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Fearless Financial Future

Research-based financial information to help us develop and maintain thoughtful and effective financial behaviors
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Banking mostly online even though I love walking into the local branch of my financial institution

About six years ago, my partner learned about a new bank (and like he does with everything), he did a lot of research and decided that this was the financial institution for him. This bank helps him set goals, stay disciplined, keep track with his spending, and it offers good interest rates. In other words, it offers great automation options and web-based and technical support services that mak...

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Simon says “Free Credit Freeze”

Financial fraud (e.g. identity theft and telephone scams ) has become far too common, and millions of consumers' personal information are targeted each year. The consumer economics team at University of Illinois Extension wrote several articles about the steps we should take to protect ourselves from fraud and beef up our...

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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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1-800 Scam, that’s 1-800, do not call for more information

Is it time to add your teenager to your family's cell phone plan? Are you looking to make changes to your individual plan? Do you still predominantly use landlines because of where you live, package deals, or comfort level? Whatever your current telephone situation, having a telephone service or plan that is reasonable, affordable, and convenient makes all the difference in your busy life....

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Credit Score, Credit Report – Meh, what’s the Difference?

One of the most common questions consumer economics educators receive about credit has to do with the difference between a credit score and a credit report. In some instances, both are used interchangeably and that has helped fuel the confusion. So, let's start by defining these terms: The difference...

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The Money Mentor Program in McLean County is Now Accepting Money Mentor Participants!

If you or someone you know are interested in receiving FREE, one-on-one financial mentorship, we have the program for you! Individuals who participated in the program made significant changes to their financial lives. This includes: (a) paying down debt, (b) saving money for family members in need, (c) developing budgets that worked well for them, (d) increasing contributions to retirement sav...

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Ads, Ads, Ads: Digital Advertising on Our Social Media Pages

There has been an important focus on digital advertising on social media platforms. For those of us who grew up prior to the advance we now see with technology and streaming services, we had to sit through all the commercials if we wanted to watch our favorite shows. Marketing strategies have changed to expand the reach and keep up with consumer behaviors. Additionally, we have seen a lot in th...

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