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You Did It!

Congratulations on finishing the Manage Your Money Challenge! We are pleased with the number of individuals like you who committed to the full six weeks.

As part of our ongoing effort to determine program impact and knowledge gained, we are asking you to complete an on-line survey. Your participation is completely voluntary, but please know your input is important to us as we strive to improve the programming we offer. Row Question

All information you provide will be kept strictly confidential and is in summarized form; you will not be identified in any way. The post-assessment should take you 10-12 minutes to complete.

Thank you for participating!

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Do you want to continue the forward progress you’ve begun? Ohio Saves can help you take positive financial action – just like you have been doing for the past 6 weeks with the Manage Your Money Email Challenge!  Savers pledge to save regularly (as little as $10 a month) towards their own savings goal.  Become an Ohio Saver today and receive access to online saving tools, quarterly American Saver e-newsletters with tips and tricks for saving money, and optional text message reminders.

 

Ohio Saves Week

AmericaSaves-Skyscraper-160x600 As part of America Saves Week 2015, February 23  27, 2015 Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences is spreading the saving message and urging Ohioans to assess their savings status and build wealth, not debt.

Ways to Save During OHIO SAVES WEEK:

  • start or increase an emergency fund
  • save money toward a goal (take the Saver’s Pledge)
  • increase 401k contributions
  • or take other positive wealth‐building action

You look like you can start saving!

What Are You Saving For?

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I’ve been having some (okay, a lot of) car trouble recently. Fortunately, I had sufficient savings in my emergency fund to take care of some unexpected repairs. But I’m now facing the reality of having to shop for a newer car. So this February, I’m ramping-up the savings and joining over 350,000 Americans in pledging to save for my goal.

“I pledge to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth over time. I will encourage my family and friends to do the same. I wish to reach my savings goal in order to ___________. To reach my goal, I pledge to save $ ____ for ____ months. At the end of this time I will have saved $ ____ to reach my savings goal.”

Studies show that having a plan with specific goals and improving your savings can improve your finances. Participate in America Saves Week by taking the Ohio Saves Pledge or answering the question, What are you saving for?

Take and share your “I’m Saving For…” picture with us! All entries will be eligible to win 2 OSU Basketball tickets for the March 1st game against Purdue or $500! Enter before February 25 in 3 easy steps:

1) Pledge to save online.

2) Take a pic with your I’m Saving For..Sign and post it on any social media with these hashtags:

#livesmartohio to win 2 Ohio State University Basketball tickets for the March 1 game against Purdue!

#imsavingfor to win $500! through the national America Saves campaign; (read eligibility)

3) Tell us you posted to be entered for prizes.

Follow Ohio Saves on Twitter (@moneymattersOH) to see what others are saving for.

Record Keeping

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Which describes your financial record keeping system (online or on paper)?

  • Easy to use; I use it often.
  • Disorganized but useful, especially at tax time.
  • My credit card and bank statements are somewhere…
  • I’m supposed to keep those?

Some papers, such as credit card statements, need only be kept until the next month to verify charges, while others should be held several years or indefinitely. For information on how long to keep certain papers, click here.

 Follow these good financial record keeping hints:

  • Collect all critical documents and establishing/revising a filing system. Consider how you will store and back-up electronic files as well.
  • List all important household documents and their location. Don’t forget to put a copy of the list in a safe location!
  • Put records and documents that can’t be replaced in a safe deposit box and share the location with a friend or relative.

These documents are necessary to prove ownership, settle estates, make insurance claims, complete applications, or satisfy audit requirements. Maintaining neat files will save you time, money and effort in the future!

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Author:  Kristen Corry, M.A., Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Monroe/Noble Counties; Buckeye Hills EERA; corry.10@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Polly Loy, M.S., Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Belmont County; Buckeye Hills EERA; loy.1@osu.edu

Who’s In Your Piggy Bank?

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Happy Presidents’ Day! Put each of these former presidents in savings every month for a year and end up one Benjamin Franklin short of $1,000.

Can you identify which president is on each of these three bills and their value?

If you were to save one of each of these bills, how much would you be setting aside in savings (each month)?

If you saved each of these bills once a month for a year, how many dollars would you have saved after one year?

Submit your answers here, one winner will be randomly selected!

Week 6

You have reached the last week of our challenge! Lesson 6 will explain which valuable papers to keep and how to keep them safe and easily accessible. You will also calculate your net worth.

Don’t forget about our 2-minute videos!

“Determine Your Net Worth”

“Keeping Financial Records”

I would also encourage you to visit one or more of these helpful websites at the end of the challenge:

Continue reading

Pay Yourself First

Remember your financial goaOhio Savesls? Set aside money in your budget each month or there may be nothing left for you to save!

Pay yourself first. Make savings a fixed expense in your budget. Financial advisors recommend saving 10% of your take-home pay.

Make saving automatic. Arrange for part of your paycheck to be directly deposited into an account each pay period.

Save for emergencies. According to research, only 38% of Ohioans have sufficient emergency savings. It’s recommended that individuals have an emergency fund of 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses.

To calculate the total amount you will need to save for emergencies:

  1. Look at your budget for the month. Identify all necessary expenses such as groceries, utilities, rent or mortgage payments and insurance.
  2. Total all expenses and multiply by 3 for 3 months or 6 for 6 months.

 Saving is simply delayed spending; you must plan for future spending in your budget now!

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Author:  Kristen Corry, M.A., Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Monroe/Noble Counties; Buckeye Hills EERA; corry.10@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Polly Loy, M.S., Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Belmont County; Buckeye Hills EERA; loy.1@osu.edu

Savings… Savings for What?

This post comes to you from Nancy Stehulak, Assistant Professor for Ohio State University and Family & Consumer Science Educator specializing in financial education.

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It has always been interesting for me when I talk with people about money.  Sometimes it is money worries like a foreclosure due to a loss of job or learning how to manage money when setting a budget in place to pay a first mortgage.

When the word budget comes up, the eyes of many people glaze over, because budget to many of us, means ‘spend less’.

Read the rest of Nancy’s article at OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences’ blog, Live Smart Ohio.

 

Week 5

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This week you will use the information from the previous lessons to come up with a budget that fits your needs; I hope you’ve been completing the worksheets and following the action steps. With your family goals in mind, you’ll create a monthly budget. I’d suggest doing it in pencil! A budget can help you take control of spending when you choose to live within the limits you set. Lesson 5 will help you actually “plan” future use of income so you are in better control of day-to-day and longer-term finances.

 If you find you are practicing good money management skills as you take the challenge, great! Some parts may be difficult or require extra assistance. Focus on adopting one or two new skills or practices at a time. Only 1 out of 5 self-changers successfully overcome a long-standing problem on their first try. I encourage you to continue following the action steps like tracking spending throughout the course. Remember that it takes 21 days to start or stop a habit.

 “How Will Your Money Be Spent?” Video

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Author:  Kristen Corry, M.A., Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Monroe/Noble Counties, Buckeye Hills EERA, corry.10@osu.edu

Reviewer: Cindy Shuster, M.S., CFLE, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EEERA, shuster.24@osu.edu

Where to Turn for Financial Advice

Join University of Florida’s Institute of Food & Ag Sciences for free, live, interactive online class,  “Where to Turn for Financial Advice”, February 25  scheduled from 12:00pm -1:00pm. Extension professionals will share how to evaluate different types of financial professionals, the meaning behind their professional designations, and the ways they are compensated. Includes resources for free, reliable and non-commercial financial information.

Register now.

financial management webinar flier

 “Personal Finance Questions, Realities & Myths”, Thursday, February 26       Register  now.