Treasurer’s Top 10: Stevens County

This week, we highlight Stevens County! Here’s a look at the Top 10 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you know anyone below?Stevens County Courthouse

  • Billy G. Mast Estate
  • Muriel P. Wilson
  • Keith R. Janford
  • Carol Downing
  • Reimer Farms Inc
  • Delbert L. Knox
  • Ricky Duane Nelson
  • Nancy J. Jenkins
  • Bratt Enterprises
  • Geraldine Davey Estate

If so, have them check out www.kansascash.com and search their name to make a claim. They can also call 800-432-0386 (toll-free) or 785-296-4165.

Money Matters: Make Saving Automatic

Automatic SavingsMake Saving Automatic
It can be hard to put aside money for savings. But there is an easy way to save money without ever missing it. Make your savings automatic. You can start small and save $20 a week or month or you can try and save more. The America Saves Campaign explains how to get started and strengthen your financial success.

How to save automatically

  • Many employers allow you to divide your paycheck into different accounts. Take advantage by putting part of your pay into a savings account.
  • If you get paid in cash, take a small amount to the bank to deposit into a savings account. Many banks make this easy by allowing you to deposit cash directly at an ATM. Tip: do this the day you get paid. That way you will be less tempted to spend the money.

Why automatic savings works

  • Saving automatically makes it easier to save because your money is saved with each paycheck – you don’t have to think about how much to save or take any additional steps.
  • It’s tempting to spend money when it’s readily available. If you don’t see the money, you are less likely to miss it.

I don’t have enough money to save

Everyone has the ability to save. At America Saves, we say “Start Small, Think Big.” You can start with only $10 a week or month. You have to start somewhere. When you get extra income, you can add that money to your account as well:

  • Put a portion of your tax return money into savings.
  • Put birthday or holiday money into savings.
  • Hold a garage sale and put that money into savings

Over time, your deposits will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future.

 

Part of $295 million may be yours!

Search for unclaimed property online right now–> http://ow.ly/CVayW.

All you need is your first & last name!

Cash

Treasurer’s Top 10: Harper County

This week, we highlight Harper County! Here’s a look at the Top 10 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you know anyone below?Harper County Court House

If so, have them check out www.kansascash.com  and search their name to make a claim. They can also call 800-432-0386 (toll-free) or 785-296-4165.

  1. Margaret Morrison
  2. Norma Montes
  3. Cora E. Kilborn
  4. Jessie R. Myers
  5. Marcella & Dennis Albright
  6. Theodore C. Weeks
  7. Richard W. Hall
  8. Dale P. chandler
  9. Marcella Grimmitt
  10. Sammy R. High

Money Matters: How to Pay Less for a New Car

By Jason Alderman, Practicalmoneyskills.com

Late last year, my wife and I were in the unenviable position of needing to shop for a new car, since the used car lease I’d assumed was about to expire. I knew it would probably have to last until my kids were well into college, so I spent a long time investigating how to get the best deal on a reliable car I would love driving.Car Shopping

Because December — and great year-end deals — will be here before you know it, I want to share some of the strategies I learned in case you’re planning to buy a new car in the next few months:

The end of the year is a great time to buy. Dealerships are scrambling to meet annual sales goals that could boost manufacturer incentives and lower taxes on remaining inventory. Plus, salespeople trying to meet year-end sales quotas that trigger bigger bonuses are more likely negotiate in your favor.

I did tons of research and narrowed my selection to two models — Ford Fusion and Honda Accord. I did the requisite test drives and also convinced two dealerships to let me drive cars home so I could experience their handling during a real commute.

I knew that the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) or “sticker price” you see in the showroom bears little relation to what the dealer’s true costs are. A more accurate starting figure for negotiations is the dealer’s invoice price.

You can research invoice prices at sites like Edmunds, CarsDirect and Kelley Blue Book. Just be aware that it’s generally higher than what the dealer actually pays, thanks to various manufacturer discounts and incentives that don’t appear on the invoice. It also doesn’t reflect consumer rebates, tax, title, license, advertising or registration fees.

Next I sent a comprehensive (albeit cut-and-paste) email to local Honda and Ford dealers, explaining exactly which features I wanted and asking them to send me a price. Once I got the lowest offer, I emailed all dealers and said, “Can you beat this?”

Probably the biggest challenge was getting dealers to negotiate by email rather than by phone or in person. I wanted to avoid hard sales pitches and, more importantly, I wanted written proof of their offers to present when I finally did go into the dealership. Several dealers dropped out immediately, while others came back with counter-offers on similar vehicles they had in stock.

I also contacted an online car brokerage to solicit their best deal. Turns out they couldn’t beat the price I’d already negotiated; but if you don’t have the time or patience for such exhaustive legwork, a broker might be worth the cost.

Make sure you’re being quoted the “out-the-door price.” That’s the purchase price minus any incentives and adding in all fees — tax, license and title can add thousands of dollars, depending on where you live. Also, pore over the sales contract carefully to make sure you’re not being charged for extras you don’t want.

In the end, I chose the Fusion. Ford was offering several year-end customer incentives that knocked $2,000 off the invoice price, plus 0 percent financing for 60 months. (Start watching now for such factory and dealer incentives.) Ultimately, I heard from a dealership an hour away that offered me the car I wanted for an additional $1,000 less.

Bottom line: Not everyone is willing to spend numerous hours researching and negotiating the best deal; but if you are, you can save thousands of dollars on a new car.

Treasurer’s Top 10: Wallace County

This week, we highlight Wallace County! Here’s a look at the Top 10 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you know anyone below?Wallace County Courthouse

  • Viola M. Rohn
  • Bryon D. Funk
  • Marion Cowles
  • Willow Creek Cattle Co Inc
  • Wilda A. Mathews
  • Poe Building Systems
  • Agnes X. Moran
  • Junior Montgomery
  • Lavena B. Hansen
  • Raymond & Mildred Day

If so, have them check out www.kansascash.com and search their name to make a claim. They can also call 800-432-0386 (toll-free) or 785-296-4165.

Learning Quest Annual Back-to-School Contest to Award $10K in Prizes

Learning QuestTOPEKA, Kan. — Seventh and eighth grade students across Kansas are invited to showcase their writing and creative skills to win an education savings account in the 13th annual Learning Quest Back-to-School Contest. The Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program is designed to help families invest for their child’s continued education after high school.

Last year, more than 1,000 essays written by Kansas seventh and eighth graders were received from across the state. This year’s theme is “Your future is a clean slate where anything is possible.”

“We’re asking 7th and 8th grade students to respond to the theme by communicating the vision they have for their future through writing or a creative project,” said Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes who administers the Learning Quest Program. “The contest is a perfect fit for our Learning Quest program. It encourages Kansas youth to reflect on future goals they’ve set for themselves, while also considering the types of career education that can help them achieve those goals.”

Entries must be postmarked or submitted electronically at http://essay.learningquest.com by Oct. 10, 2014.

Prizes include $2,000 Learning Quest accounts for the first-place winners in each of the two grade levels. Learning Quest judges will also select up to five entries per grade to be posted to Learning Quest’s Facebook page for public voting and the chance to win the People’s Choice prize of $1,000. Additionally, each of the schools attended by the four winners (the two winners selected by the judges and the two winners selected through public voting) will receive a $1,000 prize from Learning Quest. Prizes are provided by American Century Investments.Back to School Costs

“Since beginning 12 years ago, we’ve had schools who have continued to support the contest year after year, encouraging students to plan for their future,” said Estes. “Providing prizes to each winning school is our way of thanking Kansas teachers, principals and school administrators for their commitment towards the education of our state’s next generation.”

To learn more and download participation materials, visit the contest website at http://essay.learningquest.com. Also, students can get updates on the Learning Quest’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KSLearningQuest529.

The Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program was created to help families invest for their child’s continued education after high school, whether at a traditional four-year college, community college, or technical/vocational school. Learning Quest investors benefit from tax-deferred growth and tax-free withdrawals when used for qualified education expenses (tax benefits may be conditioned on meeting certain requirements). Kansas taxpayers can receive a Kansas tax deduction up to $3,000 per child ($6,000 if married, filing jointly) on contributions to Learning Quest or any other state-sponsored 529 plan.

Ron Estes is the 39th state treasurer for the state of Kansas and is the first state-wide elected official from the city of Wichita in 20 years. He was elected to serve as the Midwest Regional Vice President for the National Association of State Treasurers 2012-2013, and now serves on the College Savings Plans Network Executive Board. Ron has also served as treasurer for both Sedgwick County and the Kansas County Treasurers’ Association. He was born in Topeka and is a fifth-generation Kansan. His family continues to run a farm in Osage County. Ron and his wife, Susan, have three children.

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