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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
5 $mart $pending Tips
Every day we’re faced with hundreds of choices. Here are five smart spending tips to help make good financial decisions:

Buy used whenever feasible. Good quality used furniture, for example, can save you a bundle versus buying it brand new. Buying a used car can save you a ton of cash by letting someone else take the hit on the new car depreciation.

Wear something out before replacing it. Just because you can afford to go buy a new refrigerator, washing machine or car doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. The longer you can keep using a machine that’s working fine, the longer you’ll keep that money in your pocket.

Avoid instant gratification. Stop and think before buying. Spending impulsively or emotionally can wreck our finances. Always ask yourself if you need it and can you afford it.

Avoid falling into the monthly payment trap. It’s easy to rationalize expensive purchases by saying it’s a small monthly amount, but too many payments can financially drown you.

Be slow to buy new technology. Gizmos and gadgets drop in price after being out for awhile. Unless you need it for work or school, let the price drop some first.
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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, September 6, at United Bank 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