Financial Wellness

Helping you manage your money, for school and for life!

October 1, 2013
by Carissa
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Spending $936 on lunch

The report is official: the average American spends $936 each year by going out for lunch (as reported by Visa’s survey at Practicalmoneyskills.com).  And that doesn’t even include the daily trips for coffee that many often make… 

I don’t know about you, but when I look at how I spend my money each year, I definitely don’t plan for almost $1000 of my hard-earned money to go to restaurants!  That’s money that could be used to pay down debt, start an emergency fund, invest in my retirement account, or even take a really nice vacation – the possibilities are endless!

Although eating out is by far the biggest “spending leak” in the budgets of most, there are MANY other ways in which we needlessly spend/waste our money.  From late fees to interest charges to missed tax breaks, this Kiplinger article on Yahoo Finance has a great list to help you identify and start combatting all the ways in which you may be losing money.

If you have any great tips or comments on spending leaks, let us know!

September 23, 2013
by Carissa
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Living on less than $40k per year

When I talk to people about responsible money management, they will sometimes argue that they don’t even have enough money to manage.  I wholeheartedly disagree!  Like most things in life, smaller projects are always easier to manage than larger ones, and thus having less money is actually the best time to really get control of your finances. 

But don’t just take my word for it; lenpenzo.com has a great series of guest posts from people all across the country who are living on $40,000 or less.  And they are doing it well!  It is always inspiring and motivating to me to see how others are gaining financial freedom, and I hope their stories will do the same for you.  Check them out, let me know what you think, and feel free to share your stories of money management in the comments!

August 12, 2013
by Carissa
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Saving Money by Cutting Cable

For most people, myself included, when I look at ways in which I can cut back every month, the buck stops when it comes to my cable.  After all, if I’m saving money by not going out as much, aren’t I going to rely more on TV for entertainment?  And since my cable is bundled with my internet service, it just seems logical to keep it all anyway.  Right?  Well, maybe not.

There have been so many advancements with streaming technology that you may be able to save yourself hundreds of dollars per year by cutting the cord and making the switch!  With Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, network websites and so many other ways to get your television fix, it does seem like cable companies may be going the way of the dodo.  By finding a good internet plan and subscibing to a few streaming services, many converts are swearing by this new way of watching television.

I don’t pretened to be an expert on this stuff, but the money saver in me was definitely intrigued by this article by Snarkfinance writer Mitchell Pauly.  He shows an example of $888 annual savings for a Comcast customer switching to streaming – when you put it like that, it certainly seems worth consideration!

Has anyone made the leap and gotten rid of their cable?  Tell us what you think!

May 22, 2013
by Carissa
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The Sandwich Generation

Taking charge of your finances is usually not just about the individual; whether you’re married, planning to get married, or have kids, your financial health can and will affect the lives of those around you.    To take it one step further, the American Institute of CPAs has a unique spin on this topic, addressing  the growing challenges facing many middle-aged Americans: worrying about their own futures, caring for children and/or college expenses, AND now having to assist aging parents or other relatives.  It has created a “Sandwich Generation” of people caught in between all of these responsibilities, and strengthens the argument that improving our own financial health is one of the best things we can to do help others.
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This article has some great tips on what you can expect with elderly care, how you can prepare now, and ways to juggle the needs of your children, your parents or relatives, and yourself!

If you have any experience with this or need some advice from others, feel free to leave a comment.

April 22, 2013
by Carissa
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Seven questions

Forbes.com has two articles, each with seven questions, that will 1) help you determine your level of financial literacy, and 2) help you reevaluate your spending strategies

Can seven questions really change your spending habits?  Maybe, depending on where you are in your financial journey.  But the key to improving financial literacy is to make a conscious effort to think about your spending and savings on a daily basis, and these questions will definitely get you thinking! 

If you’re ready to put some action into your thoughts, then you should also check out this “Investing for the Long Run” guide on how to improve your personal finances.  Provided by Morningstar, one of our library’s investment database subscriptions, it’s an all-in-one tool to guide you through basic budgeting and saving, all the way through planning your investment portfolio.

If you have any other resources that have inspired you on your path to financial wellness, leave us a comment and tell us about it!