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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Reduce Spending
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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The Easy Way to Set Up a Spending Plan.

Have you ever thought about setting up a spending plan (aka budget) but it seemed like too much work? Here's an idea that can help jumpstart that process. Usually financial experts suggest that you track your expenses for a month first, to see where your money is actually going. Then you create your budget based on that information. That's a useful process. But I have a different approa...

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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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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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Cut Expenses While in College

Clearly college is expensive. However, most of the cost is not tuition! According to the National Center for Education Statistics , public 4-year, in-state costs in 2015-16 for students totaled $19,189 and tuition and fees was only 46% of total costs; room and board was the remaining cost . A...

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“Being saving”

Have you heard that phrase – "being saving"? If not, you might have thought there was a typo or that I've forgotten the rules of grammar. But actually, it's a phase I grew up with. it might be a "regionalism" – a word or phrase whose use is limited to one part of the country – or an antiquated phrase. When I searched online, I found two books from the early 1900s that used it. One even had an e...

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5 Awesome Ideas to Stretch Your Dollars!

Do you want to get the most bang for your buck?  Of course you do! We all know there are only so many dollars in our paycheck and an endless number of opportunities to spend those dollars.  Being creative and very conscious of your spending goes a long way to stretching your dollars. Check Your Bills Carefully When was the last time you looked carefully at each...

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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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I Love My Library

Using My Library to Save Money

I love my library! In case you hadn't noticed, your library offers a lot more than printed books. Recently, I began to realize that I'm benefitting from my library more and more – and saving more money – because of all the various services they provide. I still occasionally go the library and borrow a printed book. But more often, I'm using my library in different ways:...

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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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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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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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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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How Much are You Willing to Spend for Time, Convenience, Taste, Etc.

In your daily life, what questions are you asked? I suppose philosophers ponder questions like, ""If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" As a financial educator, I've been asked questions lately like: Does a Subscription Box save people money? Should I pay someone to mow my lawn or clean my house? Can you actually s...

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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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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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Challenge Yourself To Save As Much As You Spend On Holidays

Please welcome guest blogger, Tammy Greynolds!! Tammy Greynolds works for America Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), which seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at AmericaSaves.org . Consumers are getting sa...

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Small Meal Plan

Plan Meals to Save Money and Eat Well

It's back to school time and that means busy schedules for many families! Between juggling work, after school activities and sports, it can be challenging to provide healthy, low-cost meals for you and others. Making a weekly plan for meals is one way to gain control over your food budget, and avoid the temptation of eating out which tends to be more expensive. Typically in the US, peop...

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Dear Young Friend: “Cheap Insurance” for the Things You Worry About

Dear Young Friend, If you're twenty-something, what do you worry about? Karen ___________________   That's the question I posed on my Facebook page when I was working on last month's post, How to Think about Risk and Insurance , as part of my...

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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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Summer home maintenance saves $$$

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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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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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