Alicia Nelson-Bell, Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
It’s Christmas in July! Yep. You heard me right! You may be thinking to yourself, “How can I be thinking about the holidays right now when my budget is already being squeezed so tight"? But really, it's a good reason to start thinking about a plan for holiday spending sooner than later this year. Creating a plan and being a bit more prepared financially will pay off big time.
Why the friendly reminder?
In the 3rd quarter of 2021, AKA when most people did their holiday shopping, Americans added over $74 billion to credit card balances. Over 80% of those who put holiday expenses on their credit card carry a balance for an average of 3 months after the holidays and are paying an average of 18% interest. This makes those “good deals” you scored not so great when you pay 18% or more interest on them for multiple months!
KristiLyn Wilkinson, M.S., AFC Candidate
You might be familiar with this phrase if you have read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’m here to tell you that revolving savings accounts are pretty life-changing as well! A revolving savings account is the magic that keeps irregular expenses from derailing your budget.
One of the main obstacles to budgeting that I hear from people is that they have expenses that don’t happen every month, that are larger in nature, and throw off their planning. For most people, we tend to live our financial lives month-to-month. Your rent or mortgage is due once a month, your car payment is due once a month, you pay for Netflix and piano lessons once a month, etc. You get the picture. But every month it seems like there are some expenses like a birthday, Christmas, annual insurance bill, college tuition, etc. that come creeping in.
Elizabeth Davis, USU Extension Assistant Professor
Initially, I intended to write about how to save money for special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays. But in light of what is happening right now, I'd like to focus on celebrating, especially during hard times. I've learned during the Covid-19 pandemic that despite the uncertainties that we are experiencing... life goes on. There continue to be weddings, anniversaries, births, and other special occasions. Valentine's day is right around the corner. So, how do we celebrate in times of financial uncertainty? Here are three tips to help you prepare to celebrate Valentine's day (or any special day) during economic uncertainty.
Guest Contributor: Kathy Riggs
USU Extension Professor
I subscribe to our local daily newspaper and right beneath the crossword puzzle (which I try to complete daily) is the long-time column known as “Dear Abby”. While many of the questions posted are related to dealing with human frailties and requests to receive advice of how to “fix” problems, occasionally there is a post that catches my eye.
Recently, there was a post by grandparents regarding their granddaughter sending a Christmas gift last year they referred to as “a gift of a lifetime” which they have enjoyed all year long. “What was the gift and how much did it cost?” might be going through your mind as it did mine. As I do not have permission to quote the message, I’ll summarize it as best I can:
Vincenza Vicari-Bentley, AFC
Utah Money Moms Contributor
The holidays are time of year when people get together, enjoy some good family time and of course, spend copious amounts of money. Last year, U.S. households spent an average of $1,536 during the season. If you’re feeling the pressure to spend in order to make your family or friends happy, I wanted to share a few ideas that might help take the pressure off. During the last 9 months being pretty much confined at home I’ve learned that happiness and what brings me joy really has nothing to do with money. But that’s not the message that I was being bombarded with especially as a young adult fresh out of college...
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