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How Can You Increase Your Credit Score?

how can you increase your credit score and financial wellness
by Carol Strazinsky How can you increase your credit score? Financial wellness has become a critical part of understanding how we can improve our overall wellbeing and it is a question that is weighing heavy on our minds. With the pandemic many have lost jobs, experienced a decrease in household income, and as a result, credit scores are taking a hit. For many families, a good credit score is the key to not only borrowing money, but also buying your dream home and starting a family. But what if you have bad credit? Or even fair credit? If you have one of the many credit score monitoring apps out there, you know that credit isn’t just bad or good — there’s a range. The higher…

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When is it Okay to Use Your Credit Card?

by Carol Strazinsky When is it okay to use your credit card? This is an important question to be asking ourselves. It can be tempting to purchase that designer handbag you’ve been fawning over, or even to pay for groceries when finances are a bit tight. However, when you are getting ready to swipe that card, take a step back and think about why you are making the purchase and whether it will benefit you and your financial wellness. So when does using your credit card makes sense and what pitfalls should you avoid? You’re strategically leveraging rewards. It’s perfectly possible to reap the benefits of cash back rewards without going into debt to earn them. How? Try using your credit card just for everyday purchases…

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Kakeibo: The Art of Financial Mindfulness

By Gina Messina, Ph.D. About a year ago, a friend introduced me to Kakeibo, the Japanese art of budgeting and applying mindfulness to our spending, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. You see, I am a major contributor to our consumeristic culture. I see something shiny and I think I have to have it. A friend jokes that she hates going shopping with me because I have to pick up and touch everything on the shelves (although I’ve eliminated that practice due to COVID!).  Like so many of us, I am easily persuaded by marketing tactics. Now that we so rarely spend cash, it feels like I can simply swipe a card, click a button, or use my fingerprint and suddenly I have a new…

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How Much You NEED to Retire Comfortably

Figure out how to calculate the amount you’ll have saved for when you retire and what you need to be comfortable. We all want to retire with a comfortable amount of money, but how much is comfortable for the lifestyle we live? Experts say you should save at least  1 to 2 million dollars in order to live a comfortable life after retirement. But is that amount realistic? You definitely don’t need millions, I can tell you that.  By age 65, most people retire with about $164k. That’s a big difference from a million dollars, so is that number too low or is 1 million too high? Well, you have to understand that everyone’s lifestyle varies and people may not spend as much as others or have…

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Mistakes Happen. It’s What We Do Next That Matters Most

March Madness is certainly living up to its name this year! Who doesn’t love watching mid-majors get their time in the spotlight! St. Peters, Creighton, South Dakota are all battling schools whose budgets probably match the “supplies” line in most BCS budgets. Even though watching the underdog is fun, we know winning and losing is so much more than the haves and the have nots. As I remind the teams I work with, if we already knew who was going to win the game based on analytics, stats or budget, we could save a lot of time and money and just crown the winner based on predictions. But stats and predictions lie! We play the game to see who is best on that day. That…

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