Tampa Bay Saves

Tampa Bay residents just like you are proving that you can take small steps that will help you achieve big financial goals. As members of Tampa Bay Saves they are saving money, paying off debts, tracking their spending and taking control of their financial future. We help by providing tips and tools to make it easier for you to set goals and develop strategies to reach those goals. 

Take the Tampa Bay Saves Pledge

Free, Unbiased, 1-1 Financial Guidance

Hillsborough County residents can receive free one-on-one financial education on basic personal finance topics from University of Florida Master Money Mentor volunteers. Complete this short questionnaire  and you will be contacted, usually within 48 hours. If you would like additional information email or call Lisa Leslie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 813-744-5519 ext. 54143.

Bank On

Bank On is a collaborative effort to provide increased access to safe and affordable bank and credit union accounts.

United Way Financial Coaching Program

The United Way Suncoast Financial Coaching Program trains and partners volunteers with individuals who are ready to take control of their financial situation. Find out more at https://unitedwaysuncoast.org/what-we-do/income/financial-coaching/

Savings Strategies:

Building wealth starts when you set a goal and make a plan to reach that goal. Whatever goal you choose – whether it’s buying a car, buying a house, or getting out from under your debts – learn about proven savings strategies and get simple tips on the best ways to save. Click on the links below to learn how to:

 

Great News

We have University of Florida Master Money Mentors who can provide free financial coaching to help you take control of your financial life. We also have classes and webinars, click here to learn more.
 

About us

Our Goal

The goal of Tampa Bay Saves is to enable Tampa Bay residents to take action to improve their financial situation. We strive to help Tampa Bay residents, because we believe that financial stability is not possible without wise money management.

Who We Are

Tampa Bay Saves is coordinated by UF/IFAS Hillsborough County Extension  and United Way Suncoast. The goal of this partnership is to work with local public and private agencies to better serve Tampa Bay residents.
 


Contact Us

Lisa Leslie
UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County
5339 County Road 579
Seffner, FL 33584
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


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RSS Recent Blog Entries View all »

  • 5 Ways To Teach Kids How To Save At Home

    We start kids young with almost everything— sports, school, so why not saving? We are always looking for new ways to #ThinkLikeASaver in the America Saves community. The earlier that you have a positive mindset around saving, the easier it is to save successfully as an adult.

    Read more...
  • Creating a budget for your family

    It’s always the right time to create a saving and spending plan (aka a budget). It’s also a good idea to revisit that plan annually or when a major shift occurs in your income or expenses. 

    We’ve created an easy to use, but thorough, Spending and Saving Plan tool to use. Before you get started, here are some tips to help you #ThinkLikeASaver, ensuring that your money is working smarter and harder for you.

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  • 4 Steps to Spending Your Stimulus Check Wisely When You Don't Have An Emergency Fund

    Most Americans don't have an emergency fund. While we're all experiencing this pandemic very differently — some having only minor inconveniences and others finding themselves without a job or having to close their business — those without a savings cushion are vulnerable to feeling the ramifications of COVID-19 for a very long time.

    With stimulus checks on the way, there will be tough financial decisions to make once received. Here are active steps you can take, along with things to consider to help you develop a solid spending plan.

    1. Make a list of all expenses

    Write out every single expense that you have, including essentials like food and utilities. Be sure to go through your checking and savings account history to make sure you don't have any “vampire” expenses, like monthly subscriptions that you may have forgotten about and no longer need.

    2. Talk to all creditors and lenders

    The CARES Act puts into effect two mortgage relief provisions: protection from foreclosure, and a right to forbearance (pausing or making partial payments) for those experiencing loss of income due to COVID-19. However, the provisions are not automatic and are only for federal loans, so you MUST talk to your lender.

    If a creditor/lender offers you a payment plan or other relief, make sure you get it in writing and take note of the names and dates of the customer service representatives with whom you speak.

    Thankfully, some utility companies have announced they won't cut off services if they aren't being paid. Be sure you know all of your utility and service providers' stance on this, so there are no surprises. You don't want to make any assumptions.

    RELATED: Your lender might let you miss a few mortgage payments. Three questions you should ask first

    3. Prioritize expenses

    Expenses relating to food, shelter, and medicine should come first. This would include mortgage, rent, utilities, groceries, diapers, and medications. It also includes medical insurance premiums and homeowners/renter's insurance.

    If you need childcare to work, that is another essential expense. Next in line are auto-related expenses, including transportation, gas, insurance premiums, and car payments.

    Loans that are secured by collateral (for example, mortgages and auto loans) are generally considered more important than those without collateral, like consumer credit card debt. For example, if you don't pay your mortgage, a bank can foreclose on your property; if you don't pay your car loan, the bank can seize your car. While not paying your credit card bills will negatively affect your credit score, credit card companies will not come into your house and take your personal possessions.

    Federal student loans are currently not accruing interest until September 30, 2020, and can be put into forbearance so that no payments are due. If you have a private or institutional loan, you will have to contact the lender for other options.

    Remember, if you can afford the minimum payments on your credit cards, then make those payments. It will help to maintain your credit score.

    Expenses for "elective" items, like gym memberships, streaming services, and other subscriptions, come last. Before simply canceling a contract, make sure to contact the vendor – canceling may come with a hefty penalty, but you may be able to temporarily "pause" the service.

    4. Pay your debts in the order of priority

    Now that you know all your expenses, have prioritized them, and know your payment options with creditors and lenders, it's time to make the payments in order of priority.

    It's important to note that we are approaching tax season, so many expect to receive their tax refunds in the coming months. If you plan to receive a refund, you can apply the same process to that extra income.

    If you are still unsure or are overwhelmed with where to start, use our decision tree for guidance on what to do with your stimulus check and tax refund.

    Then make a commitment to be more proactive with saving by taking the America Saves pledge. We'll be your savings accountability partner as you take a small step toward saving.

    Stimulus Decision Tree

    Download Decision Tree: PNG | PDF

    Then make a commitment to be more proactive with saving by taking the America Saves pledge. We'll be your savings accountability partner as you take a small step toward saving.

    Take the America Saves Pledge

  • Pantry Shopping and Meal Planning Preparation Tips

    With experts telling Americans to practice social distancing and to be ready for a possible 14-day self-quarantine one of our first concerns is food. How do we shop and prepare for 14 days worth of meals? Equally important are concerns about shopping without overbuying and staying on a budget.

    Read more...

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  • Keep #holiday #debt in check by setting a #savings plan & sticking to it! http://ow.ly/COU1y

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Saver Tips and Stories View all »

Meet Esmeralda: 2019 SaveYourRefund Grand Prize Winner

“I have a goal, and I am going to achieve that goal.” 2019 SaveYourRefund Grand Prize Winner Esmeralda says that savings has always been about achieving self-sufficiency amidst tremendous adversity. “It’s hard to pay myself first,” says Esmeralda, particularly when you have to anticipate emergency expenses like a broken down car.

Read more...

Taking Steps Toward Financial Fitness

Nicky Vasquez learned about Virginia Saves when she attended her first class with Bank On Virginia Beach. The instructor shared how important it was to have a written savings goal, and the entire class joined Virginia Saves as the first step toward financial fitness.

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Saving is a Family Affair

Saving is truly a family affair for Jeff’s household. During America Saves Week 2019, he pledged to save for retirement. But making a commitment and creating a plan to save isn’t a new concept for him.

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