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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CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations Graduates!

graduate happyMany students I have talked with lately have said the same thing: Not only how quickly the year went by, but also how fast their time at Creighton has been. We hope it has been a good experience and you are ready to go set the world on fire!

Whatever the next chapter brings, whether you are still in the job search, have already landed a great job, going on to graduate or professional school, or performing volunteer service, don’t hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office if you have student loan repayment questions.

Most student loans start up for repayment in six months, so it’s important to build that into your monthly budget right away. Payments are generally set up over a 10 year period, but there are other options available. Go here for more repayment information and money management tips.  Again, Congratulations!

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The Tax Man Cometh

tax 1Time to file taxes again?  Yep, tax time rolls around every year, so don’t forget to file your return.  Consider searching online for free and faster filing options like the IRS Free File, H&R Block, TurboTax, etc.

What do you plan to do with your refund?  First of all, avoid a tax refund loan because high finance fees may be  included.   Secondly, use the refund to your benefit, such as:
-          Pay off credit card debt with high interest rates
-          Add to your emergency savings
-          Buy a savings bond for guaranteed return
-          Spend it on something you really need (vs something you may just want)
-          Splurge a little and reward yourself for doing a good job with your finances
Go here for more money management tips, have a great spring!

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What’s up for Valentine’s Day?

Valentines Day 1Budget, smudget!  That’s what you might want to say when there is something you want to do but it’s not really in the monthly spending plan. How do you handle unplanned expenses, like Valentine’s Day?  Sure, it’s important to show your sweetie how much you care, but you don’t need to go into debt if you don’t have the extra funds.

Last year, American’s spent an average of $147 for Valentine’s Day!  If you have the resources, great, but if not, there may be other ways to show you care, like making a favorite recipe for a special meal.  Make a card and bake your own special treats.  Just spending quality time together could be all it takes.  Go here for more money management tips, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Hit the Refresh button for 2017

The new year is always a good time to reflect on what worked, what didn’t work so well, and possible changes you may need to make.  Fitness, food and finances seem to be the major areas where we strive to make improvements.

RefreshWhen it comes to financial fitness, you may need to hit the “Refresh” button on your financial plan.   If you didn’t save quite as much as you would have liked to, think about small things you could cut out to help build up your savings.  With holiday shopping, hopefully you can pay off your credit card balance quickly to avoid extra finance charges.  Going forward, take small steps towards crossing the finish line.  Once you accomplish one goal, celebrate, regroup, and set new goals to get even more financially fit this year!  Go here for more money management tips.   Happy New Year!

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Holiday Spending Tips

Christmas presents 2Holidays can be a lot of fun.  Good times with family and friends, good eats, and fun activities could mean a little extra spending, which is okay if you have planned for it.  When it comes to holiday spending, don’t go overboard.  Make a list and check it twice!

Click here for more tips I shared with Jenna James at WOWT.

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Financial wellness – part of the plan

financial wellness 2Creighton employees and students are taking advantage of health screenings, Well Fest, and Shoo the Flu clinics.  Although you may feel good, it’s a good idea to take some proactive measures because next month may be a different story.  No one likes to get caught off guard when cold and flu season hits.

Take that same preventive action with your finances.  We all know unexpected expenses come up and sometimes more often than not, so be proactive and plan ahead.  You’ve done a great job with your budget so far and might have a little extra cash left at the end of the month.  So what do you do?  Go shopping?  Take a trip?  Build up your emergency savings?  How about a compromise – reward yourself for doing a good job and have some fun, but also build up your savings for unexpected expenses.  A car repair or medical bill can wipe out savings in hurry.  Being prepared can help head off some of those financial hits that may be coming later this fall.  Go here for more financial wellness tips.

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