GUEST BLOGGER: ELIZABETH DAVIS, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
As part of a parenting experiment, my parents instituted a monthly allowance. As an 8-year-old, I was thrilled to have some money of my own to use however I wanted. I enjoyed the feeling of freedom and endless possibility that came with those dollars. Unfortunately, due to being part of a large family and budgetary limits, it was a short-lived experiment. While actually receiving allowance in my childhood was a short-lived experience, I did learn a lesson that has been valuable to me throughout my adult life and here it is, “having some personal money is important.”
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: ANDREA SCHMUTZ, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
I recently saw a quote on a sign that said, “Gardening: it’s cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.” I chuckled to myself and pondered the implied message. With spring in full force, it’s a perfect time to consider growing a garden and reaping the following SIX benefits:
GUEST BLOGGER: CALLIE WARD, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
When was the last time you wrote a letter? Or Thank You? Even a nice Post it? I remember the excitement of a pen pal letter coming to our mailbox or seeing the colorful envelop with Grandma’s handwriting on it, and I am not that old! Have we truly lost the art of the handwritten note? With May comes graduations, end of year teacher gifts, Mother’s Day, the final arrival of Spring for most of us in Utah, it is a time of new life and sometimes the never-ending gift list. So why can’t we go back and save this valuable custom of a handwritten card?
I turned 33 in April, and birthdays stopped being cool after 16, (anyone else?) but every year I receive two things. A card from my mom - this one usually has a sheep or cowboy of some sort on it and one from my little sister. This year specifically, it was the one from my sister that made my day and was one of the best gifts I have every received. She took the time to write something special and included some great memories. She spent less then $5 and had me rolling for the whole day, adding more joy for my birthday.
How can something so cheap be so impactful? Especially in our busy world, taking the time to send a handwritten card means more than a dollar store gift or that random gift card. An article I read from Forbes magazine shared three benefits of a handwritten thank you note that can easily be benefits of a handwritten card:
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:
GUEST BLOGGER: ANDREA SCHMUTZ, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
“Look what I found! Can you make something with it?” When my kids were growing up, this was a common greeting as they walked in the door from school. Sometimes they had found a real treasure that held great potential for upcycling. The gold star days were when they opened up their lunch boxes and pulled out multiple empty juice pouches (i.e. CapriSun) they had collected from their friends. We would wash them out and plot all of the many projects we could make with the “trash”.
From the time they were young, I tried to instill in my children their role in protecting the earth and being good stewards of the resources around them. Before they were old enough to understand things like “carbon footprint”, I focused on helping them understand simple concepts like waste and trash. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was also teaching them some simple money management skills while fostering creativity that would pay off when the budget was tight.
Have you ever stopped and thought about the connection between being a steward of the earth and a guardian of your budget? When we breathe new life into a discarded object, we save money and we help save the earth one small step at a time. Here are four common household materials that can be upcycled into useful projects or gifts:
Blog editor and Accredited Financial Counselor sharing real-life money smarts that can help you stay on track with financial goals while still enjoying life!
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