Catholic Financial Life Blog

Give Back Video Contest

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Oct 31, 2017 9:50:56 AM

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Want to win up to $5,000 cash for your school? To celebrate 150 years of protecting families and supporting Catholic Schools, Catholic Financial Life will be holding another Give Back Video Contest! Last year, more than 25 schools from across the country participated in our contest. We are hopeful that the 2018 participation will be even better.

In John’s Gospel, Jesus tells the Apostles, “I give you a new commandment: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).

We are inviting Catholic schools to submit a 2-3 minute video showcasing “How your school forms students to become disciples who live out this challenge from Jesus.”

To learn more about this contest and how to submit your school’s video, click on the contest tab on the left-hand side of our Facebook Page or visit https://give-back-catholic-schools-week.strutta.me/

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Education, Catholic Values in Action

Five Tips to Help Pay off Your Student Loan Debt

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Jul 3, 2017 8:03:30 AM

While many college grads are starting their first real job, that’s not the only thing they might be starting… Student loan payments begin shortly after graduating. Many grads want to become debt-free as soon as possible but knowing how to do so isn’t always obvious.

Check out these five easy tips to help pay off your student loans sooner rather than later.ThinkstockPhotos-518338000.jpg

  1. Earn money on the side
    • Consider picking up a side job or starting your own side business and using that money only for your loan repayment. Use the income from your full-time job for other bills and spending habits.
    • Clean out your home/apartment by having a yard sale or sell things on Ebay. Not only will you earn some extra cash, but you’ll also feel better about having your home less cluttered.
  2. Prioritize and pick what you spend things on
    • Cut out unnecessary expenses such as TV subscriptions like Netflix or Hulu, eating out, frequent shopping trips.
  3. Refinance student loans
    • Refinancing your loan can mean a lower your interest rate, lower monthly payments, and possibly reducing the total cost of your student loan debt. It also has the ability to extend your repayment term.
  4. Don’t carry balances on credit cards
    • If you can’t afford something, wait until you have the money in your checking to pay for it instead of racking up your credit card bill.
  5. Consider enrolling in auto payments
    • Some organizations will give you a lower interest rate if you enroll in their auto payment program. This will also ensure you never miss a payment!

 

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Topics: Education, College

Catholic Schools Continue to Thrive

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Jan 26, 2017 2:55:54 PM

Are you considering a Catholic school for your son or daughter? Catholic schools offer academic excellence and faith-based education for students throughout the United States. According to the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), national test scores, high school graduation rates, college attendance and other data show that Catholic schools frequently outperform schools in both the public and private sectors.

Although some Catholic schools are dealing with challenges such as declining enrollments and closures, the great news is that there is a still a strong demand for a Catholic education overall. The infographic below shares facts about the ongoing excellence and bright academic futures represented in our country's Catholic schools.

In a few days, Catholic School’s week will kick off from January 29 - February 4. The theme for this year’s Catholic Schools Week is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Catholic schools typically celebrate this week with Masses, open houses and various other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members.

Despite tuition costs, choosing to send your child(ren) to Catholic schools is all in all a great value. Catholic Financial Life has been a long-time supporter of Catholic education and offers a number of scholarship programs, helping to make a Catholic education more affordable for our members. To learn more about our scholarship programs, visit http://bit.ly/2ky7GvY.

 

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Related Posts:

Three Reasons Why You Should Choose a Catholic School

Ten Benefits of a Catholic School Education

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Topics: Education

Three Reasons Why You Should Choose a Catholic School

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Feb 5, 2016 8:57:43 AM

56903234Approximately 31 percent of Catholic Schools have an admissions waiting list. Here are three reasons why Catholic schools are in such demand.

1. Values

Allowing children to grow and learn within a Catholic environment instills moral values and principles that last throughout their lives --helping to create a future generation that is more thoughtful and aware of the importance of compassion and giving back to society.

2. Academic Standards

The rigorous academic standards at Catholic schools provide an early platform for future success and encourage students to reach their full potential. Catholic high schools average SAT scores that are 23 points higher than public school averages.

3. Supportive Environment

Catholic schools are allowed to be more selective about who they hire to teach and shape their students. This in turn attracts quality educators who wish to work with values-based institutions that excel academically, as well as grant more flexibility regarding curriculum. They also have a smaller teacher to student ratio. In addition, Catholic schools tout a high level of parental involvement, a factor that is crucial in terms of a child’s success and overall happiness.

This video shows how  St. Charles School partnered with Catholic Financial Life and earned an award in 2013 as an "Exemplary School" from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Despite tuition costs, choosing to send your child(ren) to Catholic schools is all in all a great value. Catholic Financial Life has been a long-time supporter of Catholic education and offers a number of scholarship programs, helping to make a Catholic education more afforable for our members.

Learn about our scholarships

 

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Topics: Education

3 Easy Ways to Pray With Your Family

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Oct 7, 2015 5:00:00 PM

We often find ourselves so caught up in the hustle and bustle and routine of our everyday lives that we forget about the most important part of our lives -- our relationship with God!

Between back-to-school meetings and soccer games this fall, refocus some of your energy on prayer and thank God for all your blessings.

Prayer is one of the most important aspects of our Catholic faith. Here are three fun and easy ways you and your family can create new traditions of prayer.

1. The Rosary

This prayer is easy to learn and fun to do with a large group of people. Devoted to the Virgin Mary, the Rosary is a sequence of mysteries and decades recalling important events in the life of Jesus. The Hail Mary is recited over and over again along with other common prayers like the Our Father and Glory Be.family_prayer_rosary

So pull out those old Rosary beads your aunt gave you for your First Communion and give it a try. If you have never prayed the Rosary before, or if it has been a while since the last time you did, you can look up directions.

Why not invite neighbors, family, and friends to your house one evening per week to pray the Rosary together? Pass out copies of the prayers and share dessert afterward. This is a great way to spend time with loved ones, and there’s nothing like the power of a large-group prayer.

2. Pope Francis’s Five Finger Prayer

This prayer is simple yet powerful because it reminds us of those in the world who need our prayers the most. All you need are your hands!

Back when he was an Archbishop in Argentina, Pope Francis created this prayer that reflects his selflessness and compassion.

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Here are the five steps of the prayer, according to Catholic Online:

  • Start with the thumb. It is closest to us, so it reminds us to pray for the people in our lives who are closest to us.
  • The index finger is next. Pray for the people who instruct, teach, and heal us like teachers, doctors, and mentors.
  • The middle finger is the tallest. This reminds us to pray for those who have authority, such as church and government leaders.
  • The fourth finger, the ring finger, is the weakest. We pray for the weak, sick, poor and vulnerable people of the world.
  • The last finger is the smallest, and it reminds us to pray for ourselves. Once we have finished praying for others, we can more clearly understand our own needs.

 

3. The Labyrinth

Cool and crisp fall is the perfect time to learn to pray the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is a meditative prayer representing the Christian spiritual journey. Some of the most beautiful and peaceful labyrinths are located outdoors.

The labyrinth is a complex path that resembles a maze, but it is not a maze at all, actually. You cannot get lost on the labyrinth. There is one winding path that leads to the center, and one path that leads back to the outside. As you travel closer and further from the center, reflect on the people and things in your life that bring you closer or pull you away from God.

Find a Catholic church in your area that offers opportunities to pray the Labyrinth and see why so many Catholics find joy and relaxation in this prayer.

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Topics: Parenting, Education, Catholic Values in Action, Family, Our Catholic Faith

How to Start a Conversation that Matters

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Sep 25, 2015 4:30:00 PM

It’s September, the start of a new school year. Before you know it, your college graduate will head out into the real world to make a difference. It’s never easy for a parent to see a child become more and more independent, only praying that they are ready to be on their own and face the challenges that lay ahead.

Do you have a graduate, a soon-to-be graduate, or recently-graduated graduate? You've probably already had the serious conversations about what their plans are for after graduation and securing a job. But have you talked about life insurance?

Starting a discussion about life insurance is never easy because it involves something we don’t want to talk about—death. What would happen if we suddenly left behind those we love the most? Life insurance isn’t going to benefit you in your lifetime, but it will protect your family in the event of your passing, with you knowing that they will be financially supported even in your absence. ThinkstockPhotos-dv1850043

A recent study revealed that many parents would rather have a discussion with their children about basically anything else—drugs, alcohol, religion, politics, and other taboo topics. But why? Thinking about our own mortality is unsettling, and no one enjoys talking about it, especially with their children. But it’s important for young adults to understand and appreciate the value of financial protection for their future family in the face of an unforeseen life event.

So how do you bring up the topic of life insurance to your loved ones, especially with your matured children?

Here are 3 easy steps to get started:

1. Discuss goals. What would your child like to do with their lives? Do they want a family? What is their dream job? Would they like to buy a house?

2. Now talk finances. How will your child pay for their future? For their travels? For their family? Does their job salary support these?

3. Finally, talk about yourself. Explain why you have your life insurance policy and why you chose it.

Talking about goals and objectives can help frame the conversation around finances and long-term financial planning. This in turn can lead to a dialogue about the importance of having life insurance, especially when it comes to potential parenthood and having dependent children.

Our $250,000 Term  Life protection costs only $20 a month*...so life insurance really is affordable on an entry-level salary.

But can you really put a price on peace of mind?

Contact an advisor about our your retirement options

*For a healthy 30 year old male.

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Parenting, Financial Literacy, Education, Family, Life Insurance, Graduate, Financial Security, College

Hispanic Heritage Month: Sharing values of
faith and family

Posted by Catholic Financial Life

Sep 16, 2015 4:30:00 PM

Members of the Milwaukee Central Agency Chapter 110 gather for an annual member appreciation picnic each summer.

Members of the Milwaukee Central Agency Chapter 110 gather for an annual member appreciation picnic each summer.

We celebrate growth.

Hispanic Heritage month is a national celebration in the United States that lasts from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 each year. During this time, we recognize the positive impact the Hispanic population has had on our nation through their strong traditions of faith, family, hard work, and service.

The Hispanic community is important to Catholic Financial Life. Twenty-five percent of all of our new members each year are Spanish-speaking. Seventeen percent of United States citizens identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino, and people of Mexican origin account for two-thirds of these Latino people. Ninety percent of these Mexicans are Catholic. We have adapted to our growing community of members with bilingual associates in all service areas, product materials in Spanish and advisors serving Hispanic communities. The Milwaukee Central Agency and its satellite agency in Chicago have mostly Hispanic members. Rogelio (Ro) Cabral, vice president of sales, said that there has definitely been the most member growth at the Milwaukee Central Agency.

“Ninety percent of the Hispanic community is Catholic,” said Ro. “They’re family-driven, which really reflects our values.”

Eleazar Lopez, Jr., advisor at the Milwaukee Central Agency also stressed the importance of our faith-centered bond with the Catholic Hispanic community.

“It’s natural for us to focus on this Catholic community,” said Eleazar. “They are very family-oriented, and our benefits are catered and geared to families.”

With faith comes success.

Our Hispanic members are young, active, and engaged in their families and Catholic faith. They spread the word about us and participate in chapter events in large numbers. The Milwaukee Central Agency member appreciation picnic is an example of the energy of this community. In 2013, 400-500 members participated. That number grows by over 100 every year, according to Eleazar.

Because this community is of a younger generation than our other members, they revitalize the life insurance aspect of our business.

“At the Milwaukee Central Agency and its satellite agency in Chicago, there is a huge amount of life insurance sales. Unlike other agencies that have recently been focusing on selling investments because their members are getting older, we bring in younger families who will support us for many years to come,” Eleazar said.

Another main difference is the education required at these majority-Hispanic agencies. We host financial workshops and seminars at Catholic schools and parishes to earn the trust of the Hispanic community. They find comfort in the fact that we are not-for-profit and have a strong presence in parishes and schools. Furthermore, we share a commitment to service and the Catholic faith.

Eleazar said that Catholic Financial Life's central values of family and faith at  have brought success. “We are really leading the way with this, which is unusual because we usually aren’t the innovators in this industry. The fact that we are Catholic really earns trust.”

The future is promising.

Catholic Financial Life is working to expand our Hispanic community of members, according to Ro. “We’re really just starting to dig in. The potential is tremendous. I’ve noticed a lot of opportunity out there.”

We are excited about what the future holds and hopeful that this community will continue to have a positive impact on the strength of our Catholic values. “We’re planting seeds right now," said Eleazar. "They will grow into trees which will soon sprout branches.”

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Financial Literacy, Education, Member Magazine, Catholic Values in Action, events, Family, Our Catholic Faith

Catholic Schools Week 2015: Catholic School Locator

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

Jan 26, 2015 3:19:00 AM

We're continuing to offer information on Catholic Schools Week 2015, as we raise awareness of Catholic schools, faith-based education, its value, advantages of a Catholic education and much more! This year's theme focuses on three core values of Catholic schools: "Faith. Academics. Service."

What is Catholic Schools Week?

Where can I find more information?
Check out the websites in your area listed below for open house information and other events planned for Catholic Schools Week 2015. Some schools are holding open houses and other events this weekend to kick off the week, so be sure to check in! 


Illinois

Archdiocese of Chicago
Diocese of Springfield
Diocese of Peoria
Diocese of Belleville
Diocese of Joliet
Diocese of Rockford

Massachusetts

Archdiocese of Boston
Diocese of Fall River
Diocese of Springfield
Diocese of Worcester

 

Iowa

Diocese of Davenport
Diocese of Des Moines
Diocese of Dubuque
Diocese of Sioux City

Missouri

Archdiocese of St. Louis
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Diocese of Jefferson City
Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

Minnesota

Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis
Diocese of Crookston
Diocese of Duluth
Diocese of New Ulm
Diocese of St. Cloud
Diocese of Winona

 

Wisconsin

Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Diocese of Madison
Diocese of Green Bay

Diocese of La Crosse

Diocese of Superior

Rhode Island

Catholic Schools of Rhode Island

 

 
Your state is not listed below? No problem! Check the National Catholic Educational Association website and use their Catholic School & Diocesan Locator to find a Catholic school near you!

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Topics: Education, events, Our Catholic Faith

School's Out! 5 Tips to Save Money with a Summer Job

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

May 31, 2013 10:41:20 AM

teensSummer vacation can mean relaxation and rest for some students. For those in high school and college, however, it can also mean that it is time to get out and find a summer job. Working a part-time or seasonal job definitely has its advantages, the most popular of them being the extra income that students have during the summer. While this is nice for everyone in the family, it's important that at least some of the money earned from a summer job is saved for later use. Here's a few quick tips on how to manage money effectively with a seasonal or part time job:

1. Set an account balance goal for fall

This is simple enough, yet vital for those looking to manage their money. This is especially important for those who are just starting their first jobs.  Find a number that is reasonable for you and the wage that you earn, and then write it down or have it memorized. This is the amount of money that you want to have available by the time that school starts up once again. The key is to not set the number so high that you are pinching every penny or working extra overtime, but still should not be so low that a majority of your summer income is spent. Find that comfortable medium, and aim to have that account balance by the time fall rolls around.

2. Monitor yourself

It's very easy to find yourself looking at a bank account and asking "what did I spend that money on?". Make sure that you keep your spending in check by monitoring your account activity regularly. The ideal schedule would be to check your bank account weekly, or at least bi-weekly, in order to make sure that you haven't overspent recently. If your summer employer provides payments via direct deposit, it also wouldn't hurt to make sure that paychecks are delivered on time. You don't want to miss out on money that you have earned.

3. Do the math in advance PE0039

While it is summer vacation, a little bit of math at the beginning of summer can make you feel a lot more comfortable by your first math test next semester. If you have a goal in place, figure out a dollar amount that should be saved out of every paycheck in order to reach that goal. If you have future expenses that you know about in advance (i.e. gas, rent, books for next semester, parking permits, etc.) do some quick figuring to find out how much you should save to accommodate for those purchases. This will keep you on a consistent schedule, so that you aren't rushing to save all of your last paychecks in preparation for fall. Budgeting yourself in May or June can save a major headache in August and September.

4. Limit your paid entertainment

Although summer is the time of year when blockbuster movies hit theaters and major concert tours travel the country, limit the number of paid events that you go to in a given amount of time. Finding alternatives, like going to the beach or parks with friends, can help keep some cash in your wallet. If you do have a lot of events that you would like to go to, take advantages of promotions and discount offers. Admission discounts and coupons can add up if you utilize them, and ultimately will help control the damage to your wallet in the long run.

5. You're never too old for a piggy bank

Believe it or not, loose change adds up quickly. While you may not have to pick up every penny that you find on the ground, having a change jar or piggy bank is one of the simplest ways that you can save. This way, instead of your change getting lost in the couch, or thrown in the wash with your clothes, it will be put away for safe keeping to accumulate. It is also important not to open the piggy bank until you need to. Wait until that change jar fills up, and then you can take it in to the bank in fall. If you save up change all summer, you may even have a bonus paycheck for yourself once it is time to head back to class.

Hopefully you will find these tips helpful to save some money over the course of a summer vacation. Remember, you don't have to sacrifice fun to save money (it is your time to relax, after all). For more year-round financial education, Catholic Financial Life also offers the Biz Kids program as a benefit to its members. This program teaches financial literacy for children, and has won several awards for its content. To find our more about becoming a member and having access to benefits like Biz Kids. Please contact Catholic Financial Life.

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Topics: Catholic Financial Life, Financial Literacy, Education

Raise the Flag and Raise the Roof for Stony Hill Schoolhouse

Posted by catholicfinanciallife

May 28, 2013 12:42:12 PM

Stony_Hill_School_3Jun09 When we think of patriotism, many things come to mind that symbolize what unites us as a nation--the Liberty Bell, the Constitution, the Statue of Liberty, and of course the American flag. There is perhaps no symbol more important to a country than its flag. June 14 is National Flag Day, a day set aside to honor this symbol of our many freedoms as Americans--a tradition that began in a one-room Wisconsin schoolhouse in 1885. Today that schoolhouse still stands, but is need of some costly repairs.

Family Fun Day Fundraiser


To help, a Family Fun Day will take place on Saturday, June 8th from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at the site of the historic Stony Hill School located in Waubeka, Wis. This year's event will combine raising the American Flag and raising money for some much-needed repairs at the site. Sponsored by the Ozaukee County Historical Society and the Wisconsin Fraternal Alliance, the event will feature kids' games and activities, tours of Stony Hill School, and appearances from "Betsy Ross" and "Bernard Cigrand".  The 128th annual flag raising ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. Click here to view the flyer for this event (PDF)

Bernard Cigrand, "the Father of Flag Day"


Stony Hill School, located in Waubeka, Wis., is the site of the first official observance of Flag Day. Started by Bernard J. Cigrand, nicknamed the "Father of Flag Day", June 14th commemorates the United States' adaptation of Betsy Ross' initial design of our nation's flag. Now, 128 years later, the schoolhouse is recognized by both the State of Wisconsin and the National Register of Historic Places.

Elementary school groups frequently tour the schoolhouse, learning about what it was like to be a student in the 1890s. They don includes wearing suspenders and pinafores, playing traditional games, and raising the flag at the iconic 80 foot flagpole. The schoolhouse is a historic site, cherished by many in the community, and still a provider of great educational memories for thousands of children every year.

Costly Repairs Jeopardize the Site's Future


Unfortunately, the condition of the school is starting to deteriorate. The two biggest issues, namely, are the roof, which needs to be replaced, as well as the 80 foot flagpole, which is in need of priming and repainting. This is a dire situation for the school, because without a new roof, the school will no longer be allowed to offer field trips, sharing the history of this national treasure with future generations. With that in mind, the fundraiser will be held in an effort to raise the funds for the new roof, and have a little bit of fun while doing so. And what better place to witness this patriotic celebration than at the place where it all started.

If you can't make it to the event, but would like to help preserve this historic site, please complete this form to contact us.


[contact-form to='kari.lueneberg@catholicfinanciallife.org' subject='Stony Hill School'][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]
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Topics: Education, events, Family