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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

The Student Loan Chronicles: The Average Amount of Debt

The Student Loan Chronicles: What is the average amount people owe? Back in May, I started the Student Loan Chronicles blog series. Last month I covered "What is it?" trying to define what is a student loan, and how does it work. This month we w...

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Help Your Child Understand Spending Money

The last few summers I have spent time compiling and creating educational money-related activities for young children. In other words, I get to read creative, insightful picture books and experiment with fun hands-on materials! Then, during the school year, University of Illinois Extension staff and volunteers present these lessons to youth. I am very impressed with how curious children 4-11 years...

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Invest allocation

I want to start investing. How much of my savings should I invest?

I was recently posed this question by a workshop participant I'll call Rick: "I have accumulated some money, and it is all in bank accounts. I feel like I should have some part of it invested in things like stocks and bonds. But how much? And how do I get started? I'm worried that stock prices seem like they're very high right now, but the interest I'm gettin...

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The Student Loan Chronicles: What is it?

Last month I wrote a post about starting the student loan chronicles . For those of us paying back student loans, this is usually what it feels like . You get paid, then your loan is due a few days later, and you feel like all of your money is gone! By knowi...

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credit invisible

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 looking at your credit report or credit score to determine what to charge you or whether to offer you...

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Don't risk a lot to save a little. Or said a different way, stupid ways you can waste your money!

"Don't risk a lot to save a little." That simple phrase has stuck with me through many years since I learned it while studying for my Certified Financial Planner designation. It was one of three basic principles of risk management. (I've forgotten the other two.) The idea is, don't try to save a nickel when that decision might end up costing you $10. Over the years, I have often thought...

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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 take a peek behind the curtain of student loans. I'm going to interview friends who were...

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