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Financial Fitness Blog

Educators receive scholarships from Member Benefits

(Money Management) Permanent link

Brenda EcheverriaWEA Member Benefits is pleased to award scholarships once again this summer to four attendees of the National Institute for Financial and Economic Literacy (NIFEL) program hosted by Edgewood College in Madison. The NIFEL program provides educators with the tools and expertise they need to teach personal finance in the classroom, with seminars on basic to advanced financial topics. The goal is for future generations to become better prepared to make sound financial decisions.

Member Benefits provides these scholarships to further financial literacy in our schools. Award winners are:

Sherri Hendrickson
Business and Information Technology Teacher, Monroe High School

Sherri has attended the NIFEL program in previous years and found the courses to be some of the most valuable she has ever taken.

Sylvia Johnson
Math Teacher, Transformation Learning Community High School, Milwaukee

Sylvia believes that when students have the right tools early enough, they will become good stewards over their finances, and that will impact those around them.

Stephen Zittlow
Math Teacher, Brodhead High School

Stephen is interested in learning new ways to teach his students the financial implications of starting a business, financial contracts and paychecks, and how mathematics is applied in these situations.

James Sachs
Math Teacher, Marshfield High School

James is accumulating credits for relicensure and is looking for new ways to enhance his financial literacy projects.

For more information about NIFEL educational opportunities, visit

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

Quick tree care tips

(Insurance) Permanent link

Mark DannehlMost of us appreciate having trees in our yard, but we don't always think about what could happen if they become damaged or diseased. By doing some simple maintenance, you may prevent future problems. Here are a few tips to care for your trees:

  • Trim trees in late fall or early winter while they’re dormant. This minimizes the risk of fungus and insect infestation.
  • To protect trees from storms and wind, remove outer branches from the end of long limbs while retaining the interior branches.
  • Remove branches and limbs that touch your roof or gutters.
  • Call an expert—a certified arborist—to prune large trees or to remove trees you think may have succumbed to disease or insect infestation. The average cost for trimming a mature tree is $250–$500.

Just a little effort could save you a lot of money and stress. If you have insurance through Member Benefits and you have questions about your coverage regarding trees, give us a call at 1-800-279-4010.

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant

Safe travel tips

(Insurance) Permanent link

Mark DannehlIs there a summer road trip in your future? Follow the Boy Scout motto of "Be Prepared" and you may save yourself some potential frustration.

Do some car prep

Before hitting the road, make sure your car is in good working order. 

  • Make sure the oil and filter have been changed recently.
  • Evaluate your tires for pressure as well as wear and tear. If they're on their last legs, have them replaced and aligned.
  • Be sure your windshield wiper blades are in good shape and that your wiper fluid tank is full.
  • Find out how old your car battery is and replace it if it's near the end of its life span. Normal battery life is three to five years.
  • Inspect the belts and hoses in your car. If you see any cracks or wear, get them replaced.

Have an emergency kit

You should always have a basic emergency kit in your car. Supplies should include first aid, jumper cables, basic tools, and snacks and drinks. A good list can be found at

Have a cell phone

Even if you don’t use a cell phone regularly, an inexpensive pre-paid phone that you keep in the car could make a big differnce in an emergency situation. Keep a car charger handy for your phone.

You should also make sure your auto insurance is paid up and has the appropriate coverages. If you have an auto policy with Member Benefits and would like to review your coverage, give us a call at 1-800-279-4010. Or you can learn more about auto coverages here.

Drive safely and enjoy your summer!

Certain policy exclusions and limitations may apply. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company.

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant

Six safety tips to keep in mind when using fireworks and sparklers

 Permanent link

Mark DannehlFriends, family, fun and fireworks…the quintessential ingredients for a fun-filled fourth of July. Whatever your plans, be sure to keep safety in mind and use common sense if you decide to use sparklers or fireworks. Here are a few tips to keep you safe:

  1. Always follow the directions on fireworks and use them only as they are intended.
  2. Keep fireworks away from flammable materials like grass, leaves, trees, and brush. If you’re going to light fireworks, light them outside and on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, vehicles and people.
  3. Do have a bucket of water or a hose nearby when lighting fireworks.
  4. Do not try to relight fireworks that are duds. And do not throw spent fireworks into a fire pit or campfire. Instead soak them in water and dispose of them properly.
  5. Always supervise children using sparklers and keep them away from clothing and hair.
  6. Consider glow sticks for the little kids. They’re safer, they provide hours of fun, plus they can help you keep track of your children when it’s dark.

For more safety tips, videos and an interesting infographic about fireworks and the injuries they can cause, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant