In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
Money can be one of the most stressful aspects of sharing your life with someone, especially in the early days of a relationship. So far, my wife and I have successfully navigated our finances through three different times in our lives: dating as students, living together, and getting married. These are the three ways we tackled the “money conversation.”
If you have ever tried or looked into the idea of brewing beer at home, you know all the great benefits. You can control the taste, carbonation, alcohol content, and character of what you drink; it makes a great last-minute gift; and by brewing at home, you are saving on cost and won’t have to recycle your own bottles. There is, however, one major drawback to home brewing—the high volume of leftover ingredients you have to deal with after every brew. These leftover ingredients are all the oats, wheat, barley, and other grains that are “spent” during the brewing process.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in April that everyone wear cloth coverings to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, many Vermonters dusted off their sewing machines to make their own or pulled out their winter balaclavas. If your homemade mask is looking a little ragged and you are hoping to buy something professionally made, several Vermont businesses have stepped up to the challenge and are make comfortable, long-lasting face masks! With COVID-19 very much an ongoing public health crisis and the Vermont Department of Health recommending all Vermonters wear cloth face coverings when outside of the home, now might be the perfect time to buy yourself a new mask.
COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our day-to-day lives. Among other things, our personal finances, 401(k) accounts, job security, food security, social lives, and family lives have all been impacted. To mitigate the pandemic’s effect on our personal lives, the U.S. government enacted new laws to help Americans deal with the novel coronavirus. Passed at the end of March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response (FFCR) Act made notable changes in how we take care of our health, our work, and our finances. Here are the key impacts both the CARES and FFCR Acts have had on these areas of our lives in 2020.
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The average Vermonter generates almost six pounds of waste each day. Two pounds of that waste is either recycled or composted, which means that every single day we all throw away a four-pound bag of trash. That’s a lot! To help with this burgeoning waste problem, Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, or Act 148, was passed in 2012. The law has two primary goals—to reduce Vermont’s overall waste and increase the amount of waste that is diverted from the landfill through recycling and composting. It has been instituted incrementally over the past six years with the final phase—the complete landfill ban on food scraps—coming on July 1.
It’s 2020 and we are living through a pandemic. We have seen grocery stores with empty shelves due to panic buying, been directed to walk one way down aisles to avoid infection, washed our hands multiple times a day for twenty seconds to kill the virus, struggled to find toilet paper and hand sanitizer (again, due to panic buying), isolated ourselves, maintained physical distance from others in social situations, and donned masks when we entered public spaces.
When you think of the ideal home, it conjures images of comfort—a safe haven you can come back to at the end of each day. And yet, statistically, the home can be a dangerous place. A study by the National Center for Healthy Housing found that 35 million American homes contained at least one health or safety hazard. That’s two out of every five homes with factors contributing to illness, injury, and even death.
COVID-19 has brought financial uncertainty to many, and even as we edge closer to recovery, the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt by many Vermonters for months to come. I sat down with Yvonne Garand, our senior vice president of marketing and business development, to talk about personal finance in the age of COVID-19.