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Old 11-12-2008, 06:23 AM
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New Website Resource: Getting Through Tough Financial Times

University of Illinois Extension has launched a new website to help consumers cope with the economic downturn. "Getting Through Tough Financial Times" will be updated as the economic situation warrants, including new issues that emerge.

"The driving idea behind this effort is to help consumers identify ways to manage their resources wisely during this financial crisis," said Lois E. Smith, a U of I Extension consumer and family economics educator based in Edwardsville who is contributing information.

"All disciplines throughout U of I Extension have been asked to contribute to the website so there will be a wide variety of perspectives and topics covered."

The website is organized around such topics as: Avoiding Money Traps, Setting Spending Priorities, Managing Your Debt, Talking with Creditors, Saving and Investing in Turbulent Times, Spend Smart/Save Smart tips, and others.

Each category is organized around common concerns and situations as well as information on how to avoid problems.

A "News" section contains updated information on timely topics related to the economic situation.

"This year many American families are experiencing tremendous economic pressures. Some have lost their homes or watched the value of their property plummet. Their savings and investments have tanked. Some have lost their job or have a job with no health insurance coverage. The rising food and energy costs as well as child care expenses and increasing college tuition, have all worked together to bring mounting economic hardships on families," said Smith, describing the "Economic Stress on Families" topic under "News."

"The 'News' section offers practical advice on how families can deal with such challenges."

With the holidays just around the corner, another topic in "News" addresses how families can enjoy the holidays without going broke.

Dates, times, and locations of Extension workshops dealing with matters covered on the website are also included.
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