Smart Money Tips

THURSDAY 5:48 p.m., FRIDAY 5:00 a.m.
  • Hosted by Amanda H. Christensen

50-second money tips from Amanda H. Christensen, an Accredited Financial Counselor and Associate Professor for USU Extension specializing in personal finance. As editor of the Utah Money Moms website and social media platforms, she partners with USU Extension colleagues to share real-life money smarts for women of all ages. Amanda is co-author of the PowerPay Money Mastery Online Course. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram @UtahMoneyMoms.

Smart Money Tip: Reduce Your Tax Burden

Jul 22, 2021

Taxes are a big part of our financial life. But there are some things you can do to reduce the amount you pay in taxes, even as your income rises. Are you using tax-advantaged investment accounts and taking advantage of all applicable federal and state deductions and credits?

Smart Money Tip: Get Spending Rewards

Jul 8, 2021

With so many opportunities to earn spending rewards today, you might be missing out on hundreds of dollars a year just for spending as you normally would on groceries, gas, travel, etc. Tying your spending to a rewards program doesn’t have to be complicated.

Smart Money Tip: Consider Giving Money More Regularly

Jul 1, 2021

By giving regularly, you practice discipline not just when it’s convenient. It also means you are probably paying closer attention to your finances. Giving to qualifying organizations also means you get a slight tax break. The charitable contribution deduction is taken on Schedule A on your tax return.

Smart Money Tip: Carefree Money Personalities

Jun 23, 2021

There are six money personalities. A carefree money personality is one where money isn’t a priority, you just let life happen. Advantages are that you may be optimistic that things will work out and you are able to easily jump on new opportunities. One challenge may be that you lack the skills and information to be confident with money. 

Smart Money Tip: Track Down that Old 401K

Jun 17, 2021

Track Down that Old 401K. Many people have 401(k)s from old jobs that they never took the time to rollover into their current 401(k) or another retirement account. Doing this helps you organize your retirement savings, and combining your investments into one place will give you a better idea of where you stand now and what you have to do to work toward the retirement of your dreams.

Smart Money Tip: Spontaneous Money Personalities

Jun 10, 2021

There are six money personalities. A spontaneous money personality is one where money encourages you to enjoy the moment. Advantages are that you are able to enjoy the unexpected and quickly respond to opportunities. You don’t over-think things and are willing to take risks. Some challenges may be that you spend money you don’t have and may feel powerless to control your spending. 

Smart Money Tip: Planning Money Personality

Jun 7, 2021

There are six money personalities. A planning money personality is one where money helps you achieve your goals. Advantages are that you make intentional money decisions based on values. You have reserves to pay for the unexpected. Some challenges may be that you find it hard to respond to new opportunities or may be impatient with people who have different money values.

Smart Money Tip: Make a Plan For Your Credit Card Debt

Jun 7, 2021

Credit card interest rates are no joke, leaving high balances on your credit cards can rack up some serious interest charges and damage your credit score. Start by reviewing your balances and your interest rates to figure out what debts you owe for all of your credit cards.

Figure out your time horizon and how much you expect to need for each of your money goals. You can even set up different savings or investing accounts for each goal so you can keep track of your progress easily.

Automating contributions into different savings and investing accounts makes it easy to save over time, without having to think about moving money all the time. Simply set up the recurring contributions, and watch the progress add up over time— you’ll reach your money goals before you know it. 

Smart Money Tip: Spring Clean Your Finances

May 6, 2021

It’s common to clean garages and yards in the spring but what about your finances? A good spring clean – or paperwork purge - might be just what you need to improve financial organization.

Smart Money Tip: Revisit Financial Resolutions

Apr 29, 2021

April signifies the start of the second quarter of the year, and we still have plenty of time to make meaningful shifts in our routine if we’re falling behind on financial resolutions or goals.

Smart Money Tip: Are You Throwing Money Away?

Apr 22, 2021

Nobody would just throw money in the garbage, but that is essentially what we do every time we waste food. According to one study, the average American spends $1,300 on food that ends up in the garbage.

Smart Money Tip: Are You Financially Responsible for Family?

Apr 15, 2021

A study released by AARP found that 1 in 3 American adults ages 40–64 provided regular financial support to their parents in the past year. Communicating your financial boundaries with your extended family is a critical step towards maintaining your own financial health.

Smart Money Tip: Financial Literacy Month

Apr 15, 2021

Did you know that the average score on a national financial literacy test is a shocking 65 out of 100? April is National Financial Literacy Month, established in 2003 to teach Americans the importance of creating and maintaining healthy financial habits.

Smart Money Tip: Track Your Expenses

Apr 1, 2021


Simply setting spending limits in a variety of budget categories doesn’t really give you the complete picture. There are likely categories where you may be needing to cut back, trim or reallocate but you won’t know that’s the case unless you track your expenses.

Smart Money Tip: Save As A Family

Mar 25, 2021

Saving as a family starts with setting a goal and making a plan to reach it. Saving just for the sake of saving isn’t very motivating. Saving for a purpose, like a trip to the ice cream shop, can get kids of all ages interested and committed to the process!

Smart Money Tip: Plan To Use Your Tax Return

Mar 25, 2021

Plan now to use your tax return to your benefit. Pay down existing debt, build up your emergency fund, fund your IRA, start a vacation savings account, make home improvements, donate to a local charity, support a local small business.

Smart Money Tip: Know Your Money Personality

Mar 25, 2021

We often fall into the trap of thinking if we just made more money our money problems would go away. In reality, knowing your money personality makes the biggest difference when it comes to dealing with and improving money issues.

Smart Money Tip: Get Ready For Taxes

Mar 25, 2021

Whether you’re preparing to file your own taxes or paying a professional, being ahead of the curve and gathering all necessary documents now will help you avoid the last-minute scramble.

Smart Money Tip: Update Your Beneficiaries

Feb 8, 2021

Did your family status change recently? Even if not, have you taken a moment to review your current beneficiaries? It’s a good idea especially whenever you experience a life change such as marriage, birth, adoption, death, or divorce.

Smart Money Tip: Sign-up For Your MySocialSecurity Account

Feb 1, 2021

Having a MySocialSecurity account at makes it convenient to check your social security statements, change your address, request a replacement card, and manage your benefits online.

Smart Money Tips: Review The Basics

Jan 26, 2021

Knowledge is power. You are more powerful than your circumstances! Even the most basic personal finance principles can be forgotten.

Smart Money Tip: Plan Now To Save

Jan 26, 2021

Do you have a savings wish list? Can you think of things you wish you had saved money for? Whether it’s emergency savings, retirement savings, vacation savings, etc. Plan now to use your tax return to increase your savings.

Smart Money Tip: Get A Financial Checkup

Jan 26, 2021

Start the year off with a financial check-up! You’re probably familiar with a physical check-up at a doctor’s office. This is similar only you’re not at a doctor’s office. 

Smart Money Tip: Audit Your Subscriptions

Jan 7, 2021

Taking an audit of your recurring charges and current subscriptions can help you see where you might be leaking unexpected cash. If you’re looking for a little extra to throw at debt payments each month, this is a great place to start.

Smart Money Tips: Save on Auto Insurance

Dec 17, 2020

Car insurance can be one of your biggest monthly expenses. I’ve found you can usually save on auto insurance by doing one of two things: changing your coverage level or getting a new policy.

Smart Money Tip: Take On A Part Time Job

Dec 10, 2020

Consider a temporary, part-time job to help you achieve your financial goals much faster. If you’ve decided to get rid of debt or save more money for future expenses, then a part-time job can help you get there quicker. A part-time job could also be a way to break into a career or line of business that could end up meaning a bigger full time paycheck.

Smart Money Tip: Improve Your Credit Score

Dec 3, 2020

A good credit score can improve your chances of getting a loan, renting a house, getting good insurance rates, it also means you’ll qualify for better interest rates on a mortgage, saving you thousands over the life of the loan. So how do we improve our credit score? Some of the factors are pretty obvious: pay your bills on time, consistently, over the long-run. Other factors aren’t so obvious.

Smart Money Tip: Mark Your Calendar For December 31

Nov 24, 2020

Mark your calendar for Dec, 31. That’s the last day before Uncle Sam starts collecting federal student loan payments (and charging interest) again. If you or a loved-one have federal student loans, make the most of the next month.