It takes extra effort around the holidays to stay within a budget. We tend to spend more when we're tired and stressed, and holidays can add tasks and expectations to our already busy lives. In addition, everywhere we turn are spectacular sales, deals, and wish lists full of gifts and gadgets to buy! As the season for giving begins in earnest, think about ways to save a little money here and there for big savings overall.
Travel is the spice of life! Travel is an opportunity to see and do things differently from our daily lives, connect with family and friends, and re-energize ourselves. Whether you choose to out of the county, across the country, or around the world, thinking about ways to decrease costs can be helpful – maybe it’ll even mean you can do more travel!
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 support, and transportation services. Sometimes we can handle these challenges on our own, and sometimes community resources are helpful. It’s not until a specific, personal need comes up that we tend to ask, “Who do I call to get help with fill-in-the-blank?”
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 when it relates to them. No one cares more about which school folder, backpack, or school clothes is purchased than the child or young adult that will use them! Take advantage of the moment and include children in back-to-school decision making.
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 in probate with your possessions and assets in limbo.
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 and promote positive financial behaviors. Our goal is to provide practical tips and resources for consumers as they work to manage their finances and improve their overall well-being.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day-to-day life and purchases don’t allow much time for reflection. However, let’s explore a couple of quick activities that can be helpful.
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?
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
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.
Talking about money can be tough. We tend to have all kinds of values, mixed messages, emotions and more tied to our money conversations. For some people, the last kind of talk they want to have with family is "the money talk." We tend to avoid the topic. Unfortunately, this means our children may not be as prepared to handle their finances when they're adults.
Youth manage money better as adults if the following happens while they are young:
What summer jobs have you done? Why did you choose those jobs? I have worked many summer jobs over the years to save and pay off debt. This type of seasonal work is important to our economy, and it has important personal financial effects on youth and their families.
July is the summertime peak for youth employment and these opportunities help them gain experience, build confidence, and earn money and have long-term effects on their overall financial well-being.