Why Your Emergency Fund Needs $500

“If you are human, have a pet, kids, a house or a place to live, something is going to happen that will cost you money,” said Cornfield.

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Traditional wisdom says one needs about 6 months of income squirreled away in an emergency fund to be in good financial shape. For many, that number seems astronomical and folks don’t even start because it seems like a battle they can’t win. Though more money is usually better, I’m gonna buck conventional wisdom and say that if six months’ income seems too steep a hill to climb, perhaps your goal should be $500.

*clutches pearls*

It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Every year the Federal Reserve puts out a research study about the financial state of American households. This year, the board found out that the average American wouldn’t have $500 for an emergency. Of course, there are larger emergencies out there but for many people an unexpected expense might be a blown tire, automotive engine work, a broken appliance, or some other emergency expense that might cost around …  you guessed it …  $500.

From The Atlantic:

” …. what was happening to me was also happening to millions of other Americans, and not just the poorest among us, who, by definition, struggle to make ends meet. It was, according to that Fed survey and other surveys, happening to middle-class professionals and even to those in the upper class. It was happening to the soon-to-retire as well as the soon-to-begin. It was happening to college grads as well as high-school dropouts. It was happening all across the country, including places where you might least expect to see such problems. I knew that I wouldn’t have $400 in an emergency. What I hadn’t known, couldn’t have conceived, was that so many other Americans wouldn’t have the money available to them, either.”

 

Obviously, having $500 won’t solve all of your problems but “I’d rather be caught with it”. * in my Xzibit voice*

If you haven’t started an emergency fund, head over to your credit union and open a savings account asap.

 

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FREE Workshop: Paying for College

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There have been some changes to the way high school students apply to FAFSA. Families need to know what the changes are, what the important dates not to miss are, and how to get students graduated from college not mired in debt.

Financial education speaker and the author of “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” Shay Olivarria will be facilitating a FREE workshop in San Diego, CA to help families figure it all out.

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In this dynamic one hour workshop students and parents will learn about the changes to the FAFSA application, scholarships, student loan types, and repayment options.

Families will leave with a handout of important terms, tips, and dates. Graduating from college is not just about having the grades to get in. It’s about finding a school that’s a good fit, paying for it without going broke, and creating a network to build a career.

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FAQs

What can I bring into the event?

Bring a pen or pencil. This is a workshop (you’ll be engaged) not a lecture.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Call (323) 596-1843

What’s the refund policy?

Early Bird ticket holders will receive a free copy of “10 Things College Students Need to Know About College” at the event. If you don’t show, you don’t get your copy. Books will NOT be shipped.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Yes. Seating is very limited so tickets will be necessary. Showing your ticket on your phone also works (save a tree).

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends?

Yes. Whoever shows up needs access to a ticket. If you booked a ticket for yourself and now your cousin wants to come instead, that’s fine.

 

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Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. Previous clients include: SCE Credit Union, American Airlines Credit Union, the Yorba Linda Water District, Verizon, among others. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, NBC Latino and The Credit Union Times.The 2nd edition of “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money” is available now.

 

 

Wells Fargo Customers to See Money from Fraud Settlement

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You may remember the scandal involving national bank Wells Fargo opening accounts (checking, saving, credit cards, etc.) for people that had no idea those accounts had been opened. If you have no idea what I’m talking about read this article. As more people come to understand that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a great tool to help resolve complaints with large financial services companies (they also work to help with mortgage companies and credit card companies) complaints against banks are skyrocketing (which is why I advocate for using credit unions, but I digress).

If you were a Wells Fargo customer between May 2002 and April 2017, you may be owed some money (if not for them opening a fraudulent account for you, perhaps for charging you ridiculous fees on your mortgage). The types of accounts that were opened include:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Lines of credit
  • Identity theft protection

Some customers have already been refunded for fees associated with the fraudulent accounts (the Los Angeles times says around $3.2M so far) but others have yet to be contacted. Notices for customers that have already been identified should be mailed out toward the end of September. Customers that have not yet been identified should visit the Wells Fargo settlement website: https://wfsettlement.com/

The money probably won’t be out until 2018 as the judge has to approve all the settlements. The scheduled court date is January 4th. To find out more about the Wells Fargo settlement read “Wells Fargo’s $142-million sham accounts settlement: What you need to know” from the Los Angeles Times.