PIONEER CREDIT BLOG

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Eating Healthy on a Budget

Many people have the stigma that eating healthy is expensive and is difficult to accomplish on a consistent basis. While this can be true, there are many sensible ways to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet while actually saving money. Check out our budget-friendly, healthy eating tips below to get started today!

  • whole_grainsBuy whole foods- Surprisingly, unprocessed foods such as whole grain oats, rice, potatoes, canned tuna, and frozen chicken breasts are cheaper and more nutritious than their processed packaged substitutes. Continue reading

Important Tax Dates

Use this simplified listing to stay on top of this tax season’s deadlines. Keep in mind, these are not the only deadlines for tax season and dates for tax deadlines change each year.

January January 17th: Deadline to pay your fourth quarter estimated tax payment for the year 2016. *Tip: You can skip this estimated payment without penalty if you file your return and pay your balance in full by February 1, 2017.

January 23th: Opening day to file 2016 individual tax returns.

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How to Stay Fit

Whether your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, or to simply live a healthier lifestyle, follow our tips and tricks to make it happen.

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Clean out your pantry- Kick start your New Year’s resolution to lose weight by cleaning out your pantry. Throw out anything that contains trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and high fructose corn syrup.

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Cut back on eating out- In order to consistently lose weight, it’s extremely important to change your eating habits and to adopt a “healthy lifestyle” approach. This starts with cutting back on eating out. Since the fast pace of today’s world makes it nearly impossible to cut dining out completely, order wisely when at restaurants. Opt for the grilled chicken sandwich without mayo instead of a burger, or if you order a salad, ask for the dressing on the side.

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Portion control- Portion size is extremely important to consider when losing weight. Some quick references to remember when controlling portion sizes are: three ounces of lean meat is equivalent to a deck of cards, and 1 cup of breakfast cereal is about the size of your fist.

When cooking and purchasing foods, make sure to look at the nutrition facts to determine what is considered a serving. Then, measure out your serving size.  This will help you determine exactly how much you are consuming and, in turn, prevent you from overeating.

Eating out is another battle when controlling portion sizes. A tip to control portion size when eating out is to immediately box-up half your meal. This will prevent you from overeating, no matter how tasty your meal may be.

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Plan your meals- Plan all your meals at the beginning of each week, including snacks. Then make a grocery list only including these items, and stick to it! This will allow you to start the week off with the right mindset. Whether you 100% stick to your plan or not, at least you will have more control over your diet then if didn’t have a plan at all. A bonus to planning your meals is cutting out overspending on your grocery bill. Need some help planning healthy meals? Click here to discover how to incorporate healthy foods into your diet.

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Keep a food journal- Writing down what you eat throughout the day will allow you to analyze your eating habits. At the end of each day refer back to your food journal and ask yourself questions such as, “”Did I eat at least 4-5 servings of fruit and veggies?’ ‘Did I eat correct portion sizes?’ and ‘Did I eat when I wasn’t hungry?’”.

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Develop an exercise routine- Design an exercise routine that fits your interests and schedule, and stick to it! For example, if you get home from work on Mondays by 5 p.m., dedicate that night to running or doing a class at the gym. Make sure to add variety to your workout routine as well. This will help you work all your muscle groups, and keep you from getting bored with your routine.

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Get an exercise buddy-Exercising with a buddy can make the whole gym process a lot less intimidating, and even fun!  Make plans together to go on runs, walks, to yoga, or to the gym. Having a workout buddy motivates you to not only exercise, but to also push yourself harder when working out.

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Drink plenty of water– Constantly drinking water is a vital factor in any diet. It can help keep you full longer, help energize muscles, and it has been shown to increase your metabolism by up to 3%! Generally experts say to drink at least eight, eight ounce cups of water a day, which can be a challenge at times. Tips to drink more water include always keeping a glass of water at your desk, carrying a water bottle around with you whenever possible, substituting at least one beverage a day for water, and using flavored water enhancers if you still need something sweet.

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Eat lean protein- Eating foods with high levels of lean protein will help you stay full for longer, and will help refuel your muscles after a hard workout. Some examples of lean proteins include beans, eggs, chicken, turkey, and fish.

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Get sleep- According to Health.com, sleep is a cornerstone of weight management because of the impact it has on your hormones that control how you burn fat, how you store fat, and how you’re maintaining muscle. The better your hormone balance, the better your weight management.

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Whether your New Year‘s resolution is to lose weight or to become more financially savvy, Pioneer Credit Company can help! Call your local branch today!

Easy, Clever Ways to Start Saving

One of the most popular financial resolutions each year is to “save more”. Considering that the personal savings rate in the United States is about the lowest rate of any industrialized country, according to MoneySKILL, we agree that this is a crucial area of your finances to focus on. The trouble with having “save more money” as a financial resolution is that it can be intimidating to some. You may think that you don’t make enough money to save after your necessary expenses, or that you have to start with a formal approach to saving like setting up an Individual Retirement Account or a 401k. These are both great tools that we advocate! But, if you’re feeling like these aren’t realistic for you quite yet, you don’t have to worry. There are several easy ways to start saving that you can implement today—no planning or tracking required!

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Top Holiday Cookie Recipes

Let’s face it; one of the best parts of the holiday season is food. In fact, at Pioneer Credit Company, we have such a sweet tooth that we collected the best cookie recipes. We had our team members send in their families’ favorite time-tested holiday cookie recipe, and then held a vote to see who the winners were. Below are the ones that made it to the top ten. Happy baking!

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