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Plan Well, Retire Well 2020

Winter checklist: tips for a warm, safe home

Winterize your home: winter weather checklist

With the way this year has been going, I wanted to get a head start on preparing my home for cold temperatures before old man winter makes a full appearance. Taking steps to get your house ready for colder weather can save you money and help you and your family stay safe and warm. Each year, I...
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Women holding her head and looking at table with bills

Looking for new ways to make bill payment painless

I hate to pay bills and I’m always looking for ways to make it less painful. I used to be able to pay bills just once a month – after payday – and this seemed to work to keep my bills on time. However, that doesn’t work for me now. Now I don’t have a good system – especially in terms of when to pay...
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Who to call? image of hands touching

Who do I call to get help with fill-in-the-blank?

As we move through our lives, different challenges and needs rise. In my own family, our needs have changed over time. When my children were young, I was concerned with finding quality childcare and used clothing and toys. As family members aged, we needed home delivery of meals, medical care...
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hot air balloons

Financial Wellness Checkup – Grow your savings

Tomorrow is the last day of our social media campaign, Financial Wellness Checkup! Over the past five weeks. 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...
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Financial Wellness Checkup Campaign Back-to-school planning

Back to School planning

Back-to-school excitement – with a little spice of apprehension – is in the air! As the back-to-school season approaches, financial challenges and opportunities abound. One opportunity is to help youth grow their money skills. It’s easier to engage people in money conversations and decision-making...
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Estate Planning - Financial Wellness Checkup

Estate Planning is one of the most overlooked pieces of a holistic financial plan. It could be because we’re not only discussing money, but also death. Two of the most unfriendly topics in finances. With, estate planning is a really important part of finances, without a will, your estate can end up...
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minor child walking down the sidewalk

Naming a Guardian for your Minor Child

Choosing someone to raise your child in the event you die is a daunting task.  While godparents can be a potential choice for a guardian, without documentation from your will to nominate a personal guardian, your wishes may not be honored. Below are a few pieces of information I gathered from my...
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Financial Wellness Checkup Campaign

Enjoy Illinois Extension's financial wellness checkup!

Over the past few months, the economic climate has shifted dramatically with high unemployment rates and other levels of financial instability. To help us all sort through the implications of this era, the consumer economics team has launched a new campaign, Financial Wellness Checkup to discuss...
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dog and cat cuddling

Pets: Care, Costs, & Cuddles

For as long as I can remember, we’ve always had a furry companion in my household. Whether it was a cat, dog, bird, or fish, having a pet as a companion can make many people happier. Having said that, pets have expenses to keep a pet healthy, happy, and safe. Costs There are many...
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Woman streaming television eating popcorn

For the Love of Streaming

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...
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Bills piling up

Which Bills to Pay First?

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...
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Grocery bag filled with vegetables, eggs, and fruit

Shopping for Groceries Online

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...
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What to do with $1200? Hand holding $20 dollar bills.

What to Do with $1,200?

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...
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Picture of young woman staring at piggy bank with word, coping, next to her.

Coping with Finances During Times of Uncertainties

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...
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woman, stressed, credit cards

Making a Dent in that Debt

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...
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