Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
December 13, 2011
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager
Until last summer, Michael Lindman spent money freely. “I was a union truck driver for 35 years and had a good income,” said Lindman. “I owned my own home, saved a little, and tried to live within my own budget. You always think there’s going to be that much coming in, but things can change in a split second.”
The change for Michael began when he was laid off. Luckily Michael had three months’ salary saved for just this kind of emergency. In July, however, disaster struck. Michael was hospitalized for surgery, then complications required a second surgery. With his savings depleted, he couldn’t pay his medical expenses, mortgage, or other bills. In addition, he couldn’t work while he was recovering.
December 9, 2011
By Katie Savant, Government Relations Deputy Director, National Military Family Association
When families think about holiday shopping, a budget may go out the window. Take some time to do a bit of pre-planning before you venture out to the mall, or you may be left with retail regret! Here are some tips to help keep you on track.
- Create a budget and stick to it. Sit down with your family and discuss your holiday festivities and gift giving wishes. Try using a holiday checklist, such as a free online template, to help you track your expenditures.
- Plan for holiday parties. Is there a gift exchange? Will you bring a dish to share? Think ahead of time about costs associated with holiday parties and include these in your budget.
- Watch for hidden costs. Do you need to ship gifts? Are you mailing holiday cards? Will you purchase household decorations or wrapping supplies? Will you make any special meals?
- Little gifts add up. Many people like to remember co-workers, teachers, service personnel, and others during their end-of-year gift giving. Handwritten thank you notes and homemade gifts are appreciated. Don't feel pressured to buy gifts you cannot afford.