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Today’s families find themselves wanting to keep up with changes in their world; changes that happen at a faster and faster pace. Whatever your stage of life, Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences programs bring you knowledge you can use to make better decisions and improve your life. We bring you proven, reliable, non-biased information to help you with raising kids, eating right, spending smart, and living well. Feel free to post your comments to our articles or e-mail us a question that you would like to see answered in this blog.

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For more information about VCE Family and Consumer Sciences programs, visit us on the Web at: http://www.fcs.ext.vt.edu or contact your local office of Virginia Cooperative Extension:

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If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate, please contact your local office of Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
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Karen Poff

Clearing the holiday clutter

During the time from Thanksgiving to New Year's, we create an extra 5 million tons of garbage. The extra waste is generated because the average American household increases its trash output by 25 percent during the holidays. To keep all of that extra trash from filling up our landfills, we need to think twice before tossing it into the garbage can.
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Karen Poff

Planning ahead can ease holiday stress

Because most people have high expectations of the holidays, many families experience extra tension during November and December. People feel the pressure of long "to do" lists and numerous activities. Ironically, family members may be more short-tempered or overly sensitive during a time of year that is supposed to bring joy. The keys to managing this busy season are adequate planning, advance preparation, shortcuts and stress management.
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Karen Poff

Save money on insurance

One thing that no one can afford to be without is insurance. You might roll the dice and go without it. But the odds are that sooner or later you will encounter a serious life circumstance that you cannot afford.
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Karen Poff

Don't get caught in a money trap

Last week we talked about traditional and non-traditional banking services. Sometimes people have problems with the traditional services provided by credit unions and banks. Then, they tend to seek out non-traditional services which can often be money traps. In some cases, such as with check cashing and money orders, the services are simply more expensive.
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Karen Poff

Traditional and non-traditional banking

Sometimes I hear people say that they would rather not put their money in a bank or credit union. Some of the reasons they give include trouble managing a checking account in the past, low interest rates, fear that creditors will take the funds, and problems with identity theft.
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Karen Poff

A healthy family plays and laughs

One way to make your family stronger is to make time for play and laughter.
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Karen Poff

News related scams

You've probably heard about the scams related to charitable donations. Did you also realize that Internet scams can be related to the news itself?
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Karen Poff

Developing a spending and savings plan

Many people have a negative feeling about the word "budget." The word brings to mind a straight jacket or perhaps chains -- something that holds you back or keeps you in check. But the purpose behind a budget is exactly the opposite.
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Karen Poff

Use credit wisely, instead of not at all

From time to time I hear people say that because of their bad experiences with credit, they want to pay cash for everything and never borrow again. This may seem like an admirable goal. but in reality, a life totally without credit can actually reduce your financial stability.
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Karen Poff

Personal finance foundations

If you want to build stability into your personal finances, you have to start with a firm foundation. The first step is to get organized. You'll need a simple home filing system, a way to keep track of which bills are due when, and one place to store everything. You can use large envelopes, file folders, notebooks, or calendars to organize. The best system is the one that works for you!

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Author - Brittany Michael Author - Karen Poff Author - Karen Ridings Family & Human Development Family Financial Management Food, Nutrition, Health

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