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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Sasha Grabenstetter
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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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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Utilizing the Library to Keep Costs Down

Utilizing the Library to Keep Costs Down

For many people it may be obvious that by using your local library, you would save money, but many people don't even utilize their library! According to a 2016 Study on Libraries by the Pew Research Center , "just under half of all those age 16 and older (48 percent) say they have visited a public library…in person...

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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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Three Quick Holiday Spending Tips

With Thanksgiving this week, holiday shopping will be in full swing come Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday! So, here are some last minute holiday shopping tips to keep your spending plan in check! USE YOUR CASH Use cash instead of credit to make purchases – research shows us that we spend up to 30% more when we use a credit c...

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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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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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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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Making Taxes More Fun!

Every year we dread doing the one thing we must get done, and that is filing our taxes. This year, I want to help make taxes more fun and enjoyable! Have you heard about IRS Tax Form 8888 ? If not, it's going to be your new best friend this tax season! IRS Tax Form 8888 let's you do some pretty cool things,...

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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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Freedom from Credit Card Debt!

Back in December of 2014, I wrote a blog post called " 2014 Financial Goal Challenge: All About that Debt " describing how my husband and I had been trying to pay off all of our debt,...

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 A GoalWithoutA PlanIs JustA Wish

Life Transitions - Change is Constant

"The only thing that is constant is change."-Heraclitus Life seems to move faster and faster as we age. I know from experience that when I started working for Extension I was a single person, then engaged, then married. Our readers have followed me along in my home buying series and now I'm excited to share that we'...

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Insurance Check

Insurance Check - Shopping for Car Insurance

When was the last time you shopped around for car insurance? If you're like most Americans, you don't. According to a June 2015 survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International and commissioned by insuranceQuotes.com , 66 percent of policyholders never or rarely check to...

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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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CoverPhoto LoveYourLoan 2016

Student Loan Repayment… You have options!

Yesterday my colleagues and I completed our third webinar about student loan repayment in the last three years. I thought it be helpful to include some of the important tips we covered during our webinar. Especially for those who have young adults who are going off to college soon, are in college or are currently in repayment. If you'd like to watch the entir...

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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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ASW: Facing Retirement

If you haven't guessed it by now, I am a Millennial. The idea of being 65+ is a concept that I can't completely grasp yet. I do worry about retirement and wonder if I am saving enough for my future self. Retirement will come, even if you say you won't "retire" one day you may need a nest egg! No matter what age you are, it's important to save for retirement. In one of my graduate classe...

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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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Don't Get Stuck by the Financial Ghosts of Christmas Past!

2016 is here! It's in full swing and most people have the best intentions to start something new, but what about financially? Sure we want to lose weight, read more, or visit more of the world, but when do we ever set up new financial resolutions? If you're stuck in 2015's financial ghost of Christmas past, below are some tips to combat them! The Ghost of Debt T...

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PWRW blog Death over a dead turkey

Talking about Death over [a dead] Turkey

Thanksgiving is a time where families and friends come together to be thankful for all that they have. However, one conversation you should consider having around your family dinner table is about death. Did she just say "death"? That's right, I said death. As much as an uncomfortable topic as it is, it's one you should be having with almost every family member you have. Whether it's wi...

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