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Plan Well, Retire Well 2017

Creating Credit Card Rules

I know several people that use their credit cards for everything from buying a pack of gum, or a cup of coffee all the way up to a car. One even used a credit card to buy and remodel a house! Think about the way you use credit cards. I'll give you a moment…… Research shows that when you use credit...
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To Freeze or Not Freeze My Credit Report?

With the recent data breach at Equifax, a credit bureau company, you may be wondering whether you should freeze your credit report. I am one of the people Equifax has identified as "potentially impacted" by the data breach so I've been pondering my actions. First, what is a credit freeze?...
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Be Proactive with Your Money

During times of uncertainty it can be difficult to know what financial steps to take. How can we make financial plans if we don't have all the information we need? Well, sometimes we just have to move forward with what we do know. First, evaluate your savings. Do you have enough money set-aside for...
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Wedding Season is coming... is your wallet ready?

Ah, wedding season. The time of the year when we celebrate the love of two people to be bound legally together. Whether you're in the bridal party, parent, grandparent or friend... weddings these days can be costly! According to The Knot's 2016 Real Wedding Study, the average wedding costs $35,...
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5 Awesome Ideas to Stretch Your Dollars!

Do you want to get the most bang for your buck?  Of course you do! We all know there are only so many dollars in our paycheck and an endless number of opportunities to spend those dollars.  Being creative and very conscious of your spending goes a long way to stretching your dollars. Check...
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Why I May Never Go Grocery Shopping Again!!

A few months ago, I was shopping for groceries at my local grocery store when I kept hearing this noise. The noise it turns out was a personal shopper scanning grocery items for a grocery pick up. When I asked the store associate about it, she said that more and more people were trying it. As a...
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Three Quick Holiday Spending Tips

With Thanksgiving this week, holiday shopping will be in full swing come Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday! So, here are some last minute holiday shopping tips to keep your spending plan in check! USE YOUR CASH Use cash instead of credit to make...
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Test Your Knowledge about Health Insurance

Just how well do you understand health insurance policies? It's a challenging topic! Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed people about health insurance terms and concepts; only 4% answered all of the 10 questions correctly. However, that quiz is from 2014. With the Health Insurance Marketplace (...
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Making Taxes More Fun!

Every year we dread doing the one thing we must get done, and that is filing our taxes. This year, I want to help make taxes more fun and enjoyable! Have you heard about IRS Tax Form 8888? If not, it's going to be your new best...
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“Being saving”

Have you heard that phrase – "being saving"? If not, you might have thought there was a typo or that I've forgotten the rules of grammar. But actually, it's a phase I grew up with. it might be a "regionalism" – a word or phrase whose use is limited to one part of the country – or an antiquated...
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The Student Loan Chronicles

Student Loans. As a financial educator and millennial, I am one of the hundreds of thousands of individuals who have student loan debt. Most of the debt was my choice, but the ramifications of my choice never fully hit me until I had to start paying them back. Over the next few months, I'm going to...
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I Want it My Way: Power of Attorney Can Help

On a good day, I wonder if my family hears what I say or if all they hear is "blah, blah, blah!" However, when I talk about what I want to happen if I'm in an accident, hospitalized or die, I'm SURE some of my family completely blocks my words. That's why I think it's so important that I write down...
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Consumer Economics Educator Position Open

Would you like to be a part of the team that writes this blog?  University of Illinois Extension is looking for a dynamic person who would like to teach personal finance and consumer issues! Is this you or someone you know?  The position closes September 29th so act now.Extension Educator,...
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Are You Credit Invisible?

Do you have a credit history? If you're not planning to borrow money, perhaps you think it's not important. Well, your credit history can affect your finances even when you're not borrowing money! Insurance companies, perspective employers (for some types of jobs), and utility companies may be...
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