August 2005 Newsletter

August 10: Simplify Your Life
Is you life too complicated and hectic? This month we go beyond the financial realm. Marianne Christian will describe the benefits of living a simpler life and how she and her family have incorporated voluntary simplicity principles into their lives. Participants will be encouraged to share ideas on making lifestyle changes and how to overcome common obstacles to simplifying our lives (like a less than enthusiastic spouse/partner/child). Besides freeing up time and saving money, simplicity principles lessen our impact on the earth.
FPW meets 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Family Life room 318 on the USU campus. Bring your lunch. The same program is repeated in the evening: 7-8:30 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 493 North 700 East, Logan (at bottom of Old Main Hill).
Upcoming programs:
September 14: Start your own money club. A money club is not an investment club; it is a support group to help members manage their money more wisely or achieve specific goals.
October 12: Boost Your Savings! Presenter Ann House, USU Extension Family Finance Educator, will present the new Utah Saves program and the $500 Savings Challenge:
Preparing Women for a Rainy Day
America Saves
November 9: Insurance: Basic principles that can be applied to all categories of insurance plus specific tips on property insurance
December: No program scheduled.
Take Action!
Tips of the month:
Do you have a cash-back credit card? Are you sure you are getting your refund? According to The Wall Street Journal, you need to "police" your card. Sometimes you have to prompt your card issuer to pay your refund. Some card issuers like Citibank and Discover Card have stopped automatically providing refunds.
Program your Cell Phone "In case of Emergency (ICE)"
Following the disaster in London The Ambulance Service launched a national "In case of Emergency (ICE)" campaign. The idea is that you store the word "ICE" in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency." In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly look at your mobile phone and find out who your first contact should be and be able to contact them. It's so simple that everyone can do it. Please do. Email this to everybody in your address book, it won't take too many "forwards" before everybody will know about this, and it will become an international practice. For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc. It really could help the emergency services in doing their job.
Websites of the month:
Consumer Reports started a new web site on Earth Day to help consumers save money and energy. Besides info on buying cars and appliances, it has contact info on where to donate old cell phones and where to recycle computers. 
Escape from Affluenza
Books of the month:
Your Money or Your Life
by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin New York, Viking, 1992
Simple Living: One Couple's Search for a Better Life
by Frank Levering and Wanda Urbanska
Quote of the month: "It's easier to spend two dollars than to save one." Woody Allen
Feeling insecure about investing?
A study by Merrill Lynch reported in The Wall Street Journal found that "when it comes to investment mistakes, women are much less likely to be repeat offenders than men." Ponder that the next time you wonder if you're making the right investment decision.
Extension Retirement Planning Workshops
USU Extension is partnering with USU Community Credit Union to provide financial seminars.  They will be conducted on the last Wednesday of the month beginning in September, 2005. The main emphasis for the program will be retirement - but other topics will be discussed.  Teresa Hunsaker is the first speaker on September 28.  The topic is "Determining Financial Resources Needed to Retire."  No charge for the workshops. Pick and choose the classes - you don't have to sign up for the entire series. For info: Cache County Extension: 752-6263
ID thieves target Utah's Children (from Salt Lake Tribune 7-16- 05)
About 1,800 Utah children under age 13 are victims of identity theft through stolen Social Security numbers. The primary offenders are parents and undocumented immigrants. Protect your children's personal information as well as your own. Info on how to protect yourself and your children:
The USU Family Life Center, 797-7224, 493 N 700 East (bottom of Old Main Hill), provides free financial counseling and occasional workshops. This is the best source for basic money management and getting out of debt. They offer the PowerPay computer debt analysis for free.
Financial Planning for Women (FPW) is a monthly educational seminar that meets the second Wednesday of each month at two times: 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Family Life room 318 on the USU campus. Bring your lunch. The same program is repeated in the evening: 7-8:30 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 493 North 700 East, Logan (at bottom of Old Main Hill). The longer evening time slot allows for more discussion. Programs are free and registration is not required. Bring a friend! For further information: (435) 797-1569;
Jean M. Lown, Ph.D.
Family, Consumer, & Human Development
UMC 2905, USU, Logan, UT 84322-2905
435-797-1569; FAX: 435-797-3845