Calling all Kansas 7th & 8th graders! Contest offering chance to win $2K for higher education

Know any Kansas 7th & 8th graders who could use $2,000 for higher education? The Learning Quest ‪#‎MakeYourMark‬ Contest is in full swing and offering the chance to win a Kansas Learning Quest 529 education savings account!

Learn more at Deadline for entries is October 9.Girl smiling

Treasurer’s Top 10: Greenwood County

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

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

Summer sunrise on a ranch in Greenwood County, KS.

Summer sunrise on a ranch in Greenwood County, KS. Photo by Casey Berner.

1. Travis Miller
2. Hazel A. Weger
3. Marsha E. Grant
4. Vernon West Estate
5. Ardys E. Hobbs
6. Ivan Abner
7. Patricia J. Brown
8. Olive M. Grundy
9. Richard L. Sowder
10. George D. Sarkisian

Money Matters: 7 Ways to Fall Into Savings This Season

Woman walking dogBy Holly Perez, U.S. News Money

Autumn is here. With the changing season comes new expenses, including increased utility bills, school programs for the kids and upcoming holiday purchases. These costs don’t have to wreak havoc on your bank account. Here are five easy ways to fall into savings this season.

Weatherproof your home. Before the temperatures drop, consider weatherproofing your home. Using weatherstripping on windows and doors can lower heating costs, and cleaning your gutters will help drainage and prevent any future problems. You’ll get a season’s worth of savings and peace of mind by taking a few steps in the fall to get your home ready for cold weather.

Cook at home. Stop spending money on dining out with friends, because let’s face it, eating out gets expensive. Plus, as the days get shorter and the weather gets cooler, why not stay in and be cozy with friends and family? Make it an outing by going to your local farmers market together. Cooking in season is not only a great way to get a taste of the fall, but it’s also a money saver since fruits and vegetables such as butternut squash, pumpkin, apples, potatoes and carrots are abundant and low priced. Cooking with a crockpot rather than a stove can also save you time and money this season. Hearty soups and stews are delicious meals in cold weather and can last for several meals.

Get out of town. Summer is over, but that doesn’t mean your best trips of the year are behind you. Fall can be the ideal time to get out of town because many airline prices decrease, temperatures cool off and most people stay home – making tourist destinations less crowded. But don’t wait too long! Most of these deals are only available for a short period of time as the holiday travel season approaches. Luggage and travel accessories typically go on sale in the fall season as well, so stock up on the deals.

Save money on automobile costs. When it comes to maintaining your vehicle in cold weather, keeping your oil clean and your tires filled can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs down the road. Fall is the perfect time to have your antifreeze checked, your windshield wiper fluid filled and new wiper blades installed. You can do most – if not all – of these things yourself for very little money and time.

Get crafty. Some of the most beautiful fall décor can be found in nature, and the best part is: It’s free! If you have a couple frames lying around, consider using them to display a leaf in orange, yellow or red. Creating a do-it-yourself festive fall wreath or centerpiece for your front door and dinner table gives your home a warm welcome at a very low cost. Now is also a great time to get a head start on those crafty holiday gifts! Sites like Pinterest have tons of easy ideas to get you inspired.

Move your workout outside. Bathing suit season may be wrapping up, but fall is also a great season to head outdoors for exercise. Why waste money on a gym membership when you can take advantage of the great outdoors? Make a commitment to go for a hike on the weekends, or sign up for a 5K race and train for it by running outside.

Save on entertainment. Find new and fun ways to spend time with those you love. Parks are a great place to go in the fall. They are usually free and offer many great family-friendly amusements. Between Oktoberfest, Halloween, pumpkin patches and other fall festivities, there are bound to be free things to do with your family in your area.

Each season has its perks, but none are quite like the fall. Follow these easy tips to save money, and experience everything the season has to offer.

Kansas Saver Tip!

Reduce home heating costsThermostat

With October just around the corner and Fall settling in, you’ll likely begin keeping your house toasty warm in the next several weeks. To minimize those pesky bills, plan ahead.  If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, install one now in every heating zone within your house. This small change could save you $150 per year!

State Treasurer Announces Unclaimed Property Success at State Fair

TOPEKA, Kan. — State Treasurer Ron Estes announced today that the state treasurer’s unclaimed property booth had another successful year at the 2015 Kansas State Fair.

“This year we helped process over 5,000 claims and re-unite more than $945,000 with respective owners,” said Kansas State Treasurer Ron Estes. “The state fair continues to be one of our best outreach events every year, providing us with the opportunity to reach thousands of Kansans who may not routinely check for unclaimed property through our website. I’m very pleased with this year’s results and would like to thank everyone who took the time to stop by and visit our booth. ”State Fair Booth

Fair attendees were able to search for missing money in a computerized database at the fair’s unclaimed property booth. The single largest claim discovered was $24,450.78.

The Kansas Unclaimed Property Program has returned more than $80 million in unclaimed property since Estes took office in 2011. Unclaimed property comes from forgotten bank accounts, stocks, bonds, insurance premium overpayments, refunds, abandoned safe deposit boxes and other property. It is the treasurer’s goal to locate the rightful owners and heirs of unclaimed assets currently being held by the State of Kansas.

People who were unable to attend the fair can search for unclaimed property online at or by calling 1-800-432-0386.

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 and the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators Executive Board. Ron has also served as Sedgwick County Treasurer and as the treasurer for the Kansas County Treasurers’ Association. He was born in Topeka and is a fifth-generation Kansan. Ron and his wife, Susan, have three children.


Treasurer’s Top 10: Gove County

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

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

Castle Rock Badlands

Castle Rock Badlands located in the Smoky Hills region of Kansas in Gove County.

1. August Priefert
2. Merton Ikenberry
3. K&C Construction
4. Harbor Distributing LLC
5. Vera J. Lundgren
6. Eugene J. Senecal
7. Tony Brown
8. Linda Fincke & Eugene Fincke
9. Rachel V. Stucliffe
10. Patricia A. Waldman

Money Matters: Preparing for Medical Emergencies

AmbulanceWhile someone with a chronic medical problem can expect to visit the hospital or ER on occasion, nobody plans to start their day off by falling ill with the flu, breaking a limb or getting in a car accident.

More than 54 million people reported having trouble paying medical bills in January 2012, according to a Centers for Disease Control survey. Regrettably, medical bills are frequently cited as a major contributor to bankruptcy.

Unforeseen accidents, illnesses, and ER visits can devastate loved ones both emotionally and financially. Having a plan in place to deal with these medical emergencies can make a difference, especially if you’re married or have young children.

Gerri Eetweiler from reports a series of ways to prepare for a medical emergency:

1. Research local hospitals.

If you have health insurance, make sure you know the locations near home, work and school that participate in your health insurance network. If it’s not a matter of life and death, you’ll know where to go so you won’t pay more than you have to. Do the same before you travel. Find out what your insurance company’s policy is on out-of-state emergencies.

2. Put urgent care on speed dial.

An expensive emergency room isn’t your only option when it comes to receiving care for an illness or accident outside of standard business hours. Many problems can be addressed in an urgent care or minor emergency center. You’ll save hundreds of dollars compared to a hospital emergency room. Just remember to check which urgent care centers are nearest to you and save their contact details somewhere easily accessible.

3. Max out your flex account.

If your employer offers a flexible spending account, you may want to contribute to that plan to build up a cushion for medical emergencies. But make sure you spend the money in your account before the end of the year or deadline date.

4. Make friends with your pharmacist.

Make sure he or she is aware of all the medications and supplements you are taking to avoid interactions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And shop around for lower cost prescription drugs.