Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 02-18-2019: For the Love of Libraries by Kate Welker

We hope you all had an enjoyable Valentines Day!  As Financial Planner Kate Welker, CFPⓇ writes below, she not only loves her special someone’s, but also her library and all the resources it provides for!  But before you dig into her article, we have a few brief announcements.

  • TD Ameritrade has notified us that on March 15, 2019, they will begin mailing annual Standing Letter of Authorization (SLOA) confirmation notices to our clients/  The confirmation will list all active SLOAs that we have on record for your accounts as of December 31, 2018. You might be wondering, “what is a SLOA?”  This is what allows us to transfer money between your accounts when you request it. If you notice a bank account you no longer want listed, notify me and I’ll ask to have it removed.

  • In other news, we were very excited to learn that Fund For Women of the Southern Tier, Inc. is currently offering two education grants!  The deadline is March 1st, so if you know a young lady (including those young at heart too) that is going off to college this fall, make sure to forward this message to them.  “These grants are to be used to remove any barrier to the pursuit of their educational endeavors. Examples may include paying for college textbooks, technical supplies, assistance with past due tuition bills, fees for professional licensing exams, etc. Award criteria includes a demonstrated financial need.”

    • Ten - $500 Grants

    • Four - $2,500 Grants


For the Love of Libraries

by Financial Planner Kate Welker, CFPⓇ

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“Libraries are community treasure chests, loaded with a wealth of information available to everyone equally, and the key to that treasure chest is the library card. I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.” - First Lady Laura Bush

As financial planners we are always working to make the best use of our resources. Normally we are talking about our financial resources, to use those in the most meaningful way and saving where possible. We are often surrounded by places in our communities that offer opportunities to save a little more of our financial resources. In light of seeing that it was recently “love your library” day I wanted to look at how you can love your library to save money and find resources that you might not realize are available.

Whenever I have to describe myself one of the top adjectives I use is bookworm (or as someone recently dubbed me, a bookdragon). When most parents are struggling to encourage their children to read, mine were telling me to put the book down to focus on the more urgent things in life like my chores or where I was walking. As a parent I have passed this trait on and I find our household going through a lot of books. Since I am not willing to devote that much of my budget to purchasing books we have made the library a regular part of our routine and I have begun to realize the additional services to be found there.

Obviously thinking of a library you think of the books. Mystery, fantasy, true crime, romance, so many books across many genres. I read mainly for entertainment and will sometimes forget the wealth of resources in non-fiction books available at our library. In high school I would use the classical research section for papers, but now I appreciate the whole non-fiction section. Want to learn a new skill? Instead of paying to join a class try to find a manual at the library. Bored of cooking the same recipes? Make cooking at home fun and try a new cookbook, my library has a whole shelf available. Starting a business and need to learn more on your industry? Check the library.

One of my favorite new tools I have discovered is the ability to borrow ebooks. The apps Overdrive and Libby allow you to link to your library using your library card information. These are free apps and as long as your library is part of the system there are thousands of titles available. You can choose to read within that app or export to the kindle app which is available as a free app on ios, android, and amazon devices.

Beyond the books there are other items available to loan. Movies, audiobooks, music, board games, puzzles, e-readers and the list goes on. The movies may be more classics than blockbusters, but instead of spending the money on a rental, occasionally take advantage of the collection available at the library. Get to know your librarians and ask what resources beyond books may be available to you to borrow.

Within the library you might be surprised to find new technology to take advantage of. Most libraries have had computers available for those that don’t have access at home, but these offerings are expanding. I was recently speaking with an attorney handling legal issues for libraries as they are trying to find ways to reach more patrons in a digital age.  Items such as scanners, virtual reality sets, and 3D printers are being added at more libraries daily.

The best advice is to get to know your librarians. They are an incredible resource and will be able to keep you up to date with the latest resources your library has to offer. If there is a resource you need that they do not carry, they may be willing to order it for you. Many libraries also offer educational classes, one to watch for is Money Smart week coming up March 30th to April 6th, 2019. Several of the planners here at Rooted Planning Group will be setting up educational sessions in their local neighborhoods. Check out https://www.moneysmartweek.org/ to find an event near you.