Posts Tagged ‘financial health’

COVID-19, social distancing and recent stay at home orders have impacted all aspects of life, including our finances. Protecting health has been a top priority in recent times.  We all need to be following guidelines and making our best efforts to stay physically and mentally healthy to prevent disease. Maintaining financial health during these times is also critically important. Financial wellness is an aspect of wellness that focuses on the successful management of finances. Improve your financial wellness today with these tips:

  • Create a budget. Take a close look at your spending and adjust your budget accordingly.  Saving wherever possible will help your budget in the future.
  • Establish an emergency fund. If you do not have an emergency fund, now is the time to start one. If you have money set aside for non-essential spending or travel, consider using these monies for emergencies instead. Any amount you can put aside to help support you and your household during an emergency will make an impact on your finances.
  • Pay down high-interest debt. If you have any high-interest debt (besides credit card debt) a personal loan or similar and your income has not yet decreased, consider paying off that debt now. The benefits of reducing debt are immense as this provides financial freedom.
  • Consider a balance transfer. Transferring any credit card balances to a 0% for 12-18 months is an option.  Look for no- or low-fee transfers and do your research on any new credit cards before committing. This will give you time to pay down the balance interest free which will free up more cash on hand for the unexpected and add to an emergency fund.
  • Look at your investments. Fight the urge to take a loss and withdraw all your money from the market. For mid-long-term time, it is important to stay the course.  No one can predict what will happen short term, yet over the long run, the economy and markets will come back.
  • Consider insurance options. Some insurance rates may have dropped offering discounted rates. Contact your insurance providers to see if you are eligible for a discount or lower rate. Compare rates with different providers.
  • Talk with your family about money. Discuss how market fluctuations are normal and be open about any negative impacts on your finances. Discuss ways you can save money as a family.
  • Get your credit reports.  AnnualCreditReport.com provides a yearly free credit report.  Read over your reports carefully for any suspicious activity.  If your reports reveal negative borrowing habits from your past, brainstorm ideas to correct them and improve your score.

Practicing financial wellness can have positive mental health benefits, including boosted self-confidence. Take charge of your finances today and be prepared for the future.

For free financial assistance, contact us at:  go.osu.edu/FinancialAssistance

Written by: Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County. lobb.3@osu.edu


Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/

Ohio Line, Ohio State University Extension. Preparing a Net Worth Statement. https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5245

Ohio Line, Ohio State University Extension. Some Options for Resourceful Living. https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5248


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Everyone thinks the elderly are the most at risk for being scam victims.  We have young adultsstereotyped that the “less educated, less intelligent, elderly, lower income, and less financially secure” at the most at risk for a scam.  However, according to a survey by the Council of Better Business Bureaus found roughly 30 percent of those aged 25 to 34 were scam victims and only 10 percent of those age 55 and older were scammed.

One of the co-authors on the study thinks the elderly may be more savvy about scams than those under 35.  Why is that?  For one thing the elderly are usually less impulsive buyers than younger people and are less likely to purchase online, where more scams happen.

The Better Business Bureau recommends two things you can do to help yourself and others.  One is if you are a victim, report what happened and warn others.  This will help you feel empowered as you gain some control in the situation.  It will also help others.

The second thing to do is learn about the latest scams and methods villains are using to swindle people.     Knowledge of what scams and the scam methods could possibly help people froroad-sign-464653__180m being taken.

According to the Better Business Bureau the 10 Top Scams in 2015 were:

  1. Tax Scam – Someone claiming to be from the IRS calls you and says you owe back taxes.  They say you have to pay now in order not be arrested or face legal consequences.
  2. Tech Support Scam – Someone contacts you saying your computer has a security threat or a virus.  They claim they will fix it if you allow them to have control of your computer.
  3. Sweepstakes or Lottery Scam – They claim you have won a prize but you have to send money for delivery.
  4. Advance Fee Loan Scam – After completing a loan application online you are told you need to send a processing fee, security deposit or insurance to get the money (which doesn’t come).
  5. Fake Check Scam – You receive a check but it was more money than it should be. You are told to deposit it and wire the difference, but you end up with no money and sending money to them.     road-sign-464641__180 (1)
  6. Debt Collection Scam – Someone calls claiming you haven’t paid a debt and you could go to jail, if you don’t pay immediately. Crook often claims to be with the government or law enforcement.
  7. Credit Card Scam- Someone calls claiming they need to verify your account or a recent transaction. Don’t ever give them your account numbers and security codes over the phone.
  8. Home Improvement Scam – Someone offering to fix what is wrong demands payment before doing the work. You pay and then the person never does the work.
  9. Government Grant Scam – Receiving a call or letter that you have qualified for a government grant, you are asked to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card for a “processing” or “delivery” fee.
  10. Work-From-Home Scam – Completing an online job application for an alluring job, you are told you have to pay an advance fee for materials and information. They may take your money and/or steal your identity.

Check things out carefully before you get scammed!

Author:  Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer:  Susan Zies, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension


Connecticut News. (2016).  New Better Business Bureau Study Reveals Widespread Misconceptions About Those Most at Risk of Getting Scammed.  Available at http://www.bbb.org/connecticut/news-events/news-releases/2016/07/new-better-business-bureau-study-reveals-widespread-misconceptions-about-those-most-at-risk-of-getting-scammed/

Eisenberg, R. (2016). Surprise! Millennials More Likely to Be Scam Victims Than Boomers:  A BBB study bursts the myth of the duped little old lady.  Available at  http://www.nextavenue.org/surprise-millennials-likely-scam-victims-boomers/

Steinberg, J. (2016).  Warning! Millennials and Gen-Zers are More Vulnerable to Scams than Senior Citizens.  Inc.  Available at http://www.inc.com/joseph-steinberg/warning-millennials-and-gen-xers-are-more-vulnerable-to-scams-than-senior-citiz.html

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