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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Pam Atkinson
Credit Card Rules

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, on average, people spend 30% more than if they use cash. The reasons are many. Some small...

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Jan 17 Save Money

Seven Ways to Save Money This Year.

January is a time when we all take a look at our finances and decide "I need to do something different". Whether it's the bills coming in from Christmas or the looming doom of paying your taxes, we could all use a little extra for something. I'll admit that I am terrible at some of these items and pretty good on others. So I have challenged myself to become better at watching every penn...

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Holiday gift cards-Beware the Scams!

Holiday gift cards-Beware the Scams!

Over the years, gift cards have become a favorite gift. You don't have to worry about color or size, and there is one for every taste. Shipping costs are minimal, and you can purchase them almost everywhere. If you get a gift card for somewhere you don't shop, or for a store that's not in your area, there are websites where you can sell or exchange them for cash. However, gift cards hav...

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First Credit Card - part 3

Care and Feeding of your first card. Steps toward your first Credit Card part 3

In previous posts, I have talked about deciding if you can handle a credit card by looking at your spending habits ( read that post here ) and the next step of determining which card is for you ( read that post here ). By now you have...

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Steps Toward Your First Credit Card-part 2

Next Steps Toward Your First Credit Card

In part one, we talked about the preparation needed before choosing your first credit card ( read it here ). Knowing your financial habits and background is necessary before entering into the world of credit. Credit can be a useful tool if utilized carefully. It can be your worst nightmare if used recklessly. Once assured that your financial habits ca...

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First Credit Card - 1

Steps Towards Your First Credit Card

I was asked recently about how someone should go about choosing their first credit card. I remembered the first card I got and how poorly I handled it. I was so thrilled to have one and immediately made plans to buy a big color television set so I could watch the Olympics in color. Growing up, we only had a black and white set and a small one at that. My father did not see a need for color. How...

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Summerize!

Summer-ize Your Home for Money Savings

  Now that the weather has turned nice, the temptation is to sit outside with a cool beverage and enjoy the sunshine. For full enjoyment all summer long, take a few weekends now to get the summer home maintenance out of the way. Spending a little time and a little money now will pay off in money savings all season long. Save Electricity Electric bills of...

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Valentines blog

True Love=Savings

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. It is said that Valentine's Day came about because of an Italian bishop who married couples in secret. At the time Roman Emperor Claudius II was fighting a war and believed that married men were not good soldiers. He thought they would rather be at home with their families then off to war on behalf of their countries. So, he abolished marriage. Bishop...

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Blog image Jan 2016

Why the Next Four Weeks are Critical to Filing Your Taxes

Death and Taxes - two things we can't avoid. I don't know about you but I really hate filing taxes. It is so much paperwork and time consuming, even when my paperwork is organized. I usually put it off until later, much, much later. What I have been reading lately about identity theft and stolen identity refund fraud is making me change my mind. Accordin...

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tax time

Seven Things you can do NOW to Prepare for Tax Time.

It's tax time! I know it's only December and you'd rather do anything but think about filing your income taxes which aren't due until April 15 th 2016, but I am urging you to start preparing now and file as early as humanly possible. There are lots of reasons to begin your income taxes before the end of the year that could save you money. Making tax deductible contribu...

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blogaward2

Plan Well Retire Well Wins National Award

I'd like to take a minute to toot our own horn. The writing team behind the Plan Well Retire Well blog just won two awards for Internet Education Communications from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) at their annual conference held November 2-5, 2015 in White Sulfur Springs WV. We received first-place in the Central regi...

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Credit Score Relationships3-01

"C-Harmony": Using Credit Scores to Predict Relationship Success

There's a new tool you can use to help predict if the person you are dating is a good prospect for a long committed relationship. It is your credit score. It is one more reason to improve your credit report and keep it good. A recent study by the Federal Reserve Board looked at 12 million randomly sel...

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July 2015 food budget

Saving the Food Budget

Have you noticed that food prices are going up, up, and away? Flooding in the Midwest. Drought in the West. Bird flu among poultry. The price of meat higher than the price of gasoline. Where will it stop? It seems like there is not much we can do other than pay more and get less. Most people look for one simple fix that will get them to where they want to be (going vegetarian co...

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MH900442284

Summer home maintenance saves $$$

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found money

Found Money

Have you ever noticed that as soon as you have a good chunk of money saved, things happen that cause you to spend it? I started this day excited. I checked my banking accounts to find that my income tax refund check had been deposited overnight.  While I advocate that people not use the federal government as a savings account and to adjust withholding to get more money in each paycheck. This ye...

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promwordle

The Rising Cost of Prom and the "Promposal".

I think that social media is costing us much money. Until a few days ago, I had never heard of a promposal. Granted I went to high school in the stone ages when boys awkwardly asked girls at their lockers to go to the prom. My children's experience was not far removed from that other than all the couples went as a big group rather than as individual couples. My son even waited until the night b...

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Financial March Madness

March is a big part of a financial time of the year. For those sports fans, especially of college basketball, the all-important "bracket" is the subject of many studies, guessing and possible financial "investing". It can be an exciting or agonizing time as favorite teams are defeated, and a "Cinderella" team takes the bracket. It can also be a time when lots of discretionary mo...

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games blog

The Game of Saving

We often play games to entertain us or to help teach life lessons in a pretend or safe environment. How about making savings a game? For many people, asking or requiring them to save as part of their overall spending plans, may feel like a punishment. I have to save this money so I CANT…. (Fill in the blank). When you are trying to reach a financial goal, you need the w...

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The Year of Suck - Didn't!

Last February, I wrote about a conversation I had with a coworker titled  "The Year of Suck " where she detailed the plan she and her husband had for paying off their credit cards by adding money to their payments. However, finding that extra money meant cutting back on many little things that (in her words) would make life suck. Challenged by her declaration...

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BlogPins4

Top Five Tips and Strategies to Save Your Sanity and Budget This Holiday Season

Top Five Tips and Strategies to Save Your Sanity and Budget This Holiday Season Whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, the end of the year is a budget buster, and the financial hangover can last for months. The problem is no one wants to be seen as a Scrooge or a Grinch. One key is not just to buy less but shop smarter. Retailers are masters at running promotions...

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PINTREST pins

Son of a Breach!

With the news that JP Morgan Chase's breach of accounts was much larger than previously reported, millions of people and businesses are shaking their heads and wondering when this will all stop. It will not. Hackers have the upper hand and we mere mortals are at the mercy of those we entrust with our financial information. To be fair, the JP Morgan Chase breech...

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woman in convertable

Three Rules for Car Buying You Should not Break….and Why I Broke Them!

Rules were meant to be broken- but not on a regular basis. Living a life according to the seemingly conservative and boring rules may not be exciting, but will enable you to weather life's storms when you must then break a rule or two to achieve your needs. I try to live a good financial live- prepared for life's little setbacks. I have some absolute rules I live by and so far that has...

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zombies

Conquering the apocalypse of zombie debt

We have learned a lot about zombies from the movies. There are ways to keep zombies from eating your brain. Bar the doors, understand and choose your weapons, figure out your escape route. Similar tactics can help you be victorious in standing down the debt apocalypse. What is Zombie debt? In short, zombie debt is debt you thought was long gone coming back to ha...

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abc 123

Back to school shopping: It’s as Easy as A-B-C and 1-2-3

I saw my first television ad for back to school supplies on July 1 this year and I just shook my head. For many school-aged children, especially in the Midwest, school has barely ended for the year and they are reminded that it is all about to start over again. Why, they have not had a chance to get bored yet! My all-time favorite commercial shows a dad shopping for his two children. He...

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smiley with money

10 MORE Rules Money Savvy Kids Should Know by Age 18

I have mentioned before that I did not do a very good job of teaching my kids how to handle money. That is in part because my parents did not do a good job teaching me. Finances were something that were not talked about with children (who should be seen and not heard!). Many do not believe that family finances should be talked about and in some cases that is true. But, there are plenty of thing...

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