Military Saves Blog
Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.
July 16, 2012
Tiffany Ching, Union Bank, N.A., Senior Vice President and Regional Manager
Eliminating debt is one of the fastest ways to free up money for savings, investments and other long-term financial goals. Credit card bills, student loans and other debt are not only a burden on a budget, but the balances almost always accumulate interest, adding to your debt.
For some, paying down debt may seem overwhelming, but by putting a plan in place, you may be able to pay off your debt sooner, with less interest, while possibly improving your credit score.
Following are some tips to help you pay down debt with the goal of saving more for the future:
Get a Handle on How Much You Owe
Start by listing the outstanding balance, interest rate, minimum payment and due date for each of your debt accounts. This information can easily be found on your most recent monthly statement. Keep a calendar to remind you of due dates, set up automatic payments where you have that option, and continue to make timely monthly payments on each account.
By Michelle Volpe-Kohler, Associate Director, FINRA Corporate Communications.
It’s easy to fall into debt—especially if you are supporting a growing family. But just because you’re in debt now doesn’t mean you have to stay in debt. You are taking the first step to dig yourself out of debt by reading this Action Plan. Whether you’re in serious trouble or just want to pay down some bills, take the steps in this Action Plan to get going.
10 July 2012
By Lila Quintiliani, AFC ®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator
You’ve got a flashlight, batteries, a weather radio and gallons of water. So you’re all prepared for an emergency, right? Maybe not. See, you also need to be financially prepared for emergencies, or you can take a hard hit right in the wallet when disasters, natural or otherwise, strike.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to emergency financial preparedness:
- How’s your insurance coverage? If you are a homeowner, do you have adequate coverage for your possessions? Do you live in a flood-prone area, even if the area is not formally designated as such on a flood map? If so, you may need to buy a separate flood policy, because most regular homeowner’s policies do not cover damage from flooding (or earthquakes). If you live in an apartment or government housing, do you have renter’s insurance? While some government housing may come with limited renter’s coverage, it varies from installation to installation, and rarely covers the cost of even a fraction of your household goods. The best bet is to find a separate renter’s policy which can cost under $20 per month.
July 9, 2012
Over the next five weeks, the America Saves blog will feature articles and guest blogs on the topic of paying off high-interest debt. America Saves, along with our 52 local campaigns will be featuring information on how to reduce your debts and where to get help.
Borrowing more money than you can afford is costly in many ways. Americans spend well over $75 billion a year just on credit card interest and fees. That means that families who revolve credit card balances pay an average of $1,500 a year in interest and fees.
Too much debt isn’t just expensive. People with lots of debt often say they lack peace of mind. They worry constantly about paying off debts and making ends meet. The stress of these worries affects their family life, work performance, and other areas of their lives.
If you would like to join the conversation about paying off high-interest debt, download our latest resource packet. The resource packet contains:
- A sample article
- Social media content
- Tools and resources
6 July 2012
By Dylan Tansy
America Saves Intern
Growing up, everyone knew which parent you had to ask for certain things like new clothes or to spend the night at a friend’s house. For me, almost everything was up to my mom unless I wanted something expensive or a “boy thing” like a sling-shot, in which case I would ask my dad. These gender differences obviously vary from family to family, but some level of difference is almost universal. A recent FoxBusiness article discussed an Ameriprise Financial survey that explored these differences of how middle aged men and women differ in their approaches to financial conversations and giving financial help to other family members.
What seemed to be the largest takeaway point is that middle aged, or baby boomer men tend to be more optimistic about their financial futures and retirement than women. Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial, attributed this to the fact that the surveyed men were more likely to have set aside money for retirement, and figured out the amount of money they would need for retirement. Men seem to generally have more of plan when it comes to retirement.Another contributing factor that she pointed out was that men were less likely to have taken time off from the workforce to stay at home with children, or provide care for aging parents. This increased average time in the workforce for men allowed them to save more money in many cases.