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Let the Taxpayer Beware: Learn to Spot Six Common Tax Scams

Now that your W2s and miscellaneous tax documents have arrived, tax season is officially in full swing. While it’s easy to get lost in optimistic daydreams about your tax refund and all you’re planning to do with it, it’s important to remember that scam artists are probably dreaming about what they could do with your refund as well.

After reaching an all-time high of more than 700,000 cases in 2015, tax refund fraud has been declining thanks to significant enforcement efforts by federal, state, and private agencies. While these statistics are encouraging, they also highlight the ongoing need for caution and vigilance. So, before you file your 2018 taxes or pay someone to file for you, we want to remind you about six of the most common tax-related scams happening today.

  • Phishing Emails

This one is relatively easy to spot. Why’s that, you ask? Because the IRS doesn’t initiate communication with taxpayers via email. So, if you see an email from the IRS pop up in your inbox—even one that looks remarkably official, don’t bother opening it. For good measure, go ahead and mark it as spam before deleting it. Emails of this type have only one goal: to trick you into clicking a fraudulent hyperlink or responding with sensitive personal information.

  • Phishing 2.0

In 2018, the IRS reported a new twist on traditional phishing scams. In the new approach, fraudsters hacked the systems of legitimate tax professionals, stole tax returns containing personal details, and then deposited funds directly into taxpayer bank accounts. After those deposits hit the bank, the criminals posed as the IRS or collection agencies and contacted account holders demanding a resolution to the error. The goal of these scams is not to simply regain the money deposited “in error,” but to get the victim to share account details that can be used to access the account at another time. If you find yourself with an unexpected deposit in your bank account, the IRS offers helpful instructions here.

  • Phone scams

Though they come via phone call, these scams are essentially the same as phishing emails. The difference lies in the fact that con artists can spoof IRS phone numbers in an attempt to convince unsuspecting people to answer the call. Once the phone call is underway, the person on the other end claims to be an IRS agent and tries to get the individual to confirm private account details in an attempt to “resolve the situation.” If they don’t get the results they’re hoping for, the fraudsters may even follow-up with phone calls where they impersonate law enforcement officials and threaten legal action. To avoid accidentally divulging personal details, it’s best to ignore these calls completely. Just as the IRS doesn’t initially contact taxpayers by email, they also don’t initiate official communication by phone either.

  • Refund Theft

This type of scam takes place at the intersection of identity theft and financial fraud. Using a variety of tactics, criminals obtain taxpayer social security numbers and file fraudulent tax returns in their name—often claiming substantial refunds. Since this happens without the knowledge of the victim, it only comes to light when their legitimate tax return is rejected due to a previous return already filed under the same social security number. While the IRS is committed to resolving these issues when they happen, the process can be long and tedious. To safeguard yourself against tax refund theft, IRS officials recommend obtaining an Identity Protection PIN, also known as an IP PIN. Instructions for securing a PIN can be found on the official IRS website.

  • Shady Tax Prep Services

Since an estimated 79 million Americans use paid tax preparation services, there are considerable opportunities for dishonest preparers to abuse the system. One of the most common scams involves a preparer illegally inflating an individual’s refund and collecting a percentage of the taxpayer’s refund instead of a flat fee. Many times, the problem isn’t identified until after the refund has been issued and the preparer’s fee has been collected. In these scams, the preparer is long gone by the time that the problem is identified, and the taxpayer is responsible for handling the audit on their own. While the practice of a tax preparer charging a percentage of refund isn’t technically illegal, you’re better off avoiding this type of arrangement and opting for a flat-fee service instead.

  • Public Wi-Fi Scammers

It seems like this one should go without saying, but we all use a reminder from time to time. The public Wi-Fi at coffee shops, libraries, and bookstores can be great for hopping online to browse social media, but it’s terrible for filing your taxes. Not only can these unsecured networks be accessed by almost anyone, but dishonest scammers can also set up hot spots that look like the establishment’s Wi-Fi and intercept logins, passwords, and personal information. So, if you’re filing taxes electronically this year (and considering the fact that approximately 90% of taxpayers filed electronically in 2018, you probably are), do yourself a favor: file at home from your personal computer and your secure Internet connection.

As with most financial scams, these can be simple to sidestep as long as you know the signs to look for. If you observe questionable practices or have additional tax-related concerns, you can find helpful instructions here on the official IRS website.

If you are receiving a federal or state tax refund this year and want to make the most of your money, please contact us here at Scient Federal Credit Union. Our financial specialists can help you assess your financial situation and show you all the beneficial programs and products available to you as a credit union member. Call, email, or stop by a branch today!

 

Mind the GAP: Understanding the Value of GAP Coverage

Picture the following scenario: After months of research and planning, you take the plunge and buy a new car. Once the financing is secured and your auto insurance is in place, you’re ready to hit the road. You’re so excited about your sparkling ride that you’re not even worried about the fact that most new cars depreciate by as much as 10% the moment you drive them off the lot—and up to 20% in the first year. That’s a financial fact, but you’re too busy enjoying that new car scent to get bogged down with details like that.

Now, imagine that after just a few weeks, you’re involved in an accident that badly damages, or worse yet, totals your car. (Don’t worry—unlike your car, you emerge from this imaginary situation without a scratch.) Fortunately, you did the responsible thing and secured good auto insurance. Once all the proper claims have been filed, you find out that insurance will only cover your car’s market value—which, due to the depreciation, is several thousand dollars less than the amount you owe on your auto loan. If only there were a type of loan protection that would help you make up that difference. Fortunately, there is. It’s called Guaranteed Asset Protection—GAP, for short.

What is GAP?

GAP coverage is an optional protection plan offered with auto loans or leases, and depending on the plan coverage limits, it effectively waives most of, if not all, the remaining balance on your loan. While your auto insurance plan’s comprehensive and collision policies cover your vehicle’s value in the event that it is totaled or stolen, GAP coverage is designed to ensure you don’t get stuck making payments on a car you no longer own.

How do I know if I need GAP coverage?

While the product makes good financial sense for some, not everybody needs to get a GAP policy. According to the financial experts at NerdWallet, there are a few basic guidelines that will help you decide whether GAP coverage is right for you. You should strongly consider adding a GAP policy to your auto loan if you:

  • Made a small down payment on a new car, or none at all
  • Agreed to a loan term longer than 48 months
  • Drive a lot, which reduces a car’s value more quickly
  • Lease your car
  • Bought a car that depreciates faster than average

 

Where do you get GAP coverage?

While a variety of companies provide GAP coverage for consumers, it often makes the most sense to obtain the protection plan from the same financial institution that financed your vehicle purchase in the first place. In many cases, a credit union makes the most sense. If you already financed your vehicle through a dealership, keep in mind that many GAP programs are refundable up to a certain number of days. This means that should you decide to refinance your auto loan through a credit union, they may be able to help you get a refund on your original GAP plan and secure a new plan at a lower cost.

Not only are credit union GAP plans traditionally less expensive than those available through finance companies, they can also be added to your loan at any time (vehicle age and mileage limits apply). Securing coverage through the financial institution that services your loan reduces the need to coordinate communication between multiple parties. It also increases the likelihood that you can put the frustrating accident experience behind you sooner rather than later—and that peace of mind is priceless.

If you have questions about Guaranteed Asset Protection or want to know how to add it to your existing auto loan, contact a financial representative at Scient Federal Credit Union. They can help you review your current financing situation and determine whether GAP coverage is right for you.

Throw a Super Bowl Party That Doesn’t Break the Bank!

Now that Christmas and New Years are behind us, it’s time to plan for the next big holiday. That’s right—Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner! As the NFL’s top two teams prepare to battle at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the festivities leading up to the game will clearly show that the NFL has spared no expense in trying to make Super Bowl LIII the greatest championship game in history. When it comes to planning your Super Bowl party, we suggest taking a different—and slightly more sensible—financial approach.

8 ways to throw a budget-friendly Super Bowl party

If you’re looking for some ways to host a Super Bowl party that’s as frugal as it is fun-filled, here are a few of our favorite suggestions.

  1. Start with a financial game plan.  Sounds better than “make a budget,” doesn’t it? Since Super Bowl parties are all about football, it makes sense to prepare like a coach. Setting a spending limit before you shop will help you stiff-arm the creative displays and impulse items at the grocery store. To quote Super Bowl-winning QB, Russel Wilson, “The separation is in the preparation.”
  2. Team up with a co-host. Since football is a team sport, why not recruit a co-host to help you plan your party? Not only can the two of you share the cost of food and decorations, you’ll be able to split the stress of planning as well. Sounds like a win-win, doesn’t it?
  3. Digital invites over classic invitations. Sure, Pinterest is packed with clever ideas for intricate Super Bowl invitations, but you know which detail those posts forget to mention? Postage costs. Rather than sending out old-school invites, create a Facebook event and share it with your friends or jump over to Evite.com, where you can design and send online invitations for free!
  4. Downplay the decorations. Let’s face it, even though extravagant decorations might make impressive Instagram posts, people aren’t coming to your Super Bowl party to marvel at your elaborate sandwich stadium and coordinated team napkin displays. Don’t overdo it with the decorations. Dollar store party supplies are perfect.
  5. Generic snacks: The Real MVP. Your guests will probably be snacking from the pre-game festivities to the post-game trophy presentation. What they won’t be doing is critiquing the subtle flavor undertones of your chips and pretzels. So rather than springing for brand name snack foods, grab the store-brand counterparts, serve them in a giant bowl, and kick back knowing you have money left in your food budget.
  6. Encourage crowd participation. Food and drinks are usually the most expensive part of a Super Bowl party—especially if the beverages are of the adult variety. A pot luck meal plan and BYOB policy are great ways to ensure refreshment costs are divided evenly and everyone is guaranteed to have at least one dish they’ll enjoy.
  7. Save big with Super Bowl promos. If you decide to provide all the food for your party, you might as well look for the best deals. Keep an eye on your local grocery store flyers, as they routinely run special sales on traditional party food.
  8. Make post-game meal plans. You plan, prepare, and present a spread of tasty food for your guests. Then, when the game’s over, you have to figure out what to do with the leftovers. Fortunately, game day favorites like burgers, chili, and sandwiches can make delicious meals for a few days after the big game. This makes meal planning easy and lunch costs less expensive.

With a little creativity and some careful planning, it’s entirely possible to throw a great party without throwing away money in the process. Whether you use all these ideas or just a few that work for you, following these tips will help you host a winning party without spending more than you should.

When It Comes to Financial Solutions, There’s No Place Like Home.

Homeownership: more than just the cornerstone of the American Dream, it can be a powerful tool for improving your financial future. While renting can be a smart financial choice for someone starting out or starting over, owning your own home offers a multitude of benefits—not the least of which is the ability to build equity.

For practical purposes, equity can be defined as the difference between your home’s value and the balance owed on your mortgage. Since most mortgage installments are comprised of interest and principal amounts, each payment chips away at mortgage’s remaining balance, resulting in a larger difference between the property’s value and what you still owe. That difference is your equity. And while equity is reassuring in theory, it can be even better when you make that equity work for you.

Loan vs. Line: Find the right home equity option for you.

Because your house’s value offers relatively stable collateral, equity lenders assume lower risk than creditors offering unsecured loans or credit lines. Less risk for the lender means better rates for you. Traditionally, home equity loans and lines of credit feature more attractive interest rates than credit cards, making them ideal for larger purchases. But before you decide to put your equity to work for you, it’s important to know the difference between a Home Equity Loan and a Home Equity Line of Credit. Understanding the benefits of each can help you determine which is best for you.

Home Equity Loan
By allowing you to borrow a lump sum at once, these loans let you lock in an interest rate and payment terms for the length of the loan. While interest is charged on the total amount from the beginning, the security of a fixed rate makes home equity loans a reliable choice for larger projects that involve one-time expenses. Popular uses for home equity loans include:

  • Home renovation projects
  • Consolidation of high-interest debt
  • Establishing an emergency fund

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

Essentially a credit account that allows you to borrow against the equity in your home, a HELOC gives you a cost-effective way to access the funds you need only when you need them. While you can borrow smaller amounts at a time, a HELOC usually features an adjustable interest rate tied to the standard market rate. Depending on the current financial climate, this could lead to fluctuating interest rates and payment amounts over time. However, since you can borrow smaller amounts and pay interest on the amount borrowed as opposed to the full credit limit, this option is ideal for gaining access to funds while maximizing your cash flow. Common uses for a Home Equity Line of Credit include:

  • Smaller home improvements
  • Funding a small business venture
  • Higher education expenses

As with any major financial decision, it pays to discuss all the details with a financial expert. So, before you decide which home equity option is right for you, schedule an appointment with a Scient representative mortgage specialist to determine the best solution for your financial needs.

Plan a Blockbuster Valentine Date on a Budget

From picking the right card to choosing the perfect flowers to selecting the best chocolates, planning for Valentine’s Day can be daunting. When you get it right, the smile on your Valentine’s face is priceless. If you miss the mark, well, so does Cupid’s arrow. The risk/reward scenario is the stuff romantic comedies are made of. But there’s a big difference between Hollywood hijinks and real life. The difference? Budgets.

 

Movie Magic vs. Real Life

While cinematic screenplays portray extravagant splurges that make audiences swoon, most of us don’t have the unlimited finances required to take a hot air balloon ride over Central Park while a string symphony serenades us from below. So, is it possible to plan a successful Valentine’s date without breaking the bank? Absolutely.

Creating a budget-friendly Valentine’s Day that’s memorable for all the right reasons requires purposeful thought and advanced planning—just like your budget itself. This is not the time to keep up with the proverbial Joneses; don’t waste energy comparing your ideas with anyone else’s. When it comes to making February 14th something special, individuality wins. If you’re looking for a few tips to spark your frugal creativity, we’ve got you covered.

 

4 Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day on a Budget

  • Cook at home. Go out for dessert.
    Whether you decide to cook dinner for your date or prepare a meal together, staying in lets you plan the menu around your budget and enjoy the experience of crafting your own culinary adventure. After leisurely dining at home, you can venture out for a delicious dessert knowing you’ve missed the overcrowded restaurants and overpriced entrees.
  • Coupons can be your friend.
    Can we get real for a minute? Free food tastes better. It just does. And if you’re looking to counter the unfair stigma attached to coupons, consider the following scenario: If you have $50 to spend on dinner, that means you can get two meals that cost $25 each. If you have $50 and a Buy-One-Get-One coupon from sites like restaurant.com or Living Social, you can each enjoy a $50 meal. Doesn’t sound like a difficult decision, does it?
  • Pick a plant instead of flowers.
    With many florists inflating prices by as much as 100% for Valentine’s Day, buying traditional flower arrangements can an expensive proposition. Instead of giving your date a bundle of flowers that will be gone in a couple weeks, plan a date that includes selecting a plant that will provide beauty for years to come. The shared experience provides an excellent chance to learn each other’s tastes and preferences, which may prove helpful for future Valentine’s Days.
  • Visit museums and art galleries.
    If you live in an area that has a museum or art gallery, many of these venues offer free or low-cost admission. In addition to giving your date a touch of culture, the subjective nature of art and exhibits offers endless opportunities for conversation, lessening the chances of awkward silence throughout the evening.

Sticking to a budget can be tough, especially when you’re trying to impress your date. But if our favorite rom-coms have taught us anything, it’s the fact that over-the-top spending may seem fun, but it rarely leads to happily ever after. Whether you use the tips above or come up with creative ideas of your own, being smart with your Valentine’s Day spending is a great way to craft a feel-good story that will leave you cheering when the credits roll. And who knows, if all goes well, there might even be a sequel!

 

What Your Credit Cards Are Really Costing You

This article was written by  and originally appeared on CNN Money.


Credit card debt is costing you nearly $1,000 per year

Quick Ways to Make Extra Money During the Holidays

Between party threads, cross-country travel and gifts galore, the holiday countdown is on — meaning your wallet is feeling the heat. While we’re all for creating a holiday shopping budget (and sticking to it, of course!), we know a thing or two about best laid plans. To help you recoup some cash, create wiggle room in your budget, or even pad your savings because you’re just that good, here are a few ways to bring in extra money this season.

 

Sell Off Old Gift Cards

If you’ve got leftover gift cards from holidays past, you’re sitting on a pile of money. Sites like Cardpool will buy your physical or e-gift card for up to 92% of the card’s value. (You can choose to be paid by mailed check or an Amazon gift card.) Raise, an exchange site, lets you list cards at your own price. You get the cash by direct deposit, PayPal or check minus a 12% selling fee once another buyer scoops it up. And on Gift Card Granny, earn cash or swap it for a gift card to another store.

 

Clean Out Your Closet

Inspired to do a closet purge or just need more room for all your holiday swag? Get ahead of the game by reselling your gently-used clothes now. Online thrift store thredUP sees a 14% spike in apparel listings the week of Christmas, and a 59% increase the week of Christmas. If you get your items on the market now, you’ll beat the upswing in supply, especially for their most popular brands including Lululemon, Vince, Kate Spade handbags and Steve Madden shoes. Bonus: You’ll get your stuff in front of other holiday shoppers looking for party outfits, jewelry, handbags, cold-weather accessories and winter gear.

 

Take Care of Your Neighbors’ Pets

If you’re not traveling for the holidays, first of all, congrats on avoiding the traffic and the crush at the airport. Also, congrats on being available to watch over all the cute pets in your neighborhood who can’t join their humans on vacation. If you’ve exhausted your neighbor list — or don’t talk to them in the first place — try Rover. You can sign up to provide services including dog hosting in your own home, dog sitting in the owner’s home, dog walking in the area or doggy day care. You’ll set your own rates anywhere from $10 to $150 per day or per walk, and take home 80% of your earnings.

If dogs aren’t your thing, there’s PetSitter, where you’ll get connected with pet owners in need of pet sitting, walking, grooming and boarding for dogs, cats, fish and beyond.

 

Rent Out Your Room

If you’re hitting the road or just have an empty room to spare, consider renting it out to travelers. Renting on Airbnb is one of the most lucrative side hustles, according to a recent report from Earnest. Hosts earn an average monthly income of $924. Even a fraction of that cash from a few days or weekends could be worth the effort of setting up a listing and putting fresh sheets on your guest bed.

 

Offer Up Your Parking Spot

Maybe you’re not open to having strangers in the house, but what about renting out your parking spot? Services like ParqExSpot and ParkingSpotter can help you do so. With Spot, for example, you’ll pin your parking space on the site’s map, upload a photo of the space and list its availability and rate by the hour, day, week or month (most sites will suggest a range to work with). You can be paid by direct deposit, PayPal or Venmo, minus a 20% commission fee.

 

Sell Stock Photos

You can only Instagram so many dreamy photos before you start spamming your friends’ feeds, so why not sell some to earn cash? Stock image sites like Shutterstock and iStock will pay contributors royalties — from a few cents per image to more than $100 each time your photo is downloaded. Members of Foap, another stock image service, can earn $5 every time an image sells, and its contests offer winnings of $100 or more for everything from the best holiday baking photo to the most stylish fashion shoot.

 

Take On A Micro-Job

Not afraid to brave supermarket crowds? Can you design a holiday party invite in minutes? Or have a free hand to offer catering support? Post your skills on Fiverr or services on TaskRabbit. How much you rake in depends entirely on how much free time you have and the rates you set. And with all those errands that need running or new gadgets that need assembling, quick projects here and there can help keep your budget merry and bright through the New Year.

 

This article originally appeared on Learnvest.

How Home Buyers Can Overcome Tough Competition

This article originally appeared on Kiplinger and was written by Pat Esswein.

 

How would you describe the housing market?

Hot and record-breaking. This past spring, strong demand and a shortage of inventory resulted in the lowest supply and the fastest pace of sales that we’ve seen, and the trend will continue this fall. Basically, starter homes have disappeared. Price growth was astounding everywhere — not only on the coasts, but in places like Omaha, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Buffalo, N.Y. In most markets, buyers must be intrepid, and they need to understand that sellers are under a lot of pressure, too. Sellers want to feel confident that the deal will close so they can buy their next home.

 

How can buyers find a home? 

Arm yourself with tech tools to find available homes quickly. With the variety of apps available today, you can receive listing alerts so that you’re notified as soon as a home in your price range or search area hits the market. The Redfin app, for instance, lets you search by school boundaries, find open houses or schedule a tour for the same day.

 

How can buyers win the day without offering more money?

Buyers will gain an advantage from whatever concessions they can offer. Instead of a small earnest-money deposit, we’ve seen buyers put into escrow their entire down payment or even half of the purchase price.

You needn’t waive a contingency for inspection in the purchase contract. Rather, you can agree to pay the seller, say, $2,500, or next month’s mortgage payment, if you walk away.

Work with a local or reputable lender to get a pre­approval for your mortgage that includes full documentation of your means to obtain a certain amount of financing in advance of a signed purchase contract. That may give you the confidence to waive a contingency for financing, and it’s almost as good as cash for closing a deal quickly.

Because sellers can sell their homes in days but may take months to buy, you can gain leverage by offering to “rent back” their home to them for a certain number of months.

 

Is fall a good time to buy?

Yes. Home prices generally peak in the summer and ease up in the fall. There’s a bit less inventory, but many fewer buyers. Plus, sellers who list in the fall are serious because they must leave because of job relocation, divorce or something else that made them miss the top of the season. So the next time I buy, my kids will have to move during the school year.

 

 

6 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Rent to Save Money

This article originally appeared on Everything Finance and was written by Kayla Sloan.

When you think of renting, you likely only think of the obvious, such as: homes and apartments, cars, or storage units. In fact, you’re probably unaware of the vast array of things that are available for you to rent.

In a society that seems to place value on what you own, it can be increasingly difficult to keep up, and for the most part, the majority of the population doesn’t have the means to do so.

Thankfully, there’s an array of companies launching sites and businesses for the sole purpose of providing you with the opportunity to rent various items in lieu of purchasing them. Instead of purchasing items you may only use a couple of times, save money by renting these six things.

 

1. CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES

From formal wear and dresses, to designer handbags, jewelry, office attire, and every day outfits, you have the option to pretty much rent your entire wardrobe should you choose to do so. Sites like Avelle, Rent the Runway, and Le Tote, all offer subscriptions and services that allow you to pick clothing and accessories that you like, and then rent them for a one-time or monthly fee, the great thin is that they are able to provide you with holzuhren accessories if you wish.

With constantly changing trends in the fashion world and the desire to maintain a fresh and up-to-date wardrobe, these companies offer you a brilliant solution to your fashion needs. After all, unless you have endless funds, the ability to be consistently purchasing new pieces for your closet, probably isn’t a habit you can keep up.

 

2. PARTY DÉCOR & SUPPLIES

Unless you absolutely love to host parties and get-togethers on a weekly basis, purchasing party supplies and decorations can be an expensive endeavor. Moreover, depending on the soiree you throw, you’ll likely need quite a few supplies. Think everything from tables and chairs to dinnerware to linens and décor.

In most cases, all of these items add up quickly and are things you’ll probably only use once. That being said, if you have a bridal shower or graduation party coming up, you might want to consider renting your supplies instead. Look online to find local rental companies in your area. It’ll not only be inexpensive, but the company will do most of the heavy lifting and work for you as well.

 

3. EXERCISE & OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT

If you’ve ever gone snow-skiing or snowboarding, you’re probably familiar with the concept of renting your equipment. After all, the cost of skis, boots, and poles on top of transportation and storage is hefty, if you don’t have the opportunity to ski at least once a week. The same can be said for other sport and exercise equipment.

No matter the sport, from skating to hockey to la cross, it’s never a bad idea to try out equipment before committing. Especially, if you have children who are either going to outgrow certain equipment or who would like to try various activities before committing.

Moreover, if you’d love to try out an exercise machine or would love the convenience of having one in your home, consider renting locally or from a manufacturer to see if you like it or would get ample use out of it before spending thousands.

 

4. TEXTBOOKS

This is one you might be familiar with, but if you’re not, you’ll be forever thankful for it. Anyone who’s ever taken a college class knows just how expensive textbooks can be. In fact, books for a as few as three or four classes can cost you hundreds of dollars. For books that are a part of your major or important to your education, it can make sense to purchase them.

However, when you’re taking electives, you’ll often buy books you’ll most likely use once and be done with. If that’s the case, consider renting your books for a fraction of the cost. Companies like Book Renter offer your textbooks for rent at an affordable cost. Book Renter even provides free shipping when you’re ready to return them.

 

5. CASKETS

This might seem like an odd item to have on the list, however, the cost of a funeral can be exorbitant, and there are times when you or your family might not have the funds to purchase a $4,000 casket in addition to all other mortuary expenses. If you’re considering having your loved one cremated, there’s really no need to spend thousands on a casket. Instead, most funeral homes provide you with the option of renting a ceremonial casket for viewing options.

Furthermore, you could also rent a more expensive looking casket for the actual funeral and use a more inexpensive one for the burial. This can help you celebrate your love one in the way you’d like while also keeping you from spending money you might not have.

 

6. TOOLS

Unless you work in a profession that requires the use of tools, like as a mechanic, craftsman, or construction worker, you likely don’t use tools every day. Moreover, tools are an expensive investment, ergo if you don’t use them often, you could use that money for other things.

Depending on the tool and how often you put it to work, you might want to rent your tools instead. Next time you have a project, head to Lowe’s or Home Depot and browse the tools and equipment they have for rent. By doing so, you’ll have the tool you need without spending a fortune.

For some reason, we tend to get the notion in our heads that we must simply own everything. While that’s not to say that there aren’t some things that you should just purchase, like electronics or furniture, it is to say that there’s a whole wealth of items out there that you can and should consider renting. In a society that constantly focuses on the new, you’ll not only save money, but have the ability to keep many of the items you need on-trend and up-to-date.

Have you ever rented some of these items? What has been your experience with rentals?

3 Awesome Budgeting Tips for Your First Job

You did it! You landed that first big job, and now you’re making a serious paycheck. Easy living from now on, right? Not so fast. Only if you do some key financial legwork first. Don’t be discouraged. These tips will help put you on the path to financial strength as you start your career!

  1. Don’t Surprise Yourself – Creating a budget is a good place to start. When creating your budget be as judicious as possible. If you don’t know your exact income, then lowball it so that you have some wiggle room. Account for any kind of spending you can think of – not just rent and utilities, but also groceries, debts and entertainment.
  2. Watch Your Wallet – Online banking makes it easy to track where your money goes, but it’s still beneficial to keep your own record. Try it for a week. Write down every place you spend money, even the little things like a few bucks for a pack of gum or a parking fee. You might be surprised at how it adds up, and might even see a few things you can easily eliminate.
  3. Save Yourself With Saving – Saving a few dollars a week is better than saving nothing at all. You probably won’t be making an outrageous salary at your first job, but you should still be able to set aside a little bit each paycheck. You can set up your direct deposit so that a certain amount or percentage goes to your savings. You can also try out a savings app that can connect to your checking account that will automatically skim off a little bit each week.

Get Off To A Good Start With Scient

Your financial future is waiting for you, and Scient is here to help! With our wide range of services, you’ll have everything you need to establish a strong foundation. For more information, contact us today at 877 860 6928.