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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.

What’s the first thing you thought of when you read that title?  The Lion King? Something else? Circles are everywhere in our lives, vicious circles, circles of life, truth etc. However, I want to talk about a circle that many of you may not think of, but that is pretty important. Over the last couple […]

Last week we talked about building credit for the first time.  This week we are going to talk about repairing your credit if you have older negative items pulling your credit score down. Payment history is the biggest part of your credit rating, and when payments are missed and things are reported as past due, […]

Oh, credit rating!  So important and often misunderstood.  Talk about credit and it seems everyone is either sure they KNOW what they are talking about or they brush it off and say it’s not important at all. However, when it comes to workshops and classes, credit is what people want to know about.  How to […]

Things come around and go around again and again. Fashions, hairstyles, eyewear, you name it. Once you’ve been on the planet for awhile, you see things you had or wore or did as a young person come around again. Although, with technology, many old things have gone by the wayside, and probably won’t make an […]

When I started with LSS nearly 10 years ago, I was one of a group of satellite offices for my department. Over the years, as funding changed, and the world changed, and our department changed, I find myself flying solo out here as the last satellite office in my department. It takes deliberate intention on […]

K.I.S.S.  Most of us have heard the acronym.  I like to translate it as Keep It Super Simple. You know – concepts so simple that they might sound stupid.  You might roll your eyes at them, BUT THEY WORK! In some of our classes, we give tips and tricks to help with controlling spending.  […]

One of the things people don’t often realize about credit counseling is that you don’t have to wait until you’re in trouble to come in for help.  A pre-emptive strike, so to speak, can help people to see they are headed for trouble, and to turn things around before they fall into the hole. We’ve […]

Can’t Buy Me Love Over the past weeks, we’ve been talking about how much we LOVE our cars, and buying and how to watch out for predatory situations and make a good deal for yourself.  But we’ve only talked about buying.  There is another option out there that can work for many people and that’s […]

Last week, we talked about car buying and how it’s important to keep our wits about us.  Unfortunately, there are some other situations relating to car buying we need to look out for, because car financing is an area in which predatory lending can be just around the corner. One of my favorite things about […]

It seems to be coming more apparent that people really want to get out of the house.  And one of the things I’ve noticed is new cars. EVERYWHERE. I swear in the last week or so I’ve seen at least 5 cars everyday with the new car papers in the window. Whether it’s new or […]

If you didn’t know already, this weekend is Mother’s Day. Typically the busiest day of the year for restaurants and a busy one for florists as well. What?  You forgot? Now’s the time to make that brunch reservation and order some posies for Mom.  Unless you get mom a different gift, in addition to brunch […]

For the last few weeks, I’ve been focused on the fact that April is Financial Literacy month.  Today I’d like to talk about a different subject the April is the “month” of, and that is Stress Awareness Month.  And appropriately enough, those two things go together pretty well. Struggling with financial literacy can be a […]

For most of my life, I’ve been taller than my peers.  Even now as an adult, I’m a woman right at six feet tall.  In elementary school, my nickname was Big Bird. I was pretty good at basketball, and so sometimes it was Kareem Abdul Ja-Bird.  I was well into adulthood before I realized that […]

Many people ask me what I do.  When I answer that I’m a credit counselor, they stop and think for a moment and then that’s when they ask for clarification.  You do what?  What is that? A lot of people haven’t heard of such a thing and when I explain, they all agree it’s a […]

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 […]