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Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.

3 Tips for Saving for Your Next Ride

Written by Guest Blogger · 15 June 2012

The following post comes from the Military Saves Blog. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

June 15, 2012

by Lila Quintiliani, AFC ®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

One of my biggest financial mistakes came early on in my marriage. My husband and I fell madly in love…with a large, extended cab pickup truck.  But the honeymoon was over when the car payments started. After just a few months, there was a trickle down effect – because we were struggling to make the payments, we weren’t able to pay off our credit card fully each month. We ended up carrying a balance on our card, and that balance got bigger and bigger. After a couple of years of this, we finally realized we had to stop hemorrhaging money and we sold our truck and got a used SUV. Eventually we paid off our credit card debt. But we were so scarred by the experience that we now do our darnedest not to have a car payment. And when we do have to take out an auto loan, we make paying it off one of our first priorities.

I have seen plenty of people struggling with huge car payments. Several times I have counseled service members who had TWO car payments totaling nearly half (or more!) of their monthly take home pay. Here are some tips for saving for your next vehicle so you won’t be crippled by your auto loan:

Is it Time for a Financial Tune-up?

Written by Super User · 14 June 2012

June 14, 2012

Michael Girazian
Union Bank, N.A.
Senior Vice President and Regional Manager

Summer road trips remind us that it may be time for a vehicle tune up. Just like regular maintenance prevents damage to your vehicle and helps ensure a smoother and safer ride, regular financial tune ups can help keep you on the road to financial security and stability.

Following are some tips to help you keep your finances in good working order:

Review Important Financial Documents

Pull copies of your will and/or living trust, insurance policies and other important documents and review them to make sure they are up to date. Obtain a copy of your credit report and have errors corrected. To get a free credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting bureaus, go to annualcreditreport.com.

 

Seek Lower Interest Rates

If you carry a balance on your credit cards, call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate, or seek alternatives elsewhere.  If you notice that mortgage rates have dropped two or more points lower than what you are paying, you might consider refinancing your home mortgage at a lower interest rate.  Take into consideration fees or pre-payment clauses that may apply, and if you’re thinking of selling your home in the next three to five years, the amount you save on refinancing may not cover the closing costs.

Saving for the Big Things

Written by Super User · 13 June 2012

June 13, 2012

By Mike Sullivan, Director of Education, Take Charge America (Follow them on Twitter)

Big purchases usually cost big bucks and that means a big challenge for someone trying to accumulate the cash.

Since it nearly always takes a long time to save a lot of money, I often suggest the Weight Watchers® approach. For the skinny folks among you, Weight Watchers is a weight loss program that uses peer support and life style changes to achieve a long term objective. And saving $1,000 dollars is a lot like losing twenty pounds—it is a big task and it takes a while to see the rewards!

You begin the process with peers. Find some workmates or classmates who also lust after some substantial item (that should be easy). Everyone doesn’t have to want the same item or need to save the same amount. A flat screen television and a week in Hawaii are all the same to a savings account. Everyone starts with a 3x5 card that has the date they started and the financial goal they hope to reach.

America Saves Reaches 300,000 Savers

Written by Super User · 11 June 2012

America Saves members commit to save nearly $35,000,000

Washington, D.C. (June 12, 2012) – Today, America Saves, a national social marketing campaign that encourages individuals and families to save money and build personal wealth, announced that 300,000 people have made a personal commitment to save by joining America Saves. America Saves helps individuals and families take charge of their financial future by having individuals set a savings goal and make a plan to save towards that goal. America Saves members have committed to save $34,880,019.08 over the past 12 years. The top five America Saves saver goals during that period are: an emergency fund, education, debt repayment, investment savings, and homeownership.

“Twelve years ago we set out to help people save more successfully. I am thrilled that in that time we have been able to help over a quarter of a million people make a plan to reach their savings goals,” said Nancy Register, national director of America Saves. “From paying down debt to saving for emergencies, we know that people, regardless of income level, have the ability to save.”

The 2012 national survey assessing household saving from America Saves found that having a savings plan with specific goals can have beneficial financial effects, even for lower-income families.  The survey also revealed that two-thirds of Americans (66%) spend less than their income and save the difference, and two-thirds (66%) have sufficient emergency saving to pay for unexpected expenses like car repairs or a doctor's visit.

“While we are encouraged by the number of people who have made a commitment to save to date, we know that there is more to be done to make sure that every person has sufficient emergency savings and a plan to build wealth,” added Register. “And we at America Saves are committed to continue to help people achieve their savings goals.”

New Theme: Saving for a Large Purchase

Written by Super User · 07 June 2012

June 7, 2012

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., America Saves communications manager

Over the next five weeks, the America Saves blog will feature articles and guest blogs on the topic of saving for a large purchase. America Saves, along with our 52 local campaigns will be featuring information on saving for both short-term and long-term large purchases.

Traditionally when we think about saving for a large purchase we think about saving for a car or a home. But there are other short-term and life event purchases that could also fall into this category. For example, saving for a new computer, a vacation, or a wedding could all fall into the large purchase category.

You can look forward to blog topics from Americas Saves on saving for a car, a home, a ring, and a wedding. And guest blogs on tips for savings for a large purchase, saving for college, and saving for a baby.

If you would like to join the conversation about saving for a large purchase, download our latest resource packet. The resource packet contains:

  • A sample article
  • Social media content
  • Tools and resources

 

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | November 29, 2013

    Transferring money from checking to savings is the fastest way to #save $500 to $1,000 http://ow.ly/PZR8h 

Saver Stories View all »

Coping with a Lost Job

Written by Katie Bryan | October 28, 2013

Aimee Shaffer worked as a Public Service News Director for radio for years until one day her employer downsized the company, resulting in hundreds of lost jobs, including Aimee’s.

Read more...

Starting and Continuing a Personal Finance Journey

Written by Sara Cooper | December 23, 2013

When Kiara Hardin, now a junior at Western Illinois University, became an intern with the Chicago Summer Business Institute during her sophomore year of high school, she began her personal finance journey. The program required participants to open a savings account.

Read more...

Challenging Herself to Save

Written by Sara Cooper | April 15, 2014

It all started when Marchale Burton overheard Alabama cooperative extension colleague Isaac Chappelle, coordinator of Alabama Saves, explaining how saving just a little bit – even change – is all it takes to become a saver. “I thought about that,” Burton said, “and wanted to see if it would work.” So, she challenged herself to see how much change she could save.

Read more...

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