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The pressure’s on for buying school supplies for kids, teens and college students heading back to school. According to a National Retail Federation report, families sending children back…
back to school Back-to-School Money Management Tips

The pressure’s on for buying school supplies for kids, teens and college students heading back to school. According to a National Retail Federation report, families sending children back to school and young adults off to college plan to spend record amounts of money on school and college supplies this fall.1

The average amount families with children in elementary school through high school planned to spend per child is $849 in 2021, an increase of $59 from last year. Back-to-school shoppers planned to spend $296 on electronics, $253 on clothing and $161 on shoes (top three expenses). College students and their families planned to spend an average of $1,200 on college items in 2021, which is an increase of $141 from last year. They planned to spend $306 on electronics, $164 on dorm/apartment furnishings and $159 on clothing (top three expenses).1

It pays to be prepared for back-to-school shopping season. Consider some of these tactics to help you save money from kindergarten through college.

School-Age Kids

Back-to-school shopping can be a great opportunity to teach your child about saving and spending money with these tips:

  • Shop with a list. Check with your child’s school for a school supply list based on grade level before you go shopping. Stick to this list and resist the temptation to buy extra items.
  • Take stock of last year's supplies. Many of the pens, pencils and notebooks your child used last year are still good. Be sure to count these items before purchasing more.
  • Do the math. Getting your kids involved in comparing prices to find the lowest price on school supplies can be a good learning experience.
  • Save up for special items. If there’s something your child wants to buy – and it’s not on the list – encourage them to save their own money to buy it in the future. Help your child grow their savings with our Money Musketeers Kids Savings Club.
Teens

Help your teen understand the difference between needs and wants by getting them involved in budgeting for back-to-school shopping:

  • Create a budget. Make a list of everything your teen needs for school (plus some of the extras they want to buy). Decide how much to spend on school supplies, clothes, electronics and other items. Let your teen figure out how to stretch their budget to cover the essentials while staying within the budget. 
  • Shop online and in stores. Save money by comparing similar items and shopping around for the best deals online and in stores.
  • Trade up or buy used. Is your teen ready for the next size or level in sports gear, scientific calculators or musical instruments? Check with your network of family, friends and parents on buying, selling or borrowing equipment.
  • Pay the difference.  If your teen wants to upgrade to a more expensive pair of shoes or high-end tech gadget, consider paying the cost of a lower-cost item and have your teen make up the difference with their own money. Encourage your teen to build their savings with Dinero Teens.
  • Spend smart on credit. Talk to your teen about the risks and responsibilities that come with a credit card. Encourage them to use credit cards to purchase things they can afford to buy, and pay off the balance monthly. Advancial’s Dinero Visa® Card is a great first credit card for learning how to handle credit responsibly. These good habits will help them as they move in to the next phase of their lives – college!
College Students

Send your college student off to school with the financial tools they need for success:

  • Budget for college expenses. Paying for tuition is only part of the story. College expenses also include room and board (or rent), food, books, activities fees and more. Plan ahead with your student and decide how to budget for these costs together.
  • Save money on furnishings. Shop thrift stores or search Facebook marketplace and other online apps to find deals on dorm or apartment furnishings. Encourage your student to share costs with roommates and connect with students on campus who are moving or selling furniture. This will also make it easier with moving the furniture.
  • Manage money with a checking account. Your student can learn a lot from managing a checking account and tracking their income and expenses with online and mobile banking. Ultimate Checking from Advancial includes no monthly service fee and unlimited free ATM access, so your student can access cash from anywhere.
Stay on Top of School Expenses

Help your student start the year on the right foot with everything they need – without going over budget. Keep track of all your back-to-school spending with the Advancial mobile app. Log in or visit www.advancial.org to learn more.





1 Source: National Retail Federation 2021 Back-to-School/College Survey.

Think about your financial goals for a moment. Do you picture yourself buying a home or taking a much-needed vacation? Are you focused on building a financial safety net or saving for…

article preview image Make a Plan to Reach Your Financial Goals

Think about your financial goals for a moment. Do you picture yourself buying a home or taking a much-needed vacation? Are you focused on building a financial safety net or saving for retirement? Although challenges and setbacks may throw you off course, it’s easier to bounce back when you have a plan for reaching your goals.

At Advancial, we can help you build a brighter future with financial services you can count on. As a not-for-profit financial institution, we’re committed to providing the tools and services you need to reach your financial goals. Here are some ways we can help you on a path to financial security:

Streamline your budget. Take control of your finances with a checking account that works as hard as you do. With Ultimate Checking, there’s no minimum deposit or monthly service fee, so the savings start immediately. You can also grow your savings with the Save UpSM program that automatically rounds up your debit card transactions and deposits the difference into your savings account. Plus, you’ll enjoy unlimited free ATMs worldwide as well as access to 5,000+ shared branches nationwide.

Improve your credit. Managing a credit card, auto loan or student loan wisely is key to building good credit. Lenders will review your ability to handle credit responsibly when looking to approve you for more substantial loans or lines of credit down the road. Paying your bills on time shows good money management habits – and you can stay on track by setting up automatic payments. If you need help establishing or rebuilding credit, check out our Savings Secured Visa®.

Grow your savings. Our lineup of savings products are designed to help you build financial security over time. When you open a certificate for a specified term, you lock in a higher rate than a regular savings account. Depending on your goals, a money market account or individual retirement account can also help boost your savings. Learn more about high-yield savings options to boost your savings potential.

Create an emergency fund. Having an emergency fund can be a lifesaver when unexpected expenses pop up. Experts recommend having three to six months of essential living expenses in a liquid savings account for emergencies. Consider making savings automatic with direct deposit or recurring transfers.

Use credit cards to your advantage. With our Visa® Rewards Plus card, every purchase earns unlimited rewards up to 1.5%1 that can be used for travel, gift cards, merchandise or cash back. You also won’t have to pay any interest for the first 12 months allowing you to pay off your balances at your own pace. After the first 12 months, your rate will only be 8.90%-14.90% based on creditworthiness.

Apply for a home loan. When you’re ready to buy a home, we’re here to help. Getting preapproved for a mortgage puts you in a stronger position to know how much you can afford and make an offer in a competitive market.

Pay down debt. Seek smart solutions such as consolidating debt, refinancing to a lower-rate loan and creating a plan to manage debt. We have the tools to help you create a debt-reduction strategy that works for you.

Go digital. Manage your finances wherever you are with our mobile banking app and online banking. Mobile wallets and person-to-person payments make transactions easy and fast.

Bring It All Together

Save time and money when you bring all of your financial accounts and needs together at Advancial. We’re here to help you streamline and simplify your finances. Go to www.advancial.org or call 800.322.2709 for more information.




1 Spend between $1-$2,499 and earn 1% rewards. Earn 1.5% when you spend $2,500+ or when you make 25+ purchases during a billing cycle. 

Toilet paper shortages, long lines at stores, stress and panic-buying made grocery shopping a nightmare during the pandemic. Some of these experiences fueled a trend toward buying in bulk…

woman shopping When Buying in Bulk Backfires

Toilet paper shortages, long lines at stores, stress and panic-buying made grocery shopping a nightmare during the pandemic. Some of these experiences fueled a trend toward buying in bulk to prepare for future emergencies. Whether you’re prepping for a disaster or just trying to tame your grocery bills, stocking up on bulk items at warehouse stores can save you a bundle.

But beware of a “bigger is better” approach to shopping, because sometimes it can backfire. Thinking twice before you buy can help save money and reduce waste.



Shop Smart for Bulk Items

Here are some tips to help you choose wisely when shopping for bulk items.


Compare per-unit prices. Don’t assume that the biggest package is always the best price. You could end up paying more per unit than you would for a smaller package. Use a calculator to help you compare the price per unit before adding something to your cart. Keep in mind that buying certain items on sale at the supermarket may be a better deal than regular warehouse prices.

Check the shelf life. The mega size container of spinach or strawberries is only a good deal if you can use it all before it spoils. Remember that cooking oil may go bad in about six months, and spices may lose flavor after a few years – so buying smaller containers may be your best bet.

Plan for storage space. Buying in bulk only makes sense if you have room for the items you buy. It’s a good idea to check available space in the fridge, freezer and pantry before you shop.

Protect your investment. You could spend hundreds of dollars on bulk meats or other expensive foods and lose everything due to a refrigerator malfunction or extended power outage. Having a stockpile of food is a plus for disaster preparedness, but be wary of spending lots of money on items that could go bad if your storage solution fails.


Take Advantage of Rewards

The money you save by shopping smart adds up even faster when you earn rewards on groceries and other everyday purchases. With the Advancial Visa Rewards Plus card, you’ll earn unlimited rewards up to 1.5% on every purchase that can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, merchandise or travel.1

To learn more or to apply for Visa Rewards Plus, go to www.advancial.org/credit-cards/visa-rewards-plus or call 800.322.2709.




1 Spend between $1-$2,499 and earn 1% rewards. Earn 1.5% when you spend $2,500+ or when you make 25+ purchases during a billing cycle. 

Estate planning is a must these days – and it’s the smart thing to do to protect your assets and ease an already difficult time for your loved ones. But starting the process and…
Estate Planning A Checklist for an Organized Estate

Estate planning is a must these days – and it’s the smart thing to do to protect your assets and ease an already difficult time for your loved ones. But starting the process and executing it effectively can be a challenge. Making plans for distributing your money, home and other assets after you’re gone may be uncomfortable, but it’s important to address the topic so you and your loved ones are prepared.
Use this checklist to help you identify important documents and decisions for an organized estate.

  • Write your will. You can draft a simple will using online software if your estate is straightforward and uncomplicated. However, if you have questions about protecting your assets, planning for estate taxes or handling unique concerns related to family dynamics, you may benefit from hiring an estate attorney to draw up your will. If you already have a will in place, review it to make sure it’s still in line with your wishes. Keep one copy of your will at home and one with the executor of your estate.
  • Consider a trust. A trust can help you with more complex estate-planning goals that require additional steps or tax-efficient strategies. Advancial offers revocable family, trusts, living trusts, individual, non-entity grantors or trustees. Learn more about Advancial’s Trust Services designed to help preserve wealth and protect your financial future.
  • Determine key roles. Select a person or people to be the executor of your estate and power of attorney. If you have children that are minors, decide who you want to name as the guardian of your children and custodian to oversee their financial assets.
  • Plan for health care decisions. It can be helpful and ease the mind of loved ones to provide instructions and documentation allowing them to make key decisions if you become incapacitated. For example, you could draw up a living will or advance health care directive and designate a health care proxy. You may be able to obtain these forms from your health care provider or your state department on aging.
  • Review beneficiaries. Make sure the beneficiary designations on all of your financial accounts and insurance policies are up to date. Check your beneficiaries on insurance policies, pensions, 401(k) or 403(b) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and annuities. Updating beneficiaries is especially important since these designations supersede your will instructions. An advisor at Advancial Investment Services can help review your investment portfolio and beneficiary designations.
  • Create a personal balance sheet. Make a list of your assets (retirement accounts, life insurance, personal property, etc.) and liabilities (mortgage, credit cards and other loans).
  • Organize personal and financial records. Store your important papers and legal documents in a safe place. This includes financial account information, insurance policies, Social Security card and Medicare information, original deed for your home, property tax statements, vehicle titles, tax returns and military discharge papers.
  • Rent a safe deposit box. Protect your valuables in a fireproof safe at home or safe deposit box. Doing so gives you peace of mind knowing that your important documents are protected from fire, theft or loss. Be sure to tell the executor of your estate where you keep your important documents, the contents of your safe deposit box, how to access your safe or safe deposit box and what to do with it.
  • Protect your digital identity. Your digital information lives on even after you pass away. Keep it secure by organizing your passwords and online records for someone you trust. There are secure, digital services that can compile your passwords so that an executor can access them if needed.
  • Make a list of contacts. Include financial advisor, insurance agents, tax and estate-planning lawyers and other important contacts.
  • Provide instructions for valuables. Having a clear plan for passing along family heirlooms and other possessions can be a helpful guide for your loved ones. Draw up an inventory of valuable and meaningful items and who you intend to inherit them.
  • Clarify end-of-life planning. Specify your preferences for cremation, burial, funeral services and other final wishes. If you’ve done preplanning, make sure your family has access to the contract.

 

Start Planning Now

Take some time to focus on your estate plan to avoid surprises later on. The professionals with Advancial Trust Services can work with you to address your concerns, document your decisions and navigate next steps in your estate plan.

There’s a lot to love about owning a car. But if you’ve never owned one before, you might not realize all the expenses and maintenance that comes with car ownership. Let’s…

article preview image The Truth About Owning a Car

There’s a lot to love about owning a car. But if you’ve never owned one before, you might not realize all the expenses and maintenance that comes with car ownership. Let’s look at the basics you need to know before buying your first car and the true cost of car ownership.

It’s important to look beyond the purchase price to understand how much you’ll pay for ongoing car expenses. According to Experian, the average cost of owning a used car is $391 a month, or $4,692 per year.1 When budgeting for a car, don’t forget these additional costs:

  • Registration and license fees. Your vehicle must be licensed and registered before you can hit the road. These fees vary based on the state you live in, and it’s important build these costs into your budget.
  • Insurance. Auto insurance premiums are expensive for young drivers. If you’re living under your parents’ roof, they may add you to their policy. Check out the cost together and be prepared to pay for your portion of the policy.
  • Gas. Fuel prices go up and down, but it can cost $20, $40, even $60 just to fill the tank on some vehicles. Buying a car that gets good gas mileage can help you save money in the long run.
  • Maintenance and repairs. Car maintenance includes regular oil changes and unexpected fixes that may cost hundreds of dollars at a time.
  • Parking and tolls. Depending on where you live, you may need to pay to park and pay tolls for certain roadways.
Start saving now

As you can see, owning a car is a big financial responsibility. It pays to do your homework and make a budget before buying a car. Start saving now for your first set of wheels in your Dinero Teens savings account at Advancial.

1Source: Experian.com.

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Displaying results 31-35 (of 81)
Understanding Credit – And Its Impact on Your Future Finances
You’ve likely heard the term “credit.” You may even have a credit card. But do you know what “credit” means and its importance in your life?   Whether in the form of a credit card or car loan, credit is someone’s trust in you as a respons…
Make a Plan to Reach Your Financial Goals
Think about your financial goals for a moment. Do you picture yourself buying a home or taking a much-needed vacation? Are you focused on building a financial safety net or saving for retirement? Although challenges and setbacks may throw yo…
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Tips for online shopping This year, skip the malls and enjoy the benefits of holiday shopping from home. Shopping online for holiday gifts can save you time and money – and help you earn rewards. Here are some tips to shopping safely, sav…
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