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Create and Grow Your Emergency Fund Safety Net
Emergencies are a fact of life. A lot of things in life aren’t planned – a flat tire, an emergency room visit, or a broken air-conditioner, for example. The question isn’t whether an emergency will pop up, but whether someone is prepared for it or not. Many people are not financially ready for an emergency. In fact, 39 percent of American adults have no savings to cope with a financial emergency. Almost 60 percent of adults age 45 and under have less than $500 saved to deal with any emergencies.

Arkansans are struggling with personal finances. A CCOA website poll found 67 percent of participants stating that they have absolutely nothing saved to deal with emergencies. Nothing. These people are living on the edge of financial disaster.

Families who have little or nothing saved for an emergency will face an even bigger emergency when they don’t have the savings to pay for that ruined tire, hospital bill or broken appliance. That is a very stressful way to live, without any security.

For some security and peace of mind, people need to create an emergency fund which will be a helpful safety net if they encounter a problem. Non-profit CCOA recommends:

• Open a savings account if you haven’t already.
• Regularly deposit money into your account.
• Automatic deposit is the best and easiest way to save.
• Set a specific goal, such as $750, and write it down.
• Post your emergency fund goal where you will see it so it will be an ongoing reminder for you to save.

Having a savings safety net will go a long way to cover the financial emergencies that will eventually happen
How to Leave Behind the Paycheck to Paycheck Struggle and Build up your Savings
5 Gas Saving Tips to Avoid Pain at the Pump
This month the cost of gasoline is expected to be about 20 cents a gallon higher than last year, AAA predicts. The higher that fuel costs are, the more it takes a bite out of a family’s vacation plans or their overall budget.

The reality of the high cost of gasoline is that it can wreck a family’s budget. We’ve seen many families who are financially stressed because of having to put gas in their truck, van or SUV, or must commute a fair distance to work or school. People on fixed or limited incomes, such as students or retirees, are especially hard hit. Here are a few tips from CCOA for those looking to keep their gasoline costs under control:

• Don’t “floor it.” Fast starts and Indy 500 style driving drastically cut down fuel efficiency and can burn 30 percent more gasoline.

• Make sure your air and gas filters aren’t dirty. Dirty filters waste up to 10 percent more fuel. It’s like a marathon runner trying to breathe through a straw.

• Check to make sure the air pressure in your tires is adequate. Underinflated tires not only result in lower gas mileage, but wear out your tires sooner as well.

• Extra weight makes your car work harder. If your trunk is doubling as a storage closet, remove some items. For every 100 pounds of extra weight in the car, you lose 1 m.p.g.

• Explore your options. If possible, use public transportation. Ride a bike short distances. Or find carpool friends to split the costs.

Stretching your gas dollar can be helpful, but if it’s not enough you may need to take a step back and look at your overall household budget and see what else you can adjust
Education Survey
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.
Money Check Up
Take the My Money CheckUp! Answer some basic money and credit questions to get a snapshot of how you are doing financially and what areas you may need to work on. Best of all – it’s FREE! Check Up
Help For Homebuyers
CCOA’s next free Homebuyer Education class is Saturday, November 1, at Washington County Extension Sign Up
Credit Counseling 101
Ever wonder what a credit counseling session looks like, or what exactly is a debt management plan? These short videos show you.
Website Updates
CCOA is committed to continually improving our service to you. Several clients have suggested that we add a new feature to our Web site that allows clients to access their quarterly client statements, rather than receive it in the postal mail. We heard you. This year we have been diligently working on creating this new capability for your convenience. Simply go to our Web site at www.CCOAcares.com and click on the “Client Log-In” tab on the top right of our home page.

Your username is your CCOA client number and your password is the primary’s last name plus the last four digits of the social security number.

If you have any questions please email us at ccoa@ccoacares.com or call 479-521-8877 or 800-889-4916.
Credit Counseling of Arkansas, Inc., Credit & Debt Counseling, Fayetteville, AR