FCTI - Blog

Staying Safe This Independence Day

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on Jul 1, 2020 6:15:00 AM

Fireworks are a mainstay of celebrating the independence of the United States. However, they are also a main source of hospital visits for the month surrounding the holiday. And right now, a hospital visit is not only a potential health risk, it can also be a major blow to your wallet.

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Topics: consumer budgets, money management, household budgets

3 Strategies for Reducing Impulse Expenses

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on Jun 24, 2020 6:15:00 AM

Children offer us an unfiltered look at how our brains react to sales and marketing. When they see something that strikes their fancy, they want it right then. Toddlers, especially, show little patience or consideration for the cost or longevity of the item they desire. Yet, should their whimsy be indulged, the thing they “needed” at the store often gets discarded in short order.

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Topics: financial literacy, consumer budgets, money management, household budgets, financial education

3 Things Quarantine Can Teach Us About Life and Frugality

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on Jun 17, 2020 6:15:00 AM

We’ve all spent at least a month in quarantine. Fairs, concerts, playgrounds, movies, and more have all been delayed or completely shut down. Schools have closed. We’ve all be forced to see things from a new perspective. Rather than a waypoint between activities and a place to rest our heads, home is now where we all have spent most of our time.

While we are all a bit relieved to see quarantines being eased, there are some lessons about life and frugality that we should take away from this experience.

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Topics: financial literacy, consumer budgets, household budgets, financial education

Preparing for the Inevitable: Protecting Your Household's Finances in Case of Death

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on Jun 10, 2020 6:15:00 AM

Death is an unfortunate fact of life. Yet few people include this sad event in their plans for the future. The assumption is always, of course, that you have years ahead of you.

But what happens to your household finances if the worst were to happen? Here are steps you can take to help alleviate the pressures and ensure some level of stability.

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Topics: consumer budgets, money management, household budgets

Are Budget Apps Safe to Use?

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on Jun 3, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Is there a danger in providing your financial information to a third-party budget application? The short answer is “yes.” But the benefits may outweigh the risks when done right.

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Topics: consumer budgets, household budgets, financial education, personal finance

3 Ways to Squirrel Money for Emergencies

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on May 20, 2020 6:45:00 AM

If there is anything the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us about finances, it is the importance of having an emergency fund. In April 2020, the number of unemployed persons who reported temporary layoffs hit 18.1 million. Those individuals reporting permanent job loss rose to 2 million.

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Topics: consumer budgets, money management, household budgets, cash

Preparing for Crisis: 'Bare Bones' Budgeting and Crisis Mode

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on May 13, 2020 6:45:00 AM

The global pandemic has highlighted many things that are both wrong and right with the systems we use to run our governments and everyday lives. Closer to home, it is also calling attention to failings in standard budgeting practices and financial advice.

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Topics: consumer budgets, money management, household budgets, financial education

Four Free Ways to Help Families Encourage Learning at Home

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on May 6, 2020 6:45:00 AM

This year is proving to be a strange one for all of us. But it is especially odd for children and families faced with nationwide school and childcare closings. In a nation where even two-parent households often rely on two full-time incomes, juggling children and work is quickly becoming a struggle.

How and when school districts will reopen remains a mystery. But, in the meantime, working parents have to find ways to keep kids educated and stimulated while juggling a range of other insanity such as financial issues, working from home, and more. But how!?

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Topics: consumer budgets, money management, household budgets, financial education

3 Activities for Quarantine That Can Save Money Long-Term

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on Apr 29, 2020 6:45:00 AM

States and counties across the US are determining when and how to “reopen.” But it is becoming clear that these processes are likely to be different for everyone. Many people are still looking at another few weeks or more of reduced activity and sheltering in place. Even states and municipalities entering Phase 1 or 2 of reopening are looking at a higher than usual amount of time at home.

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Topics: consumer budgets, money management, household budgets, financial education

Protecting Your Credit and Identity in the Midst of COVID-19

Posted by Rebecca Hellmann on Apr 22, 2020 6:45:00 AM

You’re probably doing a lot of your shopping online if you can. Around 33% of people are purchasing more on the web than they were before, according to a recent survey from Experian. Vulnerable populations have found grocery delivery and other remote services a safer option for handling their everyday needs. At the same time, local and statewide orders to “shelter in place” have placed many retailers on temporary shut-down or forced them to an online-only business model.

But there are risks to taking your typical business to the web. Here are three of the latest threats to your credit and identity amid COVID-19.

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Topics: cyber security, consumer budgets, money management, household budgets, financial education