Andrea Schmutz, USU Extension Assistant Professor
Has anyone ever told you to “beware of the camel’s nose”? Just the other day, as I was telling my teenage son about a situation and how I was planning to handle it, he looked at me and said very seriously, “Be careful mom, you’re letting the camel’s nose in the tent. Are you sure you want to do that?” His comment caught me off guard but his wisdom caused me to rethink my plan. He was referencing one of my favorite fables with a universal message that can be applied to almost any situation. As I pondered his response, I suddenly realized that the camel provides a great analogy for budgeting and spending habits, especially as we enter the winter holiday season.
In case you are not familiar with the story about the camel in the tent, or if it’s been a while since you’ve heard it, let me share it with you. As with any fable, there are many versions, but this one is my favorite:
Alicia Nelson-Bell, Finance Intern
Living in the technology age and having so much information so easily accessible can help improve our lives, but it can also make it difficult to know that we are getting information from the most trustable and accurate sources. One great, reputable and trustable resource that we want to highlight is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB. The CFPB is a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders and other financial companies treat you as the consumer fairly. Along with that, they provide lots of great education and tools to help consumers make informed financial decisions as well as teach others, including kids, how to do so.
Alicia Nelson-Bell, Finance Intern
A whopping 77% of Americans report experiencing money related stress, which puts it among the top things stressing Americans out. This financial stress has been shown to affect all aspects of our lives, including physical, mental/emotional, relationships and our performance at work. With all the different aspects of our financial well-being to be concerned about, you may be wondering what can be done to help decrease the stress and worry felt around finances. I'm sharing why saving money can help bring you greater peace of mind, rather than being things that add to the money stress you may be experiencing.
Vincenza Vicari-Bentley, AFC
You may have a lot of financial goals that could include paying off debt, saving for emergencies, buying a home and investing for retirement. How is it possible to also save for our kid’s college? My parents didn’t save any money for me to go to college and I ended up with a lot of student debt. In this post, I’ll discuss ways you can save with the ultimate goal being to minimize student loan debt.
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.
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