Facebook Month in Review: 12/2011

2 01 2012

December 30

Just married? Are you new parents? Make sure your SGLI beneficiaries (primary and secondary) are current and up-to-date.

December 28

Success cannot be purchased. It begins with your actions – choose to be savings ready, reduce risk with proper insurance, commit to debt repayment and set aside money for retirement. Success = having your financial house in order.

December 27

How satisfied are you with your current financial situation? 26% of military respondents answered ‘Satisfied’.—FINRA 2010 Military Survey for Financial Capability in the U.S.

December 25

A Merry Christmas wish from Military Saves to military families around the world!

December 23

Money is not the most easily renewable resource. Live within your means but not over your needs.

Build your Savings Arsenal with the help of our Savings Tracker! Start the New Year with this handy print-out that tracks your progress for each quarter.

Approved today is the 2-month extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits. What does this mean for Americans? The payroll tax rate will now be kept at 4.2% until the end of February 2012 but jumps to 6.2% in March. This means a salary boost of about $20/wk for those earning $50,000/yr. In addition, almost 2 million unemployed people will receive unemployment benefits for another 2 months averaging $300/wk.

As we had posted this topic in June 2011, it may prove helpful now given this extension was approved: Thinking about bumping up your TSP contributions this year? Remember, Social Security taxes were reduced by 2% (6.2% to 4.2%) for the year 2011 (they revert to 6.2% in 2012). This means we are taxed 2% less than last year. Looking to increase Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions? Bump up your contribution percentage by 2%. Refer to Kiplinger’s Tax Cut calculator to view how much money is saved from each paycheck. http://www.kiplinger.com/tools/2011_Social_Security_payroll_tax_cut_calculator/

December 21

We want to know – what are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Planning new ones or sticking to the old this year? (many of the best are free)

When you work towards saving it will eventually become your way of life. A life filled with surplus.

December 20

Commit to put unexpected income (gifts, etc) toward debt repayment.

December 19

Lean Mean Saving Machines – Our military savers know how to adapt and overcome. Keep up with the good work – financial success is yours!

December 16

Last year, consumers budgeted an average of $384 for holiday gifts—Conf Board Christmas Spending 2010. This figure is achievable . . . right?

Facebook Month in Review: 11/2011

6 12 2011

November 30

Did you know? You can contribute to an IRA for 2011 right up until the tax-filing deadline of Monday, April 16, 2012 (the contribution limit for the year is $5,000, or $6,000 if you’re 50 or older in 2011).

November 28

“You could always lower your retirement contributions”. That’s exactly what we heard one person tell another when applying for a mortgage loan. Surely reducing/stopping retirement contributions isn’t the only way to obtain affordable housing. What happened to lowering bills? Maybe finding more affordable housing? Or waiting to purchase a home with more money down. What do you think?

November 26

The average U.S. household ‘coin stash’ is about $90. Don’t let the change sit idle in your home – start mining for coins in your home with these tips from Coinstar.  http://www.coinstar.com/funstuff/miningforcoins.aspx

November 24

“America’s military is a special group of heroic men and women who continually make sacrifices for our freedom. It is our duty and covenant to show our gratitude by providing them the very best our country has to offer for the holidays.”—Rear Adm. Baucom, DLA Troop Support commander. Happy Thanksgiving to our Troops and their Families.  http://www.dla.mil/DLA_Media_Center/PressRelease/Pages/DLAprovidesThanksgivingmealsfortroops.aspx

November 23

Travelers are on the rise during this Thanksgiving holiday and so have the travel costs. Drivers are paying almost 20% more for gas, which has reached an average of $3.42 a gallon—(AAA)  http://overheadbin.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/23/8975146-thanksgiving-travel-up-despite-higher-prices

Expert advice for your Thanksgiving meal is just a phone call away! Cooking flops and errors happen to everyone, causing food and money to be wasted. These Thanksgiving helplines are here for you – cooking instructions, recipes, coupon information, etc. Keep on Cookin’ Savers.  http://busycooks.about.com/od/holidayrecipesandmenus/a/hotlines.htm

November 21

Airing live today at 11:10amEST – President Obama Speaks and Signs Legislation to Provide Tax Credits to Help Put Veterans Back to Work.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

November 18

Thanksgiving is less than one week away. How are you keeping costs low this holiday?

November 17

How are we financing retirement? 68% social security, 32% employer pension or cash plans, personal savings 21%, employer retirement plan 20%, IRA 13%—2010 Retirement Confidence Survey

November 16

A recent restaurant advertisement caught our attention – “Happiness is forgetting your lunch and instantly ordering something better”. What do you think? Promotes spending. . .

November 15

Some of the best planning begins on paper – budgets, expense tracking, shopping lists, goals, etc. Plan now and jot it down.

“As a soldier, I can testify that the commissary benefit is worth the trip in allowing us to stretch our paychecks,” Gaines said. “Receiving these gift cards makes the holidays even more festive.”  http://www.commissaries.com/press_room/press_release/2011/DeCA_95_11.cfm

November 12

The average bill at McDonald’s increased from $4.50 to $7.00 when customers could start using credit cards vs. cash — WSJ

November 11

Restaurants offer Thank-You meals to Vets this Veteran’s Day 2011.  http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65993

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. We honor the sacrifices of our Troops today – Happy Veterans Day to the bravest of the brave.

November 10

Happy 236 Birthday Marines! “As we celebrate our 236th birthday, let us reaffirm our pledge to be America’s premier crisis response force; to be the first to fight”—Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps [ooh rah]. http://www.marines.mil/usmc/Pages/2011MarineCorpsBirthdayBall.aspx

November 9

Retirement – to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.

November 4

Did you know? The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) protects the money you have in a credit union account up to $250,000, same as FDIC protects money in a bank account.

November 3

We are stronger, greater and on the rise. 4,313 Savers and counting.

Facebook Month in Review: 10/2011

3 11 2011

October 31

This Halloween, spending is expected to increase across the board. The average consumer is expected to spend $26.52 on costumes. This year, Americans will spend $1 billion on children’s costumes, up from $840 million last year, and $1.21 billion on adult costumes, up from $990 million last year. Additionally, pet owners will shell out $310 million on pint size costumes.

October 26

Talking your stress out is better than *spending* the stress away. Shopping to relieve stress might not improve your current situation – it may just do the opposite. Increased bills and payments (in excess of current monthly expenses) are budget crashers and stress inducers.

October 18

As we wrap up our Holiday Savings Tips, the Postal Service announced holiday mail deadlines to ensure packages reach deployed service members overseas by Dec. 25th. Deadlines to ensure arrival by Dec. 25 are Nov. 12 for parcel post mail; Nov. 26 for space-available mail; Dec. 3 for parcel airlift mail; Dec. 10 for priority mail and first-class mail, letters and cards; and Dec. 17 for express mail military service.  http://www.army.mil/article/66521/

October 14

Reminder: eligible service members will now have 1 week left to apply for retroactive stop loss special pay (service was involuntarily extended under Stop Loss between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009). Go to www.defense.gov/stoploss to learn more and/or apply.

Letting Go of the Old to Accept the New — Let go of your old ways of spending = accepting new ways of saving. Changing old ways of behavior = new ways of rich action.

October 13

Happy 236th Birthday to the United States Navy! HOOYAH  http://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedStatesNavy#p/u/0/6DriBYQvG_4

October 5

It Makes Us Stronger – Learning from our financial mistakes does make us stronger. Stronger Savers. Stronger Spenders. Stronger Givers. A Stronger Military.

October 3

How do you plan to pay for expenses – weekly, bi-weekly or monthly? Maybe you pay bills as you go with weekly paychecks. Some folks plan ahead every 1st of the month and allocate their income towards these bills.

Facebook Month in Review: 09/2011

27 09 2011

September 23

Today’s the first day of Fall and many begin to decorate their home with the season’s decor. Let’s think multi-use items to save money. Stick with colors (oranges, greens, yellows, browns) and items (pumpkins, leaves, etc.) that will transition into the Thanksgiving holiday. Planning ahead will save money and multi-use items means fewer things to store/pack away. How are you saving money during this Autumn season?

September 22

Instead of hoping to have the money to pay for something when the payment is due the following month, learn to live on the income you take home and have right now. It is a great feeling – not overextending your finances.

September 18

Let’s hear it for the Air Force’s 64th Birthday! Today is their day!  http://www.af.mil/shared/widgets/popup.asp?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.af.mil%2Fshared%2Fxml%2FrssVideo.asp%3Fmrsstype%3D2&id=1&pos=1

September 16

Today, we pay tribute to the American men and women who never returned home from combat, to those prisoners of war in distant lands who faced unthinkable suffering and to all servicemembers who have defended American lives and liberties with unwavering devotion. As a grateful Nation, we will not rest until we have accounted for the missing members of our Armed Forces–DoD. http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/pow_day/.  

September 14

We are on the rise – over 4,100 Savers and counting! Let’s Step it Up!!!

September 13

Released today from CNN – the poverty rate rises as incomes decline. http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/13/news/economy/poverty_rate_income/index.htm?iid=A_E_News

If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.–Edmund Burke

September 12

On average a car depreciates by 20% in the first year. Is there any financial sense in purchasing a new vehicle?

Financial victory starts with our thinking.

September 10

Have paper Savings Bonds? Use Treasury Direct’s calculator to figure their current value and final maturity date. http://www.treasurydirect.gov/BC/SBCPrice

September 9

Serving our Country and Saving. It’s what we do.

Your commissary offers a September of savings. Check out their news release.  http://www.commissaries.com/press_room/press_release/2011/DeCA_74_11.cfm

September 8

Avoid paying for more postage than you have to. Different rates are issued for different products – postcard rates ($0.29), media mail/education rates (https://www.usps.com/ship/media-mail.htm) and military flat rate boxes (request FREE Military Care package kit by calling 1-800-610-8734).  https://www.usps.com/ship/service-chart.htm

September 7

Paycheck Deducted Expenses (PDE) are often overlooked when budgeting because they are paid out prior to you receiving a paycheck. They are not “active” in the sense that no check writing occurs. Examples include medical, mass transit, SGLI, FSGLI, retirement contributions. Always include these amounts in your budget so when you retire or switch jobs you’ll know the costs associated with the PDE.

September 6

“The average U.S household pays $950 in credit card interest each year” — Consumer Debt Statistics

Aim for your financial win.

September 2

Another great read for this long weekend. Military.com shares a great story — should you pay off your mortgage early or invest?  http://www.military.com/money/content/va-loans/home-purchase/benefits-pay-off-mortgage-early.html

Spending to Save Money – Stores advertise plenty of ‘deals’ (i.e. spend $30 get $10 back). Think about those items you are purchasing, decide if it’s something you really need. People can lose money trying to save money.

September 1

A poll by The Mint revealed kids don’t know how their parents give to charity. When asked what organizations your family donates money or time to, 77% were unaware of their parents giving or knew they gave back, but unsure how or to whom. “Planning how to give is just as important as the planning that goes into saving, spending, investing. These early learnings help young people become financially-savvy adults.”  http://media.northwesternmutual.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1220

Can it be September 1st already? Seems like yesterday that everyone was setting New Year’s Resolutions. We know there are quite a few Savers that have recently become debt free during this 2011. Have you kept up with any of your resolutions?

Facebook Week in Review: 08/26/2011

2 09 2011

August 26

The typical credit card purchase is 112% higher than if using cash.

August 25

Preparation is key during natural disasters and many milfamilies along the East Coast are preparing for Hurricane Irene’s arrival. Here is an emergency stockpile checklist- www.getreadyforflu.org/clocksstocks/stockpilingchecklist.pdf, grocery lists- www.getreadyforflu.org/clocksstocks/stockpilinggrocerylist.pdf and stockpiling on a budget- www.getreadyforflu.org/clocksstocks/CheapStockpiling.pdf

August 24

When you save, grand things happen.

Good morning Savers! We want to share informative information from the American Public Health Association (APHA). APHAs ‘Get Ready Campaign’ provides insight on natural disasters, kids/moms and preparedness, budget stockpiling, pet emergencies, etc. Truly a one-stop-shop for resources of this nature.

August 23

Current headlines regarding earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc., it is important to protect yourself, your belongings and others with proper insurance. Rental, automobile, homeowners, etc. Perils of this nature can cause major devastation to your household financially if you are not adequately protected.

Just 9 fans away from 4,000! Can we reach this goal by Friday?

August 22

Just released from the Better Business Bureau – “We are urging people who have family members stationed overseas, specifically in Afghanistan, to alert their spouses of the scam and refuse to purchase gem stones from unknown sources.”—BBB  http://www.bbb.org/us/article/gems-arent-all-they-are-cut-out-to-be-28940

“AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized source to get your free annual credit report under federal law.”–FTC

Facebook Week in Review: 08/20/2011

23 08 2011

August 20

Another great documentary referred by one of our Savers to watch over the weekend! Thanks Susan!  http://www.hulu.com/watch/202241/in-debt-we-trust

August 19

We like Savers! We have the greatest fans here on Facebook.

Wow, pre-season football is in full swing! Can you think of ways to save for the upcoming season? Tailgating, hosting at-home vs at sports restaurants, etc. Let’s pre-plan for these expenses. [C’mon, let’s hear who your favorite team is]

August 18

The ‘buck’ stops here. Repeat that to yourself if you’re struggling with overspending. That buck (or credit card) stays in your wallet.

August 17

A report that every ATM user should read. “In the meantime, it’s a good idea to stick to metal ATM keypads, or, better yet, go right to the bank teller”–Security News Daily.  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44178369?GT1=43001

Some great tips for talking about money with your spouse. Make every moment of your conversations count!  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44178369?GT1=43001

August 16

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”– Charles Dickens

The word ‘personal’ in personal finance suggests a responsibility within us all to manage our finances. We need to achieve balance between spending and saving – it’s these personal choices that are all a part of personal finance.

August 15

Be on the lookout for these top 10 online scams and understand the anatomy of a scam. Knowledge = power.  http://www.bbb.org/blog/top-online-scams.pdf

Did you know? The Fair & Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), a federal law passed by Congress, prohibits businesses from printing more than 5-digits of credit card numbers or credit card expiration dates on any receipt during a point of sale or transaction. The provision however excludes handwritten or imprinted receipts if that is the only means of recording the credit card number.

Facebook Week in Review: 08/12/2011

15 08 2011

August 12

Over 3,900 Savers currently! And our Savers are truly fantastic – you all share encouraging stories while helping others with their questions! We are on the rise!

August 11

Financial Security to me means _____________ [fill in the blank].

Begin with the goal in mind.

August 10

“The average family of K-12 students plans to spend about $600 on back-to-school items, nearly identical to last year.”–NRF. What do you think?  http://blog.nrf.com/2011/07/21/a-quick-look-back-to-school-by-the-numbers/

August 9

Financial Statements measure financial progress and health. And spending plans track where money came and went. Income – Expenses = Surplus or Deficit. Use this printable worksheet to get started.   http://www.saveandinvest.org/microsites/moneymobility/SpendingPlanWorksheet.pdf

August 8

Check out America Saves’ newly redesigned website. Looking great! “Money saved is a future brighter”–America Saves  http://www.americasaves.org/

Let’s start the week with some ‘wedding’ money saving tips. What are your saving ideas? Guests RSVPing via telephone/email = postage savings!

August 7

The Returning Heroes credit would offer a maximum of $2,400 for every short-term and $4,800 for every long-term unemployed veteran hire, officials said.  http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64943

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