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.
Jerevie Canlas, Ph.D., CFLE
Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
If there’s one thing I learned from the events of 2020, it’s that I need to be on top of my finances just in case something unexpected happens - like a job loss (which happened to me in May), or when we needed a new car (something we had to purchase in November), or somebody needs to be hospitalized (which happened to a lot of people).
They say prevention is better than cure, and that’s the principle behind annual physicals. You go see your primary care provider at least once a year so your general health can be evaluated, and you visit your dentist at least twice a year. Based on a number of factors, your doctor might recommend that you do a couple of things such as exercising more, cutting back on certain foods, increasing your fiber intake, or even referring you to a specialist if necessary. Seeing your doctor at least once a year can detect health conditions that can lead to chronic health issues. The biggest benefit of an annual physical is KNOWLEDGE - and this knowledge can potentially save your life.
Guest Contributor: Emma Parkhurst
USU Extension Assistant Professor
There’s something to be said about finding a gently used item for a fraction of the original cost. Ah yes, just the thought makes my thrifty heart happy! Whether you’re trying to save some money or you prefer buying used for environmental reasons, it seems as though there are more and more ways to buy secondhand. I first discovered my appreciation for sites such as Facebook Marketplace or KSL Classifieds after we bought our first home. During that last walk-through when the house was completely empty was pretty intimidating – so much space to fill! Rather than immediately hitting the big stores for brand new furniture, we decided to explore the options for secondhand items. Here are our biggest takeaways when looking to buy used:
Guest Blogger: Tasha Killian, USU Extension Assistant Professor
I love decorating! There is something exciting to me about making your place your own through décor. Buying new pieces, creating different styles, and finding things that fit into what you want in your space is a lot of fun, but can also end up costing a lot. If you are like me and you don’t have a lot of extra cash to purchase some of the items you’d like, it can be a challenge to find things to fit your style and your budget. Luckily, there is a solution, so you do not have to live with bare walls! That solution is doing it yourself.
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: ANDREA SCHMUTZ, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
June is a fabulous month with several great reasons to celebrate. June 14, designated as Flag Day, commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States of America. June 20, 2020, marks the official start of summer with the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. This year, falling right on the heels of the summer solstice, we celebrate Father’s Day on June 21. I almost feel like the timing this year is a gift for those of us who procrastinate - my mind is saying, “Sweet, I have the longest day of the year to wrap up my preparations for Father’s Day.” Faulty reasoning, I know, because I still have the same amount of hours in the day as any other regular day, even if the sun is shining longer. So, that means just one thing...I should start thinking now about what the kids and I can do for the men in our lives on Father’s Day.
I love finding simple but meaningful gift ideas, especially when they are easy on my budget and fun for the kids to do. Here are 5 frugal gift ideas for the father figure(s) in your life:
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!
AS SEEN ON
1st Place National Award in Social Media Education from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
Gold Award in Blog Site category at the 7th annual Education Digital Marketing Awards.
Silver Award in New Media category at the 34th annual Educational Advertising Awards.
Platinum Award in Digital Media, Web Design category at the International Marketing and Communication Awards.
Follow the fun on Instagram