Blog   Tagged ‘saving’

Rising rental rates encourage homeownership

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The 2015 Rental Market Report conducted by Rent.com showed that rates for apartment units are likely going to continue to increase.

The 2015 Rental Market Report conducted by Rent.com showed that rates for apartment units are likely going to continue to increase. The survey gathered responses from more than 500 property managers in the U.S. to determine the current and forecast state of the rental market.

Rising rent encourages home buying

Rent will rise
According to the survey, 53 percent of property managers indicated they would prefer bringing in a new tenant and charging a higher rate over negotiating a lease renewal with a current tenant.

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In addition, the survey showed 88 percent of managers raised rent in the last year, and 68 percent of participants believe rates will continue to rise into the next year. Many expect rent to rise by an average of 8 percent, which is a 2 percent increase from the expected rent rise predicted in 2014.

The increasing cost of renting an apartment is turning many renters into interested homeowners, according to a recent survey done by TD Bank.

“Rising rents are motivating Americans to purchase a home,” said Scott Haymore, Head of Pricing and Secondary Markets. “With an improving job market and economy, renters are gaining more confidence in the housing market and starting to explore homeownership as a feasible option.”

Mortgages may be more appealing
Many current renters are seeing substantial increases in the rent they regularly pay, which is making them more interested in becoming a homeowner. The survey indicated the breaking point for many consumers deciding to transition from renting to buying is when their rent reaches $1,100 per month. The average monthly rent currently sits at $1,000 making the breaking point for many individuals very close.

Many renters have already experienced substantial increases in the rent they pay each month. More than 50 percent of respondents indicated their rents increased by nearly $300 in the past two years.

Rising rent was 47 percent of survey participants’ biggest motivators for purchasing new homes.

The American Dream
Owning a home is still a critical component to the American Dream. Almost 60 percent of consumers and 76 percent of millennials indicated it was “extremely” or “very important” to own a home in the TD Bank survey.

While 51 percent of respondents indicated money is the primary concern when it comes to purchasing a new home, the average surveyed renter was able to save more than $50,000 for a down payment, and 24 percent of millennials have saved $100,000. The ability to save is the true key to homeownership.

“We can see from our data that rents are rising, and while many renters feel that saving for a home is out of reach, there are other options they should consider,” said Haymore. “Today, potential buyers can take advantage of state and government affordability programs, which offer options outside the traditional 20 percent down payment. This enables them to pursue homeownership, build equity and still feel comfortable with their monthly payments.”

Saving for a down payment
Gathering the funds to save for a down payment on a new home requires dedication. According to Zillow, hopeful homeowners will want to first establish exactly how much money is needed to pay for the perfect house. Reaching out to a real estate professional will help to get a better idea of what the current local market looks like and whether buyers or sellers have the advantage.

In addition, contacting a mortgage lender can help an interested buyer figure out what can be expected from the entire lending process. If a consumer wants to secure a lower interest rate, he or she may want to provide a larger down payment.

Once it’s been decided how much is needed to invest in a new home, interested borrowers should examine their current spending habits. Budgeting downfalls can lead to issues when saving for a down payment, but fixing these issues will help hopeful homeowners reach their financial goals even faster.

Another way for interested buyers to build their savings for a new home quickly is by earning more cash to contribute to funds. Individuals can get a second job for a certain amount of time, or they can figure out a way to turn a favorite hobby into a profitable one using websites like Etsy or Facebook as a marketing platform.

Holding a garage sale is another way to increase savings and build a down payment fund. Decreasing the number of items that must be moved will also be beneficial when it’s time to pack everything up and relocate.

 

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Planning last minute holiday travel

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Temperatures across the country continue to drop as the holiday season approaches. While the change in weather means seasonal cheer is on its way, it also means winter is coming.

Temperatures across the country continue to drop as the holiday season approaches. While the change in weather means seasonal cheer is on its way, it also means winter is coming. Sometimes a vacation to help forget the ice, snow and wind is the most welcome gift anyone can receive.

If you are considering booking last minute holiday travel, prices will likely be very high due to demand. However, there are ways to reduce costs and book a budget-friendly vacation.

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Plan a holiday vacation


Find the best deals
According to The New York Times, one of the best times of the year to travel to Europe is during the holidays. While airfare might be pricier than other seasons, hotels tend to be far more affordable, making a holiday trip to Europe more plausible.” Europeans tend to stay at home for the Christmas holiday,” said Gabe Saglie, a senior editor at Travelzoo. “That means there are hotel deals to be had in popular destinations.” Traveling parties can enjoy upgrades and discounts during the slower season, which provides a little more wiggle room when working with a fixed budget.

Even domestic hotels are more affordable during the holiday season. “Thanksgiving to Christmas can be a bargain proposition because the business traveler is not booking those hotels,” said Saglie.

Consider booking a cruise
When it comes to kicking back and relaxing during the holiday season, there is no better way than on a cruise. These trips are especially beneficial because they often include the price of everything from food to entertainment. This package deal eliminates some of the pressure accompanying planning a trip and saves you money. U.S. News & World Report suggested using the help of a travel agent. These professionals can help you find deals that aren’t available to the general public – ultimately saving you money. Last minute booking can also save you a bit of money when paying for a cruise, noted U.S. News & World Report. However, you’ll need to be flexible with dates to get better deals.

Determine a plan for saving
When planning last minute holiday travel, gather as much money as possible to use toward the trip. Independent Traveler suggested opening a savings account designated specifically for travel expenses. Contribute to the fund regularly to build a nice stash of spending money you can use while on your vacation.

Since the holidays are approaching so quickly, consider setting up automatic deposits to ensure you regularly contribute a certain amount of each pay check to your savings account.

In addition to having a savings account, a change jar is another easy way to build additional funds for the trip. While it may not initially seem like very much, change can add up quickly and really bolster the growth of vacation savings.

Enlist the help of others
When you are bringing the whole family on a vacation, it provides a unique opportunity to teach your children a little bit about saving money for something special. Ask your young ones to help make their very own contributions to the family vacation savings account. Whether they have an allowance they want to deposit into the fund, or if they decide to give up weekend outings to cut costs, kids can help make a substantial impact on your savings for a holiday getaway.

Even though flight prices can be higher in the holiday season, a vacation shouldn’t be written off as out of the budget just yet. With a little planning and dedication, you and your family can enjoy some time away.

 

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Teach Children to Save

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Do your kids know that money doesn’t grow on trees? Here are some helpful tips for each age group.
Teach Kids to Save

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You don’t have to wait until your kids are teenagers. You can start talking to them about the basics of money as early as preschool. Here are some tips about how to talk to your kids about money at any age:

  • From ages three to five you can teach kids that money can be exchanged for things. Explain to them the difference between pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
  • From ages five to nine you can start giving them an allowance. This is also a good time to explain bank accounts and what it means when a bank account earns interest.
  • From ages nine to 13 you can help them open a savings account. Encourage them to save their allowance towards a goal (a new toy or a DVD). You might even consider setting up a matching savings plan like most companies do with a 401(k). This is also a good time to start talking to them about the idea of keeping a minimum balance based on the savings account requirement. You can also introduce the concept of keeping savings in case of emergency. Even though they won’t need to pay for an emergency at such a young age, you can explain the importance of keeping a nest egg.
  • From ages 13 to 15 you can expand your children’s allowance to include more expensive items like clothes or gifts for friends. This is also a good time to introduce entrepreneurship. Encourage your kids to earn their own money with jobs for neighbors and friends.  Arrange for them to have an ATM card so they can withdraw money from their savings account.
  • From ages 15 to 18 and up you can help your children open a checking account with a debit card. Teach them how to manage their account online or with mobile banking. You can even go old school and show them how to use a check register. This is also a good time to talk fiscal responsibility about when they go off to college. Be very clear about what expenses you will pay for which ones they will cover.

Explaining money management to your kids can start out with something as simple as giving them an allowance. If you talk to them regularly, teach by your own fiscally responsible example and give them the right tools, you will do more than teach them about money basics. You will instill in them a respect for earning and saving money that will hopefully set them on a path to being financially independent and responsible in adulthood.




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How to pay for your children’s college free of stress and debt

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College tuition is rising steadily. The price of a four-year public university has risen 2.3 percent (1.6 percent for private college), and that is on top of inflation, according to the College Board. Those increases reflect the average of the last 20 years and include tuition, fees, room and board.

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Sound intimidating? Good news, these numbers don’t have to be daunting for parents. Having a plan to properly fund these goals is half the battle, and definitely decreases anxiety. Here are some tips as you begin savings for your child’s higher education:

  1. Know the numbers – If only we had a crystal ball to predict exactly what tuition will cost when your child gets to college. We do, however, have tools that can forecast costs and assist in planning. Talk with your financial advisor—he or she will be able to help you estimate and plan for these expenses.
  1. Determine how much to fund – Once you have an expected figure, talk about how much you want to fund. There are differing viewpoints on what percentage parents and children should each contribute to education through scholarships, loans and tuition payments, so discuss this with your family and then set goals based on what everyone feels is appropriate.
  1. Establish investing timetable – The next step is to put your financial goal in writing and begin weighing options on how to achieve the desired savings. Designating monthly or annual contributions to your preferred education savings vehicles is a great way to start. However, you should feel comfortable adjusting these over time on an as-needed basis. Don’t become discouraged if projected savings do not align exactly with the end goal. The most important thing is to consistently save something to ensure the funds continue to grow.
  1. Evaluate options – There are a variety of college savings vehicles available, including 529 Plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. Your financial advisor can make recommendations that are in line with your strategic plan.
  1. Communicate the strategy – When the time is right, start the conversation with your children about their educational paths. Talk about the financial support you plan to provide, and where you expect them to share responsibility. This will help your children begin establishing their own goals and promote accountability for educational expenses as well.

Saving for your children’s college expenses can seem like an overwhelming task, but it is much easier to manage with the right planning and support. Consider these tips and talk with your advisor—those college enrollment packages will arrive before you know it!

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 




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How saving money differs in your 40s, 50s and 60s

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We already told you how your financial goals and habits vary from decade to decade in your 20s and 30s. The same is true as you move into your 40s and up until retirement. Here are some pro tips on how to take full advantage of each unique decade.

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Things to DO in your 40s

Do meet with a financial planner to make sure you’re on the right track to retire when you want and with the right amount to continue living the lifestyle you want. Retirement may seem very far away, but you don’t want to let yourself be caught in your early 60s playing catch-up on your 401(k).

Do decide how saving for major purchases balances with your retirement saving. If you have children, are you going to pay for all or some of their college tuition? What about your children’s weddings? These are examples of things that can cause parents to be caught off guard and can put a pause on your important retirement saving. For more information on these decisions, take a look at our recent post on Kids’ college vs. retirement: where to save?

And one thing to AVOID in your 40s

Don’t miss out on the maximum match from your employer on your retirement plan. As we’ve recommended from your first job in your 20s, be sure to take full advantage of the match from your employer. Of course, going above that amount is also a great idea; just be sure you’re reaching that minimum amount to get your full match.

 

Things to DO in your 50s 

Do think of this decade as your time to save the most (less expenses with children out of the home and typically higher income than you earned earlier in your career). Consider paying off high-cost debt, such as your mortgage, if you haven’t already and then save aggressively.

Do add catch-up contributions to your retirement savings. Even if you’re tracking well toward your retirement goals, you’re allowed to save more now, so do it!

And one thing to AVOID in your 50s

Don’t wait until your 60s to purchase long-term care insurance. The average age to buy this type of insurance is 57. If you wait until a few years later, it will be much more expensive.


Things to DO in your 60s
 

Do prepare aggressively for retirement…even before your planned last day of work. It’s difficult to predict when health, layoffs or extra time needed to care for your aging parents will cause you to retire earlier. This is the case with more than 40 percent of workers.

Do think about downsizing. This isn’t something that needs to wait until you’re already retired. If you’re single or if it’s just you and your spouse in your home, consider where you want to live for the next few decades and if moving makes sense.

And one thing to AVOID in your 60s

Don’t keep the same insurance policies you had in your 30s. You might not need life insurance anymore. Check your long-term care insurance policy to see what benefits it includes.

Remember, whether you’re 21 or 68, it’s never too late to improve your financial plan.

 

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References: *2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Inspired by a Daily Finance article

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Ponce is a Financial Center Manager for UMB Bank. She is responsible for managing the Collinsville micro-market. She joined UMB in 1991 and has 23 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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How saving money differs in your 20s and 30s

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Have you noticed that your eating, sleeping and entertainment habits changed after high school and again after college? The same is true of your financial situation. With a different lifestyle comes different financial needs, which is why we’re bringing you a few dos and don’ts for these crucial decades.

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Things to DO in your 20s…

Do contribute to a 401(k), one of the 9 financial habits we told you about earlier. How much should you save? At least as much as it takes to receive what your employer is willing to match. Beyond that, 10 to 15 percent of your pre-tax income is a great start.

Do lay a sound financial foundation by developing good habits. Contrary to what you may hear, how MUCH you save for retirement when you’re young isn’t as important as saving consistently starting as soon as possible.

Do find inspiration in growth charts / calculators like these. It’s hard to focus on something that is decades in the future, such as retirement, so calculate how dramatically your goals can be reached if you start early. For example, if you start saving $300/month in your 20s, you could have nearly $100,000 by the time you’re 50 (and that’s only factoring a less than 1 percent annual interest rate).

And one thing to avoid in your 20s…

Don’t ONLY save for your retirement. Many people in their 20s make this mistake. Since you can’t touch this money until you’re 59½  (with limited exceptions), you’ll need to make sure you have separate savings for emergencies and non-retirement goals.

 

Things to DO in your 30s…

Do ask yourself if you should buy a home. The median age of first time home buyers is 31*. While that doesn’t mean that age will be the right time for you, it does indicate that your 30s are a great time to start considering home ownership during this decade. If you’re a star student and are reading this section as a 20-something, good job. Because the money you save in your 20s will come in handy when it’s time to buy a home in your 30s. The down payment, closing costs and inevitable home repairs that pop up as soon as the home becomes yours add up quickly.

Do get life insurance if you now have dependents. It’s a bummer to dwell on, so don’t over think it. You and your family will appreciate the financial peace of mind it gives.

And one thing to avoid in your 30s…

Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about money. If you are among the 30-somethings with children, you can start teaching them as young as pre-school or early elementary school the concept of spending and saving. Playing imaginary restaurant or store with them is a great learning tool.

Update: check out how to save in your 40s, 50s and 60s!

 

 

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Reference: *2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Inspiration for article from Daily Finance

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Johnson is a VP/Financial Center Manager for UMB Kansas City. He is responsible for driving sales and relationship activities within the Walnut Lobby Financial Center. He joined UMB in 2007 and has 11 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Johnson earned an Associate’s Degree from MCC. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science Degree majoring in Management and Finance from Park University.



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Sometimes it’s good to be cheap: money-saving tips from a “cheap” family

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Be Cheap!

Steve and Annette Economides are known as America’s cheapest family, and they didn’t get that label by stiffing waiters or bringing cheap bottles of wine to house parties. The Economides (yes, that’s their real last name, but it’s pronounced econo-mee dis)have developed a method to save money as a family, and they shared a few tips with CBS Arizona affiliate KPHO to help every family around the country cut back on spending.

Teach kids the value of money at a young age
The Economides wrote a book called “the MoneySmart family system,” and one of the main points is about teaching children the right way to go about learning and saving money. The couple believes that if parents show their children smart money-saving habits at a young age, it can help set the right mood for the entire family.

“We would normally spend money on them,” Steve said of his children. “I mean how many parents would normally give their kids $20 to go to the mall? So what we said was, okay, we’re going to give them money anyway, let’s have them earn it.”

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Setting up a point system is one way the Economides got their kids excited about earning and saving money. Their children would earn a set amount of points for completing a chore around the house. At the end of the week, they could turn those points in for money.

The family found a reward-based system helps children learn to budget at an early age. Steve also said their goal is by the time their children turn 11, they should be able to afford to buy their own clothes. By the time they turn 16 and are ready to drive, they should be able to pay for their own car and insurance.

“Remember we’re slowly transferring the weight of adult responsibilities to the kids so that by the time they’re 18, they’re ready to go to college and they know how to manage larger amounts of money,” Steve said.

The Economides understand that not every 16-year-old will be able to afford their own car. Annette said that even if they can’t purchase vehicles when they get their licenses, it’s wise to have them pay their own car insurance for accountability reasons.

“It’s real important that kids pay for their car insurance because then if they decide to speed and they get a ticket, their car insurance goes up and they bear the consequences for those decisions,” she said.

Paying off debt
The interesting take on savings doesn’t end there for this family. When managing debt, they told ABC affiliate KNXV to write down every person or establishment they owe money to, no matter the amount. They disagree with the many financial experts say to pay off high-interest debt first.

“Don’t worry about interest rates because you have more success if you simply knock off the smallest balance,” Annette said.

Steve suggests getting a second job, working overtime or looking around the house for unused items that you might be able to sell in order to help pay off debt. He said the family recently sold a 3-year-old textbook for $30.

Saving on daily costs
The average family of four spends $800 per month on food, or roughly $9,600 per year, according to WTVM.

Annette told KPHO that one simple way to trim a family’s food bill is to take inventory of what is already stocked in the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets before heading to the grocery store. She said most people have more in their house than they realize, so searching through their pantries reveals a lot of forgotten items.

Remember, adopting even one of these money-saving tips could make a big impact on you budget. Try adding one at a time, and be sure to track the difference it makes each month.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Seeger is a VP/Financial Center Manager for UMB Arizona. She is responsible for leading the sales and client experience teams in the financial center as well as business development. She has 14 years of experience in the financial services industry. She is a member of the Young Professionals Scottsdale Cultural Council Committee and is takes an active leadership role in the Scottsdale community.



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Financial Checkups: A Tune-Up for Your Money

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Drivers know they need an oil change approximately every three months. Did you know that your money needs just as much attention as your motor? Ordinary expenses and extraordinary events can take their toll. Financial checkups help you avoid a breakdown.

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Financial checkups are about where you want to go in life. At the beginning of a new journey, a financial checkup will help you set your goals. Once you have your destination in mind, making a plan will plot the course to achieving your goals. When you’re on your way, a financial checkup will point you in the right direction to make sure you arrive at your destination on your pre-set schedule. If you take a wrong turn along the way, then a financial checkup can get you pointed in the right direction again.

No matter if you do a self check or work with your financial professional, your financial check should focus on where you want to go. No one knows your plans as well as you do. Some families dream about walking in the front door of their first home. Other people see themselves walking along a white sandy beach as they celebrate their retirement. Still others look forward to the day when their children will walk across the stage at their college graduation. Your financial plan should be as special as your dreams.

The steps involved in a good financial checkup depend on where you are in your life and where you want to go. Here are some suggestions to begin:

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  • Inventory – Make a list. Everything you own (assets) – everything you owe (liability) = your net worth.

–Is it what you thought it would be? Is it what you want it to be? Once you know your starting point, move on to the next step.

  • budget analysis will let you know where you’re headed. By looking at your cash flow, you will know where your money goes. If your money isn’t going towards your goals, you won’t make any progress.
  • Goal setting helps you look ahead to where you want to go. If you’re in a long-term relationship, don’t forget to talk with your significant other about his or her goals. Next, start thinking about how much money you need for your goals.

–If you want make a big purchase like a vehicle or a home, use our handy calculators which takes several factors into account to point you toward a monetary goal. (Tip: if you are clueless on what rates to plug in to the home-buying formula, contact  a real estate agent in your desired area to ask for current average rates as a starting point.)

–It’s a great idea to start saving for a home down payment even before starting the pre-approval process. If you already have a goal, reevaluate what you need to achieve it.

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Whether your destination features tropical beaches or three bedrooms, you can make sure you’re headed in the right direction with a financial checkup. Just like oil change, a little bit of financial maintenance will keep you on the road to success. 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.




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Don’t Get Sacked Buying a Big Screen for the Big Game

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The big game is just around the corner and many people are thinking about buying a new big screen. You may think you’re getting a Hail Mary of a deal, but make sure you’re not getting blitzed. Here are some ways to score the TV you want and advance your financial goals down the field.

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  • Your budget is your playbook. Even if you can’t execute every play perfectly, the closer you can stick to your plan, the more points you’ll put up on the board.
  • Plan out your maximum price, the features you want and the size you want.

For example, when you start looking, you may be thinking about buying a 47-inch TV for $700, but then you find a great 47-inch TV marked down to $500. Then the helpful sales associate says that they have a 50-inch marked down from $1,000 to $750. They say that with the bigger TV you save 300 dollars instead of 250 and you’re still under your budget.

Watch out: they’re going for an interception!

If you have a budget and you spend the full amount, you did not save any money. You were never going to buy the $1,000 dollar 50-inch TV. When you came in the store, you were thinking you’d be happy with the 47-inch model. Remember the play you’re running, buy the size you originally wanted and you’ll have another $250 to put towards saving. 

  • In the NFL, players will watch hours of game tapes to learn about the other team. Do your homework by checking out customer reviews or other trusted sources.
  • That helpful sales associate may also offer you no payments or no interest for months. But even the worst referee would call a flag on this play. These deals often take the form of deferred interest, so if you don’t pay back the full amount in the given time frame, you could owe interest for the entire length of time. Every loan and credit card is different, so be sure to read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. You may gain 10 yards on the play, but paying a high interest rate can set you back worse than a 15 yard penalty.

Remember, buying a TV is just one play in one game. For saving money, the season never ends. NFL players train their entire life to get to the big game. We save money our entire life to get to retirement. Don’t let spending sideline you. 




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This year, resolve to think small

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Every year, we make resolutions. We dream of all the goals we want to achieve and the objectives we want to accomplish. And every year, life gets in the way. We resolve this will be the year we get in shape, but our resolve freezes in the January cold. We pledge that this will be the year we get organized, but our goal gets lost among the clutter. We swear that this will be the year we start saving for retirement, but our budget runs short as bills loom large.

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Soon, our resolutions fall aside as we try to keep up with the day to day. Our problems seem so big and our time so small. There is so much to do, so many problems to solve. What can we do? Where should we start? How can we even get started? Every year, our resolutions crumble and our problems remain.

This year, don’t try to solve the big problems.

This year, resolve to think small.

Yes, small. Small is beautiful. Small is doable. Small is possible.

If you want to save money, don’t think “I want to save for retirement.” Saving for retirement is a lifelong goal, not something you can do in a year.  Instead, start small. First, ask yourself if you have an emergency fund. Everyone should save at least 3-6 months’ worth of income for emergencies.  If you do not have any savings, 3-6 months of income can seem like a lot. Don’t try to save it all at once. Ask yourself what you can do.

Can you save 10 percent of January’s pay? Or maybe just $100 dollars?

Find an amount that you believe you can save. Every payday, take half of that goal amount and put it in a Savings account. Then, in February, ask yourself if you can increase how much you save. If you saved $100 in January, can you save $120 in February? That’s only $10 more per paycheck, $5 per week. It’s only one less fast food meal, one less trip to Starbucks. Think about the small expenses. Every time you cut back a little more, you can save that much more. Keep it up and soon you’ll have an emergency fund saved.

No matter what your goals are for 2014, know that every small step counts toward accomplishing your goal.




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