Archive for March, 2011

Clean out your closets and drawers before you buy new clothes.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

You’ll get a much better feel for what you need vs. want . . . even better, you may be too tired to shop once you’re done.

Plan ahead.

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

You can save money on everything from airfares to grocery bills. Waiting until the last minute usually ends up costing you more.

Think Green . . .

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Spring. A Fresh Start. Time to be better with money.

If you are not using it – unplug it.

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

About 5 to 10% of your home electric bill comes from appliances and electronics using electricity when they are turned off. By unplugging gadgets that you are not using, you can save money and do something good for the environment!

Exemplary Employers – McDonald’s

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation (PFEEF)

McDonald’s USA, LLC, the leading foodservice provider in the United States has launched several new programs to promote financial literacy and retirement planning among their employees. In 2008, McDonald’s partnered with Visa, Inc., the world’s largest retail electronic payments network, to launch the country’s largest employer-based financial literacy program. The “McDonald’s Practical Money Skills” program is being made available to more than 500,000 restaurant-level employees throughout the majority of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants. This program is designed to empower employees with free, comprehensive money management tools and is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to provide a wide-range of benefits to its employees. This program is especially beneficial to its employees during these turbulent financial times.

The materials disseminated to McDonald’s employees are based on Visa’s popular “Practical Money Skills for Life” financial education program. As part of this program, employees will receive a printed “Wealth Watchers®” budgeting guide to track expenses and access to an instructional video and web resource center at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/mcdonalds with additional tools and information.

Many McDonald’s restaurants offer a number of other financial benefits to employees such as: (1) McDonald’s Insurance Program: Provides employees the option to participate in health, dental, prescription, life, vision, and short-term disability plans to assist them in paying for healthcare expenses; (2) McDonald’s Gold Card: A discount program that helps employees save money on everyday purchases at multiple retailers nationwide; (3) McResource Line: An employee assistance program that provides help on work-life issues such as child care, transportation, and housing. It also provides assistance in financial areas including credit counseling, debt  consolidation, financial planning and bill payments; and, McDirect Shares®, McSave®, Credit Union, and 401k Plans. McDonald’s allows employees to invest and save money for their future.

Since 2004, McDonald’s has been offering a substantial retirement savings program in an effort promote saving and increase the retention rates of its employees. In a time when many employers are cutting back on their retirement matching contributions, McDonald’s continues to offer lavish 401(k) plans. McDonald’s corporate match is especially extravagant at lower levels of saving: employees who put just 1 percent of their salary in the plan get $3 for every $1 they invest. McDonald’s then makes a dollar-for-dollar match on the next 4 percent. After that there’s a potential profit-sharing match of up to 4 percent. All told, workers who save 5 percent of their pay can see the total swell to 16 percent! In order to encourage its employees to take advantage of the 401(k) plans, company human resource personnel actively engage and educate employees by reaching out and talking to them about the importance of savings in long-term financial security. Additionally, when human resource personnel cannot answer all employee inquiries, it further refers them to appropriate financial advisors within the company for further counsel about finances and savings.

McDonald’s multiple programs promoting financial literacy and retirement planning among their employees make McDonald’s an employer who exemplifies the principles and goals of the Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation.

The best return on your vacation budget may be staying close to home.

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

A staycation, where you vacation at home or somewhere close to home, is a great idea if you are trying to save money or avoid expensive holiday travel.