Saving You Money: how budgeting apps help you track spending

WGME | by Katie Sampson

There's an app for just about everything these days, including tools to help track your spending.

In this week's Saving You Money, we found out how budgeting apps can keep more money in your account and what you should watch out for when providing your personal information.

Jake Holmes at Maine's Credit Unions helps young adults with things like banking and finances, but he says people of all ages can benefit from budgeting apps.

"I really recommend Mint," Holmes says.

To utilize them, download the app, create a user ID and password, then enter your bank account information and monthly bills like mortgage, rent, student loans or car payment.

Holmes says these apps allow you to create a budget instead of just checking your balance.

"It'll tell you how much you have left to spend, it'll give you tips so you don't go over and it really just helps you stay organized," Holmes says.

Mint includes a tab specifically for saving and how you can earn cash back.

"It even tells you your credit score which is really cool," Holmes says.

Experts stress security, however. Do your research, find out who makes the app and how your personal information is protected.

"Just really make sure it's reputable before you just toss your account information out there," Holmes says.

Holmes says people should start taking advantage of these tools as early as possible.

"It's a really good idea to get in the practice now because if you're practicing bad spending habits, it's really hard to break," Holmes says, "So the sooner you can start being smart with your money and getting smart one topic at a time, it's the right thing to do, for sure."

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Bands Compete in 6th Annual Sound-Off Music Competition

WABI TV5 |  By Emily Tadlock

Finalists in the Maine Credit Union’s 6th Annual Sound-Off Music Competition auditioned live for judges in Brewer.

Three finalists from both the soloist/duo category and group category were determined by an online vote of all entries.

Jake Holmes, Spokester from Young & Free Maine says, “Credit Unions are really community based and we’re trying to give back to the music community and the 18 to 25 crowd and give them a chance to make a name for themselves. The winners here get 500 dollars to Main Street Music Studios in Brewer and a live performance at the Old Port Festival which has quickly become the main music event of the year.”

The finalists played one original song for a panel of judges who then chose a winner from each category.

The judges say they were looking for certain qualities in their winners.

Judge Carlos Cuellar, of Catama Productions says,  “To see how they connected with the audience,  the songs themselves, the performance, and just their musicianship as well.”

Judge Andrew Clifford,  President and Founder of Main Street Music Studios says, “Intonation, working together as a team as a group, and overall playing to the room as well.”

Lindsay Mower of Farmington won in the soloist/duo category. She says, “I feel really rich today. I just got up and drove across Maine and just meet up with all these people my age who do the same thing I do and it just all feels really surreal.”

And The Resistance of Burnham, Maine won in the group category. Their lead singer says, “We’ve been playing for so long. We started the band when I was 14, so it’s been my life for so long. I couldn’t imagine my life without it. It’s the love of my life, literally. Music is everything to me.”

Many of this year’s judges are involved in the music industry and say this competition is a great stepping stone for young artists.

Clifford says, “It’s great for the culture. A lot of the bands sometimes don’t have a budget to record especially up and coming so this can give them a little bit of a boost in the industry.”

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Young & Free Maine is Giving Your Band a Shot to Perform On Our Stage at 2017 Old Port Fest Read More: Young & Free Maine is Giving Your Band a Shot to Perform On Our Stage at 2017 Old Port Fest

WCYY 94.3 | By Kylie Queen

If you’ve ever attended Old Port Fest in downtown Portland then you know the massive, music-loving crowds that flock to the Old Port for a day filled with live music and food. Look at the crowd at our Dunkin Donuts Super Stage in 2015.

WJBQ.com

WJBQ.com

If your band wants a piece of that crowd, and you think you have what it takes to beat out all the other bands or soloists and duos, then submit your entry to Young & Free Maine’s Sound Off Music Competition.

The grand prizes are a $500 gift certificate for Main Street Music Studios in Bangor and a live performance spot at the 2017 Old Port Music Festival.

WJBQ.com

WJBQ.com

Whether you are a solo artist/duo or a group of three or more, the top two runners up in each category will receive awesome prizes too. If you are between 18 and 25 years of age and play music on your own or as part of a duo, or in a band this competition is for you! Enter an original tune and get the word out to your fans for the public vote.

WJBQ.com

WJBQ.com

Everything you need to enter is at YoungFreeMaine.com.

See you at 2017 Old Port Fest!

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Statewide Young & Free Maine TV interview spurs spike in Bucks for Books entries; Promotes Maine CUs

Maine Credit Union League

In a statewide interview that aired on Saturday, September 10, just before the start of the TODAY Show on WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2, Young & Free Maine Spokester Jake Holmes offered tips and advice on how to help college students save on textbooks as well as highlighting the Bucks for Books promotion with Maine credit unions.  Minutes after the interview aired, visits and entries for the Bucks for Books contest showed a significant increase. 

Young & Free Maine Spokester Jake Holmes talks ways in which college students can save on textbooks while promoting the Bucks for Books contest with Maine's credit unions during a statewide interview that aired on WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2.

Young & Free Maine Spokester Jake Holmes talks ways in which college students can save on textbooks while promoting the Bucks for Books contest with Maine's credit unions during a statewide interview that aired on WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2.

"The cost of textbooks is a big challenge that college students and their parents face.  Having just finished college myself, I know first-hand how much textbooks cost, and the opportunity to help people with some creative ways to save money is what not only a part of what Young & Free Maine is all about but what credit unions are all about, too," remarked Holmes.

"The Bucks for Books contest is offering $1,500 in money to help college students with textbook expenses, and yet again highlights ways in which credit unions help their members and their communities.  It's been a great way to engage 18-25 year-olds, and build awareness for Young & Free Maine.  This is the second year we have offered this contest, and we have seen an increase over last year," explained Debra Trautman, Vice President of Corporate Marketing for the Maine CU League.

Jon Paradise, Vice President of Governmental and Public Affairs for the League, coordinated the interview and said, "Having the opportunity to tell our story and highlight credit unions to a statewide audience is something we always welcome and the timing came together.  It gave positive exposure to Young & Free Maine and to Maine credit unions."

During the interview, Holmes spoke about Young & Free Maine, provided some tips on how students can save on textbooks, and promoted the Bucks for Books contest.  The producer of The Morning Report on WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2 praised the segment.  "This was informative and engaging, and we were really happy with the segment."  The segment was also shared on both stations' Facebook pages.

With the entry deadline for Bucks for Books being September 15, the winners will be drawn on September 19, and announced shortly, thereafter.

+ Original article

Don't Break the Bank on Textbooks

WCSH

Did you know the average student will spend around $1,200 on college textbooks this year? Jake Holmes, a Young and Free Maine 'Spokester' for Maine's credit unions told us how to avoid breaking the bank on books.

Some tips:

1. Avoid the bookstores if possible

2. Check the library

3. Rent

4. Ask around campus or post on social media, someone older might have taken the class and have a book they aren't using. 

5. Go electronic, with Kindle versions and E-books, the price is often better and you can download them instantly

And you can win money right now to pay for your textbooks! Right now, Maine’s credit unions have the Bucks For Books contest through Young & Free Maine. You can win $500, $300 or $200 toward your college textbooks! The deadline to enter is September 15th at www.youngfreemaine.com

Copyright 2016 WCSH

Original article