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

Archive for November, 2013

Wisconsin’s Saves Fun Tip: Saving on Thanksgiving Dinner

OST Design large sealThe Wisconsin Office of the State Treasurer proudly teams up with WWBIC (Wisconsin’s Womens Business Initiative Corporation) for “Wisconsin Saves.”  Each week, we will share with you a savings courtesy of WWBIC.  This week, how to save on all the Thanksgiving trimmings…..WWBIC

This year, Americans can be thankful that the cost of preparing a Thanksgiving meal will take a smaller bite out of their wallets. The average price of a feast for ten will be $49.04 this year versus $49.48 in 2012, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s informal price survey of items typically served for Thanksgiving dinner.

Admittedly, the price drop is small — but if you pair it with other money-saving strategies, you can significanlty lower the cost of a Thanksgiving meal. Here’s how:

Look for special turkey sales and promotions. The turkey is the priciest item, by far, on the table at Thanksgiving. The American Farm Bureau Federation found that a 16-pound turkey costs $21.76, on average, this year. But there are ways to get one for less. Some grocery stores, such as ShopRite, are running promotions that allow customers with the store’s club or rewards card to get a free turkey after spending a certain amount during the weeks before Thanksgiving. Waiting until the last minute to buy a turkey also might help you get it at a bargain price, according to AFBF.

Save on all the fixings. Manufacturers often release coupons for Thanksgiving-related food items and grocery stores often have sales on popular feast ingredients. To make sure you’re getting the best deal, you can use a free mobile app such as Favado app (iPhone, Android). It lets you compare deals at local stores, find coupons and search for the lowest prices on the items you need. For more tips to keep costs down, see 10 Ways to Save on Groceries Without Coupons

Don’t go overboard. Leftovers are common at many Thanksgiving gatherings. So unless you really enjoy scouring cookbooks or recipe sites to find creative ways to use all that turkey and stuffing that wasn’t consumed, you’ll save money by buying only enough to feed each guest with just a little left over for seconds. Butterball has a portion calculator to help you figure out what size turkey to buy based on the number of adults and kids you’ll be serving, whether they’re big or light eaters and whether you want leftovers.

Make it potluck. Rather than foot the entire bill for your feast, ask guests to bring a side dish or dessert. Based on the AFBF figures, you’ll cut your costs by more than 50% if you just spring for the turkey

Don’t let wine bust your budget. You don’t have to spend a fortune to serve good wine with your Thanksgiving meal. For example, you can find good prices on wine at warehouse clubs such as Costco. If you buy several bottles at a wine or liquor store, ask about a discount for buying in bulk. Usually you can get up to 15% off the price on purchases of six or 12 bottles. For more tips, see How to Save Money on Wine.



Treasurer’s Top FIVE: Juneau County

Juneau county courthouse mauston

This week, we travel to Juneau County and offer a nod to law enforcement there who will likely be busy this Halloween week with all the “ghoulish” things ghost and goblins do this time of year!  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 and search their name to make a claim.  They can also call 855-375-CASH (2274)

Juneau County

George Kraft

Daniel Krieger

B & W Enterprises

Andrew Lewis

Jax Garage and Jerry Jax

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.  Our friends at 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 Find the Information I Need to File A Holder Report?

Simply log onto our website and look under the “Holder Reporting” tab for everything you need : Design large seal

Wisconin Saves Fun Tip: Where Can I Go to Learn Better to Save?


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

There are a number of workshops offered statewide which teach you how to become a better saver.  Check out our list below!


Additional Financials Awareness Workshops and Information throughout Wisconsin

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative (Statewide) – Offers financial awareness workshops throughout the state of Wisconsin

Asset Builders of America, Inc. (Statewide) – Posts statewide Financial Awareness workshops along with a great online resource guide

Social Development Center (Milwaukee, WI) – Various workshops held throughout the year

GreenPath Debt Solutions (Milwaukee, WI) – Online and interactive tools and workshops available

Milwaukee Public Library (Milwaukee, WI) – Monthly listing of new library books and links on personal finance

Kiplinger (Online Resource) – Gives you resources to get your budget going!

FDIC (Online Resource) – Offers consumer information on building wealth, loans, credit cards and other financial matters

MoneySmart Wisconsin (Statewide) – Posts statewide Financial Awareness workshops along with a great online resource guide

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy (Online Resource) – Online resource tool to help you better manage your money

SaveUp (Online Resource)- Get rewarded for your savings, not your spending. SaveUp is a revolutionary free rewards program to help people save money and get out of debt

Treasurer’s Top 5: Kenosha County

Kenosha County Courthouse

This week, we travel to Kenosha 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 and search their name to make a claim.  They can also call 855-375-CASH (2274)

Kenosha County

Gertrude Fonk

Debra S Waller Trust

Phyllis Crum

Wayne Lindquist

Susan Kelsall