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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Saving Money
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3 tips for shopping online this holiday season

My shopping experiences have changed radically over the past few years. The older I get, the more I have a hard time going shopping. On the other hand, I have friends and family members who enjoy walking through the stores, finding the best bargains, and the right things that fit their needs. Online shopping opened up a new avenue for consumers, including me, to have a different type of...

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The Gift of Gift Cards

I often joke that I am a terrible gift-giver. I have a hard time picking out the right gifts for friends and family. If you are like me and you struggle with finding the best gifts for the people in your life, gift cards may be the perfect solution! Gift cards provide a seemingly easy way to shop for others. It is hard to tell if buying gift cards reduces the time and energy we put into picking...

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Who Do You Live With? Why?

Do you live alone or with others? How has this changed for you over your life? In my life, who is under the rooftop has been a story of change: people moving in and out during life transitions. I am not alone. Many people today live in households with adults from different generations (multigenerational). In fact, in 2016 a record 64 million people – 20% of the U.S. population – lived w...

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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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Summer Employment: Saving with Your Youth

What summer jobs have you done? Why did you choose those jobs? I have worked many summer jobs over the years to save and pay off debt. This type of seasonal work is important to our economy, and it has important personal financial effects on youth and their families. July is the summertime peak for ...

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If Only I was 25 Years Old Again!

Too often when I talk to people in their 50s about money, I hear "If only I had known or done ____ when I was 25!" There's no doubt that it's hard to change spending and saving behaviors after decades of practicing those not-so-helpful behaviors. So, what is the most important thing for someone in their 20s or 30s to know about money? That's a challenging question! I like to talk to peo...

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Share Your Savings Goal and Win $1000 in the #ImSavingFor Contest

To celebrate the upcoming America Saves Week (Feb. 27-March 4, 2017), America Saves is launching the #ImSavingFor contest. It's easy to enter. Just share a short video of your savings story, or a picture of you and what you are saving for and enter to win $1,000 at americasavesweek.org/imsavingfo...

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Be Proactive with Your Money

During times of uncertainty it can be difficult to know what financial steps to take. How can we make financial plans if we don't have all the information we need? Well, sometimes we just have to move forward with what we do know. First, evaluate your savings. Do you have enough money set-aside for emergencies or unexpected expenses? While we don't know what will happen in the economy i...

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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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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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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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Chatting about Financial Wellness

Do you hear the buzz? The conversation is getting louder. What started a few years ago as a murmur among a few is turning into excited dialogue and debate! I'm at the National Summit on Collegiate Financial Wellness and its energizing. Today's conversations centered on financial literacy...

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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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Not Your Grandfather's Tax Filing System

In the old days, I use to run around town looking for the right tax forms, go through several erasers completing the forms, and then madly race to the post office to mail my tax return by the due date. When I lived in Tucson, one post office stayed open until midnight for procrastinating filers; they even gave you a cookie when they stamped that all-so-important postmark that said you made the...

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Make Saving Money FUN!

Spending money is fun. When you buy something – like a new outfit, or furniture for your house, or a new car – you get to show it to your friends, wear it or use it for a special event. The fun goes on and on! Saving money is not typically this much fun. Well, people and organizations concerned about the small amount that many people have saved are taking new approaches to making saving...

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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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Share Your Savings Goal and Win the #imsavingfor Contest

Put a little fun into your savings! To celebrate the America Saves Week, America Saves launched the #imsavingfor contest. It's easy to enter. Just share a picture of you and what you are saving for and then enter to win $500 at AmericaSavesWeek.org/imsavingfor . Get creative with your pictures!...

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Celebrating America Saves Week: 7 Ways to Automate Your Savings

Written by guest blogger Camilla Cheung, from Wise Bread Provided by Consumer Federation of America, part of the America Saves Week celebration! Sometimes, building a healthy cushion of savings can seem like a daunting task. We all know how easy it is to make a late credit card payment, or to end up...

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Do You Have a Savings Account?

Do you remember when you started your first savings account? I know I must have been pretty young when I first deposited money because I didn't quite understand how a savings account worked, and I was disappointed when I couldn't "withdraw" my Buffalo Nickel that I had deposited. That disappointment notwithstanding, I was a lucky child to have a savings account early in my life. Researc...

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Valentines blog

True Love=Savings

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. It is said that Valentine's Day came about because of an Italian bishop who married couples in secret. At the time Roman Emperor Claudius II was fighting a war and believed that married men were not good soldiers. He thought they would rather be at home with their families then off to war on behalf of their countries. So, he abolished marriage. Bishop...

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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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Reflecting on 2015 ... Moving Forward in 2016

During the holidays I had an amazing opportunity to travel to Maui. As I walked along the beach, listening to the surf and marveling at the full rainbow over the ocean, I thought about where I am in my life and what I'd like to do in 2016. I believe in the value of reflecting on what we've done as well as setting goals for the future. In this mood, let's take a quick look at the Pla...

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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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