Helpful tips for financial planning and getting your finances under control. Plan for a healthy financial future.

Dog in car on country road .Can you afford a pet?
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Can You Afford a Pet? Check Your Budget Before Bringing Fido into the Family

The benefits to living with pets are well-documented. Their companionship improves our mental wellbeing. They can keep us physically active and lower our risk of heart disease. They teach children responsibility and can even keep young ones from developing allergies. Some also make excellent under-foot vacuum cleaners in the kitchen. A lesser known—and less popular—fact, […]

UW Professor J. Michael Collins
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Emergency Savings and Financial Well-Being: Q&A with Financial Expert J. Michael Collins

Emergency savings give people peace of mind—or what we like to call “financial well-being,” which is really defined as being subjectively OK with where you are. A big component of that is not worrying about stuff, being resilient to extra expenses, feeling in control. If you don’t feel like you can set [financial] goals and reach them, it makes you feel less financially well. That has negative side effects for people’s physical and mental health.

Woman paying bills - April financial literacy month
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National Financial Literacy Month: Do You Know How to Calculate Compound Interest?

Suppose you owe $1,000 on a loan and the interest rate is 20% per year compounded annually. If you didn’t pay anything off, at this interest rate, how many years would it take for the amount you owe to double?*

If you don’t know the answer to that question, you’re not alone. Nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic financial literacy test with questions about interest rates, mortgages and economic trends, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation.

How to Make a Budget with our free budgeting Excel template
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How to Make a Budget with our Free Excel Budgeting Template

Watch this video to learn how to use our free budgeting template (a beautifully designed Excel spreadsheet) to manage your bills and monthly budget. Our spreadsheet is easy to use with self-adding columns and monthly bills sorted into handy columns. Watch to learn more.

America Saves Week 2017
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5 Steps to Save Successfully During America Saves Week 2017

By Tammy G. Bruzon, America Saves America Saves Week is coming up on Feb. 27 – March 4, 2017. This is an annual opportunity for people to assess their savings and take action to improve their financial health. We encourage savers to save even more to reach their goals faster. For people who are living paycheck […]

1040 Tax Return: What to do with your tax refund
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Wondering What to Do with That Tax Refund? Ask Yourself: “What Keeps Me Up at 3am?”

Seeing that last year’s average tax refund hovered above $2500  (though in Wisconsin it’s a little less), you may well be expecting a hefty check in the next few months. But before you start Googling “Vacations in Veracruz,” consider finding some better ways to spend your tax return. Especially if you’re among the 63% of […]

Money Saving Tips: Save $5 this month
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5 Tips to Save $5 This Month

Think saving $5 a month isn’t worth the effort? Actually, an extra $60 per year can provide you with some pretty big returns: A $60 donation to local gardens, parks, and museums can often provide your family with a membership and free admission for the year. $60 toward private unemployment insurance can help you make […]

How SafetyNet Insurance Works: A new kind of unemployment insurance
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Free Budgeting Excel Template

Download our free monthly budget spreadsheet to get your personal finances in order. This Excel spreadsheet is self-adding, customizable and beautifully designed to make budgeting fun and easy! Budgeting doesn’t have to be painful.

9 Ways to Make Ends Meet When You’re Between Jobs
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9 Ways to Make Ends Meet When You’re Between Jobs

So you’re between jobs. Limbo, crisis, transition. No matter what you call it, it’s an unsettling time—and for good reason. When you don’t know when you’ll have a regular income again, expenses that once seemed unremarkable—say, those monthly school loan payments or even coffee with a friend—can suddenly feel daunting. The good news is that […]

Emergency funds piggy bank
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How Much Emergency Savings Do You Need? Quick: Name Your Top 5 Monthly Expenses

Think of the last time you got that unexpected bill: the $500 car repair, a heart-skipping co-pay, a downed tree from a storm. How did you manage? If you’re like 63% of Americans, you didn’t have the money in savings for this unexpected expense. It’s likely your credit card took (and might still be taking) […]