Alicia Nelson Bell, Finance Intern
2021 USU Graduate
A 2020 report from Thriving Wallet states that around 90% of Americans reported experiencing money related stress in 2019 and 2020, which makes it the top contributor to stress in America. It may seem like a no brainer, but this money related stress that so many Americans are experiencing is having an impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives. This includes mental, emotional, and physical health as well as our relationships with our friends and family. It boils down to this: the more stressed we are about finances, the less likely we are to make smart money choices.
KristiLyn Wilkinson, Empowering Financial Wellness Program Manager
When I say “it’s that time of year again,” I know most of you wish I was talking about pumpkin spice everything and not taxes. I bet most people don’t enjoy doing their taxes or owing money for taxes, but I know a lot of people who do look forward to getting their tax refunds. When it comes to saving money on your taxes, tax credits are your best friend. Adjustments and deductions lower your taxable income by a certain percentage (this is based on your marginal tax bracket). Tax credits, however, let you reduce the amount of tax you owe dollar for dollar and that means more money back in your pocket!
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?
Vincenza Vicari-Bentley, AFC
Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
Where are all my fellow spenders? (no offense to you savers)—you’re the yin to my yang!) At times being a spender works out perfectly for me. For example, when I’m putting together our monthly spending plan, I feel good about giving us permission to spend. But wait...there is a spouse I need to confer with about how we spend. So it’s important that you talk about money with your honey but not just once, it’s a continuous conversation.
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.
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