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Financial Fitness Blog

How not to bust your budget on Black Friday

(Money Management) Permanent link

Brenda EcheverriaNext week it's all about turkey, football, and for some: shopping. With some retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving evening, there's bound to be some great deals to be found. Here are some tips to keep your Black Friday budget in check.

  1. Do your homework. Scour the ads ahead of time. Compare prices online to see if you're really getting a deal. Sign up for email alerts and visit your favorite retailer's social media sites to see if they are offering any additional deals or incentives.
  2. Make a list of the items you want to purchase for each person on your list. Impulse buying can be costly and is sure to bust your budget.
  3. Create a budget, set a limit, and stick to it. Decide ahead of time what your limit will be per item or per person, and stick to it.
  4. Don't forget Cyber Monday deals. Many online retailers are offering deals the Monday after Thanksgiving. When shopping online, be aware of shipping costs that can sometimes drive the price of an item up. Check to see if the item has a "pick up at store option" that could save you shipping costs.
  5. Use credit responsibly. If you're going to charge your Black Friday purchases, charge only the amount you have budgeted and only the amount you know you can safely pay off. If you know you have a tendency to go over-budget, leave the credit cards at home and pay with cash instead.
  6. If you're lucky enough to score the deal of the century, don't get bogged down by all the pricey accessories. The fancy new tablet you just bought may be on super-sale, but the power cord, car charger and protective case you think you need (right away!) may not be.

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

Ready or not, winter is coming!

 Permanent link

Mark DannehlMany of us in Wisconsin have already seen a glimpse of winter with our first snowfall last week. If you haven't gotten to the point of swapping the lawn mower for the snow blower, here are a few tips to help you get it done:

  • Winterize your lawn mower, trimmers, and leaf blowers. Empty the fuel reservoir or add a fuel stabilizer, and remember to change the oil if necessary.
  • Clean the grass clippings from the underside of your lawn mower. Do the same for your trimmers.
  • Tune up your snow blower before the first snow storm. Start it up and let it run for a few minutes before using it for the first time.
  • Make sure you have salt or sand on hand to combat slippery spots on your driveway, sidewalk, steps, and entryways.
  • Dig out your shovels. They may not have been used since March, so move them to a spot where they are easily accessible. Also it's a good idea to keep a small shovel in your vehicle during the winter as part of your car's emergency kit.
  • Prepare your summer toys (your boat, jet skis, RV, etc.) for winter if you haven't already done so. Properly secure and store them for the season.
  • Got winter toys? Before heading out on your first ride this winter, tune up your snowmobile and don't forget to insure it. Call us for a quote: 1-800-279-4010.

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant


Pay it forward!

(Money Management) Permanent link

Brenda EcheverriaDid you know that a record number of new educators were hired in Wisconsin public schools this year? So many of our members have told us how they wished someone had talked to them about financial options when they were young.

Be that "someone." Help us to help them get on the right financial path by sharing the benefits they can take advantage of with Member Benefits.

  1. Encourage early saving in our low-cost 403(b) or IRA program.
  2. Point out our personal insurance discounts for young teachers and WEAC members.
  3. Tell them about our free consultations and financial seminars.
  4. Direct them to your$ magazine on our Web site.

Here are some other facts you can share about Member Benefits:

  • We were created by Wisconsin educators for Wisconsin educators more than 40 years ago.
  • We have a nationally recognized 403(b) program.
  • Family members may participate in most of our programs.
  • People who work with us enjoy outstanding customer service.
  • We operate as a trust which reinvests any profits back into programs that benefit participants.

If they have more questions, just direct them to our Web site or have them call 1-800-279-4030.

Brenda Echeverria, Financial Planner

The 403(b) retirement program is offered by the WEA TSA Trust. TSA program registered representatives are licensed through WEA Investment Services, Inc., member FINRA.  The Trustee Custodian for the WEAC IRA accounts is Newport Trust Company. Property and casualty insurance programs are underwritten by WEA Property & Casualty Insurance Company. The terms and conditions of your coverage are exclusively controlled by your written policy. Please refer to your policy for details. Seminars are free to attend; however, if you choose to invest in the WEA Tax Sheltered Annuity or WEAC IRA program, fees will apply. Consider all expenses before investing.