Alicia Nelson-Bell, HUD-Certified Housing Counselor
Empowering Financial Wellness Program Coordinator
Unless you’re joining us from New Hampshire or Virginia, car insurance is one of those necessary expenses that is actually illegal to go without. It’s one of those things that many people hate to pay for but are glad to have it when they need to use it. Believe it or not, there are many things causing car insurance rates to be on the rise right now (not just inflation), some that are in your control and some that are out of your control. With these thoughts in mind, more people than before wonder how they can have the required insurance while cutting back on the cost. Lucky for you, we are sharing 5 of our favorite tips to help mitigate the cost of auto insurance premiums.
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.
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.
Blog Contributor: Callie Ward
USU Extension Assistant Professor, Garfield County
Fall is here and it is amazing! The weather is gorgeous, the canyons are lit up with gold, oranges, and reds, and some of the best activities and food (hurray for pumpkin spice!) are here. There is however an uneasy feeling Fall brings too…gone are the days of summer, late nights, and carefree fun. Also gone is yard work, I have mixed feelings about this one! Fall is a reminder that Winter is coming and so are the extra expenses that come with it.
Preparing for Winter sometimes brings expenses you do not think of:
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