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Short term goals and their significance to your entire budget

"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." -Benjamin Franklin What is it about that quote that makes planners smile and, well, the rest of us cringe. I am not a person who considers myself a planner... I like to call it 'going with the flow.' However, I have...

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Kids and Money

From the early years and beyond children should be taught these two truisms: Money does not grow on trees AND You don’t earn money just for breathing! Making money requires work. Keep in mind that you will likely repeat these words regularly (I know I do). The envelope system While...

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Staying at Home or Returning to Work: Financial Factors to Consider

Preparing for a baby is one of the most exciting and stressful experiences for new parents. There’s so much to do before baby comes, and only nine months to do it! That seems like a lot of time, but it passes by more quickly than you realize. One decision that...

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The True Value of Hobbies: Looking Beyond the Spreadsheet

“Your hobby costs how much?”  This is a question I have received many times through my life. It’s true, to some, my hobby seems expensive, maybe even exorbitant. But the truth is, the value of a hobby is more than meets the eye. I am a proud horse owner, and...

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How much should I be spending in the different budget categories?

Recently in a personal finance class, some of the students asked me how much they should be spending in the different budget categories, such as housing, groceries, and so on. I’ve always seen these categories as somewhat flexible, with the amount you spend on one thing versus another being entirely...

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NEEDs and WANTs: Finding a Balance

Sometimes we just need to get back to the basics. What is your definition of a need? How do you define a want? A popular movement in America is the minimalist approach. By their lifestyle and desire to be free from debt, many are getting rid of all but the...

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The Most Under-Utilized Tool for Gaining Control of your Finances

Working part time as a PFC, I help military families regain control of their finances.  Some come to see me as an order from their commander while others come voluntarily, looking to regain control of their finances.  Whether it is a young single airman or a more seasoned couple, the...

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Broaden Your Strategies for Saving

Rational explanations for not saving typically follow expressions like: “I’d like to save, but…”, or “I think saving is important, but…” Intuitively, we know we should save. The importance of saving is often passed down through scripture, or through fables, and learned at an early age. Yet saving largely remains...

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Set A Goal, Make A Plan: America Saves Week 2015

As financial counselors and educators, we are well-versed in the value of savings and we share that information in a variety of ways to our clients and students. A Financial Educator may offer advice through a community course on budgeting. Financial Counselors work with clients to develop a tailored savings...

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3 Steps to Finding Funds You Already Have

There’s no way around it - financial struggles are can be both difficult and overwhelming. However, if you take some time to visualize where and how your money is being spent, you may find that you actually have more money than you thought.  “How,” you ask? Here are three simple...

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