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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Sasha Grabenstetter

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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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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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, especially our credit card debt. Well avid readers, I can tell you that we accomplished that goal in August 2016! We paid off $12,500 worth of c...

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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 wallet stolen and unfortunately, her social security card was inside. According to the...

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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 were we ready to buy or should we 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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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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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 Moving Moochers blog post , but below are just some mindful tips when moving into your first house! Not al...

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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 "Players" this process should go smoothly for most people. But let's dive into the nitty gritty! Your realtor might call this process...

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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 Finding a Realtor , but today we'll be more focused on the other players who help make your dream a reality. Who...

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Sasha Learns

Sasha Learns: How to Buy a House - Home Inspection & More

Last time I left you with the end of our house hunt! We found the home of our dreams and put in an offer, but I left out some important details that went into the process. In this post we'll be talking about the home inspection and other important home buying details! Price Point When deciding when to buy a home, especially when you go house hunting, you need to...

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