Ah, summer time!

After a busy fall and spring, you might be thinking you really need a break.  It is important to decompress and enjoy some down time.  It’s great to see friends and family and take advantage of some of those activities you haven’t been able to do for a while.  But don’t break the bank!
summer fun 3
Before you know it, school will be starting up again.   Hopefully the summer job is going well and you are able to save up for next fall’s college costs.  To help save, think of  low cost or free activities to enjoy.  When it comes to the road trip you have been planning, perhaps stay a little closer to home and stay with friends along the way.  How about a camping trip?

Go here for more money management tips to help you get ready for the fall term.  Relax and enjoy the rest of summer!

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Pay Yourself First

save3Pay yourself first basically means saving before you do anything else.  Anytime you have some income, put something back before you pay your regular bills or make plans  to do something.

If you wait to save what is left at the end of the month, saving probably is not going to happen.  If you don’t have much to save, throw your loose change in a jar, put loose dollar bills in a safe place, or open a separate savings account.  Even though regular bank savings accounts don’t pay much interest, at least you are saving something.  Make saving a habit!

Go here for money management tips.  Have a great spring!

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File Early!

tax 1The Internal Revenue Service recommends that you file your tax return early.  Not only to get your refund faster, but to avoid be scammed.

If you wait until close to the April 17 deadline, that may give thieves more time to file a false return using your information.  In addition, the annual “IRS will file a lawsuit against you” telephone scam is in full swing.

Know the IRS will always contact you by mail if there is a tax issue, rather than via phone call.  If you receive a phone call and it doesn’t pass the smell test, hang up!  More tax filing tips can be found at www.irs.gov.

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Here comes 2018!

The beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to start fresh, perhaps make some resolutions.  When it comes to setting resolutions, the number one reason resolutions don’t seem to work is that we set unrealistic goals.

2018 3So, how to get started…..  First of all, take a hard look at last year’s finances.  How did your spending/saving plan work for you?  Were you able to keep your spending on track and able to save a little each month?  If so, great!  If not, think about what worked and what didn’t’ work.  Where you make small changes so that you are balance things out.  Remember, the easiest way to save is to stop spending for a while.  Go here for more money management tips, and have a great new year!

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Are you ready for the holidays?

holiday6The holidays are just around the corner!   Fun activities, good times with friends and family, way too many sweets, and extra spending on gifts.   Hopefully that’s all built into your budget for the holidays.  The American Research Group, Inc, reports the average spent on gifts in 2016 was $929.

To get through the holiday season, start with a list and check it twice!  Write down who you plan to shop for, and then set a limit for each person.  If you overspend on someone, that might mean you have to spend less on Uncle Bob.  Price check, clip coupons, shop around, do whatever it takes so that you don’t break the bank.  Go here for more money management tips.  Have a wonderful holiday season!

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How fit are Creighton students?

finanical fitnessAnother workout?  Yikes!  Don’t worry, we are not talking about physical fitness here.   While it’s a good idea to take extra steps to stay healthy during the fall, it’s also a good idea to think about your financial health.

Of 1000 Creighton undergraduate students responding to a survey question “How would you describe your financial health?” 45 percent responded they were in good shape, 46 percent said they were a little flabby and 9 percent said they were seriously out of shape.  It may not take much to tone up a bit and when it comes to financial fitness, just take a little extra time to connect the dots and do the math.

Go here for financial fitness tips to help start or change up your training plan!

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Identity Theft protection following the Equifax data breach

BreachThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has provided valuable information to help you protect yourself and your credit.  Go here to learn more!

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Protect your personal information!

data breach 2Equifax, a national credit bureau, reported a major data breach on September 7.  Important data, such as social security number, birth date, driver’s license number, addresses and phone number could be exposed.  It is very important to be on the lookout for anything unusual involving financial activities.

Equifax is allowing consumers to sign up for free credit monitoring for one year at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/enroll/.

More information on the data breach can be found online or at http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-equifax-consumer-protection-0910-biz-20170908-story.html.

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Welcome Back!

We hope you had a great summer relaxing, working and rejuvenating for the new year!

welcome back 2With the excitement of the new school year comes the usual startup expenses and sometimes expenses you may not have been planning on.  It could be tempting to put them on your credit card.  U.S. News and World Report’s recent survey reports 35% of credit card holders did not do research before they applied for a credit card.  There is a lot to consider when taking out a credit card, such as fees, reward points, cash back options, etc.

Using credit cards wisely can build your credit score and reward options can save you money, but using them foolishly can cause expensive finance charges and lower your credit rating.  If you are thinking of taking out a credit card, check out U.S. News and World Report credit card rankings and more money management tips here.  Best wishes for the new year!

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More than just fun in the sun!

Fun in the sun 3Summer jobs are important opportunities for young workers to develop the skills and habits that lead to success. And while summer may be the time of year when most young people work, many continue to work throughout the year. Developing good financial habits early in life can help young people best use their money in ways that are important to them and help them plan for their futures.

Check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau blog to learn more.

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