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2/22/2018

100 Ways to Save Money


100 Ways to SAVE MONEY

As this sunflower will have more than 100 seeds to plant for next season, start a few of these saving habits today

Build an emergency fund. 
Start putting away five percent of your earnings into a savings account that you don’t touch.
Just for a rainy day account
This account is to save for dental bills, vacation mishaps and things you didn’t write in the budget. 
 Establish your budget. 
If you have been using a credit card look at your annual statement and add up what you spend.
Where are the weaknesses?
Write out what you earn and what you spend. Write a budget. Yes write it down and put the paper on the refrigerator.
Budget with cash and envelopes. 
Allow yourself one amount of cash a week and when it’s gone wait until Monday. Stop using credit cards.
Save money for goals
Learn about 529 Plan for college savings. Save for retirement. Save for vacations
Save automatically.  An easy way to save, and put extra cash out of sight and out of mind is to auto save. Every pay period, have your employer deduct a certain amount from your paycheck and transfer it to a retirement or savings account. Ask your Human Resources representative for more details about how to set this up. Or every month, have your bank or credit union transfer a fixed amount from your checking account to a savings or investment account
Aim for short-term savings goals. Make a goal such as setting aside $20 a week or month, and longer term savings goal. People save more successfully when they keep short-term goals in sight.
Start saving for your retirement today. 
If you have a 401k contribute the maximum. Look into career changes that might offer a fixed retirement. Read about annuities. Learn how to invest your own IRA
Take full advantage of employer matches to your retirement plan. Often as an incentive, employers match a certain amount of what you save in a retirement plan such as a 401(k). If you don't take full advantage of this match, you're leaving money on the table. 
Save your windfalls and tax refunds.  work bonus, inheritance, contest winnings, or tax refund, that ten dollar lotto ticket ---put half into your savings account. 
While we are on lotto tickets, stop buying them
Make a savings plan. Those with a savings plan are twice as likely to save successfully.
Save your loose change. Really! Putting aside just 50¢ over a year will get you 40 percent of the way to a $500 emergency fund. And some banks and credit unions or apps offer programs that round all your purchases to the nearest dollar and put that money into a separate savings account. 
Use the 24-hour rule. This rule helps avoid purchasing expensive or unnecessary items on impulse. Think over each nonessential purchase for at least 24 hours. This is particularly easy to do while shopping online because you add items to your cart or wishlist and come back to them a day later. 
Treat yourself, but use it as an opportunity to save. Match the cost of your nonessential indulgences in savings. So, for example, if you splurge on a Jamba Juice pink fru fru disguised as healthy while out running errands, put the same amount into your savings account. If you can't afford to save the matching amount, you can't afford the candy either. 
Calculate purchases by hours worked instead of cost. Take the amount of the item you're considering purchasing and divide it by your hourly wage. If it’s a $50 pair of shoes and you make $10 an hour, ask yourself if those shoes are really worth five long hours of work. 
Unsubscribe. Avoid temptation by unsubscribing from marketing emails to the stores you spend the most money at. By law, each email is required to have an unsubscribe link, usually at the bottom of the email. 
Don't go to the mall
Change your bank to one like Chase that is offering $500 if you open a new account
Place a savings reminder on your card. Stick a piece of tape over the front of the card and ask yourself do you have to have to need this?
Participate in a local Investment Development Account (or IDA) program. If your income is low, you may be eligible to participate in an IDA program where your savings are matched. In return for attending financial education sessions and planning to save for a home, education, or business, you typically receive at least $1 for every $1 you save, and sometimes much more. That means $25 saved each month could become several hundred dollars by the end of the year. 
 Pay off credit cards in full each month. The miles and cash-back are only valuable if you're not falling into debt or paying interest.
Shop Credit Union Verses Bank
Transfer credit card debt to 0 percent cards
Check what fees your bank charges and complain in person Ask for fee waivers. Ask about better plans.
Start with a goal of reducing your credit card debt by just $1,000. That $1,000 debt reduction will probably save you $150-200 a year in interest, and much more if you're paying penalty rates of 20-30 percent.
Use only the ATMs of your bank or credit union. Using the ATM of another financial institution once a week might seem like no big deal, but if it's costing you $3 for each withdrawal, that's more than $150 over the course of a year.
Check your credit report for free once a year. Use your annual free credit report from the three credit reporting bureaus to look for inaccuracies or opportunities to raise your score. Credit scores are used by loan providers, landlords, and others to determine what they’ll sell you, and at what price. For example, a low credit score can increase the cost of a 60-month, $20,000 auto loan by more than $5,000. 
Pay all of your bills on auto-pay. This ensures they are paid on time, in full to avoid late charges. As a bonus, some loan providers offer a small interest rate deduction if you enroll in auto-pay. 
Get free debt counseling. The most widely available help managing your debt is with a Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) counselor. CCCS’ network of non-profit counselors can work with you confidentially and judgement-free to help you develop a budget, figure out your options, and negotiate with creditors to repay your debts. Best of all, the 45-90 minute counseling sessions are free of charge and come with no obligations. .
Or speak with a mortgage banker about tips on how to improve your FICO for free. Mortgage bankers have access to a more in depth credit report than a consumer one 
Freeze your credit, literally. If you are having trouble controlling your credit card use, but don't want to cut up your credit card in case you need it at some point, freeze your credit card in a bag of water. Needing to thaw your card will force you to really consider the purchase before you make it. 
FUN Let your heart be happy. Laugh at your jokes. Spend time with family.
Go Dancing Find a Meetup or Free event. Is there a cowboy bar in town that has line dancing? Go just for the fun.
Know your library. Libraries offer e-books which you may order online. Many libraries are also part of an intra-library loan system where you can borrow anything you want, but that they don't have, for a minimal shipping charge. Just ask. And some libraries allow you to borrow things like tools and sewing machines. 
Libraries are more about internet today Free internet and computers
Get unadvertised theater ticket discounts. Call, email, or tweet your nearby theater to ask about discount options that are often not well-advertised. Many theaters offer discounted seats for seniors, students, and young adults, such as pay-your-age or pay-what-you-can programs. Or they'll offer rush discounts of any unsold seats immediately before a show. 
Volunteer at local festivals. Cultural festivals and events often offer free admission to event volunteers. Contact the organizers of your favorite event to ask about volunteer opportunities and benefits. 
HIKE   Cancel gym membership. Find a meetup group that hikes together.
WALK To anything that you can make the distance and build up strength. Walk to work or the store or just to see the sky.
CAMP You don’t need tons of equipment. Borrow or rent or trade
Create a family spending limit on gifts. 
Many gifts you receive are things you don’t need, don’t fit and never return. Change gift giving into things you make for each other. Write a story, paint a card, knit something, grow something, go on Pinterest and find things you can upcycle in your garage
 Plan gift-giving well in advance. That will give you time to decide on the most thoughtful gifts, which usually are not the most expensive ones. And if these gifts are products that must be purchased, you will have the opportunity to look for sales.
Start saving for college at the baby shower. Ask for US SAVINGS bonds and put them in a safe deposit box at a bank that offers it as a free perk.
Cheap clothes are only okay if it’s a temporary trendy look. 
Clothing from Forever 21, H and M made in China may not last. Its okay to buy one cheaper trendy item that you wear numerous times until style changes. Buy basic pants that fit well and will last years. Solids in same color to work together over the years.
Don't buy dry clean only clothing
Wash clothing on cold setting
GARAGE Sale
Twice a year pull out clothing your family hasn’t worn for a year, toys they crammed in a corner, broken appliances and extra clutter. Craigs list free advertisement, free cardboard signs, get neighbors to do a block sale. From 7 AM until 11 AM sell everything Call Saint Vincent De Paul or goodwill or Veterans of America in advance for pickup of what didn’t sell on Monday
Review your property tax bill, get the arbitration forms from your County Assessor and file to reduce property taxes
One day a week a "no spend day." one night a week for free family fun. Cook at home, and plan out free activities such as game night, watching a movie, or going to the park. 
Brown bag your lunch. The reason you hear this tip so much is that it works! If buying lunch at work costs $5, but making lunch at home costs only $2.50, then in a year, you could afford to create a $500 emergency fund and still have money left over.
Walk past Starbucks Make coffee at home
Stop buying single plastic water bottles carry a Kerr jar
DO not buy grocery bags. In California bags can cost ten to twenty five cents. If you forget the bags put the groceries back in the cart and unload the cart into your trunk. You’ll remember bags if you do this
Ask for free samples at the grocery store before you try anything new
Return any produce or food that spoils before expiration date
Commit to eating out one fewer time each week. Cut out one a week
Plan your meals in advance and stick to a list while grocery shopping. People who do food shopping with a list, and buy little else,
Buy fruits and vegetables in season, or on sale Make sure it’s fresh.
Grow basil, thyme and garlic Easy herbs can grow in  sunny window
Don’t go to grocery store starving Be less tempted to buy junk or things you don’t need
Don't buy pre-cut vegetables- they spoil faster and are more expensive
Shop by unit price. Many grocery stores list a cost per unit of each item, such as the price per ounce or pound. Use these stickers when comparison shopping for the same product, just in a different size. Read the per unit, per pound, per piece price in the fine print on the counter tag
Stick to water. It’s standard in the restaurant industry to mark up the cost of alcohol by three to five times. Sodas aren't good for you. Lots of sugar and chemicals in sodas.
Drink coffee black Better for you, less calories, don't use artificial sweeteners they are bad for your body
Save time and money by doubling the recipe. Next time you make a family favorite, double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for another day. That way you can get two meals out of one and use the ingredients more efficiently with less waste. Aluminum pans of various sizes can be purchased on the cheap, especially when buying bulk, and make freezing and reheating a snap.
Garage sale purchase or trade also get email from
Start an organic garden with seeds from seed savers or seed exchanges
Start a compost pile with leftover coffee grounds, loose tea, vegetable peels, and green yard waste. Stack the compost pile in an open wire bin or chicken wire or trash can with the bottom missing
Don't skimp on preventive healthcare. Routine dental checkups, for example, help prevent fillings, root canals, and dental crowns, which are expensive and no fun.
Stop eating all fast food Pick Greek yogurt, berries, fresh salads, colored vegetables- stop at a grocery store when you need a quick meal
One day a week no meat
Stop eating processed foods and things from a box or can No more packaged crackers, chemical cookies, crap with preservatives
NO more GMO’s anything genetically engineered isn’t good. Don’t eat food with added hormones either.
Lose a few pounds if you need to – drink more water eat less junk Your clothing will fit better. Your health will improve.
Go generic. Ask your physician if generic prescription drugs are a good option for you. Generic drugs can cost several hundred dollars less to purchase annually than brand-name drugs. And since physicians often don't know the costs you incur for a particular drug, you often have to ask. 
Comparison shop for prescription drugs. Don't just rely on the closest drugstore because the cost to you can vary significantly from pharmacy to pharmacy. Make sure to check out your local pharmacist, supermarkets, wholesale clubs, and mail-order pharmacies. 
Purchase store brand over-the-counter medications. Store brand medications often cost 20-40 percent less than nationally advertised brands, but are the exact same formula.
Comparison shop for Homeowners insurance. Before renewing home-owners insurance policy each year, check out the rates of competing companies. Tell your agent you are shopping them, ask if they can match it.
Refinance your mortgage. Explore if you have the option to refinance your mortgage to a lower interest rate. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, lowering the rate from 7 percent to 6.5 percent can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges over the life of the loan.
Audit your home energy use. Ask your local electric or gas utility for a free or low-cost home energy audit. The audit may reveal inexpensive ways to reduce home heating and cooling costs by hundreds of dollars a year. Keep in mind that a payback period of less than three years, or even five years, usually will save you lots of money in the long-term.
Turn off lights, unplug unused chargers, turn off television, turn off or get timers My Dad, God rest his soul, knew when we left our bedroom lights on from two rooms away. I don’t know how he had the electric meter brain but he taught us to conserve
Change your light bulbs to LED or CFL when they die
Buy a water heater blanket
Conserve water it’s precious Short showers, or tub with just a half inch of water, flush only when dark colored, gradually reduce your big grass lawn into vegetable garden or zero scape.
Weatherproof your home. Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer. Your local hardware store has materials. Youtube has thousands of resources for DIY free ideas.
Investigate Solar that isn’t financed Research. Read
Keep the sun out. Keep your blinds or curtains closed during hot summer days. Blocking the sunlight really does help to keep your house cooler. Also avoids fading furniture and keeps dust down. When you are not home, close up shop to avoid theft.
Use less water. Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to reduce your water usage and water costs. 
Cut laundry detergent and dryer sheet use in half.  Detergent sold today is highly concentrated and bad for our water table. Use the smallest suggested amount, and often you can use less and have clean clothes. In many cases, using less actually washes more effectively because there’s no leftover soap in your clothes. Tear dryer sheets in half for same result for half the price. 
Clothes line drying is free and laundry smells great
Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees. For every 10 degree reduction in temperature, you can save up to 5 percent on water heating costs. 
Comparison shop for auto insurance. Before renewing your existing auto insurance policy each year, check out the rates of competing companies.
Bundle insurance for a deal 
Be a kind driver Have less accidents, drive mindful, don’t use cell phone. A great driver saves money on insurance, tickets, and problems. 
Drive slower and save on fuel
Reduce stress Let the competition on Facebook roll off like a duck. You don’t care what brand of car you drive or what show off thing you just bought. Connect in person. Volunteer.
Invest in car maintenance. Keeping your car engine tuned and its tires inflated to their proper pressure saves money in the long run. Doing both can save you up to $100 a year in gas.
Change the car oil more often look for those coupons. Ask for ten percent off before they start. Buy your own air filter at an auto parts store or online and change it- simple and easy to do. Watch the oil change happening and learn. Make sure they put the cap back on
Rotate tires Most tire places will do for free if you bought them there. Costco tires verses local Tucker tire- know the price before you go to the store and tell them the price you want.
Check multiple sites for low airfares. Don't rely on a single airline search engine to show you all inexpensive fares. Some discount carriers do not allow their flights to be listed in these third-party searches, so you need to check their websites separately. 
No one needs a landline unless you have a Life Alert
Diva cup verses Tampons not going into detail on this one
Cosmetics from home recipes: Powdered milk facial... go find some beauty secrets online - ask Grandmother for her home remedies of items in your cupboard
Use less detergent, less bleach, less chemicals of all kinds Substitute gallon of cheap white vinegar diluted in water for surface cleaning, salt on stains, soak in cold water, elbow grease
Think of house cleaning as exercise and cancel gym membership and cleaning lady
Trade with others
Ask for help
Watch YOUTube videos to learn how to DIY repairs
Ask yourself WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY?
Sell your crafts, or start making something you can sell
Invent something simple
Teach or share a skill

Stop comparing yourself to others. A better phone, watch, or purse means nothing

If you begin to find ways to save you will not miss the junk food, the designer itchy clothing and live a happier life.

What tips can you share?







2/20/2018

House Hunting Season





























Lunch and Learn Event is Free
Learn to Use Multiple Listing Service
to Hunt for a Home or
just track the value of your house.

Access is free if you can't make the
event please give me a call and
I will walk you through the steps.

CFBP

CFPB
We Were the Mulvaneys



 Civil Investigative Demand (CID)
Comment Letter 
2018
1.      "The notification of purpose is too broad. Under 12 U.S.C. § 5562(c)(2), each CID must “state the nature of the conduct constituting the alleged violation which is under investigation and the provision of law applicable to such violation.” Both components, the specific conduct under investigation and the applicable provision(s) of law, are often described in broad, vague terms. The specific conduct may be as general as ‘loan origination,’ while the specific provision(s) of law are frequently the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s UDAAP prohibition’ and “any other Federal consumer financial protection law.” Such a broadly written CID fails to provide the recipient with adequate notice of what the investigation is about. There are several significant implications:
a.       While the CFPB’s investigative authority is broad, it is not unlimited. The statute’s notice requirement is a limit. By failing to limit the scope of the Bureau’s investigation, a broadly written notification of purpose invites a fishing investigation contrary to statutory design and basic due process.
b.      It is difficult to respond to a broadly written notification of purpose during the meet and confer. This is particularly significant given the importance of the meet and confer process as (1) the only way to challenge a CID while maintaining confidentiality and (2) issues or defenses not raised during the meet and confer are considered waived for purposes of future petitions to modify/set aside.   
2.      The Bureau will issue a CID without first establishing a threshold of suspicion. In responses to CID challenges, the Bureau frequently cites Morton Salt Co. 338 U.S. 632 which, describing FTC investigative authority, states the FTC “can investigate merely on suspicion that the law is being violated, or even just because it wants assurance that it is not.” The CFPB isn’t the FTC (panel vs. single director). Also, this position seems contrary to the DFA which prefaces the Bureau’s CID authority on the Bureau first having reason to believe that the recipient has violated a Federal consumer protection law. (12 U.S.C. § 5562(c)). Further, “under this interpretation, no CID issued by the CFPB could be considered overly broad as a wide net will either catch some form of unlawful activity or enable the agency to be satisfied that the recipient is conducting itself appropriately. In this way, the petition process that Congress specifically provided for in Dodd-Frank is rendered essentially meaningless.” E. S. Kisluk, "Fishing" for Trouble?: On the Appropriate Limits of a Civil Investigative Demand Issues by the CFPB, 21 N.C. Banking Inst. 299 (2017). Available at: http://scholarship.law.unc.edu/ncbi/vol21/iss1/16.
a.       The bureau should reserve CIDs for situations where there is suspicion that a violation has occurred. The grounds of suspicion should be transparent in the CID and open to challenge by the alleged violator during the meet and confer or during a hearing on a CID set aside/modify petition. The scope of investigations should be limited to the alleged violation.  
3.      The process to petition the Bureau to modify or set aside a CID is unfair.
a.       While CIDs (and CFPB investigations generally) are not public, petitions to modify or set aside a CID are made public. Given the profound reputational harm associated with a CFPB CID, recipients are (understandably) hesitant to challenge them even when possessing a valid justification for doing so. The risk of harm is real, particularly for publicly traded companies. This creates an unfair situation where the recipient must decide between maintaining confidentiality and challenging the CID.
b.      Under Bureau rules, investigators may submit a response to the petition without providing the response to the CID petitioner. (12 C.F.R. § 1080.6(e)(3)). The petitioner is unable to review these arguments and, if appropriate, respond to them. This violates basic standards of fairness and due process.
c.       The petition is reviewed by the Director who may be unlikely to side with the petitioner. This is unfair. The review should be conducted by an independent body.
d.      The Bureau should provide additional guidance on the standard of review for petitions to set aside/modify a CID. Under Director Cordray, the Bureau used a standard whereby the agency would deny a petition to set aside if “(1) the investigation is for a lawfully authorized purpose; (2) the information requested is relevant to the investigation; and (3) procedural requirements are followed.” (PHH Corp., CFPB No. 2012-MSC-PHH Corp-0001). If the three elements are satisfied, the CID may still be set aside if the CID causes an ‘undue burden’. Review of Bureau decisions on previous CID petitions shows how easily this standard is satisfied. In the past, very few facts are relevant to the Director’s assessment including “an entity's fact-based arguments about whether it is subject to or has complied with substantive provisions of the CFPA.” (In re Accrediting Council for Indep. Colleges and Schools, 2015-MISC-ACICS-0001). It is unclear what constitutes an ‘undue burden’. Additional guidance is necessary. 
4.      The meet and confer process is unfair. The 10-day meet and confer deadline is unreasonable given that during the meeting, the recipient must “discuss and attempt to resolve all issues regarding compliance” with the CID. Further, the meet and confer plays a significant role in establishing the scope of consideration for any future petition to modify/set aside given the Bureau’s waiver rule. Under 12 C.F.R. § 1080.6(c)(3) “[t]he Bureau will not consider petitions to set aside or modify a civil investigative demand unless the recipient has meaningfully engaged in the meet and confer process described in this subsection and will consider only issues raised during the meet and confer process.”
5.      Given the typically extremely broad purpose, requests for information included in CIDs are unreasonably burdensome. Responding is expensive and time consuming. CIDs frequently request materials that include consumer PII which puts consumers’ privacy at risk—particularly in light of recent information security issues at the Bureau..
a.       Requests should be relevant to the violations alleged.
b.      Given the time and resources needed to respond to CID requests, the Bureau should ensure requests are not duplicative. (This can happen when the Bureau issues multiple CIDs)
6.      CIDs may include requests for very specific written reports that are not readily available. These reports must be created. This can be very expensive and time consuming.
a.       Requests for written reports should be [subject to a cost-benefit analysis]?
7.      While not established by regulation, the CID return dates are frequently unnecessarily aggressive given the amount of material requested.
8.      Currently, recipients of CIDs are not notified of the status of a particular investigation. While CIDs initiate an investigation, the CFPB has not adopted a means to close an investigation. A letter stating that the Bureau is or is not proceeding would go far in alleviating the burden of the otherwise open-ended CID process. Absent such notice, a recipient is unfairly left to speculate as to the status of an investigation.
9.      Bureau rules for witness testimony are more restrictive than what the Dodd-Frank Act requires. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, an attorney may confidentially advise a witness on any question asked of the witness. (12 U.S.C. 5562(c)(13)(D)(ii)). The Bureau has adopted more restrictive rules whereby an attorney may confidentially advise a witness only with respect to questions “where it is claimed that a witness is privileged to refuse to answer the question.” (12 C.F.R. § 1080.9(b)).  
10.  The document certification requirements under 12 C.F.R. § 1080.6(a)(1)(ii) are unreasonable. The CFPB requires that some individual with knowledge certify “that all of the documentary material required by the demand and in the possession, custody, or control of the person to whom the demand is directed has been produced and made available to the custodian.” Given the size and complexity of many organizations, it’s unlikely that one individual would be able to make this certification. 
a.       The Bureau should adopt a more realistic and reasonable standard.

11.  Access to witness transcripts from investigational hearings is unnecessarily restrictive. Witness transcripts are provided in read-only, non-print versions which are difficult to review. CID recipients are not able to review testimony transcripts of non-company witnesses.