Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Nine Squash Haven students, one Squash Haven staff member, and two NHS staff members braved the chilly temperature to clean up around the Ivy Street Community Garden in Newhallville on Sunday, November 20. All together, they raked and collected 48 bags of leaves and other yard waste – a record for an NHS supported event!
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
HAMP is ENDING SOON! Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is the government program designed to reduce your mortgage payments, making them affordable and sustainable over the long term. If you are in danger of falling behind or delinquent and have obtained your mortgage on or before January 1, 2009 you may be eligible. HAMP applications are due December 31, 2016! Speak one-on-one with a HUD-approved housing expert to discuss solutions that are available based on your individual circumstances.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
When the holidays roll around, many people think this time of year gives them free rein to overindulge -- not only with food, but also with shopping and gift-giving. A new survey from
The National Retail Federation estimates that U.S. adults will spend more on holiday shopping this year. If you doen’t plan ahead and create a holiday budget, a tightening pocketbook may be a reality. Setting up a financial plan with staff at Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven – and at many NeighborWorks organizations around the country -- and following other tips to control holiday spending can reduce stress and anxiety.
According to a CreditCards.com report, 1 million U.S. consumers are already ‘holiday-stress-free” as they have checked everyone off their list and completed their shopping. While not done, another 34 million shoppers are chipping away at their lists and spending wisely by shopping for bargains and sales.
An NHS Housing Specialist can help you look at last year’s spending and where you overspent. Many financial planners recommend spending no more than 1.5% of your annual income on holiday expenses. Working with NHS can help you set and reach your financial goals, such as saving for retirement or paying off debt – not just during the holidays, but throughout the year.
Use debit instead of credit if you can. When choosing debit, it’s important to keep an eye on your balances. Many checking accounts allow a customer to spend more than is in the account, and charge an overdraft fee for the privilege. Also, when using debit for purchases, some banks charge a fee for the transaction that is similar to an ATM charge. These fees can be as much as $3.00 per transaction, even for small-dollar debit purchases.
If you don’t pay in full, if choosing to use a credit card, be aware of how your bank charges interest, and where you are on your credit limit. If you exceed your credit limit, a card issuer may allow the transaction to go through, but increase your interest rate on all unpaid balances. If you’re thinking about debit spending or of carrying a balance on your credit card to cover gifts, make sure you’ve checked the fine print – going overboard on holiday gifts could cost you more than you realize in the long run. Consider layaway plans instead of credit. For expensive purchases, layaway fees are typically less than the interest on your credit purchases.
Avoid a holiday spending hangover this year and every year by setting up one-on-one time with a housing specialist at NHS of New Haven. Working with trained staff at NeighborWorks organizations can mean the difference between falling into a “financial trap” or working smartly and reaching one’s financial goals.
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