Kansas Saver Tip!

Do some basic home and auto maintenance on a regular schedule.

Instead of waiting until something breaks to deal with it, develop a monthly maintenance schedule where you go around your home (and your car) and perform a bit of Homemaintenance where it’s needed. This little activity, taking you just an hour or two a month, will keep things from breaking down and help you catch problems before they become disasters. Maintaining your home can also keep it in better shape and improve the value of your property over time.

Resource: The Simple Dollar


Kansas Saver Tip!

Once a year, it’s a good idea to check your credit report for accuracy, and you can do so for free through the three major credit bureaus.credit-report-request



Trans Union

Treasurer’s Top 10: Graham County

This week, we highlight Graham 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 www.kansascash.com  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.Graham County

1. Annie Davis

2. Brian Stark

3. Burl Wilson

4. Tia Mcelwain

5. Dollie Allen

6. Cramer Ross

7. Wilma Prater

8. Jeanne Ryan

9. Marilyn Worcester

10. Louise Triplett


Money Matters: Tips for buying a car

Car Buying ProcessBuying a car, especially if it’s your first purchase, can seem daunting. We’ve all seen our fair share of car commercials on TV. They all advertise the ‘best deal’ with phrases like “zero down payment” and “low interest APR”. The terminology can seem confusing at first, but once you break it down, buying a car is rather straightforward. With these helpful tips from CNN Money, you’ll be ready to get the best deal on the car of your choice.

1. Make sure you are getting the right vehicle.

This seems obvious, but you could wind up an unhappy car owner if you haven’t thought carefully about how many people and how much luggage or gear you need to carry.

2. Assess the worth of your old car.

Whether you plan to trade it in or sell it, your current car can be an important factor in your budget. Checking the right website and possibly your local newspaper will give you a realistic valuation. Selling it directly instead of just trading it in may also mean a sizable difference in what you get for it, though it may take a while longer to reap the proceeds.

3. Decide whether new or used is best for you.

Cars are built better now than in the past, so used cars or certified used cars make a lot of sense. But if you get a rebate or other cost break, the math may be on the side of a new vehicle.

4. Consider whether leasing or buying makes more sense.

Leasing provides lower monthly payments than buying with an auto loan. But it’s not for everybody. If you don’t have money for a down payment or if you trade your car every two or three years, you may be a good candidate for a lease.

5. Do your homework and set your target price.

The Internet has made it easier than ever to find out the dealer’s cost for each vehicle and its options. That’s the first step to getting the best possible deal.

6. Shop for money before you shop for the car.

If you plan to buy with a loan, check your credit union or local bank quotes online to find the lowest rate. Getting a pre-approved loan will give you added confidence in negotiating a good price.

7. Negotiating a lease.

In the complicated world of leasing, the dealer will have the upper hand unless you learn the jargon and how to negotiate the various segments of a lease deal.

8. Negotiate a purchase.

If you are doing it yourself, get bids from several dealers, keeping the focus on the dealer’s invoice price, which you will know from your research. You may be able to get bids without going to showroom after showroom.

9. If you hate haggling, consider using a car-shopping service.

Auto-buying services, such as websites or discount clubs, make things easy with pretty good, no-haggle prices. But with most of them, you get quotations from only one dealer. Consumer services that shop several dealers near you may deliver even better prices.

10. Don’t let the deal-closer close out your savings.

The finance manager isn’t there just for the paperwork. He or she wants to sell you high-profit financial and mechanical add-ons. These are seldom worth the money.

Money Matters: Building a Back-to-School Budget

By Nathaniel Sillin, Practical Money Skills

Back-to-school spending isn’t just about clothes and markers anymore.

In 2014, Forbes reported that Accenture estimated (http://newsroom.accenture.com/images/20020/Graphic.pdf) that nearly half of respondents reported they would spend $500 or more on back-to-school expenses, including not only clothes and desk supplies, but electronics as well.

Back to School Supplies

Yet there’s one more aspect of back-to-school spending that’s growing and can add hundreds – and sometimes thousands – to a family’s overall K-12 education budget. Since the 2008 economic crisis, many public school systems have tried to make up for funding shortfalls by adding first-time or expanded fees for sports, extracurricular activities and specialized academics.

This means that back-to-school budgeting, even for families with kids in public school, now requires a more holistic, year-round approach to all back-to-school expenses.

Given their potential dollar amounts, parents should examine school fees first. Public education has never been completely free of charge beyond local taxes – parents have traditionally paid extra money to support their kids’ participation in sports, music or other extracurricular activities. However, many school systems are adding fees for a broader range of offerings including after-school activities, top-level courses, lab-based instruction and even Advanced Placement (AP) classes. So before you start spending money on clothes and supplies that can be bought off-season, on sale or possibly used, get a handle on how applicable instruction and activity fees might affect your budget. (http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/ budgeting/). Parents in financial need may qualify for public aid or grants to cover such fees; if not, choices will need to be made.

Consider turning back-to-school shopping into a money lesson. Most kids like to have certain kinds of clothes, shoes or supplies. Those “wants” can be turned into a discussion about spending priorities, value, choice and comparison shopping. Using the Back to School Budget (http://practicalmoneyskills.com/calculators/calculate/backToSchoolBudget.php?calcCategory=family) calculator with your kids can help them learn how create a budget before shopping for essentials. As kids get older, the discussion can expand to cover bigger-ticket purchases like smartphones, computers and fees for special courses and activities they want to pursue. Some of these issues might evolve into a discussion about earning money through chores or a part-time job.

Once priorities are decided, every expense should be tracked, including a child’s round trip school transportation, meals, tutoring fees or immunization and healthcare expenses not covered by insurance. And once that budget is set, it means a constant search for smart ways to cut. Some ideas may include:

  • Car pooling (track your costs to make sure you’re not adding significantly to your overall transportation budget)
  • Packing lunches at home
  • Working with school administrators to raise outside donations or grant funding to cover parents’ out-of-pocket costs
  • Organizing school supplies in one place to avoid purchasing duplicates
  • Renting equipment, supplies or instruments used until a child’s interests are established
  • Scouting garage sales, thrift shops and online marketplaces for used, required-edition textbooks, instruments, electronics, sports equipment, clothes and other supplies you’d otherwise buy new; online resources shouldn’t charge shipping or return fees
  • Reviewing school and classroom supply lists before buying essentials
  • Bulk- and group-buying supplies and services with other parents to get volume prices
  • Consolidating back-to-school shopping during tax-free days (if your state offers them)
  • Swapping used supplies and equipment with other parents
  • Checking retail memberships for any back-to-school savings they offer
  • Watching for print and online coupons or special discount offers through your school
  • Listening to your kids – they might spot money-saving ideas faster than you can

One final secret budget item – rewards. Saving money on back-to-school expenses can help parents meet a number of financial goals, but kids’ academic or activity success deserves recognition. Consider setting aside a little of those savings for a reward they can enjoy.

Bottom line: When setting your back-to-school budget this year, think beyond the supplies. Consider every possible fee and expense associated with your child’s school year and plan accordingly.

This article is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It’s always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.

Treasurer’s Top 10: Haskell County

This week, we highlight Haskell 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 www.kansascash.com  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.

Haskell County Courthouse

1. Forrest Cox
2. Kenneth Cox
3. McClure Family
4. Cox Minerals
5. Frank W Meyers Estate
6. Christine Ruby
7. W E Land & Cattle Inc
8. Everett L Williams
9. Ruby M Wedel
10. Dennis L Black

Treasurer’s Top 10: Sheridan County

This week, we highlight Sheridan 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 www.kansascash.com  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.Sheridan County Courthouse

1. Kathleen M. Mahanna Rev Trust
2. Rudolph J. Lechtenberger
3. Sunrise Data
4. August & Patricia Ochs
5. Benjamin D. Mosier
6. Lloyd E. Mills
7. Mildred M. Smith
8. Leroy Wessel Estate
9. Twila M. Pearson
10. Marie E. Brown Estate