The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Archive for August, 2013

Treasurer’s Top 5: Fond Du Lac County


Fond Du Lac twn of Ripon

This week, we travel to Fond Du Lac County.  Here’s a look at the Top 5 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you see anyone on this list you know?  If so, have check out  www.wismissingmoney.com and search their name to make a claim.  They can also call 855-375-CASH (2274)

FOND DU LAC  County

Maureen Baseler

Marjorie Gozinske

Laura and Clarence Norenberg

Francis and Robert Neis

Mary Elizabeth and James Brandt


Money Matters: Insurance For Every Age


As Parents prepare for “Back to School,” Here’s something you might want to add to your shopping list.  LIFE INSURANCE.  Taking out an insurance policy on every loved one no matter their age could pay.  Our friends at Learnvest.com explain many different types of insurance exist, but there are a few kinds which everyone should have—and you may not have ever considered them before.

Take life insurance, for example. You might think you don’t need it until you have tiny feet toddling around the house. But more and more people are waking up to the fact that it can be prudent for someone as young as 22.

insurance

Then there’s disability insurance, which far too few people appreciate as the necessity that it is. One in five Americans is classified as disabled, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, yet only 44% of workers have long-term disability insurance, leading to high odds that the uninsured will find themselves in need of benefits that they don’t have.

To drive home the point, we show you in the infographic below how insurance can help you throughout your life, from your 20s to your 60s and beyond. Roll over the dots to learn more.


Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip: FAN FARE!


The Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s Women Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves.”  Each week, we will share with you a savings tip courtesy of WWBIC.WWBIC

Fan fare. In the summer, ceiling fans cool you off. When winter comes, flip the fan’s switch to reverse its direction. It will push the warm air that’s gathered near the ceiling down into the living space, cutting heating costs by as much as 10 percent. Use bathroom and kitchen vent fans sparingly in summer and winter — these fans blow your cooled or heated air outside.


Treasurer’s Top 5: Florence County


Florence county1

 

This week, we travel to Florence County.  Here’s a look at the Top 5 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you see anyone on this list you know?  If so, have check out  www.wismissingmoney.com and search their name to make a claim.  They can also call 855-375-CASH (2274)

Florence  County

Eleanor Sandri

Thomas Carpenter

Natalija Miljkovich

Bruce Strong

Bruce Nelson


Money Matters: How to Handle DEBT


Debt

Budgeting for Holidays

If you’re in debt, you’re not alone. Consumer debt in America is extraordinarily high. Sometimes it’s hard to know – or admit – if you have a problem with debt. It can be overwhelming to realize that you’ve gotten in over your head, and to worry that you won’t be able to pay back what you owe. The key to getting out of your situation is to act now. Don’t procrastinate. Taking charge of your finances and creating a plan for tackling your debt will cut down your anxiet.  Our friends at practicalmoneyskills.com help put you on the path toward a better financial future.

First, ask yourself whether debt has become a problem for you. Here are some circumstances that might indicate it has:

  • Next month’s bills arrive before last month’s have been paid
  • Your bills often include late fees
  • You avoid opening bills when they arrive in the mail
  • You procrastinate balancing checkbooks
  • You bounce checks

Write it Out
Do you actually know how much debt you have? Many people don’t. Start by making a list of everything you owe, whether it’s a mortgage, a credit card balance, student loans or even money you borrowed from family or friends. Write down:

  • The lender’s name
  • The amount you owe
  • The term of the loan
  • The interest rate and fees

Then total them up. Looking at the numbers can be worrisome, but this is a positive – and necessary – first step to tackling your debt.

The power of 50
Paying the minimum amount due on your credit cards is one of the fastest ways to fall further into debt, and it can keep you in debt for years or decades.

If you have a credit card with a $3,000 balance at an annual interest rate of 18%, and you pay only the 2% minimum monthly payment of $60 per month, it would take you 8 years to pay off your bill. Not only that, you will have paid $5,780 by the end of the 8 years – almost double the $3,000 you thought you were spending when you made the charges.

Paying just $50 above the minimum amount due each month will make an incredible difference in how quickly you can pay down what you owe. If you pay an additional $50 per month toward your $3,000 balance for a total payment of $110 a month, you could pay off the debt in 3 years instead of 8, and save yourself over $1,800 in interest. Imagine what you could do with $100 more per month.

But if you can pay an additional $50 per month on that debt, for a total payment of $110 a month, you will pay down more of the $3,000 you originally owed. And that means less money for the creditor to charge interest on. As a result, you would pay off the debt in 3 years and save over $1,800 in interest payments.

Imagine what you could do with $100 more per month.

Be realistic
Now that you have analyzed your debt situation, it’s time to look at your monthly budget and set realistic goals. That trip you had planned for next summer, or the new car you were hoping to buy may not be in the cards right now given your new outlook on reducing your debt. Use this free Rework Your Budget calculator to help you get your budget back on track.

Don’t get discouraged
Reducing debt is like losing weight. You’re not going to lose 50 pounds in a month – you need realistic goals in reasonable timeframes, and debt works the same way. For most people, it takes years to become debt-free. This doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your life. It’s just a reminder to live within your means and be diligent about adjusting any spending habits that have contributed to the situation you are in today. Dedicating yourself to paying off what you owe and becoming debt-free will be worth the wait, with the payoff being a brighter financial future.


FAQ Unclaimed Property: Why is the State Wisconsin Involved?


WHY IS THE STATE OF WISCONSIN INVOLVED?

The purpose of the law is to identify and protect financial assets which have remained dormant for a period of 2 years or more and to hold it in custody until the rightful owner comes forward to claim it. Remitting the assets to the state allows the owners or their heirs to have a single source to check for unclaimed property instead of trying to check with hundreds of banks, insurance companies, employers and utility companies

OST Design large seal


Wisconsin Saves Fun Tip: Save on Gas This Summer!


The Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s Women Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves.”  Each week, we will share with you a savings tip courtesy of WWBIC.WWBIC

  • Keep your car engine tuned and its tires inflated to their proper pressure. Doing both can save you up to $100 a year in gas.
  • Shop around for gas. Comparing prices at different stations and using the lowest-octane (recommended by the car owner’s manual) can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
  • When driving, avoid fast start-ups and stops. Over time, you will save hundreds of dollars on lower gas and maintenance costs.
  • Take fewer cab rides. Using public transit instead of cabs can save you $5-10 per trip or more. If you’re a frequent cab user, the savings could complete ly fund your emergency savings account.
  • Check all airlines for cheap fares. Since no website lists all discount carriers, also check out the websites of discount carriers like Southwest and Jet Blue, possibly saving you hundreds of dollars.