Go to Top

Budget

The Last Word on Financial Literacy Month: National Survey Reveals Small Gains in Savings but More Americans Carrying Credit Card Balances

By Bruce McClary The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and BECU, the nation’s fourth largest not-for-profit credit union, have released the results of the 2016 Financial Literacy Survey. Conducted online in March and April 2016 on their behalf by Harris Poll, the survey includes responses from more than 1,600 U.S. adults ages 18 and over. In its tenth year, the report provides a fresh look at the American consumer’s …Read More

Winning the Mini-Powerball (a.k.a. Getting a tax refund)

By Mark Foster Did you know that last year the average tax refund was $3,034? Oftentimes when people get a large tax refund, it’s treated like a little lottery winning. We have seen people get a large refund of $3,000, $4,000 or more but spend it all within a few months and not improve their financial situation much, if at all. It’s okay to have some fun with your money – …Read More

Some gifts come with a hefty price tag for their new owners

By Bruce McClary Consumers are expected to spend over $630 billion on holiday shopping this season, in the malls and online. Once the gifts are unwrapped and put to use by their new owners, some of the recipients may be in for serious sticker shock when the cost of maintaining their new possessions begins to add up. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has identified some popular gifts that are …Read More

Beware of These Financial Tricks or Treats

By Drew Kessler Halloween tricks or treats come along only once a year, but the consequences of financial decisions usually last far past the next spooky holiday. Options that seem good on the surface, if not handled properly, can have long-lasting negative consequences.To understand how a seemingly good financial move can work against you, the NFCC encourages consumers to review the following to see if their actions are resulting in …Read More

Make Sure Your Freshman Gets a Money-Smart College Start

By Nat Sillin You’ve worked to train your children in money management, but college brings a whole new level of financial decision-making and challenges. So before they are off on their own, review these topics to make sure they’re ready. Start with what college costs. On average, the Class of 2015 graduated with a little over $35,000 in student loan debt. Depending on your financial situation and how you’ve planned …Read More

10 Things to Give Up in Order to Save Money

By Lauralynn Schueckler No matter what your income level is, learning how to budget and save a little money each month is a valuable skill. If you’re dealing with a change in income, mounting debt or have exhausted your emergency fund due to an unexpected need, then saving will help you regain financial health. If you are struggling to find extra cash in an already tight budget, try giving some …Read More

Mission Possible: Budgeting With A Yo-Yo Income

By Mark Foster In our budgeting classes with adults, one question often pops up – “How do I budget with fluctuating paychecks?” If your paycheck amount yo-yo’s instead of staying the same each period, it certainly is more challenging to create a budget and make it work, but it isn’t Mission Impossible. Look at what your minimum paycheck amount tends to be and budget using that. Too many people do …Read More

Money Saving Tips for College Students

By Drew Kessler Let’s face it, college is expensive and most students have a limited cash flow. The good news is that a number of businesses realize this and make an effort to accommodate their student clientele. Always keep an eye out for student discounts, and bring your student ID with you wherever you go. Many establishments offer discounts to anyone with a student ID – from clothing stores to …Read More

Christmas in July

By Mark Foster It may seem crazy to be thinking about Christmas in July, but actually it makes good financial sense. We know Christmas will eventually roll around, so it’s wise to start planning for it now to avoid stressing out and overspending later. When people wait till the last minute and basically wing it, it’s very tempting to just start charging gifts on the credit cards because there’s not …Read More

Save Money on Gas

By Lauralynn Schueckler The cost of living continues to rise for the average American, forcing many to make drastic budget cuts and eliminate many luxuries from their lives. One element that is a necessary component in nearly every person’s life is the availability of a car. However, the rising cost of gas has travelers looking for ways to save money. Here are a few strategies that will help the penny pincher …Read More