GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: KATHY RIGGS, USU EXTENSION PROFESSOR
Meaningful graduation gifts - Must they have a price tag attached? It’s again the time of year when graduation announcements begin to fill up mail boxes and social media pages. Though most graduates will experience a non-traditional ceremony this year, friends and family will still wish to acknowledge the hard work of high school, college or technology school graduates. However, with financial strains placed on many families, it can be difficult to know how much to spend and what type of gift will still be meaningful with less discretionary funds available.
Some may still consider giving a laptop, new smart phone or car. However, these can be very expensive and out of reach for many parents, especially when finances may be stretched just to cover basic necessities. However, this is a great time to share some sound financial advice-- which may be the most useful “food for thought” gift a parent can give. It may be that going to a quiet spot to share a favorite take-out meal will help the advice to be easier to share and easier to accept.
For parents: Six possible financial management strategies to consider sharing:
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: TASHA KILLIAN
Grease is my favorite movie. I love the 1950’s feeling, the music, and the way the songs just make you want to get up and dance. My favorite song is “Summer Nights.” There is one line in the song that says “summer lovin’ had me a blast.” Every time I’ve heard that song in the past few weeks, I’ve thought to myself, “you mean, summer spending, had me a blast.”
As a single person, I get told all the time, that I am so lucky because no one else tells me how to spend my money. In fact, I get told ALL the time to travel now because one day I won’t be able to. I don’t know if that’s the truth, but I do know that they are right about one thing, I am the one in charge of my finances.
I am especially aware of that fact as summertime begins. Summertime is the best. It is warm, sunny, and a wonderful time for traveling and having fun. I want to go on all the road trips! The only downside, summertime can get expensive. So, what do you do? How do you keep yourself in check when there isn’t anyone else to check on your spending? Here’s some quick things I’ve learned to do, along with a few tips from the experts to keep your spending on track, even when the sun is calling.
GUEST BLOGGER: EMMA PARKHURST
One of my favorite things about summer is that it’s officially yard sale season. There’s nothing quite like organizing and tossing long forgotten items to make one wonder, “why do I have so much stuff”, or “why did I even buy this in the first place??” Applying principles of mindfulness to spending can help to avoid these common thoughts, and as an added bonus, can help us feel goodabout purchases. But first, what is mindfulness?
GUEST BLOGGER: ELIZABETH DAVIS
Money is a necessary part of each of our lives. A great deal of time and energy goes to earning it, budgeting it, stressing over it, spending it, and hopefully some time managing it. One day last fall I attended a conference about relationships and during the course of the conference met a lovely woman, Syble Solomon, who was promoting a Money Habitudes card game. This intrigued me so I asked to learn more.
We had an enjoyable conversation and I learned that each of us have our own money habits and attitudes that determine our money decisions. The Money Habitudes card game is a simple activity that helps individuals determine what money means to them. Does it represent security, status, selflessness, spontaneity, planning, etc.? It was an enlightening activity that I enjoyed so much, I purchased several decks of her cards and took them to a family reunion for my siblings and their spouses to play.
It was interesting to observe the light bulbs that went on...
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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