Jerevie Canlas, Ph.D., CFLE,
Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
In all fairness, credit cards are very convenient and help individuals build credit - because there are things that are not easy to purchase in cash. However, it’s really tempting to overspend with a credit card. If not used cautiously, excessive credit card use can put you years behind in your financial goals. Imagine this: you are using credit cards to build credit so you can purchase your own home. When you miss a payment or are not able to pay your balance in full, you might not be able to build good credit, so you end up getting a less desirable interest rate on a mortgage loan. What’s worse, since you’re paying off debt, saving for a downpayment for that dream home might take longer. Just with this scenario, the biggest advantage of credit cards is credit building, and the biggest pitfall is overspending and debt - exactly the things that will ruin the credit you’re wanting to build.
Vincenza Vicari-Bentley, AFC
USU Extension Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
It’s a new year and with that comes new goals, fresh starts and perspectives. In 2020 Americans racked up $601 billion to run the total U.S. household debt to record-shattering $14.15 trillion. So here we are in 2021 (and maybe looking at post holiday spending?). Have you been thinking about if you’re carrying too much debt? When it comes to the question of how much debt is too much, there are as many answers as there are people. Basic answer: It all depends on what you can afford. How do you figure out what you can afford? It’s called a Debt-to-income ratio or DTI. Whether you make $500 a week or $500 an hour there is a standard formula lenders use to determine when debt can become a problem.
USU Extension Assistant Professor
Warning: I absolutely LOVE Dr. Seuss! I love how his books helped my kids learn to read. I love his made up names and animals that make me smile. I love the playful artwork and the vibrant colors. But do you want to know what I love most? I love the versatility of his stories that can be read simply for fun or to teach life lessons. I’ll bet you didn’t realize that some of Dr. Seuss’s stories can even help you on your path to financial wellness, did you?
If any of your new year’s resolutions have to do with managing your money better or dealing with debt, stick with me as we explore the wisdom Dr. Seuss imparted in a few of his well known stories.
Guest Contributor: Tasha Killian
USU Extension Assistant Professor, Juan County
2020 has been a stressful year. From pandemics to natural disasters, and seemingly everything in between, we have faced a level of uncertainty many of us have never seen before. This uncertainty has led to stress and worry in all aspects of life, including finances. If you fall into this category of finding your financial life more stressful in this crazy year, know that first you are not alone. According to a study performed by a group of researchers in Canada, parents have reported a higher level of stress with 22% of mothers saying their financial stress has increased regarding the next 6 months of their future (Carroll, et al., 2020). With all this stress happening, it can almost seem like a gloom and doom case scenario. However, there are things you can do to help manage this stress, especially when it comes to your finances.
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: MELANIE DABB, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Receiving a windfall of cash (money that you were not planning on or expecting) can be really exciting! The temptation is probably to go on a spending spree. But, taking the time to explore other alternatives may just turn that windfall into an opportunity to build your wealth or get ahead. If you don’t need your unexpected cash influx to pay your bills, here are two important questions to ask yourself:
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