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Spring Cleaning in  30 Minutes or Less…Guaranteed!

Spring Cleaning in 30 Minutes or Less…Guaranteed!

I know what you’re thinking: 30 minutes cannot possibly be long enough to complete all your spring cleaning. Well, that depends on how you look at it. Most of us don’t have endless amounts of time to spend cleaning our houses, and more than that, who really wants to? It’s not fun. So, what’s this [...]

How to Deal With Medical Debt

How to Deal With Medical Debt

A broken bone, mental health therapy, a long-term illness, a car accident, a premature baby. All of these situations—and so many more unexpected ones—can land a family in medical debt. According to Wikipedia, “Medical debt is different from other forms of debt, because it is usually incurred accidentally or faultlessly. People do not plan to [...]

10 Things We Spend Too Much On

10 Things We Spend Too Much On

All too often, we buy things we think we’re supposed to, and whenever there’s an emotional component involved, our tendency to overspend is enhanced even more. Think funerals, weddings, and engagement rings, just for starters. Read on for more examples of traditional purchases people routinely spend too much on and solid suggestions for cutting those costs. [...]

You Want Me To Pay For What? What Your Parent’s Financial State Can Mean for You

In the past few weeks, I mentioned to a handful of people that I was writing an article about laws that say adult children can be held responsible for their parents’ medical bills and long-term care, even if they don’t agree to do so. As a conversation starter at a party, this one drummed up [...]

Growing Up Online: How Texting Can Strengthen Relationships

Growing Up Online: How Texting Can Strengthen Relationships

By now, parents of kids with cell phones understand that texting has created new possibilities—and problems. Although research is sparse, a few preliminary studies suggest that, like other forms of communication, texting has the power to bring people closer. Depending on how it is used, it can also create and exacerbate conflict. In one recent, highly publicized [...]

Dear Santa: Top 10 Gift Ideas for Caregivers

Dear Santa: Top 10 Gift Ideas for Caregivers

There is no denying, caregiving is hard work. Between full- or part-time jobs, doctor appointments, medical research, and the demands of everyday life, family caregivers are pulled in many directions, usually with little time left to rest, relax, and refresh—time they so desperately need. And caregiving during the holiday season is especially difficult. As you [...]

College Save in North Dakota: 529 Plan Basics

College Save in North Dakota: 529 Plan Basics

A 529 plan is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. Legally known as “qualified tuition plans,” 529 plans are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. All 50 states and the District of Columbia sponsor at least [...]

Food Fight! Conventional vs. Organic Food

Food Fight! Conventional vs. Organic Food

They used to say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But the ever-changing landscape of food and nutrition might have us thinking otherwise. Now, it depends on which doctor you ask, if the apple was washed and peeled first, or if it was grown organically or conventionally. It seems a little confusing when [...]

Why You Should Drive a Beater

Are you tired of having a car payment? Drive a beater. That’s what one of The Village Family Service Center’s financial counselors, Morgan Almer, does. He has saved thousands of dollars over the years. Right now Almer drives a tan, 1998 Buick LeSabre, and it’s going on 275,000 miles. “If you have a $30,000 car and [...]

Money-Saving Vacation Tips

Money-Saving Vacation Tips

When it comes to a family vacation and managing a budget, planning is essential. Family vacations play an important role in keeping families close. Here are some ways not to break your wallet and make sure your time together is stress-free. Make Reservations: Making reservations ahead of time can save on dollars and stress. Be savvy about [...]

Are You Financially Literate?

Are You Financially Literate?

Many recent developments in personal financial management involve technology. The U.S. Treasury is only issuing new Savings Bonds electronically; people receiving federal benefits must now accept their money electronically, instead of by check; and many consumers are opting to handle their basic financial needs online. Ask most teenagers and young adults what a check register [...]

Paying For Grades: No. Yes. Maybe.

Paying For Grades: No. Yes. Maybe.

When it comes to giving your children cash for good grades, families have mixed reactions. The sides become as polarized as participants in a televised presidential debate. Some adamantly oppose the idea, stating that school should not be treated as a paying job. Others favor a cash incentive. Still others haven’t used money as a [...]

Credit Scores: What You Need to Know

Credit Scores: What You Need to Know

One number can have a huge impact on how much you’ll pay for interest on a car loan, a home mortgage, insurance, and more. This number is your credit score. If you’ve rented an apartment, purchased something using the “no interest for a year” deal, or applied for a job where you handle lots of [...]

Mastering the Auto Insurance Maze

Mastering the Auto Insurance Maze

Auto insurance: it’s something we all need but not something we all understand. Separating fact from fiction and making wise decisions when it comes to purchasing auto insurance isn’t easy—and it doesn’t help that we are barraged by gimmicky insurance company advertisements. For Progressive, there is Flo, the spunky brunette who loves tacos and giving [...]

Mid-Year Financial Checkup

Believe it or not, 2012 is half over. That means it’s time for a mid-year financial checkup. Tax preparer Mike Johnson, EA ATP, owner of Money Matters (MN & ND), says a mid-year financial review is critical for families to reach their financial goals. “Most families spend more time planning a summer vacation than they [...]

When it Pays to Hire a Pro: Five Things Best Done by a Professional

When it Pays to Hire a Pro: Five Things Best Done by a Professional

Some things in life are best left to the professionals. Though it may be tempting to save a few bucks by doing a project without professional input, there are at least five situations where you should consider using the experienced skillset of those in business to serve you. Retirement Planning Retirement planning is a strategy for [...]

Start Saving Now

Start Saving Now

By Heidi Tetzman Roepke The temptation to spend money is everywhere. From the seemingly innocent daily stop at the coffee shop for a latte, to buying the latest electronic gizmo we “must” have, many of us spend more than we make. Debt snowballs, and soon we’re worried about making even the minimum payments on credit [...]

House For Sale

House For Sale

By Meredith Holt Fargo-area Realtor Tracy Green suggested that a client paint her dark-orange vaulted foyer a neutral taupe, but she resisted—she loved the burnt orange. The house was listed for months without selling. Finally, the owner agreed to paint her foyer, and when she did, the house sold three weeks later. In order to [...]

Learning to Love Legal Music

Learning to Love Legal Music

Young people are passionate about music and parents are, understandably, worried about what’s appropriate for young ears.  Today, however, parents need to look beyond lyrics to think about how kids are getting their music. Downloaded music is so readily available that teens can easily slip into behavior that is both unethical and illegal. The issue [...]

Identity Theft

Identity Theft

One day last fall, Riah Roe, a student at Concordia College, Moorhead, checked her online bank account and noticed purchases from a number of stores she had not visited. Despite the fact that Roe and her credit card were in Moorhead, all the purchases were made on the east coast. Roe was a victim of [...]