Kathy Sweedler

Kathy Sweedler

Family Checkbook | Money Smart Week celebrates area's free services

While spring weather is still wishful thinking, one event is coming early this year: Money Smart Week is March 30 to April 6. Many people, organizations and businesses come together to create free financial education events in communities throughout Illinois during Money Smart Week.

Family Checkbook | Steps to reduce tax-preparation stress

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 passed, I thought it might be a little extra stressful to prepare my tax return for 2018 with all the different changes. Well, now tax-filing time is here, and the number crunching begins! Let’s look at steps you can take to reduce tax-filing stress.

Family Checkbook | In 2019, let's sit down and talk about money

Adults share the responsibility of helping youths, and young adults learn how to manage their finances well.

Conversations with adults help young people understand the importance and power of money management, and learning to be a good manager of your money is a lifelong process. How can adults help young people develop positive attitudes about money and healthy financial behaviors?

Family Checkbook | Managing the costs of health insurance

When I was a young girl, I remember my grandmother saying she was thankful our family had good health. At the time, I thought that was a silly thing to be thankful for — now, I have a better understanding of what she meant. When we're healthy, we tend to take health for granted; however, our lives change dramatically when poor health or an accident occurs.

Family Checkbook | Your money personality may affect your holidays

Money and the holidays. For some of us, we happily swing into spending mode. I look forward to the excuse to buy people gifts and spend money on treats and extras. Each store I walk into is full of tempting, fun, creative and exciting things, all waiting for me! One of my strong money personalities is "giving," and this is my season.

Family Checkbook | Some financial tasks that might be on your to-do list

How do you build time into your life to take care of important financial tasks? I know some people work well with to-do lists. Others use sticky notes posted in obvious spots or highlighted events on their calendar. I'm always open to new ways to manage time and tasks effectively.

Family Checkbook | Financial coaching a new trend

"Where can I receive help with my money management?" is a question that I hear regularly.

Many financial professionals, with different credentials and approaches, assist people with investing decisions but historically not many help with personal financial goals related to managing daily spending, saving for personal goals and managing debt.

Family Checkbook | Multigenerational living challenging, beneficial

Who do you live with? Do you live alone or with others? How has this changed for you over your life? Many people today live in households with adults from different generations (multigenerational). In fact, in 2016 a record 64 million people — 20 percent of the U.S. population — lived with multiple generations under one roof.

Family Checkbook | Decrease food cost and waste by planning

One thing we all have in common: We need food.

Likely, every week you spend money on food. How can you keep your costs down?

Planning our food purchases and comparison-shopping can help. Planning your meals helps keep food costs down and decreases food wastage as well.

Planning includes:

— Checking what's in your cupboard, refrigerator and freezer.

Family Checkbook | Helping youth develop strong financial skills

During the summer, our schedules tend to shift and we have a little more time for different activities.

If you have youth and teens in your life, then this summer may be an excellent time to promote the skills and knowledge they need to be good financial managers as adults.