CROSE: Analyzing savings accounts and fast loans

Saving money doesnt seem to elicit the excitement spending does; many find it tedious.

It is more fun to spend than save, but youll be thrilled to have that savings when you need it.

Saving money can be exciting when saving for a new car, a vacation or a down payment for a house. When saving, keep your goal in mind and you will happily delay gratification.

As parents, we need to teach our children the importance of saving for a rainy day, because, as one friend says, rainy days always come.

The rule of thumb used to be to save 10 percent of your income. Judging from conversations Ive had, I dont think people save much anymore.

If one has no savings and faces an emergency, what happens?

Having savings to rely upon would be the best; getting a loan from your bank or using a credit card would be acceptable; but what happens if one has no or bad credit? The need for quick cash doesnt go away, and sometimes the only recourse may be a cash advance loan.

Right now, there is a great deal of controversy over payday/fast cash loans -- we have one here in Crestview --but for some people this type of a loan can get them over their financial crisis.

I looked online for examples, and one given was a loan of $250, for 14 days, with a $30 finance charge. The APR -- annual percentage rate -- was a whopping 312.86 percent, but if one has poor credit, $30 isnt much to pay to get a quick loan of $250 for two weeks.

Another way people borrow money is to pawn personal items; pawn shops generally loan 10 to 40 percent of the items value. When one redeems the item they will pay from 20 to 25 percent in addition to the borrowed amount. The term may be one to four months, depending upon your state.

As an accountant, I would never advise paying an interest rate of 312.86 percent. I would strongly encourage saving money, paying off debt and living within ones means.

But we have all had emergencies in our lives, and we may not have family that can help us out financially, so perhaps payday loans are needed for an emergency.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.