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A penny saved...

Studies have shown that consumers who save are more likely to have little to no debt, have sufficient emergency savings and save enough for retirement. Having adequate savings also means less reliance on credit cards and loans if a money emergency comes up.

Below are resources and websites to help you save to achieve your financial goals.

Saving Money – Helpful Tips and Budget Calculators

Credit and Debt

Debt Management Companies

These companies can help reduce or manage debt whether it is debt from credit cards, mortgage or a car loan. If you are considering hiring a debt management company to help reduce or manage your debt, make sure you check that the company is properly registered in Oregon.

Loans

Mortgages

Consumer Finance Loans
Consumer lenders (payday, title and conventional loans) are required to be licensed in Oregon to conduct business. Before you sign off on a loan, check here for proper licensing

Student Loans – General Information


Foreclosure Scams

Saving to Invest

With tight budgets everywhere, it may seem difficult to think about setting aside money to begin an investment portfolio. But it can be done and you will be happy that you have begun to plan and save toward financial security.

Develop a Plan
Before you invest, you need to create a plan with your stated financial goals such as paying for a college education – for your or your child, or funding your retirement. Commit the plan to writing. As you are writing your plan, do not forget to think about your risk tolerance. Are you willing to ride the tide of a volatile market or would you rather feel a bit safer? If you have short-term goals in your plan, you will want to stay away from investments that tend to fluctuate; for long-term goals, you can look at riskier investments that may have time to recover during downturns in the market. There are several types of investment products available and each has its own set of benefits, risks and fees.

Getting Started
If you have a personal budget, it will be easy to look at ways to cut back on discretionary spending such as dining out, shopping and entertainment. It is possible to begin your investment portfolio with as little as $1,000 and then discipline yourself to put aside $100 to $200 in monthly contributions. To know how much you can allocate toward investments, it is best to create a budget. For suggestions on creating a budget and using budget calculators, click here.

Avoiding fraud
Investing your money is risky enough without worrying about someone offering an investment that may fleece you. Be an informed investor by researching both the potential investment and the person or firm who is selling it. Know this fact: the person or firm who solicits and offers you an investment must be licensed and the investment, with some exceptions, must be registered. You can check for licensing information for Oregon’s licensees. Others may be licensed by others: the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and FINRA. Check the SEC’s EDGAR system and FINRA’s BrokerCheck to start your research.

Remember, do not give investment money to another without doing proper research first. In addition to licensing information, you will want to check out a company’s financial statements and activities and the disciplinary history of securities salespersons. Be on guard for any investment that is “too good to be true.”