1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Published

    In this podcast episode, Camaya Wallace Bechard, Kathy Sweedler, and Sasha Grabenstetter discuss ways to identify financial stress. They also provided research on coping strategies and resources and shared information on to access federal, state, and community resources. To learn more, listen on Soundcloud.

  12. Published

    My family had been waiting to see the movie, Onward since we saw the first trailer in 2019. One of the local theaters is about a mile from our house, and we love to walk (when the weather permits) or take a short drive to see some of our favorite new movies. Since we couldn’t go to the theater when it was released, we were happy it was available to stream. Each year, we go through the motions of subscribing to or canceling streaming services based on changes to the service or the time of year when our favorite shows are available.

  13. Published

    Many of us like checking things off our lists, it gives us a sense of accomplishment, but sometimes lists can feel overwhelming during stressful times. Our latest podcast explores financial to-do lists, the paradox of choice, and finding ways to overcome the barriers we face to completing important financial tasks. 

    To hear this and other discussions on different personal financial topics, find us on SoundCloud.

  14. Published

    In this episode of Family Financial Feuds, Kathy, Sasha, and Camaya share some of their favorite children’s books that explore essential money concepts.

    Listen on SoundCloud!

  15. Published

    We all interpret and react differently to changes. In my extended family, some people have “what to do in a disaster plan,” and others prefer to take steps one day at a time. Whatever your approach to the new challenges that we are currently facing, the financial strains that may emerge could cause distress within us. We also know that money is a hard topic to discuss, therefore, finding ways to reduce anxiety about money conversations or accessing resources during this time is essential and can help resiliency in all of us.

     

    You

  16. Published

    In August 2019, I wrote about transferring money to loved ones safely domestically and internationally through banks and financial companies on my Fearless Financial Future blog. I received a reader’s request to write about some of the other ways consumers are repaying each other or transferring money using mobile devices. In this article, I explore the relationship between banking and technology by focusing on peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payment apps.

  17. Published

    The beginning of the year is typically a time for reflection and goal setting, and I started thinking more about what the concept of financial independence means to us.  This is one of my favorite topics because of what it means for financial well-being (the ability to meet all financial needs, today and over time; feel secure in the financial future; absorb a financial shock; and have the financial freedom to make choices to enjoy life).

  18. Published

    In this podcast episode, Kathy, Sasha, and I looked back on our first year of podcasting. We launched the Family Financial Feuds podcast, November 2018 and since then, we have covered some great topics. Below are brief overviews of each episode, listen in for more information and let us know how we are doing!

     

    November 2018: Introduction

  19. Published

    In our latest podcast episode, Sasha and I discussed subscription boxes!

    As the use of subscription boxes grow, we examined how this trend affects family/household spending plans. Learn about some of the benefits and challenges.

    To hear this and other discussions on different personal financial topics, find us on SoundCloud.

  20. Published

    What are some of the smart mobile devices (SMDs) you have in your household? In a new podcast episode on Family Financial Feuds, Too Smart for Our Own Good? Kathy and I discussed the popularity of smart devices such as iPad and tablets, smartphones, watches, and others in families and households. We focused on the decisions households make about different SMDs. Individual members of a household may have different attitudes and comfort level with technology, and they consider cost, plans, and types of devices.