In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
Have a question about composting? You’re not the only one. Following my recent blog about Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, I received an influx of comments requesting clarification about how to compost and deal with food scraps that can’t be composted. Here’s a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions I’ve received.
Have you ever dreamed of retiring early and going swimming with tropical fishes? Are you simply looking to increase your savings? Mr. Money Mustache is a finance blogger who writes about how he and his wife managed to retire in his 30s by lowering their expenses and saving 50% of their income. But how? Here are five of his tips to help you cut costs, save money, and achieve financial independence that much sooner—whether you want to go snorkeling or have any other retirement plans or financial goals.
One of the first steps to living on your own is finding an apartment. Like most things, being well prepared will make the transition smooth and your apartment search more likely to succeed. I’ve been renting ever since I went to college—more than 10 years now. I’ve rented in two different states, and with every configuration of living situation (alone, with roommates, and with my partner). Over the years, I’ve had a ton of interaction with landlords, lease agreements, and state renter’s rights. I’m going to be putting the combined experience into this guide to give you the best chance of rental success.
“In order to G-E-T you have to A-S-K.” This was the one-liner that stuck with me following Brooks Harper’s keynote address at the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Workforce and Talent Summit. He has a fascinating life story which helped set him up for a career as an author and one of the most sought-after career speakers in the country. But he makes a point to emphasize that he never got anything along the way without asking. It’s a modern-day spin on the old adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” It applies to many facets of our lives and, in this blog, we’re going to focus on A-S-K-ing for a raise at work.
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The energy efficiency community has something in common with many other industries, including medical, insurance, sports—lots of jargon that can cause confusion. Conservation and efficiency are often used interchangeably, but they are different. And then there's renewable energy, or “renewables” for short. I like to be intentional about these terms and bring clarity around them for others so they can apply real-world solutions to combat the existential challenge of climate change.
To help families get back on their feet after the ravaging effects of COVID-19, the federal government increased the child tax credit of up to $3,600 for eligible children as part of the March American Rescue Plan. Coverage of the much-needed rescue package focused on the increased stimulus payments, but the child tax credit had some significant changes as well. Namely, some families will begin to receive advanced payments starting July 15 (IRS). Here’s everything you need to know about the child tax credit in 2021!
You need a car but when you look at your budget, you’re not sure what kind of down payment you should make or how much you can afford to pay each month. Maybe you haven’t made a car payment in a while. Or maybe you have been making a payment all along and it’s been putting a damper on your budget. Before you strap yourself into a new car, take a minute to figure out how much car you can afford and still live comfortably within your means.
“Stop! Back up!” I shout enthusiastically to my spouse Ryan every time we drive or bike past a pile of free stuff on the side of the road. Next comes a debate between us over whether the discarded items are worth taking home or not. Most often, I say “yes,” Ryan says “no,” we take it home anyway, and Ryan ends up thanking me later for grabbing it. I find a lot of satisfaction in giving objects a second life, but is this obsession truly saving me money?