1. Published

    My whole life, as far as I can remember we’ve always had a furry companion in my household. Whether it was a cat, dog, bird, or even a fish, having a pet as a companion can make many people happier. Having said that, pets have expenses that pet owners need to take care of to keep your pet healthy, happy, and safe.

    Costs

  2. 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.

  3. Published

    At different times in our life, seasons can get tough financially. If you find that you’re unable to make ends meet, you may have to make some tough decisions about which bills get paid before others. If you’re in this situation, here are some choices to consider.

    Pay Basic Essentials

  4. Published

    Recently grocery stores have started offering a variety of services to help you shop. You can choose to shop online, pay online, have the grocery items delivered to your house and/or pick up your groceries at the store. Who knew you didn’t have to trek up and down the aisles to buy groceries! Here are some options to consider when deciding between services.

    Cost –

  5. Published

    Stop! Before you go too far planning your spending of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act payment, let’s take a look at the big picture. Unfortunately, the current economic downturn will be a reality for many months. Now is the time to strategize how best to manage this financially.

    The first priority is to keep you and your family safe. Safety includes items like shelter and food. You may need the government relief payment to provide for these needs.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Published

    2019 was a year that most of us seemed to want to forget… but you know the one thing you can’t forget from last year. That debt you may have racked up.

    Debt, it feels like such a nasty word. For a lot of us, debt seems to follow us around like a bad habit. Debt defined is the money you owe to another person or business. For our January podcast – Camaya and I tackled this topic and wanted to give our listeners (and readers) some timely tips to help you make a debt in your debt.

  9. Published

    Cosmetics may seem like a great gift for a teen, tween, sister, wife, girlfriend or any woman in your life, but with the rise of counterfeit cosmetics, a low price for a typically high end product may end up hurting a loved one or yourself. The beauty industry was valued at $532 billion dollars in 2017 with an expected market value of $805 billion dollars by 2023.

  10. Published

    Happy New Year’s!  Now is the time to think about resolutions for 2020 and many people ponder which financial goal to choose. Sometimes I tend to make setting resolutions complicated and involved, and then I’m not likely to stick with the resolution.

  11. Published

    While I give gifts all year long, this time of year I buy a lot of gifts!  The fact that my sons’ birthdays are in November and January just add to the gift buying.

  12. Published

    What are some of the smart mobile devices (SMDs) you have in your household?

  13. Published

    As the seasons shift, now is an excellent time to pause and reflect. This past week I’ve been reflecting on how my values affect my choices, including my financial decisions. I find taking time to reflect before the holiday season (defined by me as Halloween through my sons’ birthdays in January) helps me manage my holiday spending.

  14. Published

    I love when a blog post weeks intersects with a podcast release. This month, Camaya and I tackled the topic of subscription boxes called “You Check All My Subscription Boxes”. This particular topic is what we describe as “me-search” because I have invested a lot of time into reviewing and subscribing to different subscription boxes. Let’s start with the basics.

    What is a subscription box?  How much are they?

  15. Published

    While it’s only September, as a financial educator I’m thinking about my holiday budgeting and spending. Why am I thinking about this now? Because lots of other people are too! According to the National Retail Federation 18% of people start their holiday shopping in September or earlier. Here are some tips for 2019 to make your holiday spending a little easier.

    MAKE A BUDGET within a BUDGET

  16. Published

    On the financial to-do list, saving for retirement is one of easiest to say, I’ll do that another day! The good news is that two-thirds of Americans are saving for retirement, according to 2019 EBRI/Greenwald Retirement Confidence Survey. If you are one of these people, congratulations!

  17. Published

    Do you think the student should pay for their own college expenses?  Or is it the parents’ responsibilities?  This is a tough question!

  18. Published

    Financial worries are often on people's minds. Finances can cause conflicts between family members and friends. Research studies even show being worried about finances decreases employees' productivity. One of the things Illinois Extension does is to help people manage their finances and relieve money-related stress.

  19. Published

    If you can believe it, I've been blogging for almost six years now. As a financial educator, writing these words on the internet might mean that I could be banned from the "financial educators club", but the fact of the matter is that for almost a year now I've struggled with tracking ALL my expenses, all the time. Maybe you're like me, tired of tracking every penny on an excel spreadsheet, ever changing phone app or maybe you have never tracked expenses at all, but let's discuss the two things I do track.

    Food

  20. Published

    When I was in graduate school, I remember having conversations with my peers about the length of time it would take us to repay our student loans. For some of us, that meant closer to our proposed retirement years. For some older adults (60 and over), the realities of carrying student loan debt continue to increase.