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Finance 101

  • Last-Minute Budgeting Tips for the Holidays

    Posted on October 28, 2019 by Jake Ward, CMSE – VP of Marketing
    Holiday budgeting. We all say we’re going to do it around July. Then October rolls around and – uh oh. That holiday savings account didn’t happen. The National Retail Federation reports that the average consumer spends around $1,000 during the holiday season. Festive food, decorations and of course, gifts, make the holidays jolly. But if you’re not financially ready, November and December – and the bills in January – can make the holidays a headache.
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  • 4 Things to Do with Your Tax Return

    Posted on February 01, 2019 by Jake Ward, CMSE – VP of Marketing
    Last year, more than 70% of Americans got a refund on their federal income taxes. Are you one of the many who’s expecting a tax refund this year? There are a lot of smart choices that you can make with your refund. Let’s go over a few:
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  • 5 Tips to Help you Budget for a Wedding

    Posted on January 15, 2019 by Jake Ward, CMSE – VP of Marketing
    If you’re reading this, it’s either because you’re getting married, or a loved one is and you’re helping to pay for the wedding. Either way, congratulations! There are few life events happier than a wedding. At some point, though, you may find that the stress of wedding expenses clouds some of the joyousness of the occasion. It doesn’t have to be that way! Here are a few tips to help you manage that wedding budget and reduce your stress level.
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  • Small Savings Goals can Yield Big Dividends: Learning to Save

    Posted on January 02, 2019 by Jake Ward, CMSE – VP of Marketing
    Experts will tell you that you should have 3-6 months of living expenses saved up in case of an emergency. That’s great advice and definitely something to aspire to. But for many people, that goal is just too far-reaching, and can be so overwhelming that they’re discouraged from saving at all. If that’s you, then we encourage you to start with a smaller savings goal. For example, did you know that the typical loan from a payday lender is $300-$400? But if you have to borrow from a payday lender, the fees you pay to borrow the money can equal an annual percentage rate of 300-400%. That can be extremely difficult to overcome, especially for people living paycheck to paycheck. So if you are currently one of approximately 25% of Americans with little to no savings, now is a great time to change that! We encourage you to set a savings goal, even a small one that will keep you away from payday lenders. Once you develop a habit of savings, it will get much easier. Trust me.
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  • Best Practices for Holiday Spending

    Posted on November 14, 2018 by Jake Ward, CMSE – VP of Marketing
    The holiday season is in full swing! Everyone is carrying out their favorite traditions – family time, decorating, and volunteering to name a few. But the holiday season also means that you’re typically dishing out more money for gifts, travel, and other expenses. This season can become costly, and therefore stressful, really quick. Check out our best practices for holiday spending so that your bank account doesn’t take a big hit.
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  • 4 Tips for Thriving on a College Budget

    Posted on August 10, 2018 by Jake Ward, CMSE – VP of Marketing
    As a college student, you’ll find yourself busy with academics, a social life, campus groups, internships, and possibly athletics. Finances may not be a very glamorous topic, but it’s important to figure it into your time so you’re not constantly worrying about money, and to develop healthy money habits. Check out our tips for thriving on a college budget.
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  • Turn Your Tax Refund into Savings

    Posted on January 25, 2018 by Jake Ward, CMSE – VP of Marketing
    Many people view tax refunds in the same way they do their Christmas bonus: Fun money!! You hear people telling each other what they're going to do with that extra chunk of change. I've heard everything from buying a pool to paying for a vacation to splurging on a twelve course meal. While these are all great, they certainly don't help you financially.
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  • America Saves Week - Take the Pledge

    Posted on March 02, 2017 by Jake Ward, CMSE – VP of Marketing
    America Saves Week (February 27 – March 4, 2017) is an annual opportunity for individuals to assess their savings and take financial action. Each year, we encourage savers – or potential savers – just like you to set a goal, make a plan, and save automatically.
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