The 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.
Go grocery shopping while you are in a hurry! Maybe you need to go out in a couple of hours. Or your favorite show is going to be on TV after a couple of hours. Try to squeeze in the grocery trip in that intermediate time. Armed with your grocery list, you should be in-and-out very quickly with little time for meandering and getting tempted to buy things you don’t need. Plus if you “power shop” – you can burn calories!
Buying a Home
It’s that time of year when housing turns over for you whether buy or rent housing. Money Matters knows, Realtors relish the Summer sale months. Potential buyers tend to fret the entire thing. Our friends at www.practicalmoneyskills.com, will help you sift through the process of renting or buying a home.
To Own or Not to Own
Home ownership isn’t for everyone. It’s definitely a long-term commitment. The prices of homes increase over the years, but usually at a slow rate. With all the financing, closing costs and other expenses associated with owning a home, you’ll probably lose money if you sell in less than five years.
You also have to think about the upkeep of a home. Everything from cutting the grass to putting on a new roof is your responsibility. The costs can really add up. Then add taxes, water and sewer bills and other expenses and you can get into some sizable payments.
But when you take full financial and maintenance responsibility for a home, it’s yours to do what you please. Paint the walls purple. Add a planetarium. Put in a fireman’s pole. You’re in charge.
There are also substantial financial advantages to owning a home. The part of your monthly payment that goes toward the principal is all equity and the part that goes toward interest is tax deductible. Compare that with paying rent, which is neither an investment nor a tax write-off.
As your equity increases with time (and payments) it will be a source of financial stability for you, giving you collateral for a loan or producing a large sum of money if you sell. And if you decide to sell your home, as long as you have lived in it for two of the past five years, you won’t have to pay tax on gains of up to $250,000. The limit doubles to $500,000 if you’re married and both have lived in the home for two years.
WHAT IS UNCLAIMED PROPERTY?
Generally, any financial asset that has had no activity by its owner for a period of 1 year or more. This includes savings accounts, checking accounts, uncashed dividends, stocks, customer deposits or overpayments, certificates of deposit, credit balances, refunds, matured life insurance policies and uncashed death benefit checks. The law also requires that utility deposits, unclaimed wages and property resulting from business dissolutions be reported as unclaimed property after one year of inactivity. The Unclaimed Property Act does not include real estate.
This week, we travel to Marquette 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)
Robert Maurice Schurgers
Esther and Adam Ortiz
Cleon Cooke III
Saving For College
A college education is the ticket to the middle class in the United States. But it’s an expensive ticket, and the cost rises every year.
The overall annual cost for a college education ranges from about $7,000 for community college to $35,000 for a private school, according to US News & World Report.
Our friends at www.practicalmoneyskills.com help map out a college savings plan that works for you.
Those are some scary numbers. But if you have the benefit of time, they’re not as bad as they seem. Here are some steps you can start taking today:
- Go over your monthly finances and find a little extra money you can put away. Even $50 or $100 can make a big difference. Opening an Edvest (Wisconsin’s College Savings plan) is a great start! www.edvest.com.
- Make a commitment to devote at least that amount each month, and to add to it as your income increases.
- Shop around for the best interest return you can get for your money.
Because the cost of college is rising faster than inflation, it’s smart to invest your savings to get a higher interest rate than a typical bank can offer. Consider putting your money into:
- Mutual funds
Help Paying for College
One important thing to keep in mind is that you won’t necessarily have to come up with the entire cost of college. All higher education institutions offer financial aid in the form of grants and loans. These are most often funded by the federal government. But there are also often aid offerings from the state and from the school itself. Be sure to look into all the options available.
The 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. Now that we’ve armed with 5 Strategies to Save Money, it’s a great time to examine CREATING A BUDGET! Here’s how:
Create Your BudgetNow you know where your money is actually going. But is it going where it should? Create a budget that you can stick to. Look at places you can cut back in order to pay down high-interest debt and save. Not sure where your money should be going? Check out our Budget Worksheet.