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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.

So this month, we’re talking about financial literacy.  And how sometimes we learn from life and at other times we learn from other people in our lives. Sometimes, those people try to teach us and we don’t listen. At best, we can hope to be either a good example or a cautionary tale. In my […]

Financial literacy is a bit of a buzzword right now. Lots of people talk about it, and everyone agrees it’s important.  What’s less clear is how to make it happen for those that need it, which, by the way, is everyone. But what exactly is it?  The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy defines personal […]

If you are “of a certain age” like I am, you may remember The Flintstones.  Whenever Betty and Wilma were headed out to shop, they would hold their credit cards over their heads and yell “Charge!” ala Teddy Roosevelt heading up San Juan Hill.  Over the years, having high credit limits and charging a lot […]

You know how the saying goes, there are two things we can be certain of, death and taxes.  It’s that time of the year again, time to gather documents and settle down to do the taxes, or haul your box of papers to your CPA.  Yes, tax time is upon us. It can get complicated, […]

Spring is springing and you know what that means.  The changing of the clocks is upon us.  And not the nice one in the fall where we get to either sleep a bit longer or stay up and watch that movie on Saturday night.  No, it’s the one where we lose an hour, in the […]

If you sang that to yourself, then you’ve been around awhile,

¡Bienvenida Olivia! Olivia has been teaching for over 20 years, currently as a psychology professor at Augustana University. She is excited at the opportunity to teach financial classes and individual sessions through LSS, in both English and Spanish.

Olivia has been teaching for over 20 years, currently as a psychology professor at Augustana University. She is excited at the opportunity to teach financial classes and individual sessions through LSS, in both English and Spanish.

Time keeps on slippin’ slippin’ slippin’ into the future. If you don’t recognize that tidbit, do yourself a favor and get on the Google. But to the matter at hand. It’s that time. It’s Time to talk about the T in our SMART goal setting process, which is the time aspect of our goal setting.

Trivia time!  Who knows what family featured in a 1970’s sitcom featuring a family in a multicolored bus who sang together had this phrase in their theme song?  The 70’s?  Really?  How is that relevant? I’ve always been a reader, and for Christmas one year, I got a set of books featuring the Partridge Family. […]

Change is hard. That’s a big reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail. And it’s also why I’m encouraging you to take a different direction when it comes to setting your goals and making changes.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about the process of setting goals, and how to make the changes we […]

Back in the day, many days ago, I wanted nothing more than to be the junior cheerleader.

Maybe you remember a few years back during the World Cup, there was an announcer who became well known for his cry of “GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL” when his team would score. What a jubilant feeling!  Of course, professional soccer players are highly focused on scoring.  They know what their goal is when they step on the field.  […]

Are you SMARTer than a fifth grader?  Anyone remember that show?  Adults had to compete against fifth grade kids to answer general knowledge questions.  Guess who usually won? Yes, it was the kids. When my son was in elementary school, he had to bring home his planner every day for me to see. It had […]

Ah, resolutions.  Friend or enemy?  Are you a resolution maker, or a person that just says no to the ritual of extreme (and often unrealistic) goal setting and the eventual failure? New Year’s resolutions can be both helpful and hurtful, depending on how we approach them.  Goals are good things to have, but it’s important […]

I’m going to go there.  I know it’s a bit of a hot subject right now, but there just isn’t any way around it.  Let’s talk about masks.  I don’t know where you are on the matter, and frankly, I’m not here to convert you one way or the other. 

Watched any good horror movies lately?  More specifically, are you into zombie flicks?  Zombie movies?  Eh, whatever.  If that’s your thing, then great.  Not mine.  And then we seemed to go through this whole phase where the world seemed to embrace the idea that there really was an impending zombie apocalypse headed our way. 

As we continue on with conversations regarding home maintenance, this week is a perfect time to discuss one specific topic – snow removal.  Tuesday we had a fairly significant snow event with (officially) 4.5 inches of snow in Sioux Falls.  The air and ground were still warm enough that the first snow quickly melted.

Some call it old school.  To be honest, I use the term ‘old school’ myself.  I’ll even use it to describe myself.  Don’t get me wrong – technology is great.  But when it comes to education, you just can’t beat face-to-face, live classes.  However, online self-directed classes provide for flexible schedules and are potentially more efficient.

People struggle to spend money on their homes when they don’t absolutely have to. But they SHOULD! Find out what you should be looking for and also how you can get a free resource to help you protect your investment in your home.

Unless you live in a forest of nothing but conifers (pines, spruce, cedar), you know the leaves are falling like rain right now.  I love the fall colors.  I love the smell of dry leaves when I’m out for a walk (fortunately, not much for allergies). But I also live in South Dakota. 

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.