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Bellwether's Blog on life and money

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

Posted in Main Blog
November 18, 2015 by Jenn R.
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Bart Simpson filling dish with cranberry sauceFor the first time, I am hosting Thanksgiving for both my family and my husbands’ family. I’m excited but I’ll be honest, I’ve never even cooked a turkey before! We’ve had “friends-giving” in the past but we either deep-fried the turkey or wrapped it in bacon and smoked it for 8+ hours, and my husband was in charge of those ones. So yes, I am extremely nervous. Thankfully, I’ve assigned each family member a side dish or dessert to bring to limit the work I have to do. And (let’s keep this part a secret) I’ve found some pretty awesome make-ahead recipes to help me survive the day. Here are a few of my favorites that you may want to use for your turkey day!

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StudentLoan Debt Has Come a'Knockin'!

Posted in Main Blog
November 16, 2015 by Guest
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person filling out information I went back to school in my early 40’s. It’s something I’m proud of now, but it definitely left an impact on my life both in experience, and debt.

Back then, companies were laying people off. Unfortunately, I was one of them. Even with my experience, my theater degree wasn’t going to get me far in the business world. I found myself unemployed, then under-employed. Federal student loans seemed the only way to get my education, and my resume back to a place where employers would want me.  Flash forward 6 years and its repayment time. I can manage the payments, because my tuition was lower, and I took advantage of my employer’s tuition reimbursement. But what options are available if your payments come due and don’t fit in with your monthly budget? When it comes to information on student loan repayment, do you research.

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Running With Others Can Be Beneficial to Your Training

Posted in Main Blog
November 13, 2015 by Jenn R.
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group of people runningI have settled into a running routine. I am already well on my way to my first 5k. I’ve registered with my sister for a race on Thanksgiving morning. In case you were wondering, I recently discovered 5k is the equivalent to 3.1 miles. I’ll have burned enough calories to eat plenty of turkey and even a slice or two of pumpkin pie. I’ve been using a training app (MY ASICS) to track my mileage and speed. According to the plan on the app, I am on target with having reached 2.5 miles as my training distance thus far. I will be going even further next week.

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Time Change Throwing Off Your Fitness Routine?

Posted in Main Blog
November 06, 2015 by Jenn R.
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moon in the sky I had myself convinced the end of Daylight Savings Time also meant the end to my running routine, at least until it’s time to “spring forward” again. “Fall back”
in New Hampshire means that the sun rises later and it can be pitch dark outside as early as 4 pm! How was I ever going to get a run in if it was dark outside both before and after my work day? I don’t have a treadmill or fitness club membership. I had been relying on the daylight hours and the neighborhood streets to provide my fitness haven. “Fall back” is not something I wanted to do with regards to the progress I’ve made thus far in my return to fitness.

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Everything Old is New Again, Including "Layaway"

Posted in Main Blog
November 02, 2015 by BCCU
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use layaway to get the gifts you want this yearLayaway programs are back, and can be a great way to budget for holiday shopping.

So What Is Layaway?

When I was little, my family purchased back-to-school clothes and some Christmas gifts on a layaway plan. When I got my first real job, at a department store, they also offered employees a type of layaway. How does it work? You choose your item, make a small deposit and then pay a little bit towards the total each week. Some stores allow automated payments or online payments, and some stipulate how much needs to be paid, while years ago you just paid what you could. Unfortunately for me, with that first job, they deducted my “little bit” from my weekly paycheck. There were definitely some weeks when I’d actually "laid away" more than I earned… not a fun pay day. But flash forward to 2015 and we’re seeing the return of Layaway, with some very new rules.

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