to ask guests to BYOB. Beer and other alcoholic drinks are the most expensive part of most Super Bowl parties, so don't hesitate to ask guests to bring their own.

5. Skip decorations. Although it may be fun to have plates and napkins with your team logo, but you'll also pay for it.  Save money by buying items in solid colors at a discount party store or the dollar store.

6. Make it a Pizza Party! Pizza, beer and there anything better? If you’re looking to keep things simple, you might want to order pizza or stock up on some frozen ones. (Heggies is our favorite. It's a Minnesota thing!)

8. Go Green, use real dishes! The price of paper products are contiuing to rise. Sure, it's convenient, but it's most cost effective and friendly on the environment to scrub a few dishes instead. 



Get some extra dough this Holiday Season!


Preheat the oven because this holiday season Star Choice Credit Union members can get extra dough. Get $100 for every new line you activate with Sprint!

Give the gift of a phone and new line activation with Sprint.



 Step 1: Make your dough

• Get $100 as a benefit of credit union membership for every new line
   you activate with Sprint.

• Current Sprint customers receive a $50 cash reward for every line
   transferred into Sprint Credit Union Member Cash Rewards.

• You’ll receive a $50 loyalty cash reward every year for every line.


Step 2: Bake it

Sign up today to enjoy the benefits  of credit union membership with Sprint’s best Credit Union
Member Cash Rewards offer EVER!

1.     Become a Sprint customer and mention you’re a credit union member.

2.     Register at

3.     Allow up to six to eight weeks to see cash rewards directly deposited into your credit union account.


Step 3: Enjoy!

Visit to learn more and get started.



The 4 Biggest Credit Union Myths

With International Credit Union Day right around the corner, we’d like to clear up the four biggest myths about credit unions.

1.     They aren’t big enough.

There are big and small credit unions, but just like banks, your deposits at a credit union are insured by the federal government up to $250,000. Star Choice Credit Union offers many of the same products and services you would find at a big bank like Bill Pay, Online Banking, and a Mobile App with Remote Deposit!

2.     It will be hard to access my money.

Credit unions have access to a network of 30,000 free ATMs and 5,000 shared branching locations, making it easy for you to access your money anywhere. One of the best things that make credit unions different than banks is that we share! Members of Star Choice Credit Union have access to multiple shared branching locations in the state of Minnesota, as well as throughout the country, to make deposits, withdrawals, transfers and loan payments.

3.     I can’t join.

Anybody can join a credit union. You may be eligible based on your employer, where you live, or your family, as most credit unions allow members’ families to join. To find a credit union near you, visit

4.     They don’t offer as many perks as banks.

Credit unions offer the same financial products as banks—checking accounts, debit and credit cards, online banking, IRAs (individual retirement accounts), and home and auto loans—but because they’re not-for-profit, they often offer better rates than banks. We pride ourselves on being "hip with the times" and can offer you all of the same eSerivces that the big banks can.

Check us out today!


National Savings Day


Today, October 12th, marks National Savings Day. We all save things. Whether it is money, sentimental objects or time, we are all capable of saving and do so on a daily basis.

As a credit union working to Build Strong Financial Futures, we are here to remind you how important [and easy!] it is to save money and have an emergency fund set aside for unexpected expenses. 

I'm sure you, like anyone else, has been told over and over that saving money is important, but considering more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in their Savings Account, it seems people are having a hard time finding the extra cash to set aside.

Photo Credit:

In today’s economy, it isn’t uncommon for an individual to live paycheck to paycheck, leaving nothing extra at the end of the month to save. Although individuals are aware of the importance of saving, sometimes in low-income level families, it just isn’t possible.

Here at Star Choice, we saw these surprising statistics and set out to create and implement a product that would help people who don’t feel they can't save money, save. That's when our Award Winning Build It! Certificate was created.

The Build it! Certificate allows you to open a 12-month Share Certificate (or CD) for just $25. (Let's face it, we can all find a spare $25 at some point to get a savings account started!) This certificate has a higher interest rate than our normal 12-month certificate and requires a much lower minimum deposit so your dreams can be built faster and your savings can grow higher.

After the initial $25 deposit, this CD only requires a minimum of $40 to be deposited per month, making it easy to establish a savings plan with obtainable goals. This equates to $10 every week or just $1.42 a day! Little by little, the Build it! Certificate adds up to big savings.

Celebrate National Savings Day by opening up your very own Build it! CD and let your dreams of Building a Strong Financial Future begin. Contact us today to get started!