FAFSA Basics

January 2, 2015 10:35 am | Comments Off

Many high school seniors are counting down the days until graduation – and that’s a good thing! But if you haven’t put much thought to your next step, the clock is ticking. Check out this episode of the brass|SHOW to learn the basics of FAFSA and other financial aide tools that could really come in hand.

Need more help? Visit Mutual Savings Credit Union to explore all of your financial options as you prepare for that next step – no matter what it may be.

Happy Movember!

November 10, 2014 1:25 pm | Comments Off

Welcome to November – aka, Movember. Since mustaches are the “in” thing this month, the following infographic can help you learn the costs associated with grooming your new facial accessory. Click here to see a larger version of the infographic.

Save? What, are you nuts?

October 17, 2014 9:25 am | Comments Off

Saving money means more than just cutting costs. But putting aside money for emergency expenses or future purchases isn’t always easy to do. Saving money is a lot like other parts of life – if you make a routine out of it, the easier it will be to do.

The following video highlights some savings tips from Sammy the Squirrel, who knows a thing or two about saving.

We hope this video helped inspire some ideas that will help you save. Got questions? Feel free to contact the helpful staff at Mutual Savings Credit Union today!

Sammy the Squirrel

Clowning Around: A Guide On Joining The Circus

October 9, 2014 1:30 pm | Comments Off

Circus Marquee

If you like clowning around, and juggling a lot of things at once, you may be of the right caliber to become a circus performer. You may in fact be the right caliber of human cannonball.

In all seriousness: if you have ever wanted to run away from home and join the circus, now would be a great time. The American Youth Circus Organization is hosting a five day festival in Seattle from August 14-18 to bring circus performers and enthusiasts together to build a strong community. You may just find out that your big career step will be joining up with a traveling circus.

You will enjoy all the perks of traveling, shoveling elephant poop, swinging from wires, and juggling. If you are not acrobatically inclined, but would still like to receive all the perks, you could also be the ticket-taker or the balloon animal maker.

The festival offers 150 different workshops that vary from contortion, to tumbling and acrobatics, to aerial techniques and many more. The American Youth Circus Organization was founded in 1998 to establish a stronger community among circus performers. If you want to join this growing community of performers, here are some steps you’ll need to take:

Find a skill: There are many different options of circus acts, some of the specialized talents are trapeze artists, tightrope walker, fire breather, juggler, bearded lady, clown, unicyclists etc. You will have to determine which of your natural abilities can translate into a good circus act.

Practice makes perfect: Regardless of how good your female beard looks, you will still have to practice an act. Simply being a good juggler will not secure you a job, you will need to be able to perform and put a great act together.

Think about it: Make sure you are prepared for the circus world. While there are some non-traveling circuses, the majority spend quite some time on the road. You may also need to go to a circus school to perfect your act, or enhance and develop it for future shows. Joining the circus is not a way to get out of going to college.

Circuses have been hiring people and it’s not impossible to clown your way into a job.

Human cannonball Tina Miser practiced for a long time before she perfected her act, and she admits that being shot out of a cannon for a living is not an easy shot to fame. She worked for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and graduated from college and served in the Air Force Reserve before finally making the leap into becoming a professional cannonball.

Four Tips To Thrift-Store Decorating

September 26, 2014 3:21 pm | Comments Off

Decorating your first apartment can be a challenge. You just spent a ton of money on deposits and other fees, which doesn’t leave you with much cash to furnish the place. Fortunately, second-hand stores are a treasure trove of potential. But even if you get all your furniture and home decor at a thrift store, your apartment doesn’t have to look like one. Here are some tips on how to score the best deals that will make it look like an adult actually lives in your place.

Start with a theme. Think about the style that suits you or a color scheme you like. If you have a general idea of what you’re looking for, it’ll be easier weed out the good from the bad. Shopping with these ideas in mind will help your new place look a little more put together in the end.

Patience is the key to success. You don’t need to rush out and buy the first couch or dining table you see. Take some time looking for pieces of furniture that you actually like and see yourself using for a long time. Look for quality items – couches with good springs, tables without wobbly feet, dishes that aren’t chipped or cracked, and so on. Make sure to pay attention to colored-tag sales too, for an extra bargain. By taking your time and looking at all your available options, you avoid putting a large dent in your checking account over things you might not want later on and will slowly acquire things you actually find attractive.

An open mind brings creativity. Don’t fret if you can’t find exactly what you want. If you’re crafty and don’t mind a little do-it-yourself, why not make over something with a little potential by painting, staining, or reupholstering it? You could also make your own art for the walls so they’re more welcoming and not so bare.

The lowly knick knack. Little details go a long way toward making any residence feel homier and lived in. Plus, they add a ton of personality. Classics like vases or candles are always a nice touch, but don’t underestimate the power of a bizarre sculpture to really make a statement. Thrift stores are excellent places to look for trinkets because there’s usually a wide variety and it’s all fairly inexpensive.

It’s good to remember that you don’t have to stick solely to second-hand stores – look also at yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, Craigslist, or FreeCycle. Decorating from scratch while on a budget takes time and patience, but the end result is something you can take pride in. Not to mention, you’ll be excited to show off your cool new pad to all your friends.

Photo by epSos.de via cc.

Video: Check Scams

September 11, 2014 11:32 am | Comments Off

Check scams come in all forms and can happen anywhere – even in Chilton County, Alabama. The following video was filmed in a part of Mutual Savings Credit Union’s service area and does a great job of showing what a check scam looks like as it unfolds. Here’s a good tip to always keep in mind: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  Visit FakeChecks.org to see more videos of check scams in action.

15 Items to Request in a Care Package

September 3, 2014 1:43 pm | Comments Off


As a resident assistant for two years, I’ve dealt firsthand with the heartache some freshmen experience upon arrival at college. The easiest way I know of to dull the pain: a care package. Some parents may need a few hints, though. Here’s a simple list of items you can send to your family members to help them assemble the ideal care package.


10 Questions to Ask on a Campus Tour

August 22, 2014 4:03 pm | Comments Off

When I was working as a college prep coach for a group of high school juniors, I had the opportunity to take my students to tour several different college campuses. They were normally an inquisitive group, so I had high hopes about the great questions they would ask on our campus tours. However, when our first tour guide asked if we had any questions, they all suddenly went mute. At first I was surprised, but then I remembered that when I was in high school touring college campuses, I didn’t ask a thing either. If only I’d had that recollection earlier. It’s a shame that students don’t ask more questions on admissions tours, because these trips around campus are usually led by current undergraduates at the college, meaning that it’s an opportunity for students to get the kind of firsthand insight about campus life that they’re not going to be able to get anywhere else — and I’m not just talking about finding the coolest hangouts or learning how to get away with skipping class (though those can be valuable, too). To help out future incoming classes, I’ve compiled a list of 10 key questions that you should ask a guide on an admissions tour.

  1. What’s your favorite class you’ve taken in college and why?
  2. What’s the most challenging class or professor you’ve had? Do you feel like taking this class was worth it?
  3. What do you know now that you wish you’d known as an incoming freshman?
  4. What are some of the most popular things to do on the weekends? Do most students stay on campus or go home?
  5. Does the college have any student traditions that are actually followed?
  6. Do most students live on-campus? If not, where do most people live?
  7. How’s the food in the dining halls and is a meal card really worth it?
  8. How much time do you and your friends typically spend on homework during a normal week?
  9. What is the one thing you really wish you could change about the school or your experience?
  10. What was the most challenging thing about adjusting from high school to college?

BOTTOM LINE This is obviously not an exhaustive list — there are plenty of other things you could ask your tour guide about academics, campus activities, or any other aspect of student life — so if you think of other questions while on your admissions tour, don’t hesitate to ask. Most tour guides got their job because they are good communicators and are knowledgeable about their school, so they would be glad to elaborate on anything you want to know.   Photo by Joey Gannon via cc

How Money Gets into your Pocket

August 8, 2014 8:59 am | Comments Off

The Team Mutual blog is all about helping you get a better understanding of how your finances work – from budgeting to saving and everything in between. Many different tools are utilized by Team Mutual to accomplish this mission.

What better way to learn about how money works than to learn how it actually gets into your pocket. The following infographic details the path of new bills with easy-to-understand visuals.

Thanks for visiting the Team Mutual Blog! Click here to view a larger version of the infographic.


October 15, 2013 9:03 am | Comments Off

The 2013 Team Mutual season came to an exciting conclusion on October 11th, as Oak Mountain High School student Layne Phillips successfully kicked a field goal to win this year’s college scholarship contest. All members of Team Mutual are extremely proud of Layne and wish him the best of luck for his remaining time in high school, at college and beyond.

Layne’s kick took place between the first and second quarter of OMHS’s game against Spain Park High School. His first of three attempts didn’t go as planned but Layne sized up his second kick and drilled the football through the uprights. Here’s a video of Layne’s big kick:

Eagle players, students and fans cheered loudly for Layne after he connected on his second kick. Layne’s family and members of Team Mutual posed for pictures after the kick. You can learn more about Layne from this previous post and see more photos by visiting the Mutual Savings Credit Union Facebook page.

Layne Phillips poses with his scholarship check after his winning kick.

Layne Phillips poses with his scholarship check after his winning kick.

Congratulations again Layne! It was a pleasure working with you and everyone at Mutual Savings Credit Union is extremely proud of your accomplishment!