By Bryn Ramjoue’, Utah my529 Marketing Director
You’re paying for braces, sports and dance lessons. With as much as it costs to raise a child today, putting money away for college may be the last thing on a parent’s mind.
my529, Utah’s official 529 educational savings plan, may be able to help.
Andrea Schmutz, USU Extension Assistant Professor
It’s story time! Who doesn’t love a good story? Last month I was on a Dr. Seuss kick and had some fun drawing parallels between Dr. Seuss stories and personal finance best practices. Don’t worry, I’m not finished with Dr. Seuss yet so keep an eye on the blog to catch more ways to use the creative doctor’s writings in your journey to financial wellness. In the meantime, since I mentioned journeys, have you read about Ulysses’ journey in Homer’s Odyssey?
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.
Melanie Jewkes, M.S.
USU Extension Associate Professor
Now that the holidays are behind us, you may or may not be a little anxious to peek at your bank or credit card statements. No surprise when Americans purchase about $1,000 worth of holiday joys on credit. But now might be the perfect time of year to make a better plan for next year. There is a better way!
My favorite budgeting magic trick is to avoid using debt or credit, especially for small purchases but also for larger ones, buy paying yourself first. Maybe you’ve heard that phrase before “Pay yourself first.” This is a seemingly simple principle to encourage use of cash instead of borrowing.
In other words-- save money and avoid debt so that instead of paying somebody to use their money (i.e. money you have to pay on interest and late fees or even loan origination fees), you “pay” yourself by putting that money into savings. In some instances you earn money on interest (though, admittedly, the interest rates right now on bank accounts is minimal) or at least avoid paying more than the cost of whatever the item was you charged. Pay Yourself First also applies to long-term savings for things like retirement, but for now we’re talking about “small” purchases that can sometimes irritate, if not wreak havoc, on our monthly budgets.
Let’s talk more about the real, life-changing application of this principle and how to apply it.
By KristiLyn Wilkinson, M.S.
USU Extension Empowering Financial Wellness Program Manager
I don’t know about you, but I am not sad about leaving 2020 in the past. If anything, I am more committed to doing what is in my control to make 2021 a better year for me and my family. You might not be a fan of setting new year resolutions. Maybe setting goals in January seems like an arbitrary unimportant date to you and you set goals whenever you feel like it. Maybe you don’t believe in setting goals because they feel restrictive. Maybe you have had your new year resolutions mapped out since last October. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, I would highly suggest that you set some financial goals…at some point in your life…preferably right now. Why? I will tell you, but first, grab a blanket (it’s freezing here in Utah) and settle in. We are about to get touchy-feely.
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