Need help saving money? Here's some tips for millenials


Financial tips are crucial in order to have a healthy work/life balance. Here are some tips from Shanacee Shreve from Young & Free

How to Decrease Debt/Save Money for the Future

- Debt can be an overwhelming thought for anyone, but the truth is, you need to tackle it step-by-step.

For example:

Step 1: Take Inventory of Your Debts
-- To manage your debts, you first need to know exactly what you are dealing with.

Step 2: Create a budget
-- Calculate your monthly income and budget out your expenses, such as car payment and rent/mortgage. Within your budget, create a category to pay off your debts.

Step 3: Stick to your plan!
-- A budget is only a good resource if you follow it.

Resources to Better Manage Your Money

• Live within your means.
• is a program that helps you easily track where your money is going each month so you know which areas you need to cut back your spending on.
• Talk to your parents, a guardian or your financial institution with any questions you have!

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Cast your vote for the next Michigan First Credit Union ‘Spokester'

Macomb Daily  |  By Gina Joseph

Young people have always had mentors for things like sports and science but it is rare to have someone among their peers promoting financial success.

That’s what makes the Michigan First Credit Union Young & Free Spokester so special, that and the fact that the spokesperson is chosen through a public voting process.

As of May 16, which is when the application process closed, Michigan First Credit Union had 24 individuals including several from Macomb County who submitted their video showcasing why he or she should be chosen as the next Young & Free Michigan Spokester.

Now, it’s up to the public to choose four candidates, who will join an additional three finalists chosen by Michigan First as the contest finalists.

Individuals can vote for their favorite candidates once a day.

Public voting will close on May 23 at 3 p.m.

Those who are chosen as finalists, to be announced on May 25, will then participate in a social gathering on June 7 with the winner being announced a week or so after that.

The winning Spokester will be responsible for creatively promoting smart financial decisions among his or her peers. This will be done through a number of activities including managing the Young & Free social media channels, a daily blog post, weekly videos and a variety of community events.

Besides a great experience for young people it’s a paid position lasting a minimum of one year.

The winning candidate will serve as the spokesperson for the Credit Union’s education-focused program aimed at 17-25 year olds.

To cast your vote for the Young & Free Michigan Spokester visit

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Michigan First Credit Union and Young & Free Michigan are looking for the next "Spokester"

WXYZ Detroit | By Alicia Smith

Are you young and yearning to travel? Good on camera? Fierce on social media? If so, you could be the next Young and Free Michigan Spokester!

Erin Winters is the current spokesperson for Michigan First Credit Union’s education-focused program.

“My job is to have fun, be me, and to pretty much help young adults be smarter with their money,” explained Winters in one of her Spokester YouTube videos.

Now she’s helping recruit her replacement.

The winner of the statewide search will become the 6th financial ambassador to help Michigan’s 17-to-25-year-olds learn how to handle their finances.


Basically, the winner gets to travel around, meet new people, post cool videos online, and help young people understand money management.

And you can be as creative as you want and let your personality shine. 

The year-long job has a $30,000 salary with the potential for a $5,000 bonus, access to the Young And Free Michigan car with paid gas and insurance, an Apple MacBook Pro, a smartphone, and an HD video camera.


  • Between 18 and 25-years-old
  • Ready to work full-time
  • Willing and able to live in Michigan from June 2017 to May 2018
  • Capable of editing a 3-minute video showcasing why you’re the ideal spokesperson

A public vote from May 16-23 will help determine four of the finalists.  The Michigan First team will select another three finalists.

All of the finalists will be announced on May 25.  They must be able to attend the “Getting to Know Each Other” event at Michigan First on June 7. 

On-site interviews will then be conducted.  Candidates will also take part in a series of activities that the next Spokester will be responsible for carrying out during his/her term. 


Michigan First Credit Union has more than 130,000 members at 17 branches throughout Michigan.  

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Technology changing the way millenials apply for jobs


As technology continues to advance, so does the way we apply for jobs.

Erin Winters, a 22-year-old Macomb resident, is the prime example of this. She's secured two jobs that have included a social, multi-media element in the application process.

She currently serves as Michigan First Credit Union's Young & Free Michigan Spokster -- and just snagged her next job as the first-ever digital correspondent for National Geographic. She joined us on The Nine to tell us more about the digital job search.

Technology changing the way millenials apply for jobs

"I haven't shown anyone my resume since I graduated," she says. "I think in this [news/media] industry, people want to see what you can do."

Nowadays, the paper resume aspect still has its place but you're also showcasing yourself on social media or through videos you're asked to submit.

"My advice is to be yourself and to just take advantage of these [contest] opportunities, because they're out there," she says. "I see these opportunities all the time."

Erin's NatGeo gig is taking her to Washington, D.C. - so her spokster job is up for grabs here in Southfield. As expected, it includes a social and digital element in the application process.

For more information on the spokster gig, click here

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Kenyon McElway Wins $10,000 Michigan First Credit Union Scholarship

West Bloomfield Athletics | By Keith Dunlap

Sacrificing something you love doing is never easy, but Kenyon McElway knew it was necessary in order to fulfill his ultimate aspirations.

A defensive back on the West Bloomfield High School football team last fall, McElway could have pursued opportunities to play that sport in college, and perhaps get some scholarship money out of it.

McElway had chances to play for numerous programs, including Valparaiso, Dayton, Northern Michigan, Saginaw Valley State and Michigan Tech, but eventually realized there was something else out there for him.

“I didn’t want to invest all my time in football when I knew it wouldn’t get me to where I wanted to go,” McElway said.

Where McElway wants to go is to be a successful filmmaker/producer/screenwriter, and an award he just won earlier this month will go a long way in that quest.

McElway won a $10,000 scholarship provided by Michigan First Credit Union, which he will put to good use after he graduates from West Bloomfield in June.

McElway first applied for the scholarship in January, which required him to send in a resume and submit a short video touting what makes his generation so great.

Earlier in March, McElway got the good news that he had been selected the winner of the scholarship.

“I said our generation embraced change better, were more innovative, more tech savvy, stuff like that,” McElway said.

Making a film was right up his alley, since McElway already has a side video production business.

He started off doing video production when he made his own highlight tapes for football that he could send out to prospective college coaches, but through that discovered football wasn’t his best gift.

The filming bug bit him and he has since branched out to doing videos for other students around the school and community members.

“I’ve done two documentaries,” McElway said. “That’s my third income. I also work at Foot Locker and also (Franklin Hills) Country Club.”

McElway said once he graduates, he will move out to California and attend Santa Monica College for two years.

After that, he plans on transferring his credits to another to-be-determined university in California in order to further develop his film career.

“Football would just be taking the time I need to invest to do that,” McElway. “It was going to be hard to focus on football and to focus on my film career.”

Look out, Hollywood. A blossoming star in the film industry is headed your way.

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Students eligible to win scholarship up to $10K

Oakland Press |  By Amanda Braniecki

“What do you think your generation does better than any other generation? Tell us why.”

That is the question Michigan First Credit Union, in conjunction with its young adult financial educational program Young & Free Michigan, is asking Michigan high school seniors and college students as part of its annual scholarship competition. With up to $85,000 in scholarships provided by the financial institution, the grand prize winners in each of the three categories will receive $10,000 to help finance their continued education.

The three categories for the competition include high school senior video, high school senior essay and college video. Applicants have until 3 p.m. Feb. 6 to submit their response to the question in either a 60-second video or a 300 to 500-word essay. The top 10 applicants in each category will be determined by online voting, and a panel of judges will choose the final winners.

The top three winners in each category will receive a $10,000 scholarship, and runners up will receive $5,000 and $3,000 scholarships. Additionally, Michigan First will select more than 30 additional high school applicants to receive $1,000 scholarships.

“Being that we were founded by educators, our credit union has always had a unique understanding both of the importance of pursuing higher academic goals and the financial struggles that accompany it,” said Michigan First President/CEO Michael Poulos. “We created our scholarship competition not only to provide the much needed financial assistance, but also to further our engagement with our schools and residents of Michigan. It is our hope that our contribution to students’ education will create a positive impact that will last throughout the years to come as these students graduate and become the future of our workforce.”

Applications will be accepted now through 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 6 at All applicants must be high school seniors or current college students, as well as members of Michigan First, but interested students throughout Michigan may join the credit union when they apply for the competition. The public voting for the top videos and essays will take place between Friday, Feb. 10 and 20, determining the top 10 finalists in each category. The panel of judges will determine the winners, which will be announced on or around March 6.

The Michigan First Foundation is a nonprofit founded in 2012 by the credit union with a focus on youth and education in metro Detroit. It funds the scholarships as part of more than $150,000 in contributions to local charitable organizations and students each year. Since the inception of the scholarship competition, Michigan First has given away nearly $1 million in scholarships to Michigan students.

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Michigan woman's priceless reaction to advancing in quest to co-host 'Live with Kelly'

M Live | By Benjamin Raven

It's safe to say that Erin Winters is excited about moving advancing to the top 10 for for a chance to co-host "Live with Kelly" alongside the show's namesake, Kelly Ripa, for a day.

Winters, of Macomb Township, shared a video of herself watching the announcement on her Facebook page. The video starts with Winters watching "Live with Kelly" while on a stair stepper workout machine. When she learns the good news, she starts jumping around in excitement and pointing at the screen in disbelief. 

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper joined Ripa in announcing the finalists, who made the cut from 20 to 10 during the Wednesday, Oct. 12 broadcast.

To see the video, see below: 

The video has been shared hundreds of times and is approaching 20,000 views. Over the phone Thursday, Winters said she had no idea if she was moving into the top 10 or not before the nationally syndicated episode aired. 

"I had no idea, which made it much more nerve-racking," Winters said. She added that the support on her reaction video is just "a reflection of the wonderful support from my family, friends, Detroit and Michigan. They want it just as bad as I do." 

After learning of her advancement, Winters said she then had an interview with two "Live with Kelly" team members, which will factor into the judge's final decision. 

Winters said she was asked a series of unexpected questions like what her favorite karaoke song is, biggest fears and the craziest thing she's ever done. While she's admittedly scared of singing in front of people, Winters said she did sing Beyonce's "Check On It" with a friend on a cruise.

Michigan woman one step closer in contest to co-host 'Live with Kelly' for a day

Erin Winters of Macomb Township is moving forward to the top 10 for for a chance to co-host "Live with Kelly" alongside the show's namesake, Kelly Ripa, for a day. 

The top five will be announced on the Friday episode of the talk show. The following week's string of episodes will include challenges and more voting to narrow the field even more. A finalist will be eliminated each day of the week until the winner is announced Thursday. The winner will then have a quick turnaround as they are set to co-host the show the next day on Oct. 21. 

"It's all happening really quick, and there is no time to soak it in or process it," Winters said. "If I win, I'm going to cry on Thursday and I might fall to my knees."

She laughed while asking herself, "how the heck am I going to host the show the next day?" 

Winters currently serves as the "spokester" for Michigan First Credit Union's Young and Free Michigan program, according to a news release from Identity PR. She said the process in making the cut in the "Live with Kelly" contest was similar to how she landed her current job. 

The 22-year-old submitted a one-minute video, at the urging of her father, demonstrating why she should co-host the show.

"I just thought 'they're never going to pick me, but at least try or you'll be mad if you don't,'" she said of deciding to apply. 

After submitting the video on deadline night, Winters said she then had to create another minute-long video after making the top 40. Her second video was a demonstration of home remedy methods on combating colds. 

She said she does have future on-air aspirations, but isn't exactly sure in what capacity. 

"It's an amazing opportunity," Winters said, "and it would be such a door-opener and chance to taste-test being an on-air host." 

For more information on the expected schedule and contest rules, click here. 

To watch one of Winter's videos submitted for the contest, see below:

Metro Detroit native out of the running to guest co-host on 'LIVE with Kelly'


A local woman who made the top ten finalist list in the search for a guest co-host on "ABC's LIVE with Kelly" is now out of the running.

It was a good run for Erin Winters, 22, a Macomb native.  

Erin submitted several videos to earn herself a spot in the top ten. The top five was announced Friday morning. Those top five will then go on to guest co-host with Kelly Ripa for a day.

Erin currently works as a 'spokester' for Michigan First Credit Union's Young and Free Michigan program. She blogs, posts on social media, and creates YouTube videos on a variety of topics.

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Metro Detroit woman makes Top 10 on 'Live with Kelly'

Detroit Free Press | By Susan Tompor

"Live with Kelly" rolled out its Top 10 list Wednesday morning for contestants who want to cohost for a day with TV star Kelly Ripa and Michigan First Credit Union's Erin Winters made the cut.

"I was watching the show and found out with the rest of the world!" said Winters, 22, of Macomb Township. "They did not contact me beforehand."

Winters, who graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in May, works at the Lathrup Village-based credit union to encourage young consumers to feel empowered about their finances.

She blogs at, posts on social media platforms and creates YouTube videos on financial tips, young adult issues, and fun things to do around Michigan.

There are more steps to go along the way in this "Live with Kelly and You" cohost search. The Top 5 finalists and the winner of the contest get national TV exposure on the show. But they aren't competing for a full-time job to replace former cohost Michael Strahan.

Winters will have a video chat with the team at "Live with Kelly." Now the “Live with Kelly" show wants to hear viewers’ feedback – whether that be writing a comment, sharing their favorite on Facebook or tweeting about them on Twitter.

The morning show will announce their Top 5 finalists during the show Friday.

The Top 5 will be treated like celebrities and travel to New York City next week, as the contest continues on TV -- with another round of voting to follow. The winner will join Ripa at the co-host desk on Oct. 21.

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Live With Kelly & Credit Unions? Yes, If Enough CUs Cast Votes

Erin Winters, a member of Michigan First Credit Union and the Young & Free Michigan spokester, has been named among the 20 finalists to co-host an episode of Live With Kelly! which is hosted by Kelly Ripa.


“If she wins, she’ll be talking credit unions on national television,” said Michigan First.

Winters is now among the Top 20 finalists, and voting is on to narrow the list to the Top 10. Winters was selected after submitting a video to the contest, following encouragement from her father.

The credit union is urging other CUs to rally behind Winters and to cast a vote for her video so that she can co-host for a day.

Voters can vote once per day visiting or The winner will co-host on the Friday Oct. 21 show.

Winters’ video entry can be found here.

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