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Financial Well-Being, Fourth Quarter 2012 Newsletter

Financial Well-Being, Fourth Quarter 2012 Newsletter

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A newsletter for Alliant Credit Union members.
A newsletter for Alliant Credit Union members.

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Categories:Business/Law, Finance
Published by: Alliant Credit Union on Nov 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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It’s that time again – time to begin your holidayseason shopping. This year, how about giving a giftto yourself by taking it easy on yourself and yourwallet? Here are some tips on how to have funshopping and bring joy to others, while avoidingbah-humbug shopping hassles and overspending.
1. Be smart at the outset and develop a budget.
Take a realistic look at your finances and determineyour overall spending limit. Then, decide howmuch you can afford to spend on each individualgift. Next to each person’s name, write themaximum you will spend on him or her. Also,remember to include any essentials, such asentertainment, decorations, cards and tips or smallgifts for coworkers, babysitters, dog walkers,teachers, etc. Consider including a few extrageneric gifts, such as picture frames, to have onhand if someone unexpectedly gives you a gift andyou want to reciprocate. Do the math and, if needbe, adjust your plan to stay within your budget.Costs can add up quickly so know your bottomline and stick to it.
2. Develop a gift checklist.
Get a pen and paper, and brainstorm ideas forwhat to buy individuals – within the dollar rangeyou have budgeted for them. Refer to yourchecklist when you shop so you don’t forgetanything. Meanwhile, stick closely to your list.Beware of impulse-buy “specials” and “deals” youencounter that may tempt you to blow yourbudget. Be sure to ask yourself, “Would I buy thisif it weren’t on sale?”
3. Shop at stores during off-peak times.
Waiting until the last minute to do your shoppingis a recipe for stress and overspending, whileshopping early gives you time to comparison shopfor the best prices. To avoid crowds and long lines,get started today, if you haven’t already. Goodtimes to shop: in the morning or late at night. Badtimes: right after work or on weekends. If you havea specific item in mind to buy, consider calling thestore first to make sure it’s available there.
On the money with AlliantCredit UnionFive smart holidayshopping tipsTake the “HolidayShopping Quiz”Helping teens to managetheir moneyWant Cash Back with yourcredit card?
financial counselingavailableBecome more financiallysavvy with Alliant webcasts
On the money with Alliant Credit Union
Want to help your hard-earned money earn more for you? Rely on Alliant Credit Union for highsavings dividends, low loan rates and more. Check out the articles in this enewsletter to see how ourproducts and services can benefit you.If youre not an Alliant member, it’s easy to join online at www.alliantcreditunion.org. As anemployee of your company or member of your association, you’re eligible to apply for membership*in Alliant. Note: Applicant must also meet other eligibility requirements for Alliant membership.
w w w .a llia n t c re d it u n io n .o rg
An enewsletter to help improve your financial well-being I Fourth Quarter 2012
 ©2012 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved. E200-R10/12
Five smart holiday shopping tips
continued on next page
1) What percentage of U.S. adults saythey start their holiday shoppingbefore Thanksgiving?
a) 15 percentb) 35 percentc) 50 percent
2) On Black Friday (the day afterThanksgiving), whom do themajority shop for?
a) Their kidsb) Themselvesc) Gift recipients
3) How many Americans say theywant to get a gift card this season?
a) 30%b) 45%c) 60%
4) Last year, what did the averageU.S. household spend on gifts andseasonal merchandise for theholidays?
a) $704b) $804c) $904
5) Generally, what shopping daygenerates the most sales all year?
a) Black Fridayb) Cyber Mondayc) The last Saturday beforeChristmas
6) True or False: Mother’s Day andChristmas generate the most salesfor perfume.
a) Trueb) False
7) What was the first toy to beadvertised on TV?
a) Etch-A-Sketchb) Mr. Potato Headc) Slinky
8) Last year, what percent ofAmericans purchased holidayitems online?
a) 35%b) 50%c) 65%
9) What continent did the actualliving St. Nicholas live on?
a) Africab) Europec) Asia
10) What is the most popular type ofproducts people buy during theirholiday shopping?
a) Electronicsb) Toys/gamesc) Clothing/shoes
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Page 2
 ©2012 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved. E200-R10/12
4. Go online to research the best product at the best price –and to buy.
Let’s say you want to buy your son a digital camera,but are unsure which one to get. Go online and study reputable userreviews and ratings. When you select the product you want, visitsites, such as mysimon.com, pricegrabber.com, amazon.com andebay.com to find the best price. Also, check delivery charges andship by” dates to ensure your gift will get to the recipient in time.Many online retailers will offer free shipping – at least for standardground shipping.
5. Save your receipts.
Check a store’s refund or exchange policyand keep your receipts. Whenever possible, also get a gift receiptfor items. That little piece of paper makes it easier for a person toreturn a gift if he or she – forbid – doesn’t like it or if it’s defective.
Sources: realsimple.com, money.cnn.com, cbsnews.com, christmas-celebrations.com,loanbased.com and goodmoneyhabits.wordpress.comSources: usatoday.com, compete.com andhowstuffworks.com
Take the “H liday Shopping Quiz”
continued from page 1
How well did you do on the quiz?
Let’s see.1) b; 2) b; 3) c; 4) a, down from $719 in 2010,according to the National Retail Federation;5) c; 6) false (Christmas and Valentine’s Daygenerate the most sales); 7) b; 8) b, up from44% in 2010; 9) c, the “real” St. Nicholas was abishop in Myra in Asia Minor; 10) b, 31% buytoys/games, 28% buy electronics and 27% buyclothing/shoes.
You know the drill. The winter holidays approach and it’s time to buy gifts. But, how welldo you know some of the finer points of holiday shopping?
Take this quiz to find out.
America’s teens have access tomore money than ever and areexpected to spend over $209billion this year, according to astudy by The Market ResearchGroup.But, how will these teens spendtheir dollars? And how well willthey manage their money?Not well, according toJump$tart, an organization thatpromotes financial literacy.Most teens, it notes, still have asteep learning curve when it comes to budgeting, saving,balancing a checkbook, identifying needs vs. wants andmaking smart use of their money.The good news: 75% of today’s teens say developing moneyskills is one of their top priorities, according to a 2011Charles Schwab report.Nevertheless, only 20% of today’s teens have a checkingaccount, according to the National Consumers League.Those who don’t are missing a golden opportunity.There’s no better way to help teens learn about moneymanagement than to teach them how to maintain a checkingaccount, according to financial guru Dave Ramsey. Herecommends that parents become the joint owner of theirteen’s account, walk the teen through the process and helpthe teen balance the checkbook every month. After a fewmonths, Ramsey notes, teens will get the hang of it and beable to take care of their checking account the right way.
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Page 3
 ©2012 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved. E200-R10/12
If you have a teenager, consider helping him or her learn fiscalresponsibility by opening a Free Teen Checking Account fromAlliant. Visit www.alliantcreditunion.org for more informationand to apply.
Helping teens to manage their money
Sources: nclnet.com, inquirer.net, fivecentnickel.com, marketwatch.com, schwab.com, cbn.com andfdic.gov
Based on member feedback, Alliant is pleased tointroduce Alliant Rewards
, the new rewardprogram for our Platinum Rewards VISA
creditcard, featuring a Cash Back 
option as well as manyother reward items to choose from.Alliant Rewards provides Alliant Platinum RewardsVISA credit cardholders the opportunity to earnpoints for every dollar they spend with the card.Points can be redeemed for Cash Back or otheritems available from a huge selection of brand-namemerchandise, travel, event tickets, gift cards and more.If you already have the Alliant Credit UnionPlatinum Rewards card, there’s nothing special foryou to do. Just use your credit card for yourqualifying purchases and watch your points add up.Then, each month, yourVISA statement will reflectthe points you’ve earnedthat month and the totalpoints you’ve accumulated. In addition toexclusive bonus point promotions throughout theyear, Alliant Rewards also offers ongoing opportunitiesto earn extra points through exclusive online andin-store offers from top retailers nationwide.Visit www.selectyourrewards.com/alliantcreditunionto browse through a current list of rewards andtheir point values and redeem points for Cash Back or select from over six million options availablewith the Alliant Rewards program.
Want Cash Back with your credit card?
You got it with the Alliant PlatinumRewards VISA
credit card!
1 Refer to www.alliantcreditunion.org for Alliant Rewards terms and conditions.2 Cash Back option is provided as an account credit to your Platinum Rewards VISA credit card account. 3 Loanapproval and APR based on creditworthiness and ability to repay. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change. We may not extend credit to you if you do not meet Alliant criteria.
Don’t have an Alliant VISA Platinum Rewards VISA credit card? Apply or upgrade today.
Learn more at www.alliantcreditunion.org or call us at 800-328-1935 (24/7).

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