Five Tips for a Frugal Spring!

Posted on March 23, 2017

Spring has sprung, and what better time, as we start enjoying the warmer weather and longer days, to implement some good money saving habits?

I know during winter I generally have lower energy, and when it’s dark outside, I feel more like a hot chocolate and a movie in bed than hustling. So let’s enjoy the new season and start on the right foot!

Start a Garden

If you have a garden at home, starting a little vegetable patch is a fun and inexpensive hobby, that will give you delicious fresh vegetables come summer. Depending on where you live, you can start right now or in a few weeks. And if you do not have a garden, how about some herbs on your balcony? I even had tomato plants out my window one summer, they don’t need a lot of space. There is something very rewarding about growing your own vegetables. Pay attention to what your neighbors are planting, to see what the best species are for your location and climate. If you are in an arid area, watering your patch is going to be costly, but you can still plant a few fruit

Or if you really want to take the kids to Disney or on a cruise, start saving money now, so you don’t have to charge your card later. Again, book an early bird deal, so you only have to pay for food and gas during the summer months.

Repair Your Stuff

DIY is another gratifying hobby. That shelf that fell down last November. The bicycle you haven’t used since the last puncture. The shirt button that needs sewing. You will save money by giving your things a few more years of use, instead of throwing them away and replacing them. And if you get handy in a particular area, like car or computer repairs, you can even start a side hustle! Put a local ad and start charging neighbors for it. Many fixes are very simple but people are too lazy or too busy to repair their things. You can also go through your attic or garage, and sell the things you are not using, once you repair them.

Invest Your Tax Refund

The average tax refund this year should be around $2,800. Think of it as money you saved during the past 12 months, not a windfall you should spend mindlessly. If you have high interest debt, like credit cards, you should use it to pay part of your balance. But if you only have student loans and a mortgage, this is the perfect opportunity to fund your 401k and investing account. Think about it. If you invest nothing else during the year, and invest your $2,800 refund every year for the next 30 years, you will have over $330,000 in your retirement nest egg! That is assuming a rate of return of 8%, which is a little lower than what the S&P500 has returned over the past 30 years.

Go Back to Nature

Spring is the perfect time to cancel your gym membership and start running or cycling outside. A day at the park, playing ball games and watching birds will only cost you gas money and a picnic. This is a much healthier option than an afternoon at the mall and greasy food court meals.

Look up for meet ups in your area to do yoga, walk dogs, or go hiking with other outdoors enthusiasts. Many sports club have free afternoons for beginners to get acquainted with their discipline, so you can make an informed decision when it is time to buy sports gear. And most activities will only require you to wear a t-shirt and a pair of running shoes. What are you waiting for? Break a sweat, meet people, keep your leisure budget in check.

How are you planning for a frugal spring?

This is a guest post from Pauline of InvestmentZen.com

March 21 is National Credit Card Reduction Day!

Posted on March 18, 2017

Credit card debt can have a devastating affect on our lives, keeping us from buying the house of our dreams, or a new car, and restricting our ability to make other purchases. Plus, it adds stress to our lives.

Did you Know?, If you only pay the minimum amount due each month, it will seemingly take forever to pay off the balance. That's exactly what credit card companies are hoping you do.

So, increase your personal wealth, and improve your quality of life. Today is the day to begin doing something about reducing your credit card debt. You don't need to pay off the balance today. Rather, today is a great day to begin whittling away at the balance.

Here are some ways to "celebrate" this very special day, so you can eventually liberate yourself from the claws of credit card companies:

  • Make an extra payment on your credit card balance.
  • Implement a plan to pay just a few dollars more each month
  • Limit new purchase, until your credit card balance is paid in full.
  • Double down..... Add the money you didn't spend on #3 above to your next credit card payment. You will have a zero balance even sooner!
  • Reduce the number of credit cards you have.
  • Once you have paid off the balance, Pay the full amount due each and every month...no exceptions

Last, but certainly not least, if you need credit deal with life's problems, call us at HFLA-SA to find out about our interest-free loans.

HFLA-SA Installs Officers and New Board Members for 2017

Posted on January 15, 2017

The Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Antonio (HFLA-SA) is proud to announce its 2017 Officers, as well as the addition of 5 Directors.

Well-known for his family devotion and passion to improve our community, corporate leader and IT architect, Tim Grossman, takes the healm, as President. Attorney and HFLA-SA Past President, Michael Robbins will serve as Vice President of Loans, while the recently created Vice President of Outreach and Development position will be filled by long-term, nonprofit devotee, Fran Cohen. Greg Meyer and Meg Grossman will continue the roles of

In an effort to diversify the Board, expand the agency’s collective capacity and better serve Jewish members in San Antonio and the surrounding areas, HFLA-SA is thrilled to have new Directors, Jim Barshop, Fran Cohen, Suzanne Olian, Jeff Siegel and Mark Samuels.

With an extensive history of community service and advancing vital causes, Jim Barshop, President of J Barshop Real Estate is HFLA-SA’s most recent addition. Jim currently serves as a volunteer for Haven for Hope and Haven’s Angels. He’s served on and held leadership positions for numerous Boards, including the Jewish Federation of San Antonio and the Jewish Community Center, for which he is a Past-President. Among his accolades, Jim is the recipient of numerous awards: Toastmaster International Distinguished Toastmaster of the Year, the JCC Charninsky, as well as the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Chair’s highest recognition

In addition to quickly assuming a leadership role with HFLA-SA, Fran Cohen is the Founding Chair for EDGE (Golden Manor’s new programming extension). Throughout her successful professional history in both Education and Commercial Interior Design, Fran has consistently given back, mentoring future generations staying actively involved in civic and philanthropic activities, including significant and wide-ranging non-profit service, including: The Ronald McDonald Advisory Board, Texas Year Round Education, Golden Manor Jewish Senior Services and the Community Relations

With a strong business, marketing and training background, combined with an obvious entrepreneurial spirit, Suzanne Olian is the owner and creator of Ducks in a Row, a company offering clients a multifunctional, personalized approach to home and life improvement, including remodeling, organizing, home staging, in addition to event/party planning and personal shopping. Suzy has a long history of volunteering, working with Komen San Antonio, the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo and Ronald McDonald House.

HFLA-SA also welcomes Jeff Siegel and Mark Samuels. As the owner and President of Four Seasons Promotional Products and a history with national companies, Jeff is well-known for his marketing, sales and branding skills – in addition to his passion for assisting the Jewish community. As an attorney, with an extensive background both in private practice and insurance at USAA, Mark Samuels brings expertise in financial matters, combined with his commitment to serve and assist those in-need.

The Hebrew Free Loan Association of San Antonio is a 501(c)3, formed in 1924, providing financial assistance to Jewish people who are residents of San Antonio and surrounding areas, through interest-free loans. Based on the lessons of Mishpatim, the agency exists to extend a financial hand-up during life events – the good, the challenging . . . and everything in-between.

Maimonides explained, interest-free loans are the highest form of Tzedakah, as they allow much-needed help, while preserving dignity. In 92-years, our agency has helped thousands of Jewish people weather difficult times, experience life cycle events and endeavor to improve their futures - including countless college students. In 2016, HFLA-SA awarded a record-breaking amount of loans, putting over $200,000 directly into the hands of fellow members in our community.

For more information on the HFLA-SA Board, call 210.736.4352.