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Money Matters: 6 Secrets to Shedding Your Family’s Money Baggage


Thanksgiving family pic

Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and for many of us, that means we’re in for some serious family time.  But everything can’t be fuzzies and pie. A trip down memory lane can remind us of our family’s money baggage.  FEAST ON THIS…. Our friends at www.Learvest.com tell us, the the money lessons you first learned at home tend to follow us through life.

“We learn from our parents,” explains Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of “Be Fearless.” “Money is an important part of our upbringing. We model our parents’ behavior and it becomes ingrained in us. It’s difficult to break out of that.”

Money Toxic Behavior #1: Living in Denial

What Causes It: “This is classic avoidance,” Alpert says. “It’s the mind’s way of avoiding that which it anticipates will be uncomfortable or anxiety-provoking.”

How to Shake It: Get motivated by the outcome rather than the process, says Alpert: “Think how you’ll feel once you clear the bills off the table,” he says.

Money Toxic Behavior #2: Embracing Debt

What Causes It: “Living paycheck to paycheck and surviving has become the norm over the past few years,” Alpert says. “People are feeling defeated, unable to see the future and stuck in a perpetual cycle of work and paying the bills.”

How to Shake It: Before getting ahead of your finances, you need to start catching up. Start putting as much as you can afford (even if it’s only $10 each week) away to pay off any bad debt like credit cards and car or consumer loans, and start shoring up an emergency fund. When you’re debt free and have a little financial cushion, then it might be time to turn your attention to investing. Think $10 investments aren’t enough? Think again–just ask this woman, who turned $10 stocks into $60,000. It might take some time to get ahead of your money, but the most important thing is that you start right away.

Money Toxic Behavior #3: Throwing Budgeting to the Wind

What Causes It: ”A lot of people use buying as a way to provide comfort in the same way that people might overeat–as a way to feel fulfilled,” says Alpert. They buy lavish and luxury items they don’t need to make them feel complete or special.”

How to Shake It: We don’t need to explain that money doesn’t just “appear,” but seeing where all your dough goes is also one of the best ways to avoid mindless spending. By consistently tracking your earnings and expenditures in the free LearnVest Money Center, you’ll get a sense of how much you really have to spend on what.

Money Toxic Behavior #4: Leasing Instead of Buying

“Maybe it’s a growing up in Detroit thing, but everyone in my family has always leased a brand-new, very cool car for a few years, then traded it back in for another. They’d never settle for wheels that were less than snazzy.”
- Jenny 

What Causes It: “For a lot of people, the appeal of leasing is the convenience,” Alpert explains. “Decisions are made for them. The price and time frame are set, the mileage is limited. People like order and control, and they feel like this provides it.”

How to Shake It: He points out that the hardest adjustment for someone who inherited this practice might not be the age of the car, but making the distinction that a car is a method of transportation from point A to point B, not a representation of who you are. “Don’t let a car define you,” he advises.

Money Toxic Behavior #5: Resenting the Joneses

What Causes It: “Social comparisons are normal and her mom was right that it ‘must be nice’ to be able to buy a new home and take vacations,” Alpert tells us. “Her statement though, suggests a hint of jealousy and/or anger.” Though these emotions might motivate someone in the short term to make changes, he explains, they’re ultimately draining, not a good motivator like setting your own goals to pursue because you truly want to achieve them.

How to Shake It: “Keeping up with the Joneses will only allow you to be as happy as the Jonseses,” Alpert cautions. Money comparisonitis is the real, toxic behavior of constantly comparing yourself to those around you, and the first step to getting past it is forgiving yourself: It’s totally normal. In fact, a study of data collected since 1970 shows that we base our self-esteem more on the money we make compared to others, or our relative financial status, than on our actual financial picture. If you’re concerned that you might have money comparisonitis, take our quiz to find out.

Money Toxic Behavior #6: Wanting What You Want Now

What Causes It: Not everyone sees the value—or the joy—in seeking out the best deal. “For some people, there is great satisfaction in knowing they got the absolute best price on a product, and that outweighs any amount of ‘wasted’ time and energy. For others, it just doesn’t feel worth it,” says Alpert, who explains that they may feel more uplifted by the temporary thrill of immediate gratification.

How to Shake It: Nobody’s saying you have to be an extreme couponer if that doesn’t appeal to you. Splurging—in the right way—can actually be good for your finances. But depending on your financial situation, and your budget, you need to know when it’s OK to treat yourself and when you’re just throwing money away that you could be able to save. One good way is to enroll in our free Take Control bootcamp, which will teach you how to set boundaries—and long-term financial goals—for yourself.

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FAQ Unclaimed Property: Where Do I Call with Unclaimed Property Questions?


Some of the Numbers have changed as the Unclaimed Property Program is now being adminstered by the Department of Revenue.  The Office of the State Treasurer is still responsible for promoting the program and is happy to answer any questions we can for you.  However, at the request of the Department of Revenue, direct lines to claims processors were removed from our website and they asks you to call and general line.  That number is:

(608) 264-4594

 

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Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip: Technology Saving Tips Week 1: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?


Small Logo CroppedThe Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s WomensWWBIC Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip.”

The entire month of October, we are committed to Technology Saving Tips!  This week, to upgrade or not to upgrade.

Sometimes we upgrade our technology because it’s stopped working; too often it is to have the latest gadget.  Stop upgrading so often to save some money.  Compare what you have with what you need and make sure you’re not just buying the label.   Search for tips online for how to rejuvenate your old equipment by restoring factory settings or cleaning the hard drive.   This might be just the new gift to yourself you’ve been looking for!


FAQ Edvest: How Do I Set Up Payroll Deduction for My Account?


Payroll Deduction

Simplify your life and make consistent, automatic contributions to Edvest by setting up payroll deduction.

Payroll deduction is a convenient and flexible method to contribute to your existing Edvest account. If your employer offers this benefit, you can contribute as little as $15 per pay period from your paycheck. You can stop, start or change your deduction amount at any time.

If you leave your employer, contributions will automatically stop. You have the option to start a new payroll deduction with your new employer, if allowed, or you can choose to add contributions to your account by check, an automatic contribution plan or electronic funds transfer at any time.

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Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip: GETTING YOU GAS, Week 1


OST Design large sealThe Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s WomensWWBIC Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip.”

The entire month of September, we are committed to GETTING YOU GAS FOR LESS!  This week, it’s all about HOW you pay for it. 

When you purchase gas this month, the right form of payment may make all the difference!  Several credit cards are offering great rebates, but most are only good through the end of September.  Chase Freedom and Discover Card are both offering 5% cash back while deals beyond September include American Express’ Blue Cash Preferred and Bank Americard that offer 3%.  With the average gallon of gas in Wisconsin up to $3.48, every penny counts!  Just remember… if you don’t normally purchase gas on credit, be sure to set aside the cash each week for the bill at the end of the month – it doesn’t become fun money!

 

 

 

 

 


Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip:


OST Design large sealThe Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s WomensWWBIC Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip.”

The entire month of July, we are committed to helping you KEEP YOUR COOL and SAVE! 

Here’s how you can start this week: 

  • On summer days, keep your curtains closed, especially on windows that get direct sunlight. The ability of curtains and drapes to reduce heat gain depends on fabric type and color.  Medium-colored draperies with white-plastic backings (also called solar curtains) can reduce heat gain by 33 percent. Hang the curtains as close to the window as possible for maximum effect.

curtains

 


Money Matters: Employer Provide Benefits


Employer Provided Benefits

Employee Benefits

Whether you’ve just started a new job as a recent graduate or you’ve been with the same company for years, you need to make sure you’re maximizing your employee benefits.  Our friends at www.practicalmoneyskills.com tell you how!

Most employers offer a host of company-sponsored benefits. Often, the combined value of these coverages is worth a third or more of your base pay. That’s too much money to leave on the table. And some employee benefits have valuable tax advantages you can’t afford to ignore.

If your employer provides a 401(k) plan or Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and you’re not participating, you could be missing out on hundreds – or thousands – of dollars in tax savings each year. That’s money that goes right into your pocket instead of Uncle Sam’s.

Here you’ll find the ins and outs of employee benefits and everything you need to maximize your job and all it has to offer.


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