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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Going Green
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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Home Energy Calculator

What's the Payback Time for Home Energy Improvements?

After months of cold winter days, and paying to heat my home, I'm ready in the spring for new ways to make my home more energy efficient! This time of the year is also when many homeowners like myself scramble to put home improvement plans into action, especially those plans that require hiring expertise to do the work. This year we're finally replacing the siding on our home! When we m...

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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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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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Money lost through door

Is Your Money Slipping Out the Door?

Do you have door weatherstripping that has been chewed off by a puppy? Do you have windows that don't seal completely? Perhaps you have holes going from the outside to the inside of your house from old pipes or wiring? If so, money is slipping out of your house! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating our homes accounts for 42% of our utility bills. If you're heating the out...

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Holiday Blast from the Past

My holiday plans this year include an interesting mix of tradition and a little bit new. And, as usual, I find myself striving to find a balance between time and money; always a challenge but especially during the holiday season. Reading over blog posts from previous years, I found that several holiday posts were helpful to me and still relevant. I thought you might enjoy them too. Past...

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Cool Your Home and Save Money Too

My utility bills go way up in the hot summer months. Part of the cost increase is probably because my three college-age sons come home for the summer, but part of it is also our desire to keep our home cool. One hot evening recently I was motivated to rethink our household habits to try and find ways to keep our home cool and save money. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has some good s...

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bulb label

Shopping for Lumens (aka Light Bulbs)

Stroll down a light bulb aisle at your local hardware store and you may be amazed at the choices. And, you may be confused! I know that I have been. Well, after reading several articles and spending time wandering around the light bulb aisles, I have some suggestions that may help you choose light bulbs. First, shop for lumens rather than watts. Watts are a measure of how much energy...

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America Saves: Save on Food and Energy Expenses

Some kinds of expenses are harder to cut that others. Here are ideas for cutting two kinds of expenses can can pay dividends right away. One household expense where significant savings can often be found is the family food bill. The next time you go food shopping, take a good look at what's in the cart before checking out. Are there expensive snacks or convenience foods that you can do...

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Green for the Holidays -- Money Saving Ideas

Recycle, reduce, reuse – these are familiar words year-round, but during the holidays it can seem like our mantra is more like buy, buy, and buy more! Are you looking for some creative ways to stretch your dollars (and be green) this holiday season? Consider these ideas: Give gift certificates or IOUs that use your time and talents. Send greeting cards only to tho...

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You Too Can Earn a High Rate of Return for Home Energy Improvements

For every dollar you spend or invest, there is an opportunity cost. For example, the dollar that you use to buy food cannot be used to invest for retirement. (Nor can the dollar you use to pay credit card interest charges, but that's another blog post!) Little kids up to senior citizens understand that a dollar can only be spent once. We may not like this but we live this everyday! Some...

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Earth Day -- Recycling Helps Your Finances

I have a lot of fond memories about Earth Day going back to the 70s when I met my soon-to-be brother-in-law at an Earth Day Festival to last week when I enjoyed talking with a group of older ladies about recycling and energy conservation. Over the years I have participated in many conversations about the importance of conservation. Clearly conservation is good for the environment, but have you...

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Smart Home: Green + Wired

For great ideas on how to save money and be green, visit Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry's new exhibit, Smart Home: Green + Wired . The house – and the exhibit is actually a full-scale house – is a modular home powered by solar energy and a wind turbine. E...

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