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(StatePoint) If you’re like many football fans, your love of the game comes at a cost.
  A recent national survey by Experian found that fans are planning to spend an average of $743 this season on football-related expenses, with 29% of respondents saying they will spend more than $1,000.
  Beyond the cost of tickets, tailgates and game-streaming services, some football fans are willing to put their money on the line in more serious ways, too. In fact, 1 in 5 professional football fans would take on more than $5,000 of debt if it meant their team won the Big Game this season.
  “Cheering on your favorite team or planning for life’s big moments doesn’t have to break the bank,” says Rod Griffin, senior director of public education and advocacy at Experian. “Taking a financial timeout to review your finances and budget can help you get the most out of your money.”
  Whether you’re a devoted fan or a casual viewer, you can score a financial touchdown during football season and beyond by following these game-changing financial pointers:
1. Pay bills on time. Don’t fumble bill payments. Your bill payment history is an important factor in calculating your credit score. Even one late or missed payment can have a negative impact, whereas making payments on time can bolster your credit score for years to come.
2. Leverage tools. Look into financial products that help your money work for you. For example, the new Experian Smart Money Digital Checking Account & Debit Card embeds Experian Boost to allow you to contribute payments for eligible bills such as utilities, residential rent and telecommunications to your Experian credit file to potentially increase your credit scores.
3. Keep your credit utilization rate low. Your credit utilization rate is the amount of credit you're currently using divided by the total amount of credit you have available. Credit scoring models generally interpret a low credit utilization rate as an indication that you’re doing a good job of managing credit and keeping spending in check.
4. Build a budget. A budget is a spending playbook that can help you practice responsible financial habits and live within your means. It needn’t require too much detail. Simply categorizing spending into a few overall buckets will do the trick.
5. Frequently check your credit. Monitoring your credit score and credit reports can help you identify changes and course-correct if necessary. It’s recommended to check these regularly, especially before you plan to open new lines of credit or make a big purchase.
  For more information, visit
  Don’t get financially sidelined. By reviewing your credit and budget and by leveraging helpful resources, you can survive the season with your wallet intact.

How to score a financial touchdown 
this football season
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How families can protect generational wealth
(StatePoint) A home is often the most valuable asset a family can own. It serves as a wealth-generating opportunity for current and future generations as the home’s value appreciates over time. Yet, for hundreds of thousands of people who inherited their land and homes from family members, these assets could be at risk.
  Many families have experienced problems with properties that have been passed down without a will or estate plan. These properties are referred to as heirs’ property. If the deed for a property is in the name of the deceased relative and a will does not exist, it results in a “fractured” or “tangled” title shared among all multiple family members or “heirs.” This makes it difficult for heirs to maintain and manage the property in several ways, like securing a loan or selling the property. Additionally, heirs’ property owners are often cut off from accessing governmental repair and rebuilding programs and property tax relief programs.
  A key driver of heirs’ property is a lack of formal estate planning. Unfortunately this issue disproportionately impacts Black and Latino Americans. According to a 2023 national survey from, only 29% of Black and 23% of Hispanic respondents had a will or other estate planning document, compared to 39% of white respondents.
  “In some families, money, and particularly estate planning, is a taboo subject, but it needs to be discussed. Assets can easily be lost if steps aren’t taken to protect them,” says Stacy Spann, head of Housing Access and Affordability Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “One of the ways we can help close the wealth gap in many communities is by empowering people to maintain home ownership from one generation to the next.”
  Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Start planning today. You do not have to be older or wealthy to create an estate plan.
2. Take an inventory of all your assets.
3. Create a will. You will want to provide specific instructions on your wishes for all your assets.
4. Designate beneficiaries. You can set up beneficiary designations for your banking and investment accounts, personal property and real estate.
  Wells Fargo’s Heirs Property Initiative is providing $3.6 million in grant funding to 20 organizations across the country to support work addressing issues of fractured or tangled titles. Housing and legal assistance nonprofits are offering free access to resources designed to keep families in their homes and on their land so that homeownership is preserved for future generations. These resources include legal assistance for people who need help creating a will or who are already facing heirs’ property challenges, as well as expert advice about tangled titles, estate planning, real estate taxes and more.
  Beyond building generational wealth, taking steps to protect it is essential. With proper planning, diligence and time, you can pass down assets to loved ones that will open the door to new opportunities and advantages.