Millennial Money: 6 Great Recession lessons that still apply

Millennial Money: 6 Great Recession lessons that still apply

By Melissa Lambarena Of Nerdwallet

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Great Recession demolished jobs across the U.S., and it eventually came for mine, too. After graduating in 2009, I worked four months as an entry-level executive assistant at a non-profit before being laid off.

I had limited financial knowledge, a short work history and a lot to prove to break into the field of journalism, my ultimate goal. Along the way, I picked up valuable lessons that might help you manage your finances during the coronavirus-related recession.

1. SAVE WHAT YOU CAN

My short work history disqualified me from receiving unemployment benefits, so I relied on my savings account. Even a small emergency fund of $500 can prevent you from falling into debt, and I had socked away enough to cover a few months of expenses.

If you’re still employed, “pay yourself first,” said Samuel Deane, a financial planner at Deane Financial in New York. “Even if it’s $20 every time you get paid, make sure you put that $20 away first and then live your lifestyle with the remainder.” Automate it with direct deposit if you can.

If you’ve lost your job, saving will obviously be tougher. Apply for unemployment if you qualify, and contact your landlord, creditors, area nonprofits and family members to seek relief. If you’re still employed but have had your salary cut, consider a side gig and work on trimming expenses.

2. THINK TWICE BEFORE REJECTING JOB OFFERS

After many interviews and dead ends, I applied for an administrative role at an accounting firm and got hired in December 2009. It paid about $7,000 less than my previous salary. I knew it wouldn’t put my career on track, but it would cover most of my bills, so I took it.

Amanda Grossman, now a certified financial education instructor in El Paso, Texas, made similar compromises after being laid off as a market researcher in Florida in 2008. She took a career counsellor’s advice and relocated to Texas for a lower-paying job in the environmental industry.

“(The counsellor) said, `Look, the economy is not doing well. You need to take that job, it’s going to keep going down; you’re not going to be able to find work,”’ Grossman said.

If your sector is hurting and unemployment benefits or savings are lacking, even a less-than-ideal role can help you ride out a recession.

3. GET SMART ABOUT MONEY

You’ll find a myriad of financial literacy resources online and at your local library, assuming it is open and safe to visit during the pandemic.

I struggled to save money on a lower salary. Credit cards became my emergency fund. I don’t recommend this approach, but times were tough. Had I learned about financial hardship programs, student loan repayment options or balance transfer credit cards, I would have saved heaps on interest and ditched debt faster.

4. ESTABLISH MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME

I still wanted journalism experience and extra income, so on top of my new full-time job, I learned to shoot and edit video. I began freelancing in 2010. A year later, I also launched a small social media consulting business.

Grossman, too, had other goals. “I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I love, love, love talking about money,” she said.

While she was unemployed in Florida, she launched the blog “Frugal Confessions.” She learned new writing skills from books and sought feedback from editors at newspapers. In 2013, she left her environmental job in Texas to run her blog full time.

5. PROTECT YOUR CREDIT BUT PROTECT YOURSELF FIRST

In a crisis like COVID-19, many normal financial rules don’t apply. You may need to carry a credit card balance to buy groceries or address an emergency. You may need to make only the minimum payment to cover rent. You may even need to contact your card issuer and ask for relief options like payment deferrals.

Even with three jobs, I struggled at times to make the minimum payments on my credit cards due to high balances and interest rates. I never defaulted, but I did stress and scramble over it. I wanted a record of on-time payments and the good credit they build so that I could qualify for future low-interest rate offers.

That’s a worthy goal, but in times of emergency, prioritize getting back on your feet first. Once you do, you’ll have time to address your credit scores.

6. MAKE CALCULATED MONEY MOVES

Eventually, I left my apartment and moved in with roommates. I also read the post-recession climate and, in successive jobs, learned how to ask for a raise. Every year that my workload and responsibilities increased, I made a case for a higher salary. Asking is uncomfortable at first, but it gets easier. The extra money eventually paid off my debts.

A recession’s impact is largely out of your control, but your reaction isn’t. With strategic steps, you can insulate yourself and create new opportunities.

_______________________________

This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Melissa Lambarena is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mlambarena?nerdwallet.com. Twitter: ?lissalambarena.

RELATED LINKS:

NerdWallet: COVID-19 and your money: Our guide to getting relief and managing your finances http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-covid19-guide

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: An essential guide to building an emergency fund http://bit.ly/consumer-finance-start

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Money Smart Online Tools https://fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/learn.html

 

Millennial Money: Smart moves when cash is tighter than time

Millennial Money: Smart moves when cash is tighter than time

By Gregory Karp Of Nerdwallet

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lots of people have more time than money nowadays. If you’re one _ maybe you’re taking a staycation or you freed up commuting hours by working from home _ optimize that extra time by making smart financial moves that won’t cost a dime.

“If you have time but no money, it’s time to become the best version of yourself,” says Ryan J. Marshall, a financial adviser in Wyckoff, New Jersey. “What separates successful people from people who struggle financially is often how they spend the time they are given each day.”

From the quick-and-simple to the more-involved, here are ideas to create your personalized money to-do list when you have more available hours than dollars.

SET GOALS

This is the obligatory recommendation to develop a household budget, perhaps using the 50/30/20 method to divvy up needs, wants, and savings or debt repayment. But creating a budget should be about liberation, not deprivation _ about finding money to spend on things you care about and cutting ruthlessly on things you don’t.

_ More free money moves: Calculate your current net worth (all you own minus all you owe); calculate a nest egg amount for retirement.

ASSESS SPENDING

Recurring expenses are the black hole of regretful spending. Examine your credit and debit card statements to identify subscriptions and re-justify them. When a recurring expense makes the cut, try to get a better price _ we’re looking at you, cable, internet and cellphone bills.

One big potential payoff? Compare auto insurance premiums by yourself or with help. “It can be a pretty painless process, by just forwarding your current insurance to a broker and having them shop it with multiple carriers,” says Autumn K. Campbell, a certified financial planner in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Some brokers work on commission only and don’t charge a fee.

_ More free money moves: Plan a “spending fast” (no spending for a number of days); learn about online cash-back shopping portals; decide on an allowance for children (you don’t have to begin until you have the cash).

PLAN DEBT PAYMENT

Develop a plan for paying down debt. Two popular strategies: Pay extra toward debt with the highest interest rate (debt avalanche) or pay extra toward the smallest debts to wipe them out quickly and get a sense of accomplishment (debt snowball).

_ More free money moves: Refinance your mortgage; refinance your student loan; transfer debt to a lower rate.

DEEPEN MONEY SMARTS

Money knowledge is the gift that gushes benefits over your lifetime.

Money advice online is abundant, but don’t forget about at-home digital access at your unsung public library. Beginners can check out the book “Personal Finance for Dummies.” Or you can consult Consumer Reports to get better products for the money you spend.

And while not everyone enjoys investing topics, you should have a basic understanding. “There are countless wonderful free resources such as Morningstar’s free investment classroom and Vanguard’s free articles hosted on their website,” says Avani Ramnani, a financial adviser in New York City.

_ More free money moves: Spend one hour every Sunday night researching an unfamiliar money topic.

MONITOR CREDIT

Your creditworthiness matters to your financial life, far beyond qualifying for a new loan. People with better credit live easier and less expensively. At minimum, learn about the main factors that affect your credit: payment history, credit utilization, credit history length and credit mix.

_ More free money moves: Check your credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com; check your credit scores (numbers that summarize your credit reports, available many places online); initiate a credit freeze if you’re worried about credit identity theft.

RECONSIDER HOUSING AND CARS

Where you live and what you drive steer your money life more than most money decisions. Think critically about how your mortgage or rent, along with the cost of your vehicles, fit your financial life.

New cars lose value like they drove off a cliff, while used ones can be bargains. That’s why you can buy a 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan for the same price as a new Kia Forte. If your mortgage or rent is more than 28% of your gross monthly income, it’s time to ask hard questions about where you choose to live.

_ More free money moves: Renegotiate rent; create a next-car account and plan to fund it; consider moving/downsizing.

AUTOMATE EVERYTHING

After you make a good money decision, put it on autopilot. That way, you won’t forget to stash away money or pay bills. And ultimately, you’ll have more time and money.

_____________________________________

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Gregory Karp is a writer at NerdWallet.

RELATED LINKS:

NerdWallet: What factors affect your credit scores? https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-credit-scores

 

Sagicor Financial calls off deal with Scotiabank in Trinidad and Tobago

TORONTO _ Sagicor Financial Co. Ltd. says it will not go ahead with its acquisition of ScotiaLife Trinidad and Tobago Ltd.

The company made the decision after it and Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. agreed not to proceed with a 20-year distribution agreement for insurance products in Trinidad and Tobago.

Sagicor provides financial services in the Caribbean as well as life insurance in the United States.

The announcement follows a decision last year by Sagicor to call off its deal to buy Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance Co. Ltd. following a similar decision regarding a distribution agreement.

Sagicor had announced its plan to buy both operations in November 2018.

Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed at the time, but Scotiabank said that the transactions were not financially material.

More Canadians are worrying about the economy and over half are cutting discretionary spending

 TORONTO, June 29, 2020 /CNW/ – COVID-19’s impact on the economy is causing many Canadians to worry about the future: 79 per cent of respondents in CIBC’s Financial Priorities Poll say they are concerned about continued recessionary times next year, compared to 55 per cent who said they feared an economic downturn in a December 2019 survey.

Economic worries may be a factor in why many Canadians are adjusting their financial habits.

Many respondents (63 per cent) say they have significantly cut down on discretionary spending and more than half (55 per cent) agree they need to get a better handle on their finances this year.

“It’s understandable that Canadians are worried about the economy and are feeling uncertain about the impact on their ambitions, but this is a time when good financial advice conversations are most valuable, including assessing your overall situation, looking at opportunities to improve cash flow, and adjusting your financial plan if necessary,” said Laura Dottori-Attanasio, Group Head, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. “It’s a positive sign that many Canadians are taking a responsible approach to the situation by making changes to their spending and working to limit unnecessary debt. Good cash flow management now can help you through the current situation, and over the longer term free up funds to divert towards savings or other goals.”

The survey also found that 46 per cent of Canadians say the economic impact of the pandemic has adversely affected their finances and a similar number (47 per cent) feel it will take more than a year to get their personal finances back on track. Canadians are prioritizing building an emergency fund in 2020, citing this as a top goal for the remainder of the year, followed by steering clear of adding on debt. Of the 22 per cent of respondents who’ve had to borrow more in the past 12 months, the number one reason was for day-to-day items (38 per cent) followed by a loss of income (28 per cent).

“The impact of the pandemic will be felt by Canadians for some time. While we have a long way to go to get back to a normal economy, taking charge of your finances now with a savings and debt management plan is an important step towards putting your personal finances back on track,” added Ms. Dottori-Attanasio.

The survey also found:

  • Top financial goals for the remainder of 2020 are: generally saving as much as possible (37 per cent), and avoiding taking on more debt (36 per cent)
  • Close to three-fourths of Canadians (74 per cent) say the uncertainty of the current environment makes it difficult to plan ahead, and over half (54 per cent) are generally worried about their financial future
  • The number of people who say they’ve taken on more debt is lower (22 per cent) than in December 2019 (28 per cent). Among those who have taken on more debt, 38 per cent say they did so to cover day-to-day expenses or due to loss of income (28 per cent) and job loss (18 per cent, +9 per cent from December 2019)
  • Regionally, the poll found differences in how Canadians are tightening their wallets. Residents in the Prairies say they are cutting discretionary spending the most, led by 76 per cent of those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and 69 per cent of Albertans, compared to the national average of 63 per cent
  • At 58 per cent, taking on more debt to pay for day-to-day items was the highest in British Columbia, 20 per cent higher than the national average of 38 per cent

Disclaimer

From June 8th to June 9th 2020 an online survey of 1,517 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada, in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at www.cibc.com/en/about-cibc/media-centre.html.

SOURCE CIBC

www.cibc.com

WAWANESA INCREASES FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO COMMUNITIES IN CANADA & UNITED STATES

Winnipeg, Manitoba, June 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company (Wawanesa) today announced its Caring Together initiative, which features $1.8 million in new financial support for communities in need arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight to end systemic racism.

These funds are in addition to the $3.5 million Wawanesa previously committed in donations to hundreds of community organizations in Canada and the United States this year.

“As a mutual insurer, Wawanesa is guided by values that focus on being a positive force in our communities,” said Wawanesa President and CEO, Jeff Goy. “The health and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the growing outrage against systemic racism, are powerful forces affecting our communities. Given these unprecedented times, companies like ours have a responsibility to step up and do more.”

Caring Together has three areas of focus where funds will be allocated.

COVID-19 support – providing funding to Indigenous and remote Northern communities, United Way centres, hospital foundations, and food banks in Canada and the United States.

Civil rights – providing funding to civil rights and social justice organizations in the United States and Canada focused on supporting Black communities.

Employee and broker partner donation matching – a dollar-for-dollar donation matching program open to Wawanesa employees and the company’s insurance broker partners.

“These funds will allow True North Aid to support many Indigenous Peoples and their families as we continue providing practical humanitarian assistance during this difficult time,” said Kenneth Smid, Executive Director of True North Aid. “To support Indigenous self-determination, we work directly with members of the communities to develop plans and make sure that together we are meeting their needs – work that has taken on even more urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We’ve seen many changes in our community since the COVID-19 pandemic hit,” said United Way Winnipeg President and CEO, Connie Walker. “More people are living with uncertainty. We know stress is high and more people are living in or on the edge of poverty. There has been a toll on our mental health, our relationships and our financial security. United Way Winnipeg is very grateful to Wawanesa in helping to address urgent needs for our most vulnerable in these challenging times, helping to ensure no one is left behind.”

The details of Wawanesa’s Caring Together commitments are:

  • $500,000 will go to United Way’s COVID-19 Response to increase its support for local community partners in Canada and U.S, providing people and families with food, shelter, and mental health support in disadvantaged and marginalized communities.
  • $400,000 will go to Indigenous and remote northern communities, supporting needs identified by the communities themselves. To help identify those needs and distribute funds, Wawanesa has teamed up with the Canadian Red Cross and True North Aid.
  • $400,000 will go to civil rights and social justice organizations supporting Black communities in the U.S. and Canada, specifically the National Urban League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Black Health Alliance and the Black Business and Professional Association.
  • $250,000 will go to hospitals in Canada and the U.S. to support frontline healthcare workers and COVID-19 research.
  • $250,000 will support a dollar-for-dollar donation matching program, open to all employees and our brokers.

 

About Wawanesa

The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, founded in 1896, is the largest Canadian Property and Casualty Mutual insurer with $3.9 billion in annual revenue and assets of $10.5 billion. Wawanesa Mutual, with executive offices in Winnipeg, is the parent company of Wawanesa General, which offers property and casualty insurance in California and Oregon; Wawanesa Life, which provides life insurance products and services throughout Canada; and Western Financial Group, which distributes personal and business insurance across Western Canada. With more than 5,700 employees, Wawanesa proudly serves more than two million policyholders in Canada and the United States. Wawanesa actively gives back to organizations that strengthen communities where it operates, donating well above internationally recognized benchmarks for excellence in corporate philanthropy. Learn more at wawanesa.com


How to boost your auto loan application

How to boost your auto loan application

Tips from

Cars are expensive—sometimes really expensive. And it’s rare to have cash ready to go in the bank when your old car dies or you need an upgrade. That’s was auto loans are for. But while they’re one of the easier kinds of credit to be approved for, qualification isn’t 100 percent guaranteed.

However, there are simple steps you can take to help level-up your application to be a better shoo-in for approval even if you’ve been rejected in the past. Here are a few things you can do to yourself the best chance of success.

Why applications are denied

It’s possible, although rare, for applicants to be denied an auto loan. When it does happen it’s most often for one of two reasons:

  • The applicant doesn’t have enough credit history to base a decision on
  • The applicant’s monthly debt obligations, including requested loan payment exceed the maximum allowable percentage of monthly income

If you’re worried that either of these may apply to you, there are several credit-boosting tips you can use to help you qualify more easily for an auto loan.

4 credit-boosting tips

1. Make sure you have good credit

By law, you can check the details held on your files with the major credit reference agencies Equifax and TransUnion. Use this ability to see exactly how your credit rating stands.

If your credit is good, you know you can probably apply successfully. But if it’s less than perfect, it’s not the end of the world.

2. Work on your credit before applying

If your credit rating is a little below its best, do what you can to clean it up before you apply. For example:

  • Check your file for any mistakes, such as debts listed which you’ve previously paid off and write to the agencies asking for any errors to be corrected, no matter how small.
  • Look for any old, small debts you can clear without too much trouble
  • Make sure any regular credit repayments you’ve been making are shown in your report so that your score will get the benefit

Working on your credit is worthwhile even if it’s already good, as even small improvements in your score could mean you’re offered a better rate on your loan.

3. Have a solid source of income

Your income level is key to qualification for any kind of credit. You may not be able to do much about the money you have coming in, but it’s essential to have a reliable main source of income. It’s also beneficial to gather solid documentation showing proof of all the income you receive in case they are requested. Tax documents and current paystubs are some examples

4. Consider a pre-approval

Lastly, if you’re worried about your chances of qualifying, testing the water with a pre-approval is a sensible step to take. It will let you see how much you could borrow and under what terms, and will let you look for your next car with full confidence you can finance it.

Talk to us today

Taking these steps before applying will give you the best chance of qualifying but if you’re ready to apply or have questions, talk to us today. We can arrange auto financing for people with a wide range of circumstances.

Source:
Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union

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