Guest Contributor: Christina Pay, USU Extension Assistant Professor
Most people will agree that the “dog days of summer” are usually slow, lazy, and hot. This phrase took on a whole new meaning for me when I moved from Utah to the San Joaquin Valley of California. With temperatures in my new town ranging between 99⁰ – 114⁰ (F) each day, my heat tolerance was sorely tested. And, as temperatures rose, so did the power bill. I couldn’t keep my head in the freezer all day (not practical) nor could I turn the air conditioner down to “arctic” (not economical). Instead, I learned a few tips along the way on how to stay cool without going into debt.
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: MELANIE DABB, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Receiving a windfall of cash (money that you were not planning on or expecting) can be really exciting! The temptation is probably to go on a spending spree. But, taking the time to explore other alternatives may just turn that windfall into an opportunity to build your wealth or get ahead. If you don’t need your unexpected cash influx to pay your bills, here are two important questions to ask yourself:
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: TASHA KILLIAN, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
Choosing to pursue higher education can be a tough decision. It can be an even harder decision when you look at all the costs. In light of National Higher Education Day, high school graduations, and college freshmen getting ready for their first semester, I thought I would share with you a few tips that got me through some of my higher education days, when money gets a little tight. If you, one of your children, a niece, nephew, or someone else you know is going to be starting their higher education experience in the next little bit, be sure to pass these tips on to them.
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: ANDREA SCHMUTZ, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
I recently saw a quote on a sign that said, “Gardening: it’s cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.” I chuckled to myself and pondered the implied message. With spring in full force, it’s a perfect time to consider growing a garden and reaping the following SIX benefits:
GUEST BLOGGER: ANDREA SCHMUTZ, USU EXTENSION ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
“Look what I found! Can you make something with it?” When my kids were growing up, this was a common greeting as they walked in the door from school. Sometimes they had found a real treasure that held great potential for upcycling. The gold star days were when they opened up their lunch boxes and pulled out multiple empty juice pouches (i.e. CapriSun) they had collected from their friends. We would wash them out and plot all of the many projects we could make with the “trash”.
From the time they were young, I tried to instill in my children their role in protecting the earth and being good stewards of the resources around them. Before they were old enough to understand things like “carbon footprint”, I focused on helping them understand simple concepts like waste and trash. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was also teaching them some simple money management skills while fostering creativity that would pay off when the budget was tight.
Have you ever stopped and thought about the connection between being a steward of the earth and a guardian of your budget? When we breathe new life into a discarded object, we save money and we help save the earth one small step at a time. Here are four common household materials that can be upcycled into useful projects or gifts:
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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