Are you ready to take control of your financial future? Utah Saves is here to help you achieve your financial goals. One of the most important things you can learn in life is how to save money. Anyone can do it. You just have to put your mind to it. Once you start, it gets easier and easier and before you know it, you're on your way to making your dreams a reality. What are you waiting for?
Contact Utah Saves at 1-800-350-9899
Got a financial question? Need financial counseling? Contact AAA Fair Credit Foundation
AAA Fair Credit Foundation is located in Downtown Salt Lake City and provides consumers with quality financial counseling services and asset building programs. Their goal is to help individuals and families reduce or eliminate debt, use credit efficiently, and build a strong, secure financial foundation for the future. Utah Saves would recommend AAA Fair Credit to any of our savers in need of some personal financial counseling.
Give them a call at 1-800-351-4195 or visit their website www.faircredit.org
America Saves Week is coming February 27 - March 4, 2017
Why should we save? Check out this interesting article about the benefits of saving!!
The Holiday Savings Challenge: Save as much as you spend on Holidays
As major spending holidays like Halloween and Christmas come and go, the opportunities to spend – spend – spend will be around every corner and in every storefront. But you have a choice; you don’t have to buckle to the pressure!
This holiday season, Utah Saves is challenging you to not only to be smart in the way you budget, but to save one dollar ($1) for every dollar you spend. It isn’t as crazy as it sounds –
- Make your list and check it twice. Develop a list for your upcoming holiday, and be as honest about the dollar amount as possible. Include any costs for gift-giving to family, friends, and colleagues, travel, food, or entertainment that might be associated. Do you give a little extra tip to your babysitter, hair stylist, or favorite barista? We often forget to include these gifts in our budgets, so be sure to add them, too.
- Prioritize and negotiate. What do you need to make it a happy and successful holiday? Divvy up your list into needs versus wants. You need to pay for travel to your holiday destination, but maybe you can pack some food from the pantry rather than buying a meal along the way. The goal here isn’t necessarily to shorten the length of your list (although doing so will help, too), but rather to negotiate the dollar amounts for your list down.
- Tally it up and set your savings goal. Add up the sum total of your holiday list, and don’t be shy about negotiating it down some more. Once you’re at a number (and a list) that is both realistic and manageable, take that final amount and set it as your savings goal for the season. Those who make a commitment to themselves and their family to save usually save more than those who don’t. Take the Utah Saves Pledge to make your commitment real and gain monthly advice and support along the way.
- Make it automatic. Every time you cross an item off the spending plan, set up a transfer from your checking account into a savings account. This isn’t necessarily something that you can set on autopilot, but rather can establish as an automatic habit. Starting this process as early as possible can also help you to renegotiate your spending plan if you find that you are having a hard time matching.
You don’t have to let holidays break the bank. Join the ranks of those opting to reduce spending and prioritize savings this holiday season. You, too, can reduce spending and save money.
Thinking about spending a big chunk of money on one item? Ask yourself these questions first:
- Do you really want/need that big high-priced item? How many months are you willing to work and save for it? Will it truly improve your life, or do you just feel social pressure to keep up with your friends?
- What's the least you need? Do you want a McMansion or a townhouse? A 5,000-pound SUV or a hatchback? A blowout week at a luxury resort or a month of backpacking through the mountains?
- What's the cost of ownership? Do you want to be a homeowner who's responsible for maintenance and repairs? Do you want to pay property taxes and insurance? Or would you rather rent from a landlord so that you can move every few years where your career takes you? Do you want a brand-new heavy truck with low gas mileage and a bunch of expensive features, or do you want an older model with fewer accessories and higher fuel efficiency?
- Do you have to buy it new? You're happy to pay for quality, but "new" usually means full retail price. What features are truly essential for you? What are you willing to pay for? Can you find a house with a short sale or a foreclosure? Can you buy a car from a closeout sale? Can you use a buying service to negotiate the price or the realtor's fees? What about Craigslist or eBay? Maybe it's worth buying new for the manufacturer's warranty, but you could also buy a third-party warranty to cover any surprises over the next few years.
- And finally, do you need it right now? After you've researched your purchase and test-driven a few models, give yourself a time-out for a few days. Let your emotions cool off and think about the pros and cons. For travel or vacation, consider whether you could get a better price at another time of year, or find a bargain airfare. Do you want to party with the holiday crowds, or enjoy a quiet shoulder season? When you're considering a home or a vehicle, can you wait until it's on sale at a slow time of the year? Imagine getting up the next morning and taking care of it, or contemplate how you'd handle the maintenance expenses.
IDA Matched Savings Program and Workshops
Utah Saves is a proud advocate of the Utah Individual Development Account Network. Individual Development Accounts (or IDA) are a great way for an individual to jump start their life and achieve some of their short term financial goals. They provide the opportunity for participants to enhance education, purchase a home, or fund a small business through a match savings program. Qualified Savers receive a $3 match toward every $1 (up to $1500) they save. Visit http://faircredit.org/services/individual-development-accounts/ for enrollment details.
Valerie, an IDA Graduate, was recently featured on the Hearts of our Community Website. Learn more about the possibilities the IDA program can provide by reading Valerie's story here.
IDA Financial Management Training
To enroll in the IDA program, you must first register and take an 8 hour financial management course. A list of these classes can be found at http://faircredit.org/services/individual-development-accounts/. Scroll to the bottom of the page to view and register for all available courses.
Credit Score Quiz
Want to brush up on your knowledge of credit scores and how they work? Take this quick, 12 question quiz!
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By Jillian Stone, Caseworker, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) and Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) Candidate, FINRA Foundation Fellow
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