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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.

As you gain your independence and prepare to enter the world of adulting, do you have the financial know-how you need? Will you be able to effectively manage your money? Do you understand…
article preview image Money Management Tips for Success


As you gain your independence and prepare to enter the world of adulting, do you have the financial know-how you need? Will you be able to effectively manage your money? Do you understand financial topics such as loans, credit cards, savings or budgeting? Wherever you stand, you can improve your personal finance habits with these basic steps:

Create financial goals and a budget.

Planning for your college education or your first car? Or are you hoping to travel abroad or take a summer road trip? A budget can help you manage your spending and achieve your small and large savings goals.

Set up financial accounts.

As a Dinero Teens member, you already have a savings account, so it may be time to open a Dinero Teens checking account. As your money grows, you’ll gain more financial independence. It’s never too late to develop better saving habits. Save a little from each paycheck, allowance or money you receive as a gift, and you’ll reach your financial goals before you know it.

Secure and establish credit.

Your credit history is like a report card. Having a good credit history can affect your ability to buy a car, rent an apartment or get a loan. You may be able to establish credit if your parent adds you as an authorized user to their credit card. Opening a secured credit card is another option. A secured credit card is backed by a cash deposit you make when opening the account. Your deposit will always be equal to your credit limit. That way if you forget to pay your bill, the issuer can take the amount from your deposit. Building good credit doesn’t happen overnight, but you can improve your credit by paying bills on time. The best first credit card is Advancial’s Dinero Teens Visa®  which will help teach you how to handle credit cards responsibly. Plus, you’ll earn reward points on all purchases!

The more money management skills you have, the better prepared you will be for financial independence and success in life. Plus, you’ll feel a great sense of comfort and pride in knowing you can take care of your own needs. Advancial has the resources and tools to help.

You want to spend time with your friends. Yet, social distancing has created an environment where there are fewer opportunities for you to do what you’re wired to do — just hang…

article preview image Five Ways to Beat Virtual Boredom

You want to spend time with your friends. Yet, social distancing has created an environment where there are fewer opportunities for you to do what you’re wired to do — just hang out. You can end up feeling bored, cut off and unhappy.

So, what can you do? Here are a few fun ways to beat virtual boredom and stay safely connected:

1. Host a virtual gathering

Use a video chat platform like Zoom to plan a dinner, costume or dance party with friends. You can even host your own book club, closet exchange or karaoke night.

2. Organize a game night

Enjoy some friendly (or maybe serious) competition playing virtual group games on your computer or phone, like Among Us, Quiplash or Words with Friends. They are fun, interactive and most are free. You can find everyone’s favorite, classic and new.

3. Watch movies, videos, TV shows and listen to music virtually

Watch with your friends on platforms like Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party), and stream from Netflix®, HBO Max, Hulu and Disney+ . You can watch in complete sync and live chat.

4. Become a virtual volunteer and connect with the community

With a quick search online, you can find many causes where you can offer your time and talent, including education, animal advocacy, homelessness, human rights and the environment. If you’re not sure how or where to contribute, sites like dosomething.org/us or volunteermatch.org/ can help you discover what matters to you most.

5. Connect with new ideas and culture

It’s an ideal time to learn a new skill or improve a current one. There are endless options to explore on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, such as music, dance, photography, crafts, memory skills, exercise or mindfulness and meditation.

The list of ideas to beat stuck-at-home boredom is endless. So, when it comes to staying positively connected, just add your own inspiration and ingenuity and see what amazing and fun things can happen.

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Take Advantage of Labor Day Sales
Do you have your eye on some large purchases this fall? Maybe you’re thinking about replacing your kitchen appliances, updating your yard equipment or giving your patio furniture a makeover. Retailers have a strategy and set times to roll out…

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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...
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Make a Plan to Reach Your Financial Goals

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