letter from the President
Developing an enduring approach to your finances can be a struggle; but in the end it’s all worth it.
Like many of life’s most rewarding challenges, learning the skills to master your personal finances takes time, energy, effort and patience. It’s not unlike raising a child. There will be obstacles to overcome, fears to quiet, successes to celebrate, and immense satisfaction when you feel like you’ve done a good job.
Financial freedom is achieved through hard work and sticking out the difficult parts. When my daughter was an infant, she was not an easy sleeper. Many parents will understand the feelings of failure, exhaustion, and frustration that can accompany the process of getting your child to sleep peacefully through the night. But years later, after making it through all those challenges, she’s a fully-grown adult that I’m so immensely proud of (and loves her sleep). I wouldn’t trade a minute of the struggles of parenting for anything.

Charlotte Nemec, President/CEO
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coping with inflation at every stage of life
Regardless of age, the recent rise in inflation is making life more expensive for everyone. For millennials, the effects of inflation – which reached an overall rate of 8.5% in March, have been particularly devastating.

According to a recently study, consumers aged 35 to 44 are experiencing inflation at a higher rate than other age groups, with those 25 to 34 close behind. Millennials typically dedicate a greater share of their spending than other generations to specific categories of expenses that have been increasing most rapidly, such as rent and home purchases, vehicles, and fuel. Grocery bills are getting larger too, creating a growing burden for big families.

What can you do?

10 free things to do for fun this summer

Summer’s already here but it’s never too late to break out the calendar and start filling up what’s left of your schedule.

Here’s a list of 10 free, or nearly free, activities you and your family can do that will still ensure summer is full of fun and free or low cost things to enjoy.

Plant a garden
Planting a garden is one of the most productive and rewarding things you can do in the summer. It’ll keep you busy all season long, and bonus – you’ll enjoy fresh, delicious produce, too!

5 tips to make the most of your summer vacation budget

Nearly everyone looks forward to a relaxing summer break. Get the most out of your trip without breaking the bank. Here are 5 tips to help:

1. Pay up front
If you can, pay for your hotel and other arrangements in advance. There will always be plenty of other expenses as your trip unfolds, but having paid for some of the major expenses in advance keeps your account balances from taking a big hit all at once.

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30-year mortgages as little as 5.00% down
just got a big raise?

Here’s how to keep lifestyle creep from erasing it.
Lifestyle creep occurs when people’s standard of living improves as their income rises. It doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it’s a money-draining cycle of earning more income followed by spending more, followed by ... you get the picture. Because the more you spend, the harder you work to earn more, the cycle just keeps repeating itself.
Here are few spending pitfalls to avoid:

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~ Jennifer N.
it’s wedding season – what to expect when combining finances with a partner or spouse
Joint finances mean something different for every couple. Some keep their funds separate and only share a checking account for joint expenses. Others combine everything – bank accounts, credit cards, investments, and more. There’s no wrong answer. Instead, it’s important to find the solution that works best for you and your partner or spouse.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to combine finances after marriage. When it comes to money and marriage, openness, candor, and honesty are essential.

CFS* Financial Advisor
financial planning
leaving a legacy
You’ve worked hard over the years to accumulate wealth, and you probably find it comforting to know that after your death the assets you leave behind will continue to be a source of support for your family, friends, and the causes that are important to you. But to ensure that your legacy reaches your heirs as you intend, you must make the proper arrangements now. There are four basic ways to leave a legacy: (1) by will, (2) by trust, (3) by beneficiary designation, and (4) by joint ownership arrangements.

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