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Financial Well-Being, Third Quarter 2012 eNewsletter

Financial Well-Being, Third Quarter 2012 eNewsletter

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An eNewsletter to help improve your financial well-being.
An eNewsletter to help improve your financial well-being.

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Published by: Alliant Credit Union on Aug 01, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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An enewsletter to help improve your financial well-being I Third Quarter 2012 contents

On the money with Alliant Credit Union The ABC’s of back-to-school shopping

On the money with Alliant Credit Union
Want to help your hard-earned money earn more for you? Rely on Alliant Credit Union for high savings dividends, low loan rates and more. Check out the articles in this enewsletter to see how our products and services can benefit you. If you’re not an Alliant member, it’s easy to join online at www.alliantcreditunion.org. As an employee 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.


How to save money and make your home more environmentally friendly Student loans that really make the grade


What are millionaires really like? Here’s a chance for your kids to win a computer gift card Free financial counseling available Become more financially savvy with Alliant webcasts


The ABC’s of back-to-school shopping
buying items you already have. Next, develop an overall budget and prioritize the purchases to ensure you take care of your child’s most pressing needs, such as a new backpack or sneakers. B) Keep your eye out for deals. Back-to-school sales are already starting. Many states help out by offering “tax-free” school shopping days in early August. Shop “old school” by checking your Sunday paper for store sales and coupons. This will help you find bargains and “loss leader” sales, in which office supply and department stores advertise items at below cost just to get you in the door. Now is also a good time to buy summer or winter items on clearance. Also, shop “new school” by searching for deals and coupons online and by downloading shopping apps to use on your smartphone. C) Involve your kids. Some shopping experts suggest leaving your kids, especially younger ones, at home when you do the bulk of your shopping. But, they suggest you do bring them along when it’s time to buy a few special items. You can then let them decide which option to buy. If you have older kids, you’re in luck. They
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Kids typically mourn the end of summer vacation. But, there’s consolation: the thrill of getting cool, new back-to-school stuff. Back-to-school shopping is the second biggest shopping season of the year (behind the winter holidays). This year, parents expect to spend $603.63 for their kid’s clothes, electronics and supplies, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s actually down $2.77 from last year. Here are pointers to help you relax and get the best bang for your bucks. A) Start with a plan. If your kid’s school provides a list of items to buy, use that as your starting point and write down everything you think your child needs. Then, take an inventory to avoid

©2012 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved. E199-R07/12

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can add value by helping you to hunt for bargains online. Meanwhile, think of the shopping as a way to teach your children about money. As Cynthia Ewar, editor of the online magazine Organized Home, states: “Once you have an idea of your child’s true needs, establish a budget amount and create a learning experience. Yes, little Jenna will want the pricey licensed-character backpack and the lunchbox and the binder, no matter the cost. A bit of horse trading along the lines of, ‘Well, our budget will let you buy the backpack only if we choose less expensive binders’ can make the limits clear – and teach financial skills at the same time.”
Sources: mint.com, frugaldad.com, scholastic.com, organizedhome.com, usatoday.com and marketwatch.com

Student loans that really make the grade
Alliant wants to help students go further in school and life. That’s why we’re offering our members student loans with extremely attractive rates and terms – and the interest may be tax deductible. Alliant makes available three kinds of student loans:

How to save money and make your home more environmentally friendly
Have you gone green at home? Doing so not only helps clear the air, reduce landfill waste and preserve nature, it also helps you keep more green (as in cash) in your wallet. Here are some ways to be environmentally friendly (and frugal) at home. 1. Develop a green thumb. Plant an herb garden. It’s easy, and when summer is over, you can move the plants inside to keep adding spice and flavor to your meals. Collect rainwater for your plants and conserve water by not overwatering your lawn and garden. Create a compost to fertilize your garden with organic waste rather than store-bought chemical fertilizer. 2. Kiss your incandescent light bulbs goodbye. When these bulbs burn out, join the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by replacing them with CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs). When one of your appliances dies, replace it with an energy efficient model (they carry the “energy star” label). 3. Bid farewell to expensive water sold in plastic disposable bottles. Rely on a reusable water bottle and fill it up with tap water that you purify with a filter. While tap water is regulated with strict safety standards, 10 of the most popular bottled water brands contain pollutants, such as fertilizer residue and (yikes) arsenic, according to a study by the

1. K-12/College Student Loan, designed to help anyone in the family get an education. Available for college costs and qualifying K-12 programs. 2. Consolidation Student Loan, which combines student loan debt you have with other lenders into one convenient, affordable loan. Coming soon. 3. Traditional Student Loan, a deferred payment student loan with no loan payments due until the student is out of school. It’s the perfect student loan for those who can’t make payments right away. For additional information, stop by an Alliant Branch or go to our website, www.alliantcreditunion.org, where you can also apply online. Check with your financial advisor about potential tax savings.

Environmental Working Group. Plus 75% of the plastic bottles are not recycled, becoming environmental eyesores. 4. Tune in by turning off. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Completely power off your computer at night. And unplug unused chargers and appliances, such as toasters and cell phone chargers. About 30% of a typical household’s electricity bill is due to appliances left in stand-by mode.
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©2012 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved. E199-R07/12


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5. Use a programmable thermostat to control your furnace and air conditioner. Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in winter and a few degrees higher in summer. Doing so can save you 3% for every degree. 6. Mind your laundry. Only wash and dry when you have full loads, since full or not, you’ll be using the same amount of power. Wash with cold water when you can because it

helps your clothing last longer and 85% of the energy to machine wash clothes goes to heating the water. Clean the lint traps for your dryer regularly so it runs efficiently.

Sources: simplemom.net, worldwatch.org, naturalnews.com, ways2gogreen.com and ewg.org

(give this quiz to your kids)

What are

really like?

Want to find out what makes millionaires tick? Take this true-or-false quiz.

1. Millionaires shop in stores where the rich people shop. They don’t shop where ordinary people shop. 2. Most millionaires don’t work for other people. They own their own business. 3. Millionaires have lots of credit cards. 4. Most millionaires stay in school and graduate from college. 5. Most millionaires are glamorous people who have earned their money by doing glamorous things, such as being a rock star, a movie star, a basketball Superstar or another kind of celebrity. 6. Many people who start out poor become millionaires by winning the lottery. 7. Most millionaires got rich because their parents were rich and gave them a lot of money. 8. Most millionaires don’t work at all. They have other people work for them. 9. Most millionaires drive really fancy new cars, such as a Rolls Royce, Corvette or Lamborghini. 10. There is a good chance that you will grow up to become a millionaire.


Source: mint.org

So, how much do you already know about millionaires? Check your answers to find out. 1. False. Most millionaires shop where everybody else shops. In fact, 43% of millionaires have a Sears credit card. 2. True. Most millionaires like to be thought of as entrepreneurs, as the people who lead and make decisions for their own company. 3. False. Many millionaires only use one credit card and they like to pay the full amount on their monthly bill. They do not like to pay interest on any money they owe.

4. True. Most millionaires are very well educated. About 8 out of ten millionaires are college graduates. 24% have earned a masters or doctoral degrees. Plus, 14% have earned a medical or law degree. 5. False. Most millionaires work in jobs that you might think are ordinary, such as being the boss of a sidewalk construction or taxi cab company. 6. False. Most people lose money by playing the lottery. If you play the Powerball Lottery, your chance of winning big is 1 in 17 billion. You have better chance of being stuck by lightning. The odds for that are 1 in 9 million.

7. False. Only 19% of millionaires got rich because they had a wealthy family that gave them money. 8. False. Most millionaires work more than 45 hours a week. 9. False. Only 23% of millionaires drive new cars – although they could be expensive cars. 10. True. But, it’s easier if you stick to a savings plan. Let’s say the economy gets better and you save $3,000 a year from age 21 to age 64, earning 8% on your money. You can then retire with a million dollars.

©2012 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved. E199-R07/12


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Here’s a chance for your kids to win a computer gift card
Alliant is pleased to announce our annual National Education Program for students between the ages of 5 and 17. We will award nine computer gift certificates (three in each age category) ranging from $250 to $1,000. The age categories are 5 to 9, 10 to 13, and 14 to 17.

TO APPLY, applicants may use any media (such as an essay, drawing, video, PowerPoint® or
photograph) to describe what they want to be when they grow up and how a computer can enrich their education.

TO QUALIFY, applicants must have an Alliant savings account in their own name. DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: AUGUST 24, 2012
Visit our website, www.alliantcreditunion.org, for complete details, eligibility and to obtain an application.

Free financial counseling available
Are you concerned about your finances during these challenging economic times? If so, you’re not alone and there’s help. Alliant Credit Union partners with GreenPath Debt Solutions® to provide you with free access to money management and financial education services. Through comprehensive education and exceptional service, GreenPath has been assisting individuals for more than 50 years. And through GreenPath, you will enjoy unlimited access to financial counselors for free! As an Alliant member, you can receive help with: • Personal and family budgeting and money management • Understanding your personal credit report • Improving your credit (so you can qualify for loans and loans with better rates) • Stretching your dollars if you are transitioning out of a job or beginning retirement • Debt repayment • Avoiding bankruptcy, foreclosure and repossession GreenPath gives personalized answers to your individual needs. Expert advice is only a free phone call away.

Become more financially savvy with Alliant webcasts
Alliant is committed to help people sharpen their ability to make informed judgments and effective decisions regarding the use and management of their money. That’s why we’re offering a series of free online financial wellness webcasts where you can learn about financial topics – and participate by visiting www.alliantcreditunion.org.


Webcasts are archived on Alliant’s website, www.alliantcreditunion.org.
GreenPath counselors are available: Mon–Thu 7am to 9pm CT Friday 7am to 6pm CT Saturday 8am to 5pm CT To use this new service, simply call 877-337-3399 or visit GreenPath on the web at www.greenpathref.com.


Join Alliant today
Not yet an Alliant member? Consider joining. Your company or association provides free membership in Alliant Credit Union as an employee or association member benefit.* Note: Applicant must also meet other eligibility requirements for Alliant membership. Joining is fast and easy. Join online at www.alliantcreditunion.org and enjoy higher savings dividends, lower loan rates – and more. Plus, once you join, your family members will become eligible to join.
* Alliant membership is an exclusive benefit available to employees, retirees and members of qualifying organizations and their family members; any member of the Foster Care to Success; and individuals who live or work in qualifying communities and their family members. Applicants must also meet other eligibility requirements for membership. Please visit www.alliantcreditunion.org for details regarding Alliant membership.
©2012 Alliant Credit Union. All Rights Reserved. E199-R07/12

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