Teen Driver

Breaking News: Parents and Teens Disagree on Auto Ownership

Here’s a finding that will surprise nobody: 76% of teens say they’re ready for a car, while 85% of parents disagree.

This comes from independent research conducted for Junior Achievement & American Honda Finance Corporation.

The discord may lie in the fact that 86 percent of teens feel that parents should help them with automobile expenses such as insurance, repairs and gas, while 91 percent of parents believe assistance is unreasonable.

According to the results, nearly one-fourth of teens expects a car with their cap and gown this graduation season.

At the same time, 61 percent of parents expect their teen to complain about the financial upkeep of a car within 30 days of getting their vehicle.

“When it comes to newly licensed drivers, in addition to important discussions about distractions and curfews, parents should rev up the car talk about the financial aspects of car ownership,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA. “It’s a great way to prepare them for future financial security both on and off the road.”

Interestingly, 61 percent of parents say that a car is a more effective means of teaching kids financial responsibility than a credit card.

To that end, 96 percent of parents say they would only help their teen buy a car if they first demonstrated responsibility, such as by preparing a budget to pay for expected and unexpected expenses, having a certain amount of money saved or explaining what is required to buy a car.

A third JA-AHFC survey conducted among young adults ages 18-25 may reveal the truth about teens’ financial understanding.

According to this more mature cohort, looking in the rearview mirror, 73 percent admit they did not understand the financial responsibilities of owning a car when they were in high school.

And, with age, comes wisdom.

Ninety-three percent of these young adults are confident that they fully understand the financial responsibilities of owning a car, and they turn to a wide variety of sources for information when considering purchasing a vehicle, including financial institutions, car dealers, online forums, magazines and social media.

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Travel

Travel Smarter and Save Bigger this Summer Vacation

Spring flowers are in full bloom, which can only indicate one thing: summer is nearly upon us. For many, that means it’s time for a well-deserved vacation with family and friends. In a year-end 2016 survey conducted by the Ohio Credit Union League, an overwhelming majority of respondents, 71 percent, are planning to get some rest and relaxation with a vacation this summer.

Whether heading somewhere new or traveling back to a family favorite, most Ohioans plan their vacations in advance, but at varying times – 34 percent plan six months to a year in advance, 31 percent plan three to six months in advance, and 15 percent plan one to three months in advance. And, while ample time to organize is important, budgets definitely play a role in those plans as well, with 70 percent of Ohioans surveyed noting the cost of the trip as a major influence on where they go for vacation. Other factors included travel distance, scheduling, and amenities or activities at the destination.

We all want and need downtime, but a large financial burden will long outlive the benefits of a vacation. In 2016, households likely to take a vacation spent $1,798 on average, up roughly 11 percent from 2015, according to Condé Nast Travel. In addition, a survey conducted by ValuePenguin noted that the typical vacationing family spends 44 percent of their travel funds on transportation.

Since many vacation decisions are driven by cost, here are a few tips to spend wisely when you take those hard-earned vacation days.

• Scheduling matters: When planning low-cost trips, timing is everything. To save money booking accommodations, try traveling during an off-season or even a few weeks before peak-season starts. If you’re booking airfare, do so at least a month in advance, if not earlier. Airlines price their flights differently depending on the day of the week, so use an airfare tracker site or app, like Hopper, to keep up with changes.

• Travel smart: Many vacation destinations take advantage of the naiveté of travelers, so tourist hot spots may be higher priced than smaller, locally-owned places. Do your research before deciding where to say, what to eat, and what activities you should embark on and you’ll likely save during your trip.

• Use rewards: ProMedica FCU’s VISA Platinum Card earns rewards points that can be redeemed for airfare or other vacation expenses. Even though you may not consistently travel, airlines, and booking services may also offer rewards points.

• Set aside a little at a time — If traveling is important to you, make room for vacation savings in your annual or monthly budget. ProMedica FCU has an account specifically for saving for your dream vacation. ProMedica FCU is also a great resource to consult if you’re looking for ways to save and budget for vacation.

To learn more about ProMedica FCU and how they can help you afford life, call us at 419.479.4040.

Debt

Drowning In Debt

Nearly three quarters of Americans are struggling with debt and the burden is significant in terms of both size and duration, according to a new study from insurer Northwestern Mutual.

The company found that, among Americans with debt, 4 in 10 (45%) spend up to half of their monthly income on debt repayment.

Nearly half of Americans (47%) are carrying at least $25,000 in debt, with average debt of $37,000 excluding mortgage payments. Notably, more than 1 in 10 say their debt exceeds a staggering $100,000.

More than one third (36%) said they will be in debt between 6 and 20 years while 14% expect to be in debt for the rest of their lives.

When looking at the sources of debt, similar to 2016, mortgages (29%), credit card bills (19%), and personal educational loans (7% gen pop and 23% for Millennials) topped the list.

See your Credit Union Today
There’s no magic bullet for getting rid of debt. Sure, we’d all like to win the lottery, but the odds are stacked against that happening. What we can do is manage our debt load better – and this is where ProMedica FCU can be a real help with two certified financial counselors ready to assist.

For starters, it’s helpful to lay things out on the table. Consumer debt creeps up on us, with so much revolving and installment credit available to most of us. We open so many accounts, with so many different terms, that it’s hard to keep track of it all.
Sometimes, it’s easier psychologically to not keep track of it all. This is a game we play with ourselves.

Putting it on the table, and sharing that knowledge with an experienced representative can really help us to face the reality of our debt load, and to find better ways to manage things.

ProMedica FCU has options for doing this. Not-for-profit options that put your interests first.

Work with PFCU to determine a budget, and to find ways of accelerating the repayment of your debt. There are multiple options depending on your personal situation. It all starts with a visit to ProMedica FCU.

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