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Setting your college student on the road to financial success

September 19, 2014

Here’s a great idea…

Parents can help their college-age student on the road to financial success by encouraging good money management skills. A college education can be expensive with costs like a dorm room or apartment, transportation, textbooks, food, and clothing.   Many young adults are on their own for the first time when they go to college. Suddenly, they have to handle their own finances.

In Other Words…

Unfortunately, some college students set themselves up to start their financial lives in the hole. But, this doesn’t have to happen. Students who get a grip on money management can avoid the future financial stress of overdue bills and struggling to make ends meet.

How This Applies to You….

Give your college student the tools for financial success. Here are a few important basic concepts all consumers need to know: create a spending plan to match expenses to income, think about needs vs. wants to plan expenses carefully, comparison shop for the best price on big ticket items, and use credit cautiously. Guide your college student in learning these critical skills.

To Find Out More….

Learn about these basic financial management skills at

http://www.uaex.edu/health-living/personal-finance/default.aspx

Students can take a free online course money management course, Love Your Money, at: http://www.loveyourmoney.org

Click here for a copy of the college budget

Be disaster aware, take action to prepare

September 8, 2014

Here’s a great idea…

September is National Preparedness Month – a time when we are all reminded to be prepared for a natural disaster.  “As a nation we are seeing disasters increase in their size and complexity, and they are occurring with greater frequency,” (FEMA Region V acting regional administrator, Janet Odeshoo).

In Other Words…

Disasters don’t have to be the end of the world if we are prepared. We can protect ourselves and our financial stability by planning ahead. We can start now by putting a plan in place and securing important documents.

How This Applies to You…

Make a Grab and Go emergency evacuation box.  Include items such as emergency numbers, copies of prescriptions, copies of insurance policies and contact numbers for the agent or company, household inventory list, account information, etc.  Visit our website for a complete list.

To Find Out More…

Check out the Disaster Preparedness Handbook at www.uaex.edu

For more details about protecting your finances in case of disaster, we recommend the booklet “Emergency Financial First Aid Kit” by FEMA, http://www.fema.gov

Grab and Go Emergency Box

September 8, 2014

 

Grab and Go Emergency Box

Step 1 – Gather items and place in a durable, sealed box.

Step 2 – Store at home in a secure location.

Step 3 – In case of emergency, keep the box with you.

 

Your “Grab and Go” Box Should Include:

  • Cash (small bills) for several days living expenses.
  • Rolls of quarters.
  • Emergency phone numbers: doctors, pharmacies, financial advisors, clergy, repair contractors, family
  • Copies of important prescriptions: medicines, eyeglasses
  • Copies of children’s immunization records.
  • Copies of health, dental, and/or prescription insurance cards or numbers.
  • Copies of auto, flood, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policies (at least policy numbers).
  • Insurance company telephone numbers, including local agent and company headquarters.
  • Copies of: deeds, titles, wills/trust documents, durable power of attorney, healthcare directives, stock/bond certificates, investment statements, home inventory, birth/death/adoption/marriage certificates, passports and other identification, employee benefits documents, previous years’ income tax returns.
  • Back-up copies of computerized financial records.
  • Keys to safe deposit box.
  • Combination to safe.
  • Negatives or electronic copies for irreplaceable personal photos.
  • Computer user names and passwords.
  • List of numbers: social security, credit cards, bank accounts, driver’s license, loans, investment accounts
  • List of debt obligations, due dates and contact information.Grab and Go evacuation box

 

 

 

Choose the positive view

April 9, 2014

Here’s a great idea…
In his book, Authentic Happiness, Martin E.P. Seligman says
“A negative mood activates a battle-stations mode of thinking. A positive mood, in contrast, buoys people into a way of thinking that is creative, tolerant, constructive, generous, undefensive” (p. 39).

In other words…
The way we choose to think has real consequences. Sober thinking is sometimes useful for problem-solving. But when we engage in extended brooding, we create a dark world that makes us sad, unproductive, and uninteresting. If we want to be happy and productive, we should generally chase away the darkness and seek the light in our way of thinking.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…
In almost every situation, we can choose to see the threat or the opportunity, the darkness or the light. The next time you’re tempted to feel swamped by a threat, look for the opportunity instead. Notice the rewards that come from choosing a positive mindset.

To Find Out More…
about personal well-being, check out Getting Our Hearts Right orThe Personal Journey programs at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglifeor contact your local county Extension agent. You may also enjoy reading Authentic Happiness.

Don’t poke at sores

January 27, 2014

Here’s a great idea…
In her book Why Talking Is Not Enough, Susan Page says. . . .
“If you have a sore on your arm, the last thing you should do is poke at it, dig around in there, and examine it more thoroughly. You’ll make it worse! Instead, you should create a gentle, healing environment for the wound and allow it to heal itself. [Healing is done by Nature!]” p. 56

In other words…
Emotional wounds should be treated the same as physical wounds. Constantly revisiting your relationship problems (i.e., analyzing them, nagging, pleading, etc.) will only cause them to fester until strong feelings of dissatisfaction occur. On the other hand, nurturing your relationship will help heal any wounds between you.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…
Many relationship problems aren’t truly “problems” at all. They are simply differences in personality or values. Realize that everyone is different and choose to enjoy your partner’s good traits. This will strengthen your relationship.

To find out more…
about couple relationships, check out The Marriage Garden or the Getting Our Hearts Right program at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also like to read Why Talking Is Not Enough.

Happy people focus on others

January 22, 2014

Here’s a great idea…
In his book, Authentic Happiness, Martin E.P. Seligman says,
“Happy people were more likely to demonstrate more empathy and are willing to donate more money to others in need. When we are happy, we are less self-focused. Looking out for number one is more characteristic of sadness than of well-being” (pg. 43).

In other words…
Who do we care about more: ourselves or others? When we are happy, we want to serve others and share our happiness with them. When we are unhappy, we shut down. We become defensive and focused primarily on our own needs.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…
Find someone to help today. It can be as simple as giving your waitress an extra tip or taking out your neighbor’s trash. When you help other people, you will find greater joy in your own life.

To Find Out More…
about personal well-being, check out Getting Our Hearts Right or The Personal Journey programs at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also enjoy reading Authentic Happiness.

Building and using your signature strengths

January 15, 2014

Here’s a great idea…
In his book, Authentic Happiness, Martin E.P. Seligman says,
I do not believe that you should devote overly much effort to correcting your weaknesses. Rather, I believe that the highest success in living and the deepest emotional satisfaction comes from building and using your signature strengths (p. 13).

In other words…
We all have weaknesses. There will never be a time when we do not have them. So, instead of focusing on weaknesses that we would like to fix, we should focus on discovering and developing the strengths that we already have. When we use our strengths, we become more confident and we experience greater satisfaction in life.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…
Make a list identifying several strengths that you see in yourself. Or ask a trusted friend or family member what strengths they see in you. Then, focus on your strengths and design your life to use those strengths on a daily basis.

To Find Out More…
about personal well-being, check out Getting Our Hearts Right or The Personal Journey programs at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also enjoy reading Authentic Happiness.

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