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Money Cents


Money Cents was a weekly segment on KMTR 16 News created to provide our community with informative financial tips on economic topics that matter here in the greater Springfield-Eugene community.  Money Cents aired on local NBC16 newscasts every Tuesday at 5:30am and 5:30pm.



Topic: Saving on Groceries

Category: Spending Habits

Today on Money Cents we’re discussing some helpful tips to save money on groceries. 


Each month this is one of the larger spending items for most and shocking enough, 30-40% of the food goes to waste.


So the goal here is to spend less at the grocery store and also waste less, so how do we do that? 


To start, plan as much as you can. Layout your meals for the week, consider using a cash budget, and limit the number of trips to the store.


Next, you may laugh, but don’t go to the store hungry. This is usually when the random items make it into your cart because everything looks good when you're hungry.


Another thing to consider is the types of stores you go to. The big national chains often require memberships to their loyalty programs and or coupons to save money. While, buying in bulk at wholesale stores can feel like a bargain, it can easily result in more waste. Instead consider shopping at local co-ops that can often be the most affordable options in town.


With a plan, a full stomach, and the right store for you, you'll be well on your way to saving big on groceries.

Saving on Groceries

Topic: Choosing a Bank

Category: Financial Choices​

Today on Money Cents we’re discussing some helpful tips for those of you who are looking to find a new bank. 


When it comes to making the decision about where to store your hard-earned cash here are some factors to consider.


First, how often do you go into a branch and what services do you utilize when you go in. Many people these days haven't been to a branch in years and do all of their banking online or on their phone. If this is you, you might find higher interest yields, cash back, and or lower fees with online-only banks.


On the other hand, if you are like me and like having the option to meet with someone locally to avoid all the 1-800 numbers, it's important to read the fine print. Having a brick-and-motor establishment can be expensive, and banks may need to pass that expense on to their customers in the form of additional fees and lower interest yields. 


Finally, is banking with someone who gives back to the local community important to you? If it is, it may make sense for you to research the banks in your area that are contributing the most to your community.


With a little research you can find the right bank online or locally today.

Choosing a Bank

Topic: Get Back on Track

Category: Spending Habits

Today on Money Cents we’re discussing a way to take control of your spending, even if you have got a little off track. 


In my experience, strict budgeting fails to work for most families in our community. This is not because people lack the will to change, but rather the odds are stacked against you.


Let's face facts, for most people spending is an emotional decision. If you want to reign it in, you should use an approach that acknowledge this.


Consider trying a simple strategy known as "pay yourself first". Just set-up an auto-withdrawal to come out of your account right after you get paid each month. Set a low percent of your income at first and build up as you get more comfortable. Invest the money or keep it at a separate bank from your daily bank so that you can avoid stealing from yourself.


This is much easier than tracking every dollar you spend, and I've found that most people don't notice any difference at the end of the month.


Once you get started check in with local professionals to assist with taking financial control. 

Get Back on Track

Topic: ID Theft

Category: Financial Predators

Today on Money Cents we’re discussing identity theft and what to do if you become a victim.


It’s important to be aware of identity theft to keep yourself and your assets protected from financial predators.


Fortunately, monitoring your credit for identify theft these days has become easier than ever. Most credit cards provide free monitoring as well as apps like Credit Karma. Additionally, you can receive up to 3 credit reports for free a year from


If you believe you are the victim of identity theft you should act quickly.


While it's important to inform your credit card companies don't forget to file a report with the federal trade commission by calling or going online. This is where you will provide details about the situation to start the recovery process. 


While identity theft can be overwhelming and takes some time to sort out, there are many professionals locally that can assist with this burden. 

ID Theft

Topic: Paying for College

Category: Financial Planning

Today on Money Cents we’re discussing how to pay for college


To many, a college education is considered a ticket to a successful life, however coming up with the cash to pay for that ticket, can be a challenge for families in our area, as the cost of attendance has sky-rocked in recent years.


While student loans and scholarships gain the majority of attention when we discuss funding options there are other choices that should be considered as well.


The first is the Free Application for Financial Aid, that gives students access to federal and state grants and subsidized loans.


The second is opening a 529 college savings account, that can provide tax incentives to people who want to save and invest for specific future education related expenses.


The most important thing to do is to get started planning today.

Paying for College

Topic: Credit Scores

Category: Financial Planning

Today on Money Cents we’re discussing credit scores and how they are computed.


A credit score is one of the metrics a lender will use to determine how creditworthy you are, and exactly how much risk they may be taking on. 


The higher your credit score, the lower the risk you are to the lender. Having a high credit score can save you thousands of dollars when you get a mortgage.


To determine your score, the major credit reporting bureaus looks at your payment history, credit utilization, derogatory marks, age of credit history, total number of accounts, and number of hard inquires. 


Don't wait until you need to apply for loan to improve your credit score.

Get started today by speaking with a local professional.

Credit Scores

Topic: Saving for Retirement

Category: Financial Planning

Today on Money Cents we’re discussing retirement and when to start planning for it.


I've yet to meet a person, that did not have a reason or two why now is just not a good time to get started saving for retirement.


When you are in your 20s and 30s retirement seems so far away and is rarely a high priority. But the sooner you start saving, the more time your money will have to grow. 


Once you are saving, you should consider where you want to keep your retirement money so it can begin to grow. Some great options are tax-favored retirement accounts like IRAs and 401Ks.  


No matter where you invest, the important thing is that you get started as soon.


Don't rely on social security alone. Get started today by speaking with a local professional.

Saving for Retirement
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