Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Budget Busted? Pay Off Your Debt in 2016

With the New Year just around the corner, a lot of people are busy making those annual goals and resolutions.  And for many improving their finances is at the top of the list.

Getting out of debt can be a big and almost overwhelming goal.  It’s not a fast process and it takes a lot of dedication, but it is worth it in the end! 

So where do you begin? 

First start by getting an accurate picture of where you stand.  Gather up all of your recent debt statements.  This includes credit cards, car loans, student loans, any personal loans or other big ticket items, and your mortgage.

Run your credit report.  You can request a free copy every year at www.annualcreditreport.com from all three credit bureaus.  This is a great time to check for any mistakes and make sure that every debt on your credit report is included in your list.

Make a debt payoff plan
.  Create a spreadsheet with all of your debt information.  Include the name of the debt, total balance, interest rate, and minimum payment.

Now figure out what order you want to attack your debt. Some organize them from lowest to highest balance, while others prefer to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. 

Whatever you decide, here’s the trick: Once you pay off your first debt, combine that payment with the second debt.  Now you’re paying a lot more then the minimum and it just keeps growing as you go!

Look for ways to keep throwing money at your payoff.  Sell unused items around the house, have a yard sale, clip coupons, or get a part-time job.  Just do whatever it takes to keep your momentum up!

Get the whole family involved.  Make getting out of debt a family goal!  Put your payoff on the fridge and count down.  Let the kids help with the family budget.  When everyone understands what you’re working toward, they’ll be more likely to cooperate when the budget is tight.

And how can you find a few extra dollars toward your debt payoff?  Save on your monthly insurance costs!  SAV-ON can help.  Call us at 888-867-2866 for a quote on your auto, home, business, and life insurance today.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

That Extra Holiday Party Drink Could Cost You $10,000!

The average cost of a Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI) conviction is $10,000. Is it worth that extra drink at the party?

  The holiday season is upon us, bringing a packed social calendar filled with ugly sweaters, company holiday events and champagne toasts. Unfortunately, the number of alcohol-related car accidents spikes in the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. In addition, local and state law enforcement officer across the nation are participating in a "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign to prevent impaired driving by increasing the number of checkpoints during the holiday season.

Some sobering facts about impaired driving during the holidays
  • • 733 people died in accidents involving a drunk driver in December 2013.
  • • An average of 572 lives were lost over the Thanksgiving weekend every year from 1998 to 2008.
  • • There are typically 33% more DUI arrests during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
  • • Around 25,000 people are injured every year in accidents with drunk drivers during the holidays.
  • • If you are hosting a party where alcohol is being served, you can be held financially responsible for any damage caused by impaired guests after they leave your event.
All it takes is a little pre-party planning to avoid a holiday tragedy. Some tips:
  • • Take the keys from everyone when they get their first drink.
  • • Choose one person in the group to be the designated driver, who will not consume any more alcohol.
  • • Bring cash for a cab (or take a cab to the event).
  • • Get a ride from Uber or Lyft.
  • • Call a sober friend or family member to give you a ride home.
  • • Stick with a "one drink per hour" rule if simultaneously eating food.
  Of course the best way to avoid an accident is to not drink any alcohol if you plan on driving home. Save yourself $10,000 (and possibly someone's life) just by planning ahead. If something does happen to you or a family member, SAV-ON Insurance will guide you through the entire claim process and get you back on the road as soon as possible.

  Most of us can't afford to spend $10,000 on court costs and attorney fees, so heed the advice of law enforcement to "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" this holiday season!

 Source: National General Insurance Co.