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LSS Financial Resources News

LSS is dedicated to educating and empowering individuals and families to master their financial goals. Stay connected with helpful tips and timely information through the LSS Center for Financial Resources Blog and news stories.

Temps are dropping.  Leaves are changing colors.  The geese are flying south.  There is a certain bite in the air.  I love the fall!  But the changing of the season also comes with certain preparations.  I live in South Dakota.  I just know the snow is coming.  It’s going to be cold.  Not just chilly, […]

Did you see our recent social media post regarding Pringles?  It was kind of an interesting factoid that, while most of us include Pringles in the potato chip family and they are in fact potato-based, the can’t actually be labeled as ‘potato chips’.  It’s actually a Food and Drug Administration rule (the things our government […]

Flexibility.  What comes to mind when you read that word?  Maybe you think of a circus performer twisting their body in a myriad of positions that shouldn’t be possible.  Maybe you think about the stretches that are often a part of a workout routine.  Maybe you think about the last time you slipped on the […]

If you haven’t read my last blog post, it refers to our impending move as required by my daughter (said only somewhat tongue-in-cheek) and the school boundary changes.  Well, I’m happy to say things are moving ahead.  We have found a great house and it looks like we are going to be able to stay […]

Are your kids going to the school you want them to attend? Is that changing with the new school boundaries? A potential issue in any school district, here are a few things to think about as you consider where your kids will attend and whether open enrolling or even a move really are the right decisions for you.

As temps come down headed into fall, chances are that your electric bill is coming down to. And it will be great on your budget. But now is the time to take a bigger look so you are ready when the temps drop and the gas bill goes up again.

After a weird, weird summer of things sort of happening or not happening at all, it was like a quick snap back to reality as I watched the posts of all of my social media connections who have delivered their kids to college.  Whether it is the first year or the fourth of drop-off, it […]

Have you ever noticed how close the words “debt” and “death” are to each other?  As I ponder this, I find them a little too close for comfort.  Depending on who you talk to, some people in the world seem to consider carrying any debt to be equivalent to a long, slow death.  At the […]

Can spending make you sick? Maybe, maybe not. But there are always consequences for spending. Some are good and some not so good. Do you think ahead beyond the immediate gratification? Do you have a plan for your spending? Here is why you should think each purchase through before you finalize it.

Let’s talk about statistics!  How would you feel about odds of 4 out of 10?  5 out of 10?  Maybe 3 out of 10 is better.  How about 2 out of 10? I know, it’s hard to know which is better if we don’t know what the odds are for.  If we are talking your […]

Fireworks.  Picnics.  Trips to the lake.  Family.  This weekend is going to be awesome!  After all, how often does the 4th of July fall on the weekend?  I’m sure you have plans, even if those plans are extra pay for working a holiday. There are so many things that come with the 4th of July […]

It is becoming more and more common for couples to keep separate finances. That may be a mistake for many couples. Aside from the reasons why they are keeping finances, here are some reasons you may want to unify your finances within the household. It may have a significant impact on more than just your finances.

With June being National Home Ownership Month, there is a lot of information about why you should buy a home. For the sake of a balanced discussion, here are some reasons you may not want to buy a home. It may not be the right decision for you. That is fine, as long as you make in informed decision.

As things begin to reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic, how will you approach that? Do you have a plan? Or will you have that emotional release that often leads to overreaction? Beyond the pandemic, this applies to most financial crises. Your measured response can greatly reduce the overall financial impact.

The results of the NFCC’s annual Consumer Financial Literacy Study are in and there are some good trends and some concerning trends. Particularly concerning are the rates at which people face barriers to home ownership. Let’s talk about those barriers and how easy they may be for people to address.

Do you balance your account beyond just checking the balance? Here is why you should and how you go about that. Balancing your checking account could mean more money in your account. Use a checkbook register and protect yourself in an easy, free way.

Crisis is usually viewed as a negative thing and there is certainly more than enough crisis going around right now.  There is, however, a certain response that usually comes with a crisis.  It’s probably not going to magically make the crisis a positive thing, but at least maybe make lemonade out of a lemon.

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t just impacting our physical health, it’s also causing mental health issues.

COVID, distancing, and quarantines are bringing so much uncertainty. With layoffs, furloughs, and loss of income, an emergency budget may be needed. It may not be exactly what you want right now, but it will help you get more of what you want in the nearer future. Here’s the what, how, and why.

It can be difficult to see the positives right now, but they do exist. Here are some things to help you find positives in your life and in your personal finances. Look deep and work with reality.

Too often dismissed, today we honor the penny. More importantly, we pay attention to all of the pennies that we spend without paying attention. Tracking even the pennies can make a big difference in our budgets.

As finances become uncertain during the pandemic, student loans may provide options that will allow people to better control their finances while staying current with student loan finances.

With the current pandemic quarantine, personal finances will be a challenge. Here are five initial things you can do to help minimize that impact on your life as we all focus on prevention and then recovery.

If you are looking at monitoring your credit reports and scores, you may be wondering where to start. One popular option is Credit Karma. But is it really a good place to watch your credit report and credit score? To make that decision, you need to know what it actually offers. Here is the beginning of that conversation.

Savings.  It is a single word that can strike fear in the hearts of many Americans.  I think most people understand that savings are something they probably should have, but so many people still struggle with it.  Maybe it’s having the money to set aside.  Maybe it is the discipline to keep getting it done.

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? What are you celebrating on Valentine’s Day? Here are a few thoughts to help you keep centered on a day that can be a blessing. Sometimes our getting carried away can take us away from our priorities and put us in a challenging spot.

There is quite a bit of talk about identity theft. Do you know the closest threat of identity theft? It may be a whole lot closer than you know or even want to think about. In this blog post, we talk about why and what you can do to protect yourself from this specific threat.

While many people put off filing their income taxes, you may want to do that as soon as possible. With 5 different reasons listed, you will probably find at least 1 or 2 that speak to your situation. Filing sooner may just help you with your other goals and dreams.

Goals get discussed a lot. Yes, you should have them. How to go about setting goals. But one important piece that often gets missed is why setting goals even matters. Here are three reasons you should be more intentional about setting your goals.

As the snow flies and the ice builds up, most people aren’t really thinking about buying a new home. In fact, this may be the perfect time to start the process. When done better, a home purchase is a process that does take some time. Get started now with these thoughts so you are ready to actually move when the nicer weather comes back.

Many people traveled over the holidays.  Some went to new places for the first time.  This probably requires directions and maybe even a map.  Whether you are still rocking the old school paper maps or depending on the wonder that is Google Maps, there is one important piece that HAS to be known.

Christmas is a busy time of year for most of us. But what time of year isn’t busy in its own way? This is a simple greeting with a simple point to set your priorities and not get lost in the other stuff.

This isn’t charity; it’s family. – Clark Griswold I’m sorry, this is our family’s first kidnapping. – Ellen Griswold We’re gonna have the hap- hap- happiest Christmas. – Clark Griswold I don’t know what to say, but it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery. – Ellen Griswold Worse?  How could things get any worse?

Have you gotten the statements for all of your Christmas shopping yet?  Probably not, or at least not all of the shopping you will be doing.  After all, we are still 3 weeks from Christmas.  PLENTY of time to get the shopping done.  Back to those bills that will be coming.

It’s a big day today!  You may not realize it, but today is a fairly significant holiday.  It isn’t observed by too many different states, cities, or even businesses.  But it SHOULD be!  I have to admit, I don’t know that I’ll specifically observe it today, but I do several other times throughout the year.

Now that we are into November, there has been a great deal of talk about being grateful for what we have.  We’ve even been encouraging people through our own social media to be grateful.  After all, that’s what the Thanksgiving holiday is all about. So, what are you thankful for?  No, really. 

OOOoooOOOOooooOOoooo…..  It’s that spooktacular time of year again.  The ghouls and goblins come out, the headless horseman finds a jack-o-lantern to use as a head, and all of those little punks show up on my doorstep begging my candy off of me.  (Don’t worry; I really do buy candy for them. 

Of course the Halloween decorations are out for your perusal at the stores.  And the Thanksgiving decorations are on display.  And the Christmas trees are all set up and lit to tempt you deeper into the Holiday spirit.  But, really?!?  All three holidays at once?  Can’t we just deal with one at a time?

If you caught it, last week we started a two-part blog on the differences between debt settlement and debt management.  Often confused even by those in the industry, I wanted to talk about the differences.  You can find part one of this blog here.

“Debt Settlement” & “Debt Management”.  Four words. Two phrases. One shared word between the two phrases. And SO FAR APART! Welcome to part 1 of 2 looking at debt settlement vs. debt management. As I talk with people out in the community, I find a lot of people are confused or mistaken.