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With your mind so muddled with details like classes, exams and papers, who has time to think about food? You might be heading into the new semester with plans to subsist solely on convenience…
ways to save on food costs Ways to Save on Food Costs
With your mind so muddled with details like classes, exams and papers, who has time to think about food? You might be heading into the new semester with plans to subsist solely on convenience food and packaged junk. We’re looking at you, ramen noodles! But as you’ll quickly discover, overdoing the processed foods will leave you feeling not quite full and not so nutritionally sound, either. You’re ready for a change. But how can you prepare nutritious meals that don’t cost a bundle or take hours of prep time? Is it even possible? You betcha! Here’s how: 1. Choose a food plan carefully If your school requires you to purchase a food plan, select one that best suits your needs instead of signing up for everything. If you love a big breakfast but prefer to go with lighter fare the rest of the day, consider purchasing breakfast only and eating the rest of the meals in the dorm. Paying for meals you won’t eat much of is like kissing your money goodbye. 2. Plan Lack of planning leads to the poorest choices. Take a few minutes at the beginning of each week – or even month – to plan and shop for your menu. This way, you won’t be stuck missing key ingredients when you need them most and then opting for expensive, unhealthy takeout food instead. 3. Learn how to shop If you’re using the kitchen, you’ll need to learn how to shop. Here are some quick tips to help you become a smarter consumer: Always use a list. You’ll spend less time and less money at the store. Look u…
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With the biggest spending season of the year looming ahead, it’s time to brush up on your shopping smarts. Don’t get caught springing for something you can’t afford!
when a bargain is not a bargain shopping Six times a bargain is not a bargain
In the words of writer Franklin Jones, “A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist.”


And we couldn’t agree more. With the biggest spending season of the year looming ahead, it’s time to brush up on your shopping smarts. Don’t get caught springing for something you can’t afford! This year, give yourself the gift of an intact budget and a credit card balance that doesn’t haunt you for months or years to come. Here’s when that steal of a deal you can’t wait to show off to your friends is not such a bargain after all. 1. When you don’t need it The price might be right. But, if the heavily marked-down item is one you don’t need, you’re not getting a bargain at all. You’re just blowing money you could be using to put into savings or purchase stuff you actually  do  need. Those flashy signs and hyped-up ads are enough to blind the most discerning shopper, so think carefully before plunking down your money on sale items. If an item is marked down 75%, ask yourself: Would I ever buy this item at full price? Would I buy it if the price was slashed just 30%? 2. When it’s a faulty product Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to be cheap. If an item is retailing at a ridiculously low price, inspect it carefully. Hold it up to this checklist to determine its quality and durability: Where was it manufactured? If the product bears a designer label, but also has a “Made in China” tag stuck on it, you’re likely looking at a cheap knockoff that isn’t such a ba…
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Are you desperate to own a home of your own?
20% down on a home myth The 20% Down Myth
Are you desperate to own a home of your own? If that’s your dream, you are likely saving up, dollar by hard-earned dollar, until you have that magic number: 20% of your dream home’s total value. That’s what all the experts say, right? For the average American home, 20% amounts to a pretty big number. Throw in closing costs and you’ve got a small fortune to raise – and years to go until you reach your goal. It’s great that you’re putting money away toward what will likely be the largest purchase of your life, but there’s one huge mistake in your calculations:  You don’t need to put down 20%. Yes, you read right. The 20% myth is an unfortunate leftover from the era after the housing crisis, when out of necessity, access to credit tightened up. Thankfully, times have changed, and since FHA loans were introduced more than 80 years ago, mortgages have not required a 20% down payment. While it’s true that a higher down payment means you’ll have a smaller monthly mortgage payment, there are lots of reasons why this isn’t always the best road to homeownership. Let’s explore loan options that don’t require 20% down and take a deeper look at the pros and cons of making a smaller down payment. Loan options If you’d like to go the route of government-backed loans, these are your options: FHA mortgage: This loan is aimed at helping first-time home buyers and requires as little as 3.5% down. If that number is still too high, the down payment can be sourced from a financ…
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It may seem like yesterday when you were getting your son or daughter off to preschool. And now you’re preparing him or her for college!
ready for college finances Ready, set, go...to college
It may seem like yesterday when you were getting your son or daughter off to preschool. And now you’re preparing him or her for college! The process of a child leaving home is a major milestone and is complex because of the emotions it generates. The reality, though, is that there are some very concrete things that need to be done to make this a smooth transition. Medical Preparation Schedule any necessary doctors’ appointments. A doctor may need to fill out college medical forms and can also write prescriptions for regular medications. This is an opportune time to make sure immunizations are current. If your child has been seeing a mental health professional, make an appointment there, too. You may want to ask for a letter describing your child’s issues in case you need it for support services. Also, decide if your child needs ongoing support from this professional or if you want to arrange for a new therapist at school. Your child needs easy access to medical insurance information. Will he or she use your private insurance? What about college health services? Make it easy for your child to get help if he or she gets sick. High School Issues Have your child check with the high school to make sure they’ve sent the latest high school transcript to the college. For your records, and for future college needs, request all high school records, including testing results. Pave the Way for Success If it’s appropriate for your child’s needs, make an appointment…
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The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we spend many hours whipping up delectable dishes to please every palate and food plan.
bring dream kitchen to life Four Ways to Bring Your Dream Kitchen to Life
The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we spend many hours whipping up delectable dishes to please every palate and food plan. It’s where we catch a quick morning chat over coffee and linger over dinners together in the early evening. The kitchen is where it’s at. It’s also the area of the home that sees the heaviest usage. All that food prep – and all that eating! – has your countertops, table, floors and appliances pulling full-time duty for hours each week. It is these reasons, beauty and practicality, that make kitchen renovations incredibly popular among homeowners. Give your kitchen a makeover, and you’ll almost feel like you’ve got a brand-new home. Wondering how to make that happen? We’ve got you covered! Whether you’ve still got an avocado-green fridge, circa 1978, or your kitchen looks like it sprang out of a magazine and just needs a quick touch-up, we’ll show you how to give it a facelift on a budget. Here’s 4 ways to bring your dream kitchen to life. 1.) Know your budget Before picking out your new countertops and appliances, sit down and crunch some numbers. You’ll have to scrimp and save a while, dip into existing savings or take out a loan to cover the costs of your renovations. A complete kitchen remodel can run you as much as $40,000, but there’s lots you can do on a smaller budget. When you’ve figured out how much you can spend, here’s what you’re looking at: With $5,000, you can give your kitchen a superficial touch-up that can p…
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Displaying results 1-5 (of 77)
Ready, set, go...to college
It may seem like yesterday when you were getting your son or daughter off to preschool. And now you’re preparing him or her for college! The process of a child leaving home is a major milestone and is complex because of the emotions it gene…
Five Tips for Raising a Financial Whiz Kid
Our friends at  WalletHub  have put together helpful information   on how to achieve success in teaching your kids about finance.   Odysseas Papadimitriou is CEO of the personal finance websites WalletHub and CardHub. Financial literacy i…
Seven Money Saving Tips for Teens
Most teenagers probably won’t leap at the prospect of learning about personal finance on their own. That’s why it’s important to take the time to teach them smart money management. To get the conversation started, here are seven topics worth…
Financial Literacy for Kids
No matter how enthusiastic you are, trying to formally teach finance to kids is a tall order that is likely to make their eyes glaze over. Hold their attention by keeping money lessons relevant, age-appropriate and a bit playful. FIRST FIN…
Adding Kids as Authorized Users of a Credit Card
A credit history opens many doors in life. It can be the key to qualifying for credit, securing a lease and even getting a job. So it’s no wonder that parents look for ways to help their young adult children build credit, sometimes even befo…
Why Should I Refer my Friends to the Credit Union?
Credit unions are an important part of our community. The members of your credit union are your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. They care enough about where they live to invest their money locally by keeping savings accounts and t…
Tips for Parents of Boomerang Kids
Your adult child has finished school and is now starting a new life — at home. According to a Pew Research Center survey, over half of parents in the U.S. with adult children say they  helped their adult kids financially  in the previous yea…
Ways to Save for Your Child's Education
If you’re a new parent, it might feel as though there aren’t enough hours in a day. Saving for your child’s education, though, is one area in which time is on your side. The cost of a four-year public college education will approach $134,0…
How Your Teen Can Benefit From a Roth IRA
Your teenager just got a job and will soon be getting that first paycheck. Or maybe she’s earning extra cash by babysitting or walking dogs. Although visions of video games or a shiny new car might be dancing in your youngster’s head, it’s w…

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Agent showing couple a home

How a Real Estate Agent Can Help You Land a Home

Owning a home can be an excellent source of financial stability and security. Plus, you don't have to deal with those noisy upstairs neighbors anymore.
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bring dream kitchen to life

Four Ways to Bring Your Dream Kitchen to Life

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we spend many hours whipping up delectable dishes to please every palate and food plan.
Continue to Article
Girl holding and looking at credit card

Adding Kids as Authorized Users of a Credit Card

A credit history opens many doors in life. It can be the key to qualifying for credit, securing a lease and even getting a job. So it’s no wonder that parents look for ways to help their young adult children build credit, sometimes even before they’re out of the house.
Continue to Article
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