FNBO Direct Announces Semi-Finalists for the Pay Yourself First Challenge
“Interest in the Challenge from across the country has been phenomenal and we’re impressed by the wide variety of clever and creative videos we received,” said Rajive Johri, President, First National Bank of Omaha. “FNBO Direct obviously tapped in to something that’s very important to Americans. Selecting the five finalists and the eventual grand prize winner will be difficult,” said Johri. The top 20 contestants receive $500 in cash each; and the five finalists will have their savings matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000.1 Check out all the video submissions through www.youtube.com/pyfchallenge.
FNBO Direct’s Pay Yourself First Challenge is dedicated to solving a problem many consumers face every day – not saving enough. Month after month, consumers automatically deposit their earnings into checking accounts from which they pay their bills. Then, rather than save some of what’s left over, the rest seems to vanish on impulse buys and morning coffees.
In the current economic environment, it takes more discipline than ever to save. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you don't always have the flexibility to adequately cope. So, you may wind up pulling out your credit cards, only adding to your debt woes. Liz Pulliam Weston, the Internet's most-read personal finance columnist and co-host of the Pay Yourself First Challenge, offers these tips to help you save more:
Build up a cushion. Start with a goal of setting aside one week’s pay. After that, you may have other financial goals that take precedence for a while, such as paying off credit card debt. Once you’re able, though, you should start building your emergency fund to equal at least three months’ worth of expenses.
Set your own limits. Some lenders will still let you borrow more than you can comfortably afford to repay, especially if you have good credit scores. So you need to draw the line on how much you borrow. Try to limit car loans to no more than four years; don’t borrow more for an education than you expect to earn your first year out of school; and don’t agree to a mortgage that eats up more than 30 percent of your income. If you’re carrying credit card debt, pay it off–you may need access to that credit in an emergency.
Improve and protect your credit scores. More so than even before, these three-digit numbers are the ticket to credit at affordable rates. Three keys for improving your scores: Pay your bills on time, all the time; pay down your credit card debt and use no more than 30 percent of your credit limits at any given time; don’t let disputes or unpaid medical bills wind up in collections if you can possibly avoid it.
Start saving today. There’s no time like the present to get started on your savings goals. The peace of mind you get from a nice stash of cash, tucked away in your FNBO Direct Online Savings Account, is enormous. Once you have started to build your savings you'll never go back to your old living-on-the-edge way of life.
Let the Challenge begin!
The top five finalists for the Challenge will be selected this month and will embark on their savings journey, which will be documented in real-time at http://www.pyfchallenge.com, starting in October 2008. After working hard for six months to build a savings balance, the grand prize winner and a guest will be whisked away to a luxurious spa destination to restore his or her personal balance.2 Learn more about the FNBO Direct Pay Yourself First Challenge at www.pyfchallenge.com.
About FNBO Direct
FNBO Direct (http://www.fnbodirect.com) is an Internet bank that offers consumers innovative online banking products. FNBO Direct is part of First National Bank of Omaha, a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska, Inc. First National of Nebraska has grown into the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. This all-American bank celebrated 150 years of banking excellence and innovation with a recent nod in Computerworld’s annual survey, ranking it among the top places to work for IT professionals.3 First National and its affiliates have $21 billion in managed assets and more than 8,000 employee associates located in 35 states. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.
Copyright © 2008 First National Bank of Omaha. All Rights Reserved. Online Savings Accounts offered by First National Bank of Omaha, Member FDIC. Deposits are insured to the maximum permitted by law.
1 FNBO Direct will match what each finalist saves, up to a maximum of $5,000 per finalist. See Official Rules for details at http://www.pyfchallenge.com/officialrules/
2 The Grand Prize winner will receive an all-expense paid vacation, worth up to $7,500. See Official Rules for details at http://www.pyfchallenge.com/officialrules/
3 Computerworld Annual Survey (2007). 100 Best Places to Work in IT- http://www.computerworld.com/ action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9024364
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