Considering that in our community we’re surrounded by tech savvy professionals, high paying jobs and the best and the brightest when it comes to innovation, it’s interesting to note that in spite of this, many individuals are lacking a solid foundation when it comes to financial literacy. Women in particular, although they are usually the financial decision makers of any household, can many times just not have the exposure to financial decision making do’s and don’ts. Things like budgeting, planning for the future, and saving for emergencies or life’s big events is not only something we’re unsure of, but in many cases we’re not even sure where to start.
At MIT Federal Credit Union we understand the need for a relaxed, open, financially focused space to learn, share, and ask questions. No judgement, no pressure, and plenty of plain “put-the-facts-on-the-table” discussion so you can get the answers you need, and some support in deciding what next steps could be. But time is precious and having some fun along the way is also important. That’s why we’ve joined with Society of Grownups and a variety of experts in things like cooking, wine-tasting, art, and more to allow you an evening out with friends, to discuss important stuff in a relaxed setting. From budgeting to retirement, college savings for kids, and being prepared for unexpected, our sessions will give you an opportunity to reflect, ask questions, and have fun.
Send us an email to be included in invitations to our next F.E.W. session!
Calendar of Events
Unpacking Popular Trends in Food & Finance
Monday, February 26th | 5:30-7:00PM | 700 Technology Square Branch
Popular Food Trends - Are They Worth the Investment?
To kick off the 2018 Financially Empowered Women Series, we’re welcoming back Catherine Smart of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street to talk about the 5 most popular food trends we’re seeing now (think: meal service plans and the instant pot) and to discuss – is it worth the investment? What are the pros and cons?
Rachel and Tyler of Society of Grownups will also join us for a discussion on the personal finance side of these trends. We’ll talk about how to build them into your budget along with your other financial goals such as buying a home, planning for a major expense, or adding to your emergency fund. We'll also touch on some of the major financial trends to keep an eye on for 2018 such as budgeting apps, energy efficient loans and more.
As always, our events are open to all, members, non-members, men, women, and anyone else interested in joining the conversation!
About our speakers:
Catherine Smart – A New Hampshire native, Catherine owns a personal chef business, The Pocket Garden, and is a weekly contributor to The Boston Globe Food section. She is a culinary instructor at Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street, as well as a cast member of a brand new cooking show, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street TV and is a contributor to Milk Street Radio.
Rachel Rabinovich is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who leads the planning team at Society of Grownups, a digital hub for financial wellness and topics around adulthood. Her life is a personal testament to the power that financial planning has to make a positive and lasting impact. Rachel’s passion is to pay it forward and help others make intentional choices so they can enjoy their lives today while still planning for the future.
Tyler Dolan is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at Society of Grownups who has a slight obsession with STAR WARS™ LEGO® ships. He got his Master's degree at Bentley University and started his career at UBS Financial Services. Everybody's financial goals are different, so Tyler believes that financial advice should be tailored to each individual. Volunteering at a local financial literacy initiative helped Tyler develop a passion for empowering people to take control of their financial lives.
Self-Defense for You and Your Money
Phishing, Ransomware, Identity Theft, Data Breaches….the list of cyber security attacks and threats against our financial and digital life grows daily. The sophistication of cyber-criminals is also growing. – learn tips, tricks and best practices to help keep your finances and identity safe.
Self-Defense Tips and Techniques
Knowledge is defense. Understanding cyber security attacks and threats and how to protect yourself can help prevent you from becoming a victim. Learning tips and techniques to identify and avoid unsafe situations in everyday life is also an important thing to know – whether you’re walking down the street, running through the park, or relaxing in your own home.
Society of Grownups will discuss the latest Equifax breach, how to monitor your credit report and steps you can take if you’ve been hacked. MIT FCU’s IT Specialist, Yasmine St. Eugene, will address the most common types of cyber security attacks; socially engineered malware, password phishing, social media threats and unpatched software. Learn tips and tricks to avoid becoming a victim of these all too common threats.
Dave Hagymas, the MIT Men’s Tennis Head Coach, has been teaching MIT students self-defense as a credited course for years. He will offer tips on how to avoid unsafe situations, and techniques to defend yourself in a potentially violent encounter.
This seminar is designed to provide basic knowledge to make you feel safer – in both the digital world and real world.
The night will consist of:
- Basic overview of financial self-defense, cyber-security, and what to do if you’ve been hacked
- Overview of and a 45 minute to 1 hour session of self-defense techniques
- Open discussion
Go Green, Grow Green: Tips for Retirement Planning
Whether you’re just starting out in the workforce, or looking forward to wrapping things up in the near future, retirement is something that deserves some thought. There are many different investment options and products available. It can be overwhelming, or something you may feel you don’t need to worry about quite yet, but in reality, planning for retirement isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of project, and the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. Basic tips include:
- Start saving early
- Increase your contributions as often as you can
- Change your strategy as you get older
You don’t need to be an expert or a millionaire to begin building a nest egg for retirement. Come to our session where our speakers from Society of Grownups will give you the tips and knowledge you need to start saving now and set yourself up for a comfortable retirement.
Grow Your Own Little World!
Just as you grow your retirement nest egg, we’ll be starting your own little green world to care for at our session. We’ve invited Plant Nite to provide tips and guidance in building your own terrarium. Get your hands dirty by digging, planting, and decorating your one-of-a-kind tabletop garden. No green thumb? No problem! The instructor will walk us through the steps to create, care for, and keep your garden growing long after the night is over.
A Mindful Approach to Debt & Credit - Don't Stress It!
Do credit scores, credit card debt, and how to manage it all and still live a happy life keep you up at night? Are you looking for answers to:
• What's my credit score?
• What can I do to improve it?
• Are loans the only thing impacted by my credit score?
In fact, your credit score impacts not only your loan rates or ability to borrow, but also your chances at a new job, your insurance rates, and more! Come to our session at Health Yoga Life where our speakers from Society of Grownups will explain the ins and outs of credit, debt and how you can take control of it all.
Don’t let the stress of credit get the best of you!
As part of our event, we’ve invited one of Health Yoga Life’s co-founders, Vyda Bielkus to lead a mindfulness meditation session. With so many stressors threatening our balance daily, learning the benefits of mindfulness meditation, and understanding the power of sitting in the now to find your way past pain, stress, and dis-ease, can be life altering. Our session will include:
• Basic overview of credit and credit reports
• Overview of mindfulness meditation
• 40 – 45 minute guided, seated meditation
• Open discussion of credit, credit reports and what you can do to improve yours
If you'd like to get a free credit report prior to the session, visit www.freecreditreport.com.
Too Much is Never Enough: How to Make the Most of Extra...Money, Food & Everything Else.
Have you ever received a little (or a lot of) extra money - whether it be from a raise or bonus, an inheritance, or maybe winning the lottery? Do you ask yourself:
- Should I pay off debt?
- Should I invest?
- Should I just take an awesome vacation?
While this decision is a personal one, our speakers from Society of Grownups have tips for handling this kind of scenario.
And to make the evening interactive, we'll also be covering what to do with excess food!
We can all think of a time when we had too much of something...maybe zucchini from a garden, maybe a CSA share with more cabbage than you knew what to do with. Rich Shih, regionally known cook and food educator with OurCookQuest, and self-professed food-adventurer, will get us thinking about how to make the most of excess food. The evening's activities will focus on apples (usually the first fruit in a CSA and available most of the year and include:
- Techniques and variations for preparing sweet treats and out-of-the-box savory ideas. (Think caramel apple butter, barbeque sauce, soda and recipes including them)
- Fermented applications for ingredients like kombucha and hard cider.
- Minimizing food waste by using a whole food approach to cooking.
As a bonus, you will make your own kombucha to take home. There will be inspired drinks and snacks served throughout the evening. The presentation will be interactive so be prepared to participate.
For anyone interested in the Miso Butterscotch Dipping Sauce we had at this event, please see below for the recipe.
Miso Butterscotch Dipping Sauce
Makes 1+ quart
- 1/2 C Dark Miso (adjust amount to taste based on salt content)
- 3-1/2 C Brown Sugar
- 1 lb Butter
- 1 C Water
Heat through all ingredients in a medium pan until sugar is dissolved then allow to bowl for about 10 minutes, stirring throughout. Let cool and you'll have a wonderful dip for apples, pears, and other fruits! Or a great sauce for ice cream.
Rich was recently featured in an article in Serious Eats, check it out!
Finding Time, Finding Money - The Fundamentals of Food, Fun and Finance
Our session leaders, Catherine Smart of the Milk Street Kitchen and Rachel Rabinovich of Society of Grownups will start us off right with ideas, tips, tricks and more to get you started on the road to solid financial (and epicurean) wellness.