Archive for April 2013

Financial Beginnings hosts events during Financial Literacy Month and Money Smart Week

PORTLAND, Ore., April 19, 2013—Financial Beginnings, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides free financial education to youth and adults, hosts events during Financial Literacy Month and Money Smart Week.

Proclamations signed by President Obama and Governor Kitzhaber designate April as Financial Literacy Month. Also in April, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago organizes Money Smart Week (April 20-27th), a public awareness campaign to help consumers better manage their finances.

During the month of April Financial Beginnings’ trained volunteers will educate 1,858 youth and young adults in basic money management. During Money Smart Week, Financial Beginnings will host one of its free public forums, Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money, and its annual fundraiser, The Game of Life. Details are as follows:
Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money
A New Beginnings: Retirement and Personal Financial Management
Wednesday April 24, 2013 6:30-8pm at the Tigard Library
Register: http://a-new-beginning.eventbrite.com/
Panelists:
Joyce DeMonnin, Public Outreach Director at AARP
Terry A. Donahe, Certified Financial Planner at Cascade Wealth
Nelson Rutherford, CPA and CFP at Alten, Sakai & Co.
David C. Streicher, Attorney and CPA at Black Helterline LLP

Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money is a series of free forums open to the general public. They are organized and hosted by Financial Beginnings in partnership with The Oregonian newspaper and Brent Hunsberger, writer of the It’s Only Money column on personal finance, and who serves as the moderator of the forums. OnPoint Community Credit Union is the title sponsor of the Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money 2012/13 series. More about the series http://financialbeginnings.org/Unraveling-the-Mysteries-of-Your-Money/

The Game of Life
Thursday April 25, 2013 4-7pm at Urban Space in downtown Portland
Tickets just $35: http://gameoflife2013.eventbrite.com/

At this fun and non-traditional fundraising event, guests gather to play games, win great prizes, enjoy delicious food, and learn about Financial Beginnings’ impact. At this year’s event we are also welcoming Brent Hunsberger, Finance Columnist for The Oregonian, who will be presenting about the expanded Unraveling the Mysteries of Your Money forum series. We are pleased to announce that KGW News Channel 8’s Nick Allard will once again serve as event emcee.

About Financial Beginnings
Founded in 2005, Financial Beginnings is a Portland-based nonprofit organization that provides free financial education programs throughout the Pacific Northwest. Last year Financial Beginnings’ youth programs reached over 12,000 youth and young adults. Financial Beginnings’ programs incorporate all aspects of personal finance to provide individuals with the foundation needed to make informed financial decisions. Financial Beginnings also hosts free financial forums to the general public. More information is available at www.financialbeginnings.org.

Prices on the Way UP in DOWNtown

Downtown Portland, Oregon is great! Restaurants and bars are almost endless, everything is within walking distance, public transportation is everywhere, and the Timbers and Blazers play there. If you live downtown you have access to all of this plus more, but it comes with a price, and its getting higher.

Apartment prices in Portland have risen dramatically over the past few years. According to reports by MSN, Portland is one of the top 10 cities expected to see a rent increase in 2013. People are seeing the convenience of living in a nice apartment complex rather than a home; No lawn to mow or leaves to rake, no painting or repairs.  An apartment building I am familiar with in downtown Portland has already raised the rent over 40% in one year. This was not only due to increased demand, but also due to the change in management.

Another factor to consider when living downtown is parking. If you own a car you will have to pay a premium for a parking space in your building, or even at a nearby garage. The average cost of a secured, underground parking space at a downtown apartment is   about $125 a month. Some income restricted property will offer parking below $100, but  finding available rentals in income restricted buildings is a whole other topic. The most expensive parking I have found downtown is $175 a month. I would expect the price of parking to increase along with rent in 2013.

Living downtown is not right for everyone, and is clearly not right for everyones budget. If you are looking to move into downtown this year be prepared to pay higher prices, see less available rentals, and pay a premium to park your vehicle.

Bring on the Birthday deals!

April is birthday month for three of the four Financial Beginnings staff and I happen to be one of them.  One of the great things about your birthday month is that many of the businesses that you have shared your contact information with start showing their appreciation, typically through free products or offering discounts. Let’s not forget they do this hoping you will redeem the free gift or deal and spend more money.  Early this month the reminders starting coming in saying happy birthday. The first birthday offer that came in was an email from Burgerville saying they added $5 on my Burgerville card. There is however a catch, I have to use the $5 before the end of the month or I lose it. I know that won’t be a problem and I am a little surprised I haven’t used it yet, because I love their smoothies! Then I received a post card for a free facial from a local skin care company that I have gone to in the past.  That one has no expiration date, but I think I will be treating myself to this one in the next few weeks.  I have also received emails from various restaurants, ranging from from Sweet Tomatoes to Arbys.  Those offers are good, but they come with a catch as well, they both require that I buy something in order to get the free item.  Sweet Tomatoes for example, is buy one meal get one free, which is around a $10 value.  Arbys will give me a free shake, but I have to purchase something and it can’t be off the value menu.  When you sign up for mailing lists from companies you might get a lot of junk mail, but pay attention around your birthday, because you just might get a nice birthday gift.

Meet Financial Beginnings’ Volunteer of the Quarter!

Meet Leah Miller from Beal Bank, Financial Beginnings’ volunteer of the quarter.  Leah contributed an astounding 32 volunteer hours this quarter!  Leah shares below why she is so passionate about being a Financial Beginnings volunteer.

My name is Leah Miller and I work for Beal Bank USA. I have been a banker in this community for going on 14 years and understand the importance on educating as many people as possible on financial responsibility. With the change in our economy over the last handful of years + and potential for a further dissemination of our world’s problems, I believe in Financial Beginnings dream of inspiring our next generation to make smarter decisions when it comes to money.  Money matters, and so do our ways of handling it. I believe in creating a bigger picture to those who would not know otherwise.

I am dedicated and passionate to encourage today’s youth in making smart and responsible financial decisions in their lives. I love teaching all of the subject matters for Financial Beginnings/Operation Hope from everyday banking to risk management and from credit to investing. I grasp that throughout an individuals’ life span, they will have to endure important decision making in one or more of these areas. So, if I can have an impact on any of the students in these teachings and they can apply it usefully, the lessons and material presented have been advantageous, if even to just one.