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Financially Fit

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Grocery Shopping

In this month's Twelve Months To Financial Fitness Challenge, we look at shopping habits that could be hurting your budget, and smarter, budget-friendly alternatives. Shopping expenses can be challenging to keep track of and keep under control because life happens, and unexpected purchases can come out of nowhere. Join us this month as we tackle keeping your shopping spending down.

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The Costs of Having a Pet

boy with his puppy

Pet expenses in the United States exceeded 99 billion dollars in 2019, a figure which has consistently increased year-to-year (statista.com). To no one’s surprise, pet ownership numbers have also grown: Approximately 67 percent of American households reported owning at least one pet, and those numbers increased during the pandemic. For many, pets are more than companions—they are part of the family. However, it’s important to remember that caring for a pet can significantly impact your finances and should be part of the household budget.

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Entertaining at Home

Family dinner

If you’ve been staying at home lately, you probably realize you are saving A LOT of money on entertainment costs, but you may be getting bored. For this month’s Twelve Months To Financial Fitness, we share some fresh new ideas for entertaining at home to keep everyone happy—and keep money in your savings account.

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Financial Stress

Man coping with stress

Financial difficulties are a leading stressor in society today, and this stress can have serious health consequences. Besides medical effects, stressing over money can cause depression and relationship problems. Financial stress can often be a cause of conflict in relationships. Fortunately, you can fight back against financial stress. Here are a few ways to get started and stop letting money woes run your life.

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Keep More of Your Salary

Reviewing paycheck

Many of the ways in which you spend your money comes from nothing more than a habit. From spending $15 on lunch every day to dropping $150 on new shoes, your costly habits can be a slow but steady drain on your finances. If these habits are bad for your finances, think about developing good habits that will boost your finances. Here are seven simple, good money habits you can adopt to help you keep more of your paycheck.

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Beat Summer Boredom

Kids splashing in pool

At some point during the long summer, kids are bound to say the words every parent dreads: “Mom, I’m bored!” Oh sure, there are many things to do—amusement parks, costly trips to the mall, and summer camps—just to name a few. But thrifty moms and dads can keep kids happy without having to break the bank. With a little creativity, you can still uncover a variety of ways to keep your children stimulated with little or no cost. Here are some budget-friendly activities to enjoy during the long summer months.

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Budgeting For The Holidays

holiday shopping

Even though it’s July, it’s never too early to start budgeting for the holidays. And that’s exactly what we are talking about for this month’s financial fitness challenge. In this article, we look at how to make a holiday budget and how to painlessly put money towards it.

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Save Money Every Day

Reviewing Receipts

You've probably heard the phrase, "It's not how much you make; it's how much you spend." There is truth in that witty saying, but the problem is figuring out how to spend less each day. Keep reading to learn about smart ways you can save money every day of the month.

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Post-Pandemic Budget

Budget planning on laptop

Now that the world is opening up again, your spending habits are probably changing. Gas expenses may have increased by getting out more. You may be feeling the need for a social spending spree of outings, dining, and events that you haven’t been able to indulge in for over a year. You may also be earning more again and feeling more secure financially. Or, you may feel lost about how to recover from the past year. Rather than “winging it,” now is the time to rebuild your post-pandemic financial health with a new budget!

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Credit Score Factors

Credit report on laptop

It's no secret that maintaining a good credit score is essential to strong financial health. It is a must if you ever wish to take out a substantial loan or need to apply for rental properties. Most people know the basics of what may hurt and what may help your credit score. For example, paying your bills on time will help your credit score, while filing for bankruptcy will hurt it. However, you may not know about a few surprising things that can hurt your score. Here are six factors that may negatively impact your credit score.

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