Princess is a show on CNBC on Saturday nights. It is hosted by personal finance expert, Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Each show is about a person who has spending habits way above their income. They have been getting what they want by borrowing money from family and friends.

Gail shows the participants how to set up a budget that corresponds with their income. She assigns a challenge for each of the 6 weeks. Challenges range from researching how to make more money to finding ways to stay in your budget.

On a recent show, the subject of the show kept changing her mind on what she wanted to do as a career. Her mother thought she had started and quit at least 10 different areas of study. In one case, her mother had taken out a line of credit to pay for the tuition. Then the school went under and the tuition was sent back to her. But instead of paying her mom back, she spent it on other things she wanted.

This is one reason I feel it is important to teach kids about money and finances when they are young, so they know how to handle them when they get out on their own.

Normally it is not recommended to borrow money from your retirement accounts unless you absolutely need to. Last night on the Suze Orman Show, Suze gave a few ways to borrow from your retirement account if you need cash and have no other source for it.

If you have a Roth IRA you can borrow any of the money that you have personally put into it without penalty or taxes.

If you have converted a traditional IRA or 401K into a Roth IRA, after 5 years you can withdraw any amount of the amount converted without penalties or taxes. Any growth on that amount needs to stay in the account for another 5 years or until you are 59 1/2.

If you have a traditional IRA, you can borrow from it, but it needs to be repaid withn 60 days. So this is only an option if you need cash for the short term.

I will be hosting a free personal finance seminar on Monday, May 7 from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm. The event will be held at 1100 32nd Ave S, Moorhead (2nd floor conference room). Please RSVP to nancy@in-theblack.net or (701) 293-8808.

Some of the topics that will be covered are setting up a budget, tracking expenses, debit/credit cards and more.

I will be hosting more seminars in the future. Please let me know other personal finance topics you are interested in for future seminars.

One way to keep children entertained and interested in reading throughout the summer is summer reading programs. Many public libraries have reading programs and other activities for children from young children thru teenagers.

Kristie from Saving Dollars and Sense has put together a list of Summer Reading Programs offered by various companies.

Another program is Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library that you can register for your child to receive a free book monthly from birth to 5 years of age. The program is available in many communities throughout the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

Nancy Kvamme

When watching shows such as House Hunters, one of the things people ask is how big the master closet is. In many cases, it is the man that has more clothes or shoes than the woman. I used to spend a lot more on clothes and have a lot more clothes than I do now. I realized the money spent on clothes and shoes could be used on other things I want.

Over the past couple years there have been blogs about people wearing only a certain number of items for a month or the same dress for a year.

Here are tips from Crystal from Money Saving Mom on tips for having a minimalist wardrobe.

One way to see what you actually wear is to hang all of the hangers in your closet backwards. When you wear an item put the hanger back the right way. After a period of time like 6 months or a year look at the items on the hangers that are still backwards.

Also, look at the items in your closet and see if you could wear them in different combinations than you currently wear them to give you different options. Adding different accessories can also add spark to outfits.

This doesn’t mean you should not buy new clothes and just wear a few things, but consider if you could save money on clothes and what you could purchase with that money instead.

With the weather getting nicer, yard sale season is starting to pick up. Yard sales are one source of getting good deals. But it is also important to consider if you really need the items. Just because they seem like a good deal, it will not save you money if you do not end up using the items.

Yard sales are a great place to find deals on baby and kids clothes and other items.

Having a yard sale may also be a way to get rid of items you no longer need to get money you can use to pay off debts or purchase things you do need.

Nancy Kvamme

I recently wrote a post regarding upcoming Hospice webinars. The email address to RSVP was incorrect, it should be Bonnie.Oelschlager@hrrv.org.

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Nancy Kvamme

The Hospice of the Red River Valley has a series of free informational webinars coming up. They will be available on line or if you do not have access to a computer you can attend broadcasts of the webinars at the Fargo office at 1701 38th St S, Fargo. To attend the broadcasts, RSVP to Bonnie at (701) 356-1524 or Bonnie.Oelschlager@hrrv.org.

On May 7, from 7-8 p.m. (CST) the webinar will be on Memory Loss and End-of-Life Care. It will provide information about the difference between Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia and the benefits of hospice care.

The webinar on May 14, from 7-8 p.m. will be on Advanced Health Care Planning. It will provide information on precautions and actions needed to ensure your health care wishes are carried out if you are unable to speak for yourself. On May 21, the webinar from 7-8 p.m. will be about the end-of-life services available thru hospice.

You can register for the webinars here or call 1-800-237-4629.

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Nancy Kvamme

It is hard to believe it is almost the end of the school year. Here are a couple of posts I wrote last year about Graduation gifts and Saving on graduation party.

There is a quiz on the Oprah website which was developed by Suze Orman to see how you are doing financially.

The quiz consists of 12 questions dealing with issues ranging from having an emergency fund, saving for retiremenet and checking your credit score.

At the end of the quiz you will get your results and recommendations on steps you can take to improve your score or continue what you are doing.