Money Matters: Small Changes

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Hey! Did you know that a cup of coffee and a bag lunch can change your life?

Throughout the day, we think about the things we want: a Frappuccino from Starbucks. A new car. A trip to Hawaii.

Fact is, giving up the small things can help you get the big ones. For example, packing a lunch instead of eating out every day could save $50-$60 per week, or $200 a month, or $1200 to $1500 per year! Make your own coffee ...

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Money Matters: Mobile and Online Banking

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Hey! If you haven’t started using online or mobile banking yet, here are some things you should know:

Number 1: It’s simple, flexible, and convenient. You can access your bank information, transfer money, and make payments whenever and wherever you have an internet connection.

Number 2: It’s secure. It may even be more secure than carrying around credit or debit cards, which can be stolen or compromised. Make sure to password-protect your phone and log out of all financial apps after using, ...

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Money Matters: Family Financial Conversations Between Generations

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Hey! Do you know how to have the hard conversations about money with your family? Here are four topics to get your conversations started.

Number 1: Where to find key documents, including bank account information, documentation of any assets or liabilities, deeds, titles, and life insurance.

Number 2: Plans in case of illness. Who will be the power of attorney when a loved one falls ill?

Number 3: It’s a good idea to document increased and ongoing healthcare needs, and discuss those needs ...

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Money Matters: Credit Card Debt

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Hey! How can a snowball help you become debt-free?

If you’re using credit cards to finance your way of life and not paying off the balance each month, you’re probably paying a lot in interest and penalties.

For instance, paying the $25 minimum on a $1,000 balance will take over four years to pay off and could cost you over $300 in interest alone. So it’s in your best interest to pay that balance off as quickly as possible.

That’s where the snowball ...

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Money Matters: Kid-Friendly Financial Fundamentals

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Trying to figure out which financial habits to focus on with your family may feel overwhelming. One way to think about such a big topic is by breaking these habits into four easy-to-understand main categories.

First is understanding how money is earned in a household, a key to many financial conversations.

Second is borrowing and understanding debt, repayments, and how this contributes to financial health.

Third is spending and saving, the concept of putting aside money to make purchases.

Last is financial decision-making. In ...

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Money Matters: Emergency Savings

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Hey, are you prepared for life’s little surprises?

Lots of things in life are unpredictable. Experts say that you should have at least $1,000 saved for emergencies, such as when your car breaks down or your fridge stops working, as well as 3-6 months of savings for things like rent in the even of a longer crisis. 

Having an emergency fund set aside can reduce your stress and keep you from going over budget.

When building your emergency fund, open a special savings ...

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Money Matters: Mobile Wallets

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Hey! Do you know about the benefits of a mobile wallet?

Most smartphones today have access to a mobile wallet, which virtually stores payment card information, including credit cards, prepaid cards and checking accounts.

They can be used for both in-person and online purchases. To use the wallet to pay at a store, all you have to do is hold it near the payment machine and either type in your PIN number or approve it on your phone.

The wallet can store payment ...

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Money Matters: When to Collect Social Security

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Hey! Today, we want to talk about how to decide what age you want to start collecting social security benefits.

Benefits can be collected as early as age 62 or as late as 70, though full retirement age depends on when you were born. If you choose to wait, your benefits will increase long term, although most people don’t wait past 70 as by then there is no significant change in what you receive after that.

It’s helpful to estimate your ...

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Money Matters: Overdraft Fees

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Hey! Let’s talk about how to avoid overdraft fees.

Did you know that you could overdraft your account, even though you have recently made a deposit?

Posting order is the sequence in which a bank processes your transactions. The transactions you make may not post to your account in the order in which you make them, and they may not affect your balance right away.

This includes depositing a check. If you put it into your account after the cutoff hours, the check ...

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Money Matters: Living Within Your Means

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Hey! Let’s talk about something fundamental, like living within your means.

Living within your means may be the most important financial habit. If you live within your means, your monthly expenses will not be more than your net monthly income.

There are three steps you can take to see if you’re living within your means.

Step 1. Record everything you spend your money on over the course of a month to get a picture of your spending habits.

Step 2. Add up all of ...

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