Alpine Bank's Financial News · Vol.4 · No.7 · July 2017
6 Tips to Help You Save Money This Summer Season
Summertime means warm weather and longer days, but it can also mean significant spending if you’re not careful. From pricey kids summer camps to trips to amusement parks, the desire to purchase summer clothing or take elaborate vacations (or even just short weekend trips to the beach), summer can be an expensive time. Following are a few money-saving tips:
- Whether booking a hotel, renting a car or buying tickets to attractions such as theme parks, make sure to ask about any discounts for AAA, AARP or loyalty programs.
- If you are planning to go to a theme park, don’t wait to purchase your tickets at the gate. Look online for discounted tickets; look for coupons that are offered by grocery stores or certain soda brands; and check discount stores such as Costco, which often sell discounted tickets.
- If a vacation far from home is part of your summer plan, check multiple online comparison tools and travel websites before booking flights or hotels. You might do better by booking directly through an airline or hotel, so make those calls before booking online. Don’t overlook bed and breakfasts or inns, which can have better prices, especially since breakfast is usually included in the price. If a rental car is necessary for your trip, if you are able to pick up your vehicle in the middle of the week you’ll usually get a better price than you would on a weekend. Paying in advance can sometimes lower the cost of a rental car.
- Keep souvenir purchases for family and friends to a minimum. When you do buy them, do so from local stores off the beaten path than highly publicized stores or airport vendors that likely have higher overhead and higher prices.
- If taking an elaborate vacation is going to leave you with significant amount of debt that you won’t be able to pay off quickly, consider a “staycation” and look for fun and affordable things to do where you live and in nearby towns. Most towns offer free entertainment during the summer, from concerts to outdoor movie nights, so it is worth looking online for anything going on in your hometown area.
- If you are sending a child to camp this summer, look into multi-week discounts. If you have more than one child, many camps offer discounts for multiple kids.
Products of Alpine Bank's Wealth Management service are not FDIC insured, may lose value, and are not bank guaranteed.
Sarah Graff supervises and oversees all operations activities within the department. In addition, she serves as a key member of the investment team, responsible for departmental trading and assisting with portfolio design. Sarah has over seven years of banking experience, beginning with Alpine Bank in customer service. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado Mesa University in 2007 and is matriculating toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Colorado State University-Global.
Financial Literacy for Teens and Beyond
One way to make smart financial decisions is to price shop. Take the time to investigate and plan before you buy. Two things to consider are the price of the item and the return policy of the store or online shopping site.
You should also keep sales tax in mind. You may have noticed that if you purchase an item in a store for $8, in most communities, the total amount you pay is more than $8. This additional amount is the sales tax. A sales tax is collected when you buy something and it goes to your state, county or city. Sales tax differs by states, counties and cities.
For a large purchase such as a television, the sales tax on the purchase may influence where you decide to buy the item. Over a lifetime of purchases, sales tax can really add up.
(Source: Kirsten Petre McDaniel, I am Financial Knowledge. www.youthentity.org)
Millennials Eager to Start Small Businesses Study Finds
Millennials are very interested in starting small businesses according to a recent study from America’s Small Business Development Centers. The association partnered with the Center for Generational Kinetics to gain a better understanding of how different generations view and approach entrepreneurship. In March, they polled 1,011 U.S. adults age 21-65. Millennials are considered those born between 1977 and 1995. Generation X would consist of those born between 1965 and 1976.
Millennials’ motivations lie primarily with wealth creation, according to the study. This is the top-rated catalyst for starting a business, with 47 percent of the respondents citing "the potential to make money" as what motivates them most to start their own business. Second (at 40 percent) was being their own boss. While common thinking suggests that Millennials are more concerned about having fun with a business, the survey found that 62 percent place having a business that makes a lot of money as a higher priority.
The survey found that a third of Americans have worked in a small business, while nearly a quarter of both Millennials and Generation X own or have owned a small business. Forty-one percent of respondents said they would quit their job and start a business within the next 6 months if they had the right tools and resources.
Sixty-two percent of Americans have a dream business in mind they'd like to start. Nearly half of Millennials (49 percent) intend to start their own business within the next three years. Some other interesting findings about Millennials include:
- 59 percent say that with the right idea and resources they would start a business within the next year
- 61 percent believe that owning your own business provides the best job security
- 45 percent say access to capital is the biggest barrier to starting a business
- 51 percent say they would "absolutely" want help with a business development plan
- 45 percent would "absolutely" use training for accounting or bookkeeping software
While many are eager to start their own small businesses, a substantial portion are less than confident in their abilities to pull it off without help and training. Many are less than prepared financially, with 55 percent of Americans rating access to money as the most difficult aspect of entrepreneurship. Women, in particular, feel challenged by this barrier.
August 1st is Colorado’s birthday, and this year our great state turns 141! Colorado officially became a state on August 1st, 1876, and we’ll be celebrating at Alpine Bank. Visit our MyColorado page to learn how we’ll be honoring Colorado and how you can join the fun.
Green Tip: Green Your Sunscreen
Protect your skin and the environment. Choose a green sunscreen and apply it frequently to block out harmful UV rays. Many sunscreens contain chemicals that pose risks to the environment. Avoid nanoparticles and choose a mineral-based product recommended by the Environmental Working Group sunscreen guide instead.