WOW WALL –

We received a letter from a member who expressed gratitude to the staff of NJFCU for being there for him when he had an emergency.  The staff who assisted this member was Maureen A. and Jason, both employees at our Totowa branch.  This is a fantastic letter and once again NJFCU delivered WOW Service!

Way to go Maureen and Jason!

Tuesday Tip #27: Top 5 Funny Ways to Save Money

Saving money is tough; it’s like a diet. You had your fun and now you have to tighten your belt to spend less. But being disciplined with your money does not have to be boring or a drag.

Here are my ten entertaining ways to save money:

1. Put your credit cards into tubs filled with water. Freeze. For some individuals, putting their chocolate into the freezer has helped them with impulse chocolate binges. Instead of popping the mouth watering chocolate into their mouths for that moment where it melts on their tongue, a disciplined chocoholic would have to wait for the chocolate to thaw before indulging. Likewise, you can put your credit card into a storage tub and freeze it. Depending on your self control, you may have to increase the storage tub to give you ample time to get a hold of your senses.

2. Go snacking at gourmet grocery stores with food samples. You might be able to lunch your way through the shopping aisles as long as you are not too fussy about sharing your digs with other “shoppers.”

3. Check all vending machines for change that was not retrieved or loose food items. Do not get on any security guard’s ire by shaking the vending machine. However, if you keep a sharp eye out, you can sometimes find packages hanging, ready to fall out in such a way that if you buy the next one, you get the first bonus one free. After you do that, check under the machines for any more loose coins. People often don’t realize that they dropped more change than they picked up when they drop them.

4. Take extra packets of whatever the restaurant is passing out. Ketchup, salt, sugar, sugar substitute are just for starters. Non-dairy creamers, crackers, plastic utensils, napkins, nothing is too small.

5. Unplug everything in your house except when you use it. Phantom energy uses add up. Really.

 

Tuesday Tip #26: Tips to Smart Holiday Shopping

Black Friday and Cyber Monday has come and gone, but nearly a month remains of the Christmas shopping season. The early birds may have bought, wrapped and mailed all of their gifts by now, but many of us still haven’t set foot in a store. So I offer these consumer tips — courtesy of consumerreports.org and the National Retail Federation — in the spirit of the holiday shopping season:

 

  • Make a list and check it twice. Write down the names of everyone on your gift list, the naughty and the nice, and how much you plan to spend on their gifts.
    Creating a list helps you budget your holiday expenses, reduces the chance you’ll forget someone, and makes it easier to find ways to save money by making the best use of stores’ buy-one-get-one-free offers.
  • Surf the Net before you visit the store. Go online and check out the websites and Facebook pages of your favorite retailers to see what specials they offer.
  • Sign up to receive e-mails from retailers. They often contain special offers and coupons.
  • If you know exactly what you are buying someone, price the item at two or more online sites before heading to the store. It can save you time and gas money.
  • Shop the night before a sale begins. Many stores program their registers each evening for the next day, so a sale price might come up if you shop after 6 p.m. even if the sale price isn’t posted yet.
  • Ask a sales associate about any upcoming sales, especially on big-ticket items
  • Don’t get distracted. Stores entice you with “doorbuster” specials, especially on TVs and other electronic items. If that’s what you want, don’t let the salesperson steer you toward a more expensive item. If you are looking for a better quality TV or computer, however, know that the higher-priced ones might have more wiggle room for negotiation.
  • Check the store’s return policy. Not only do return policies differ from store to store, they also might also be different this time of year. Some items purchased during Black Friday weekend might not be returnable, or have a shortened return period. Also, ask whether a store has a restocking fee.
  • Don’t park in the dark. If shopping after 5 p.m., make sure you park in a well-lighted area of the parking lot. Keep the items you bought in the trunk of the car and out of sight. If you drive a hatchback, cover your purchases with a blanket.

Tuesday Tip #25 – Thanksgiving Safety Tips

  • To avoid a fire, stay in the kitchen while cooking. Check on the food throughout the day. If deep-frying a turkey, keep the fryer outside and away from walls, fences and other structures.
  • If you thaw your turkey at 40° F or higher, salmonella and other bacteria could grow. Thaw your turkey in the fridge. The general rule is one day for every 5 pounds. Or, thaw your turkey underwater – 30 minutes for every pound. Change the water every 30 minutes.
  • Give the juices time to set after it’s done cooking by letting it rest for a bit.
  • Cook the turkey right after thawing. Check the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest breast area to see if it’s finished. The temperature needs to be least 165° F.
  • Put your leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours of serving the food. If you are not going to eat them within 36 hours, put them in the freezer.
  • Keep turkey bones, fatty holiday foods (turkey skin and gravy), chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, alcohol, and anything with caffeine away from your pets.

Friday Fun Fact – Turkey: Health & Nutrition Facts

The highlight of most Thanksgiving meals is the turkey, a special treat that many families prepare in honor of this holiday. Turkey is actually a very nutritional meat. Here are some facts about the nutritional content of turkeys to keep in mind this Thanksgiving:

  • If you’re looking to cut back on calories this Thanksgiving, go for the white meat of the turkey, which has fewer calories than the dark meat. Also, choose meat that does not have the skin on it, which adds extra fat and calories.
  • Turkey is low in fat and high in protein, which makes it a healthy meat choice for the holidays.
  • Turkey is a great source of several key nutrients, including potassium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and B vitamins.
  • A single serving size of turkey is about the size and thickness of a deck of cards, which is just slightly over 3 ounces. If the serving is breast meat without skin, it contains about 4 grams of fat and 30 grams of protein. If it is dark meat without skin, it contains about 8 grams of fat and 28 grams of protein.
  • While it’s a common myth that has been passed from dinner table to dinner table, turkey is not really responsible for that Thanksgiving Day food coma. The real culprit is the amount of food that people eat during this yearly feast. The processing and digestion of all that food takes away blood from other parts of your body, including the brain, causing people to feel tired and drowsy.

WOW WALL – Juliette McFarlane, MSR

We have another WOW WALL posting….Juliette McFarlane, Member Service Representative.

 The following letter was from a member, Joyce Taub. Juliette sure gave her the WOW Experience.  We are very happy to have you on our TEAM, Juliette!

“I wanted to take the time to let you know how helpful Juliette McFarley has been in the past few weeks.  I have been a member of the NJFCU for over 30 years and have had very few issues.

 

However, a few weeks ago I requested two checks mailed to me at my summer address, and by mistake the checks were sent to my Miami address.  I had been waiting for the checks that I needed and wasn’t sure if I should stop payment and wait for new checks.  Juliette worked very hard checking with your bank to sort out the problem and get back to me, although I didn’t expect to hear from her again.

 

This was a real inconvenience to me, but Juliette made the process so much easier.  It was such a pleasant experience to have someone take that extra step, that now she is the only one I want to deal with because I* know my request will be handled promptly and correctly.

I have thanked her, but wanted you to be aware of how helpful she has been.  It is an unexpected surprise to deal with someone who takes her job so professionately that I had to send this e/m.”

 

- Joyce Taub

Friday Fun Fact – Thanksgiving

 

Fun Facts about Thanksgiving Today

  • In the US, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations.
  • Each year, the average American eats somewhere between 16 – 18 pounds of turkey.
  • Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.
  • Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States.
  • Although, Thanksgiving is widely considered an American holiday, it is also celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.
  • Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States, where it is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season.

WOW WALL – Intro

Recognizing employees for a job well done is something we strive to always do at North Jersey Federal. This is why we have introduced the Wow Wall, a way to acknowledge our employees for doing such a good job. Employees’ name and what they are being recogized for, whether it’s exceptional service or a thank you note from a member, is placed on the Wow Wall for all employees to see. We would like to share this with our members, so starting today and every Wednesday coming up, we will post the name of employee(s) and what he/she is being recognized for. This goes to show that a simple acknowledgement for a job well done goes a long way. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The first two employees that we would like to mention that have been recently inducted to the Wow Wall are Luis Perez and Mike Brands, our IT Department!

Having gone through some troubling times during our power recovery; both Luis and Mike were able to maintain calm and restore our IT services including the phone system, so we all can continue to operate and serve the membership!

Working under pressure, along with anxious employees; both Luis and Mike got us through with flying colors!

Not only are they Customer-Service Focused, they are Employee-Service Focused! Great Effort and Teamwork!

We are very pleased to have both Luis and Mike on our team and thank them for their efforts!

Friday Fun Fact

Did you know that the first Don’t Walk signs were installed in New York City on 5 February 1952? Red remained the preferred color for warning signs because red elevates the blood pressure, heightening nervous tension, therefore the most likely color to attract attention. Yellow is used in signs aimed at vehicle traffic because it is the most visible color in the spectrum and can be seen from the farthest distance.

Tuesday Tip #25: Get Creative this Holiday Season

Get creative with your gift giving: Handmade gifts and personalized coupons can be the most thoughtful gifts.  Think about your own talents as well as what the person may need.  For example: knit a blanket or sweater; bake some cookies; create a photo album of your favorite pictures (decorate the cover of the album with a colorful title); make a music tape with their favorite tunes; or give them a coupon for a special dinner at your house, baby-sitting time, or even a house cleaning – the list is endless.