Guest Contributor: Andrea Schmutz
USU Extension Assistant Professor
Knowing that most everyone appreciates a little more green in their wallet, especially as we head into holiday season, I’d like to share my most recent epiphany. I was reading about “America Recycles Day”, where each year, on or near November 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the importance and impact of recycling to our nation’s economy and environment. The EPA’s website, epa.gov, provides fantastic information about greener living, recycling and reducing waste. As I perused an infographic on the website titled “Think Green Before You Shop”, I suddenly realized that the three R’s of environmental sustainability: reduce, reuse, and recycle, could also be called the three R’s of budget sustainability.
Guest Contributor: Christina Pay
USU Extension Assistant Professor
Needs vs wants. Who hasn’t fought that budgeting battle? Tough as the struggle may be, it is a fight that can be won. The reasoning is pretty simple, right? A need is something that is essential for you to be able to live and work. Needs include housing, transportation and food. Wants, on the other hand, are expenses that help you live life more comfortably. Wants include entertainment, travel, and toys. It seems straightforward enough, but what about those gray areas where needs and wants overlap? On occasion, our wants may seem so powerful that we can’t imagine living without them. Consider an item such as housing. Shelter is a need; however, it may become a want if you’re paying more for rent or a mortgage in order to live in a larger home or upscale area. And clothing? That, too, is a need, but if you buy expensive brands or are buying clothing just because it’s on sale, it can quickly fall into the want category. There are several strategies to help you win the needs vs wants battle.
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-Excerpts from Utah State University Today article by Julene Reese
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:
GUEST BLOGGER: EMMA PARKHURST, CHES, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
I consider myself to be a frugal consumer, although this hasn’t always been the case. When I was younger, I thought I was frugal...but the honest truth? I was obsessed with making cheap purchases. I would try to make the least expensive purchase no matter what the item was, which typically meant purchasing lower quality items. As a result, I would have to replace these cheaper products more often, which meant spending more money in the long-run. Yikes! I finally had enough of the cycle when I realized I would spend less over time by purchasing a more expensive and higher quality item that would last longer. Who else can relate? If this experience sounds familiar to you, here are some tips to get out of this cheap-purchase cycle that helped me make smarter purchases:
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