Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where Your Money Goes Matters

When we found out we were pregnant with our first daughter, I decided to save all of our pennies, literally.  My idea was that I would save those pennies until she was born and whatever was in the can at that time, I would start her college fund with it.  (This would also establish the amount that we would begin each subsequent child's fund.)  Lyla was several months old by the time I actually got around to it, but I did continue to save the change.  We decided to open the account in a credit union.  I am so glad we did. 

The day we opened the account, I walked in with my rolled coins and my somewhat-bitty baby.  I'm not sure who weighed more - the coins or the baby!  The experience stayed with me.  The staff was so personable that it seemed more like we were having a conversation over coffee than opening a college fund.  People were stopping by to see the baby and were just so hospitable.  I almost forgot why I was there.

Fast-forward a year later and we have our accounts in the credit union.  All of this came to mind during last week's Bank Transfer Day.  My experience with a credit union gets better with each visit.  I recently went to the credit union and the teller that usually helps me asked where my girls were.  How fantastic is that?  She tends to how many people per day and she remembers my girls and me?  That meant the world to me.  On my way out, I bumped into the gentleman that opened one of our accounts.  He remembered my name.  Wait, what?  How many people does he help on a daily basis and he remembered my name.  He asked about my girls and husband and how my husband was liking his job.  (We opened the account after he started his job.)  I sent a friendly email telling the credit union powers that be of my experience. I received a phone call from the branch manager.  The Branch Manager!  What a lovely person and conversation we had.  I couldn't pay for that kind of service.  Well, there wasn't a fee for that.  ha, ha  Sorry for the sarcasm.  The moment just called for it.  

Here are some tidbits that I learned about credit unions.  Credit unions employ local people.  They are not-for-profit, which means they serve their members not their profits.  These members own the credit union and vote for the board of directors.  When the credit union is a member of the network, you can use their ATMs for no fee.  My motivation: I received good service, so I kept going where I was treated well.  It's just that simple.

What is your experience?  I would love to hear (or read) about it.


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