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News Filed Under Family Financial Management

A glass donation jar filled with dollar bills and coins has more money scattered beside it.
November 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippians display their generous hearts through their high rate of charitable giving, but thieves sometimes take advantage of these soft spots in a variety of holiday scams.

“The Chronicle of Philanthropy” indicates Mississippians give an average of 5 percent of their annual gross incomes to charity each year. That generosity ranks them second in the country, just slightly behind Utah, in charitable giving.

To prevent medical identity theft, store documents that contain personal information in a safe place, and shred them for disposal. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
August 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Fraud and Identity Theft

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Much attention is focused on preventing identity theft to safeguard finances, but medical identity theft can be just as devastating.

Susan Cosgrove, family resource management area agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Newton County, said medical identity theft occurs when a thief steals personal information to use to obtain medical care, buy prescription drugs or commit Medicare fraud in the victim's name.

Criminal minds find many ways to steal money and information from those they target. Consumers always must take precautions to avoid becoming victims of fraud. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
June 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- King Solomon wrote thousands of years ago that there is nothing new under the sun, a truth played out daily by unscrupulous people putting modern spins on the age-old practice of fraud.

The Federal Trade Commission reported 20,588 Mississippians fell victim to some type of consumer fraud in 2016. Another 2,378 were victims of identity theft.

March 10, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management, Estate and Financial Planning

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Homeowners have until March 31 to file for a homestead exemption, which may help lower their annual tax bills.

Jason Camp, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development, said qualified homeowners may fall into one of three exemption categories, based on age, disability or veteran status. They may be eligible for a substantial tax exemption if they met these requirements on Jan. 1.

March 9, 2017 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Half of Mississippians have lower credit scores than the average American, with Jackson area residents having the second lowest average score in the U.S., according to a national credit monitoring agency.

A recent workshop and new organization, both directed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, aim to help individuals improve their financial health through responsible credit use.

January 6, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Children and Parenting, Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi farmers know they can turn to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for solid advice, but newly married couples can rely on the same source for friendly help with family challenges.

The Extension Service offers numerous publications online and in county Extension offices that address a wide variety of issues important to newlyweds. Topics include budgeting, nutrition, child rearing, conflict resolution, fitness and job skills. County offices also offer a wide range of training programs to area residents.

November 4, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Estate and Financial Planning, Food Safety, Natural Resources

JACKSON, Miss. -- The Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production will hold its November field day in conjunction with the 2016 Mississippi Food Summit and Agricultural Revival.

The revival is set for Nov. 17 and 18 at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. Participants may also attend Jackson-area farm and garden tours on Nov. 19.

Sticking to a budget requires a well-thought-out, reasonable spending plan that includes all family or individual expenses. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
January 11, 2016 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Creating a reasonable spending plan and reducing debt should be top priorities when it comes to living a well-budgeted life.

Rita Green, assistant Extension professor and state specialist for financial management in the Mississippi State University School of Human Sciences, said developing a budget helps families establish a vision for their spending.

Anyone with a smartphone, email account or tablet is vulnerable to having personal information stolen unless they have the right safeguards and know the warning signs of phishing attempts. (Photo by CanStock)
October 23, 2015 - Filed Under: Technology, Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- “Phishermen” do not need lures or worms to get their prized catch; the only bait they need is a good scheme.

Anyone can be phished -- tricked through electronic fraud into unknowingly forfeiting sensitive personal and financial information, such as password and credit card details. In many cases, the result of a successful “phishing trip” is an empty bank account for the victim.

A will is the best way for elders to protect their assets and distribute their possessions to family members and friends of their choice. (Photo by iStock)
May 22, 2015 - Filed Under: Estate and Financial Planning, Fraud and Identity Theft

May is Older Americans Month …

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Older Americans, along with their caregivers and families, can better navigate legal and financial waters related to aging by making appropriate plans, protecting their identities and being aware of scams.

February 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Community, Family Financial Management

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Small-business owners and entrepreneurs can participate in an upcoming workshop to help them establish, develop and grow their businesses.

The Mississippi Small Business Forum will be March 17 at the Mississippi State University Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond.

The MSU Extension Service, Alcorn State University Extension Program and Hinds Community College Entrepreneurship Business Development Program will deliver 12 educational sessions and help business owners understand the resources available from these colleges.

February 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi Saves will launch its second America Saves Week campaign on Feb. 23 to promote financial responsibility throughout the state.

December 18, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Studies show many Mississippians are not good at managing their money, so some may use the new year as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf financially.

A 2013 Gallup poll found that just 32 percent of Americans put together a monthly budget to track income and expenses. Even fewer actually stick with it. The results add up to significant debt. Federal Reserve statistics indicate the average household owes $7,281 on credit cards. When looking only at households carrying credit card debt, that average debt rises to $15,608.

Holiday giving opportunities are an excellent time for parents to model generosity for their children. On Nov. 13, 2014, Mississippi State University student Heather Dodd, left, of Winona, prepares bags of groceries to be distributed to charity along with Latham Blake and his father, John Blake of Starkville. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
November 14, 2014 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Giving to good causes generates a wide range of happy feelings, and it is one reason why charitable organizations put such an emphasis on giving during the holidays.

Rita Green, family financial management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said studies have shown that giving money to other people makes the givers happier than spending that same amount of money on themselves.

Consumers can keep financial and personal information safe by following a few simple guidelines when shopping this holiday season. (Photo by MarsBars/iStockphoto)
November 13, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

RAYMOND -- Consumers who take a few precautions while shopping this holiday season can avoid the unwanted surprise of empty bank accounts and stolen identities.

Rita Green, family financial management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, recommends shoppers follow some guidelines when making purchases in stores and online.

Handmade food gifts, such as jars with ingredients for a pot of soup or batch of cookies, are thoughtful ideas during the holiday season. (Submitted photo)
November 13, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Holiday gift giving can feel overwhelming when everyone seems to have the necessities and the budget is tight.

Natasha Haynes, a Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Rankin County, said one easy solution is to give homemade food gifts.

“Everybody has to eat, and food gifts do not have to be expensive or high in calories,” Haynes said. “From homemade granola to jars filled with ingredients for a pot of healthy soup, good gifts are limited only by your creativity.”

July 24, 2014 - Filed Under: About Extension, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- An experienced consumer economics professor has been named the new family financial management specialist for the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

February 28, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

JACKSON – Families can find a few extra dollars for summer vacation or for the piggy bank by clipping coupons and planning shopping lists.

“By spending just a few hours a week clipping coupons, you can save up to 40 to 50 percent on your grocery bill,” said LaTrell Stokes, Oktibbeha County agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. “You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to save a significant amount.”

Stokes, who clips coupons herself, said shoppers do need a strategy, though.

February 26, 2014 - Filed Under: Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi Saves launched its first America Saves Week campaign Monday to promote financial responsibility throughout the nation.

As part of the national America Saves effort, Mississippians can save money for a rainy day by taking the pledge to become a Mississippi Saver.

Bobbie Shaffett, a family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said an American Saves study found 63 percent of Americans were making only “fair” or “no” progress in meeting personal savings needs.

January 10, 2014 - Filed Under: Family, Family Financial Management

MISSISSIPPI STATE – Debt may be the last thing on couples’ minds as they plan their weddings, but bringing it into a marriage can cause some very unromantic stress.

According to the Mississippi Economic Policy Center, the average credit card debt in Mississippi is $6,000 per borrower. Add to that an average student loan debt of $24,000 per college graduate, and it’s easy to see how many couples headed to the altar drag a lot of debt into the new relationships.

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