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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
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Family Financial Feuds

Family Financial Feuds - a New Podcast!

We're really excited to show off the work we've done on our new podcast. We hope you'll give us a listen! https://go.illinois.edu/FamilyFinancialFeuds-Introductions Let us know what you think! Either in the comments or on our Facebook page!  https://www.facebook.com/PlanWellRetireWell/...

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Paying for a Funeral

Paying for a funeral – the options, costs and decisions you need to make.

Most people don't know this but I had to help plan, put together, and pay for both of my parent's funerals. I write this post to help you get ideas about what you'd like for your funeral/burial and to get you moving to get things planned for yourself. Now in the past we've covered some great estate planning topics such as...

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Should I ask for donations instead of birthday gifts   1

Should I ask for donations instead of birthday gifts?

There seems to be a recent trend, thanks to Facebook, of asking for donations for your (or someone else's) birthday instead of gifts. For the last two years, we have asked for donations to our son's birthday instead of toys or gifts that he might play with for a few minutes and then forget about. Here are some items to consider if you've been wanting to ask for donations for your birthday or a...

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How Do You Save Money During the Summer?

Happy first day of summer! For those of us in the colder regions of the U.S., the warmer months present us with options we longed for during the winter, but how do we take advantage of the warm weather? What are some ways we can save over the summer? Check out local opportunities : If you are like me, you may miss some of the great event...

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Is Gardening Garbage or Great

Is Gardening Garbage or Great?

For the last two summers, my family and I have had a garden in the backyard. We take the time to till the soil, plant the vegetables and herbs, then wait. This summer I want to track my spending and see if my time and money it's really worth having a garden. This year we planted: 7 tomato plants (roma, heirloom and cherry) 4 bell pepper plants 1 jalap...

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how insurance saved the day!

Lost my Wedding Ring! How insurance saved the day!

Last August, I lost something very important to me – my wedding ring! I took it off to wash the dishes and when I went to find it the next morning, it was gone. I searched my trash can, recycle bins as well as all through the house. At first, I was really upset until I remember that we had insured it! Insuring personal property isn't hard, but you have to remember to do it. Sometimes it...

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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 financial educator, I was intrigued and went ahead and signed up. So what did I find?...

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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...

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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, th...

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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 $35,329 dollars (and that doesn't even include the honeymoon!) Even attending a wedding as a guest can g...

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holiday shopping tips

Holiday Spending Tips

The holidays are coming up… and with it is the ability to overspend. Whether you're shopping for a few or many, having a plan for the holidays can help. Below are my top 3 holiday spending tips! 1. Use a budget within a budget. Although this seems tedious, having a budget within a budget will help to keep your spending in check. In a normal spending period, you have all of your...

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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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SOCIAL SECURITY

How to Guard Your Social Security Number!

Back in February, I wrote a blog post about scams and what tasks you need to do right away if you become a victim . Recently my sister had her...

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TOP 3 TIPS

Top 3 Financial Tips for New College Graduates

With the class of 2016 graduating from college, I reminisced about my own graduation from my alma mater. Below are my top 3 financial planning tips for college graduates (and a bonus for those who have student loans!) Congrats graduates, and enjoy! Create an Emergency Fund No matter if you just graduated with your undergraduate, graduate or PhD degr...

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1 Year Later

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - 1 Year Later...

One year ago I bought my house with my husband, along the way I documented all that I had learned. We started off asking tons of questions! Asking ourselves we were ready to buy or continue to rent ? We then found our...

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Follow Up

Follow Up…Talking about Death over Dinner

Prior to Thanksgiving last year, I wrote this post: Talking about Death over [a dead] Turkey . What I didn't know was how timely this post would be in my family's life. You see, my husband's grandma came home from rehabilitation the day before Thanksgiving. The financial educator in me wanted to "practice what I preached." As we were getting r...

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SCAM-2

Scam-Grams! Watch out!

Everyday someone falls victim to a scam or fraud. With the help of technology, scams happen more often each day. Recently a member of my family fell into a scam. She went to look for some help online with her printer, searched online for the phone number and called asking for help. After 45 minutes on the phone, the scammers installed software to "help" her printer and then asked her for $75. T...

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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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Why Everyone Should Check their Credit!

Why Everyone Should Check their Credit!

When the topic of credit comes up in one of my classes, people tend to have lots of questions about it. However, I am always shocked on the amount of people who don't check their credit on a regular basis. Below are some great reasons on why you should check your credit report! Check Your Credit for FREE The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the three credit bu...

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Sasha Learns  How to Buy a House

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - Moving In

As the Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House series comes to an end – the final step in the first time home buying process is moving in! When I first moved to Illinois I went through the moving process with my...

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She's Back - The Financial Fat Cat

The Financial Fat Cat is back with a new savings tips! This summer the Consumer Economics team wanted to be in the GoBankingRates #MoneyMinute Challenge again! With our great success last year of the Financial Fat Cat, we wanted to expand on our Fat Cat's knowledge of perso...

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Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - The Closing

Whew! What a journey we've been on together with the Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House series! This month we're going to cover the closing process. If you've been working with awesome "...

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Sasha Learns  How to Buy a House - the Players

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - The Players

When you buy a home for the first time or even your 100 th , there is a group of people you need to work with to get the home purchase accomplished. In a previous post we talked a lot about...

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