1. Published

    As a consumer, you have likely felt the impact of inflation on your wallet, but have you considered how inflation can affect your credit? Costs of various products have gone up, along with interest rates. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Consumer Price Index (CPI) for used cars and trucks has increased 40% since January 2021, 12% for new cars, and the average auto loan interest rate for borrowers with a poor credit history is now between 9 and 20 percent annually.

  2. Published

    According to data from the Supplemental Fraud Survey (2021), an estimated 3 million American adults reported being victims of personal finance fraud during a 12-month period and lost more than $3.2 billion total. Furthermore, it is equally important to acknowledge that more than half of financial fraud victims also reported experiencing socioemotional problems due to the incident.

  3. Published

    Did you know that 32% of U.S. households do not have enough money saved to cover a $400 emergency expense? Maybe the needs in your household are constantly changing, you and your partner don't always agree on how to spend your money, or you aren't sure how to start a savings plan; there can be many barriers that get in the way of saving.

  4. Published

    When I first started using credit, it was exciting and intriguing to learn how I could build and improve my credit over time. At that time, I never thought about how my personal characteristics (e.g., age, accent/nationality, race, gender, etc.) could be used against me. I became interested in fair access to credit several years ago when I started paying closer attention to federal and state guidelines for obtaining credit.

  5. Published

    When it comes to creating saving goals, we often think of big-ticket items such as saving for a down payment on a house, education, car, retirement, and emergencies. Saving for fun goals such as a vacation/travel or a concert may not always be front and center.

  6. Published

    In a world where teens face so many challenges and opportunities, how can we help make sure they learn effective money management skills? To begin answering this question, it is essential to consider what socialization factors could influence teens’ financial knowledge.

  7. Published

    In March, we celebrated and honored Women’s History Month on the Family Financial Feuds podcast! We discussed some of the myths about women and money. We also provided information on women’s longstanding and meaningful relationship with money.

    To hear our conversation about women’s earnings, savings, and money management strategies. Listen on SoundCloud!

  8. Published

    Did you know that approximately 20 million workers left their jobs between May and September 2021? Employment changes are one of the many examples of life transitions that affect people’s finances.

  9. Published

    When I got my first credit card many years ago, I thought I was ready for all the responsibilities that came with managing this type of credit. Even though I did my due diligence to research the card company and believed I could afford to make my monthly payments, there were a lot of things I didn’t consider. I didn’t realize how having a balance close to my limit would affect my credit score. When I no longer wanted to have credit through that company, I also didn’t think through my rushed decision to close the card.

  10. Published

    What do you see when you open your refrigerator? How many containers of your favorite foods have been sitting in there for the past week or so? Those leftovers you keep meaning to eat - until you must eventually throw them away.

    Estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest that over one-third (30-40 percent) of food goes uneaten through loss or waste. This adds up to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010.

  11. Published

    In this Family Financial Feuds episode, I had a mind-opening conversation with Karla Belzer about the role mindfulness plays in reducing stress about money. Karla is a Family Life Educator with University of Illinois Extension. She is also now the acting County Director for one of the IL Extension units. Karla has worked for 20 plus years in the health and services field. She has been studying, researching, and writing about mindfulness for many years, and she brings some new perspectives to the discussion on incorporating mindfulness in financial literacy education.

  12. Published

    I had a few conversations with a friend who decided to add a loved one to his credit card as an authorized user. Over the years, we had many discussions about some of the challenges he faced building his credit history as an immigrant with a thin credit file. He had been a joint account holder in previous situations, and now he was in a position to help someone else. Like my friend, I have been a primary account holder, joint account holder, and an authorized user, which lead me down this path to talk more to colleagues, do research, and write about piggybacking credit.

  13. Published

    According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019), food costs represent about 13% of the average household’s annual expenditures. Food spending continues to increase during the pandemic, and the data shows some distinct patterns among different generations during this period.

  14. Published

    Sasha Grabenstetter led the team into a lively and relevant discussion on whether it was possible to save for your children’s education and simultaneously save for retirement. We discussed our past college experiences, covered research on 529 plans, and explored savings goals. Find us on Sound Cloud to hear the full conversation.

  15. Published

    There is growing interest in the personal finance community on mindfulness's effects on our money attitudes and behaviors. The research on mindfulness is continuously evolving. The focus on the relationship between money behaviors and mindfulness is intriguing to many financial professionals who work with different clientele or community members to help support their economic well-being.

  16. Published

    I grew up in Jamaica, where one of the seasons is fondly referred to as the “rainy season,” which seemed like most of the year. Hurricanes, flash floods, earthquakes, and tropical storms are prevalent in the Caribbean. As a young child, I remember the adjustments my dad would make to our house. He would buy construction materials to batten down the windows and protect his workshop. I also can picture my mum securing essential documents such as our birth certificates, bank account information, medical information, and other necessary documentation as we brace for a storm.

  17. Published

    What do you consider a major purchase? When do you think it is the right time to buy a big-ticket item? Responses to these questions may vary based on our interpretations. However, in difficult financial times, our approach may be different. While we are still making money decisions during this economic downturn, we also may be cautious and conscious about how we spend our dollars. A central goal of our podcast is to find ways to address feuds that arise.

  18. Published

    Tomorrow is the last day of our social media campaign, Financial Wellness Checkup! Over the past five weeks, we have covered several of your favorite personal finance topics, credit management, estate planning, back-to-school planning, and financial exploitation. We are closing out with a focus on ways to grow your savings. We understand that this is a hard topic during an economic downturn, and encourage you to consider some small ways you can still build or rebuild your savings.

    Protect your rainy day fund

  19. Published

    Anyone can become a victim of fraud. Losing money or property through scams and frauds can have a lasting and devastating effect on your financial well-being (CFPB).  This week’s theme is financial exploitation, and throughout the week, we will be exploring multiple topics that focus on protecting personally identifiable information.   

    Protect your financial information online from identity thieves

  20. Published

    Over the past few months, the economic climate has shifted dramatically with high unemployment rates and other levels of financial instability. The consumer economics team launches a new 5-week social media campaign, Financial Wellness Checkup. The goal of this social media campaign is to promote positive financial behaviors. It also aims to provide practical tips and resources for consumers as they work to manage their finances and improve their overall wellbeing.