Search Icon
header-learningCenter

MEDIA CENTER

The Money Minute - February 2013  

In this Issue


 

 

Money Management Styles for Couples

Finances are a hot topic for any couple, and one that must be discussed prior to making a permanent commitment to each other. There are three basic money management styles that a couple could choose – they could combine all their resources into joint accounts, have completely separate accounts, or a combination of the two.  There’s isn’t one right way to do it. It depends on personalities, upbringing, and values. 

Read the entire article.

 

Teaching Your Kids About Money 

Nothing is scarier for a parent than to send their child off into the world to navigate life’s ups and downs. This is especially true when it comes to finances. Kids are targeted by mass marketers pushing a single message – buy everything and anything you want now. Plus, money is much more abstract than it used to be. Behaviors form early, so the younger you start the better. But no matter your child’s age, it’s never too late to start the lessons.

Read the entire article.

 

What’s the best way to ensure you save for the future? Pay Yourself First!

All of us struggle to save money for the future. However, there is one sure fired way to be certain your savings account grows - Pay yourself first. Whether it’s for retirement or for short term emergencies, that is the best approach to putting money in the bank.

The dates for this free webinar are:

Tuesday, February 26th --- 12:00pm EST.

Tuesday, February 26th --- 12:00pm PST.

Wednesday, February 27th --- 12:00 CST.

To register or to find out more click here.

 

America Saves Week:
February 25 - March 2, 2013

Apprisen is proud to partner with America Saves to promote America Saves Week.  Started in 2007, the Week is an annual opportunity to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.

To find out more about America Saves Week click here.

 

 

National Consumer Protection Week:
March 3 - 9, 2013

NCPW 2013 is sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, other federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations. This event highlights the importance of consumer education and offers free resources to help consumers protect their privacy, manage credit and debt, avoid identity theft, understand mortgages and other loans, and recognize scams that target consumers.

For a list of events that Apprisen will be participating 
click here to visit our events page.  

For more information on NCPW click here visit their website. 

 

Overspending and Under-saving is Actually the Same Problem

The January poll hosted on Apprisen’s website asked consumers if they had a spending problem, savings problem, neither or both.  The overwhelming majority, 62%, identified themselves as having problems related to both spending and saving.

The good news is that having a problem with both spending and savings is actually just one problem - spending. The bad news is that overspending is often tied to deep-rooted behavior, making it very difficult to change.

Read the entire article.

 

 

Money Management Styles for Couples

Finances are a hot topic for any couple, and one that must be discussed prior to making a permanent commitment to each other. There are three basic money management styles that a couple could choose – they could combine all their resources into joint accounts, have completely separate accounts, or a combination of the two.  There’s isn’t one right way to do it. It depends on personalities, upbringing, and values.
 

Joint Finances

Mark and Rebecca deposit their money into a joint account where there is no division of who it belongs to. They did not have a discussion prior to getting married on how they were going to handle their finances. Rebecca assumed that task because she was taught at an early age the importance of having a plan in place in order to reach financial goals.  Mark is rarely involved in the details of their finances but is aware of what the bills are, when they are paid, where the money is, and current account balances in case he would have to assume that responsibility. 

Having a plan in place is critical for their financial success. “I don’t like surprises”, states Rebecca, “so at the beginning of every year, I re-evaluate our spending plan and review the progress towards our goals and make adjustments accordingly. Tweaks need to be made, here and there, but it is helpful to have an overall picture”.  

Tips for Success:

  • Have a spending plan.
  • Include spending money for each spouse in the plan.
  • Determine a threshold, and discuss purchases over that threshold.
  • Set joint savings goals.

Yours, Mine, and Ours

When Jim and Mary met they both had an established financial life – credit cards, student loans, saving accounts.  So, when they started to acquire bills together they decided to open a joint checking account and allocate a percentage of their income to pay those debts. This style works well for them because they have their own discretionary money to spend how they please. “I like that I can buy a pair of shoes and not feel guilty”, says Mary, “But, I also like that when it comes to major purchases that I have someone to discuss it with. I can be impulsive, so this is a big plus!” Lastly, when it comes to setting a goal, for example, to take a vacation, they each put an established dollar amount in an account until they reach the desired amount.  

Tips for Success:

  • Contribute to savings and retirement individually.
  • Acknowledge that one may be saving their money and the other spending it.
  • Discuss long term goals and plans for retirement.
  • Research tax implications if filing a joint return.

Independent Finances

Pete and Angela married in their mid-thirties and had seen what worked, and didn’t, in previous relationships. They felt they were in a place in their lives that they liked being financially independent. So, based on income, they divided up their expenses and each pays their own separate bills each month. “The only problem we have using this system is that we have a hard time looking at the ‘big picture’. We need to do a better job and sit down more often and discuss things, like retirement”, states Pete.   

Tips for Success:

  • Contribute to savings and retirement individually. 
  • Be watchful that all bills are being paid, especially in community property states.
  • Discuss long term goals and plans for retirement.
  • Research tax implications if filing a joint return.

Return to the top.

 

Teaching Your Kids About Money

Nothing is scarier for a parent than to send their child off into the world to navigate life’s ups and downs. This is especially true when it comes to finances. Kids are targeted by mass marketers pushing a single message – buy everything and anything you want now. Plus, money is much more abstract than it used to be. People use credit cards, debit cards, and the Internet to make purchases. This could make it very confusing for children to learn that these are being used as a tool instead of cash, but the money needs to come from somewhere. In addition, what financial habits are they learning from you? If you struggle financially, use this as an opportunity to learn as you teach.  Behaviors form early, so the younger you start the better. But no matter your child’s age, it’s never too late to start the lessons.

Pre-school

Young children develop their habits early so start laying the foundation for a strong financial future in pre-school. Let your child play store and buy their “purchases” with coins. Or, when you go to the store, let your child pay the clerk, in cash, for the purchase. This will help them learn the value of money in exchange for needs and wants. Introduce the concept of saving. Use a clear jar so they can see their progress. Have them set a goal to save for something small, like a box of crayons. Tape a picture to the jar to remind them what they are saving for and give them a few coins a day to put into their bank until they reach their goal. When they can count to five you can start teaching them about the equivalency of money – four quarters equal one dollar. Don’t be too concerned if they don’t get it right away, you are just introducing the concept at this time.

Elementary School

Once children enter school they have a general understanding that things cost money and sometimes there isn’t enough money for everything they want. Continue to encourage them to set goals and write them down. Open a savings account, and let them go to the bank and make their own deposits.  When the statement comes, review it together and talk about how their money is earning interest. This is also a good time to introduce “The Three Banks” system – a savings container with slots for saving, spending and giving. 

This is also the age where children should start getting an allowance. This will teach them that there is only a limited amount of money for the things they want and sometimes they have to save to get it. A good method to decide how much to give is to determine what you expect them to pay for – candy, toys, games, etc.. You may also decide that they could earn more for doing “extras” around the house. Give it to them weekly. Lastly, don’t bail them out.  If they don’t have enough to make a purchase, make them wait. If you go to the store and they forget their wallet, make them wait. These are life lessons that might prevent costlier mistakes in the future.

Teens

Continue building on the concepts you have taught earlier. Review your child’s allowance to see if it covers what you expect them to pay – clothing, entertainment, cosmetics, etc. Lengthen the time between their “pay periods” – say once every two weeks. This will allow them to pace themselves in their spending.  Introduce the concept of credit. Many kids don’t understand that you still have to pay, with interest, for the stuff that you purchase with your credit card. Encourage their entrepreneurial skills to allow them to earn extra income. The adventure of starting a small business is a great financial lesson for kids. They learn how to set and achieve goals, understand profit and loss and get rewarded for hard work. Make sure you, as the parent, are there to support them, but allow them the opportunity to experience the good and the bad of their financial decisions.

 

Return to the top.

 

Overspending and Under-Saving is Actually the Same Problem

The January poll hosted on Apprisen’s website asked consumers if they had a spending problem, savings problem, neither or both.  The overwhelming majority, 62%, identified themselves as having problems related to both spending and saving.

The good news is that having a problem with both spending and savings is actually just one problem - spending. The bad news is that overspending is often tied to deep-rooted behavior, making it very difficult to change.

Consumers are showing signs of a willingness to begin spending again, as according to Gallup, monthly spending hit a four-year high this past December. As further proof of an increased comfort level with spending, the National Retail Federation projected that Super Bowl spending would likely reach $12.3 billion this year, or close to $70 per consumer related to this one event. The spending wasn’t confined to chips, dips and wings, but extended to big ticket items with 7.5 million households expected to buy a new TV for the big game, compared to 5.1 million last year.

Apprisen cautions consumers that they may have jumped back into spending at the wrong time. Since paychecks are now smaller due to the increase in the Social Security payroll tax, increased spending, coupled with less money available, is an obvious recipe for financial disaster.

The foundation of financial stability is to spend smartly and save regularly. When spending becomes an impediment to saving, it needs to be recognized and dealt with.

To help identify the danger signals associated with overspending, Apprisen encourages consumers to consider the following 10 warning signs to determine if spending is under control or out of control.  People identifying with these actions are advised to seek help immediately, as the problem will not resolve itself.

  • Hide purchases from others. 
  • Bills paid late or ignored. 
  • Checking accounts routinely overdrawn. 
  • Use credit to maintain your lifestyle. 
  • Don’t know where your money goes. 
  • Unaware of how much money you owe to creditors. 
  • Buy things just because they are on sale. 
  • Shop to relieve emotional stress. 
  • Financial goals are not defined. 
  • Afraid to check credit report and score.

People identifying with these actions are advised to seek help immediately, as the problem will not resolve itself. You can make an appointment for a free consultation with a certified financial counselor at Apprisen to receive an action plan for help getting back on track.

The actual January poll question and answer choices are as follows:
I admit to having a

A. Spending problem = 11%
B.  Saving problem = 15%
C.  Neither = 12%
D.  Both = 62%

Return to the top.

 

 

Apprisen BBB Business Review United Way