I feel it is very important to teach children about money and finances when they are young and Junior Achievement is an important part in that.

Through Junior Achievement, business professionals volunteer their time in area classrooms to teach financial lessons to students. Each session is 5 visits to the classroom, with each visit between 30 to 45 minutes. It gives the students a different perspective to hear from someone other than their teacher and parents. It is also different to hear from people actually in certain jobs and professions.

I have volunteered for Junior Achievement the past two years and am looking forward to doing it again this year. It is fun to see how the kids react to the information and as some of the teachers have said the kids enjoy listening to someone else for a change. It is also amazing how attached you can get to the kids by only spending a total of a few hours with them. Most of the kids are excited when you come and enjoy the lessons.

I saw this article today about If College Financial Literacy programs can reverse Student Debt Default trend.

The Junior Achievement program in the Fargo Moorhead area still has classrooms that are in need of volunteers for this school year. It is a very rewarding experience and only requires a few hours of time. Once you sign up and are assigned a classroom, you will receive all of the materials needed and a handbook with the information needed to lead the lessons.

If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information, contact Junior Achievement Program Coordinator Nancy Eckman at nancyeckman@jaum.org or 701-241-8628.

Nancy Kvamme

There are many retailers that offer another gift card for a certain amount when you purchase holiday gift cards. One example is Hornbachers deal which is valid thru today.

There are many restaurants that offer this kind of deal also. Even if you are not giving the gift cards as gifts but frequent the establishments regularly you could purchase the gift cards and get the extra card as an extra incentive.

This is part of a 90 day Holiday Countdown, previous posts can be found here


DIY Candles

Over the holiday weekend my mom and I made these candles with the help of a couple of my nieces and nephews.

We brushed Modge-Podge (you could also used watered down white glue) on a glass container and rolled it in Epsom salt. Once it is dry you can place on a decorative plate with decorations, glass beads, etc.

Hobby Lobby had the glass containers, plates and decorations half price over the weekend, so they may still be on sale. Also, all of the Christmas decorations and décor was half off.

This is part of a 90 day Holiday Countdown, previous posts can be found here



Today is known as CyberMonday. CyberMonday is the online equivalent of Black Friday. Many online retailers are having sales like other stores have deals on Black Friday.

Online shopping is becoming more popular with people for their holiday and everyday shopping. Many stores offer free shopping and other deals trying to get your business. It is a way to do your shopping if it is difficult for you to get out of the house or if you don’t like the crowds of shopping around the holidays.

Here are some tips for safe online shopping.

This is part of a 90 day Holiday Countdown, previous posts can be found <a href=here


Blog recap

Following is a recap of the some of my posts from the last couple of weeks.

There is a new pop-up store of locally made products at Unglued Christmas Market.

Information on area holiday light displays.

Kids eat free at Juanos until the end of December.

There are many ways to donate during the holiday season and throughout the year. One way is to donate to the YWCA Unique Boutique.

This part of a 90 day Holiday Countdown to give you holiday ideas. Click here for previous blog posts.

Posted in Holiday Planning
Nancy Kvamme

Now that we are past Thanksgiving, the Christmas season is in full swing. Jessica at Life as Mom has put together a list of Christmas movies to watch during the holiday season.

We are all busy with our schedules but it is important to also schedul family time.

For several years Butterball has offered the Butterball Turkey Talk line 1-800 BUTTERBALL (800 288-8372) for people with questions on preparing turkey and other holiday items.

Now there are a variety of resources for holiday cooking questions.

Sunday, November 20, the Food Network had a Thanksgiving LIVE program, which I am sure will be shown more leading up to Thanksgiving. I noticed it was on again last night.

The TV Show The Chew had a Thanksgiving Facebook event this morning. If you go to their Facebook page you can see the questions and answers.

Nancy Kvamme

I haved discussed several times about the importance of having money put away for emergencies. Yesterday my car battery died without any notice. Actually I had my car in a parking lot yesterday and had moved it closer to the building to load some items into my car. A few minutes later I tried to start it to leave and it would not start.

I had it jumpstarted this morning and took it in. It did turn out that I needed a new battery.

Even though I put it on my credit card, I do have the money to pay it off at the end of the month, instead of having to pay interest or trying to find another way to pay for it.

I understand in some cases it is impossible to save any money. But if at all possible it is important to attempt at putting some money aside for instances like this. Even if it is just a small amount, it can over time add up to an adequate amount.

Posted in Saving
Nancy Kvamme

If you are looking for a source for local handmade items for gifts, check out the Unglued Christmas Market at 68 Broadway, Fargo. It will be open from Black Friday until Christmas Eve. It will be open Thursdays 5pm – 9 pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am – 9 pm, Sunday noon-9 pm.

The boutique features handmade items from local and regional artists, crafters and makers. You can also enjoy hot chocolate while you shop and take part in a gift workshop with one of the master crafters.

Nancy Kvamme

Just as it is important to make a list and budget for holiday spending it is also helpful to keep your spending under control throughout the year.

One way to do this is to track your expenses. For at least a month, keep track of everything you spend money on. This way you can see how much you spend in certain areas and can use it to develop your budget.

It is easy to lose track of how much you are spending. If you practice conscious spending and think before you spend to make sure you really need/want the item. A dollar here and there can add up quick. Those few dollars saved can add up to something you may want more.

I have heard from some people about their bills being high and I have heard of Target known as the $50 dollar store because even going in for one or two things you come out with $50 worth of items. But if you think about the items before putting them in your cart, you may be able to save some money.

I have some friends that are surprised by how much they save when they watch what they are spending.

With the prices of many things going up and higher utility costs with winter coming it may be helpful to find ways to cut expenses. Some people who have been laid off or have income decreased find that they need to be more careful with how much they spend on things. It may be beneficial to start shopping this way before your circumstances change so you have some leeway if you do find yourself with a decrease of income.

Spendster is a website where people share stories of impulse buying and other ways they now feel they wasted their money. The site also includes tools to calculate how costly items, such as unopened DVDs really are and how much you could save without buying them.

Nancy Kvamme