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Home & Community Media

Healthy Habits for Working Remotely                        Article                       Audio
Many businesses and workers have restructured after COVID and chosen to explore options for remote work or "working from home." People who work from home may do so full-time, part-time, for a larger company, or for themselves as a entrepreneur or freelancer.

Frances Graves, District Director & Community Vitality Agent

September 29,2021

Everyone Plays a Part in Suicide Prevention            Article                        Audio
What seems to transcend age, gender, socio-economic, and educational levels?  Suicide, and it is something to talk about and everyone can help play a part to prevent it!

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

September 23,2021

Overwhelmed by Debt? PowerPay can help!             Article                      Audio
In the field of financial resource management, I’m often asked “how much is too much debt?”We refer to this field often as “Personal Finance” because, truly, everyone’s financial story is different and personal to them and to their situation.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

September 16, 2021

Screen Time Check                              Article                           Audio
Anyone else cringe at their weekly screen time report?  Digging a little deeper, I see it tells me how many ‘pick ups’ I have and where I look first.  I hate to admit it, but based this report, I am very close to the average adult, checking my phone every 12 minutes. 

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

August 20,2021

Budgeting How To: Where Do I Begin?            Article                   Audio
I don’t know about you, but over the years I’ve learned that I definitely am in the category associated with the old saying “the more you make, the more you spend.” It can be very frustrating to think that you are finally in a position to get ahead, but then learn that no matter what your income, you struggle not to dip into savings to stay afloat.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

August 13, 2021

Cultivating Resiliency                  Article                                Audio
Have you ever wondered why some situations affect you differently than they affect others? Why getting a C on a test or constructive criticism on a project is 'no big deal' for some, but life-altering for others? This has to do with resilience.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

July 14,2021

Child Tax Credit Payments: Plan Ahead Now                             Article                            Audio
For over 36 million households with dependents age 17 and under, bank accounts will see some extra green starting in just a few weeks. The American Rescue Plan increased child tax credits from $2000 per child to up to $3600 for the tax year 2021.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

June 28, 2021

June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month                                 Article                               Audio
The brain is a powerful organ.  Worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer’s or a form of dementia.  June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month — an opportunity to join the Alzheimer’s Association in a conversation about the brain, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

June 17,2021

Growing Up: Tips for Young Adults to Build Credit Early                       Article                             Audio
Just as we are not born knowing how to read, we also do not have a natural ability to manage money. Our financial habits are learned over time… from educators, family, friends and other influencers in our lives.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

June 8, 2021

Remote Work: Tricks of the Trade                  Article                       Audio
Early last year, many of us were forced into a sudden remote work environment with no real training or timeline for how long we’d be working from our dining room tables. In my case, our team found ways to connect virtually and continue providing research based educational programs for Kansans.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

May 19, 2021

Financial Checkup: It’s Time                   Article                      Audio 
As we grow older, we know it’s important to visit our doctor yearly for blood work and preventative screenings. From physical to mental health, it is vital to catch things and arrange treatment before it’s too late…and the same goes for financial health.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

April 28, 2021

“Water: It’s Time to Drink Up”                 Article                    Audio
We are a few weeks into this year’s Walk Kansas program, which promotes physical activity over an 8-week course. While the basis of the program is staying active, an additional key to the program is logging the amount of water participants consume daily.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

April 7, 2021

Time to get active: Walk Kansas 2021                   Article              Audio
Can you believe we were experiencing record breaking freezing temperatures just a few short weeks ago? The days are getting longer and signs of spring are starting to appear. As the weather warms up, it’s a great time to commit to being active.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

March 16, 2021

Mindful Conflict Resilience, Not Reactivity            Article              Audio
As I write this, I realize just how much I need to talk about the uncomfortable word... conflict!  Whether it be with my family or working relationships, I must say, I either avoid it or do the complete opposite by overreacting.  Tell me I am not alone!

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

March 9,2021

Goals: More than just a January Juncture        Article                 Audio
How are your goals progressing this year?  While teaching another Extension course recently, I was reminded how helpful it is to write down some action plans and verbalize those plans with others.  This reminded me of a couple of other tools I learned about setting goals and working on action plans.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

February 24,2021

Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur                 Article                   Audio
Take a look around at the businesses in your community. From local mom and pop stores to corporate chains, the story is the same. Each business began because someone had an idea and took the necessary steps to turn that idea into a reality.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

Febuary 16, 2021

Setting Bounderies to Ease Stress                   Article                   Audio
Our team recently completed a mental health training which also talked about self-care.  While not specifically on our self-care action plan, this made me reflect on how I am doing in setting boundaries with relationships, work, and even social media.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

February 2,2021

Make your List: The Importance of Household Inventory               Article                Audio
If you are anything like me, you’ve accumulated a lot of “stuff” over the years. While I could list big ticket items in my home easily, I am not currently prepared to list all of my possessions in the case of a massive disaster such as a tornado, fire or even theft.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

January 29, 2021

Keeping Active at Home                      Article                       Audio
Stuck in that winter time and at home rut?  You are not alone!  Sometimes the hardest part of exercising is getting started; other times, life has happened and you have had to take a break from a routine.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

January 15,2021

It's a Good Day to Save a Dollar              Article                   Audio
Here we are, the start of a new year.  While simply surviving 2020 feels like a massive accomplishment, there are still 2021 resolutions to make and challenges to accomplish.  When it comes to financial planning, goal setting is essential to budgeting and saving.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

January 5, 2021

Feeling Stretched as a Caregiver                  Article                 Audio

It’s a fact, caregivers have higher levels of stress than non-caregivers.  If you are serving as a caregiver to a loved one, I want you to know you are fulfilling a valuable role!  I also want you to know, that it is ok to take care of yourself too.  We can help with that!

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

December 28,2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for scammers!           Article                  Audio
What a year full of change, uncertainty and stress… The 2020 holiday season is here and time is moving faster than ever.  On top of shopping, cooking and party planning, this year we are also trying to keep our families safe. It’s all a bit overwhelming, but it is vital, especially now, to stay observant and protect yourself from scammers.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

December 10,2020

Emotional Wellness and Anxiety                       Article                       Audio

Emotional wellness is just as important as your physical wellness.  One aspect is anxiety.  While anxiety doesn’t typically feel very good, it is a very common, human and normal reaction to stress. 

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

November 23,2020

Holiday Cooking: The Potlucks Are Coming             Article                  Audio

The holidays are here and special dinners are on the horizon. From family gatherings to office celebrations, tis the season for the always engaging potluck dinner. You might have a standard dish your friends and family count on you to bring or you may find yourself wanting to try a new recipe this holiday season. Either way, don’t let “extra” holiday cooking break your budget.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

November 12,2020

Simple Home Modifications                        Article                         Audio
Did you know the average cost of care in Assisted Living or full time in home care cost is over $4,500.00 per month?  Maybe you are like me and live in an older home.  It is never too early to start thinking about simple home modifications as it is one of the easiest ways to improve our ability to live in a lifelong home!

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

October 28,2020

Make A Difference Day: Saturday Oct. 24th                          Article                          Audio
In a year full of quarantine, sickness, and financial difficulty, I cannot think of a better time to celebrate Make a Difference Day. This event was originally started in 1992 by a national newspaper and has evolved into an unofficial observance that emphasizes community services and volunteerism. It is held the fourth Saturday in October which, this year, falls on Oct. 24th.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

October 16,2020

Medicare Prescription Drug Costs Hard to Swallow?                 Article                         Audio
Did you know that you can review and change your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan annually? Medicare Open Enrollment, running from October 15th-December 7th, is the period of time that you can do just that! 

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

October 3,2020

Just Do It: for Building an Emergency Savings Plan                   Article                        Audio
An emergency savings fund is essential to avoiding unplanned debt and a downward financial spiral. For many Americans, however, it is difficult to stay afloat financially from one payday to the next. Research shows that twenty-eight percent of Americans do not have an emergency savings fund.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

September 17,2020

Planning for Life: Advance Directives                      Article                    Audio
One thing we can count on is life changing all the time.  In this season of uncertainty and new information/guidelines, this may be the push many of us need to ensure our end of life wishes are met.  This is never a fun topic to talk about, however, providing some clarity for your family can be a great gift to them when an illness or injury does occur.  

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

August 31,2020

Christmas Spending: Planning Ahead Matters           Article               Audio
As of September 1st, there are sixteen weekends until Christmas. Sixteen Saturdays to do all of your holiday shopping, gift wrapping, baking and more. While it might seem fairly distant, it won’t be long before our communities are adorned with holiday cheer and Christmas carols fill the airwaves. Your checkbook may still be recovering from back to school shopping, but it’s not too early to start planning for Christmas.

 Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

August 18,2020

Keep Your Mind Active To Better Handle Stress     Article                Audio

Keeping your mind active and engaged can actually help us handle stress better!  This is the case for people of all ages, but becomes more important for older adults.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

August 6,2020


 Back To School                Article                    Audio

COVID-19 has caused uncertainty in our lives now for months and it continues with back to school shopping season. What will school look like this fall? What should we buy and when should we buy?

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

 Alzheimer’s 101                   Article                    Audio

I would like you to take a moment and think of all the people you know (or have heard about) with Alzheimer’s disease. Most of us can name at least one, if not many more. Sadly, more than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to rise as high as 16 million by the year 2050. 

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent


Counting Change - The Old Fashioned Way                Article              Audio

I often hear from my peers that “kids these days” do not put emphasis on learning valuable life skills such as balancing a checkbook, living within a budget, or even counting back change. As I self-evaluate my own efforts to teach my teenage daughter these skills, I’m reminded that there is much room for improvement.

 Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent


Tools to Thrive                         Article                 Audio
Stress can take a toll on the body’s physical and mental well-being with potentially disastrous results.  Our friends in the agricultural community may be feeling it especially high right now.  Just as farms and businesses need to be operated in a sustainable way that preserves resources for the long term, an individual’s life needs to be managed in a sustainable way for long-term well-being.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent


Check Your Credit – Free Reports Weekly              Article        Audio
Did you know that checking your credit history can help you better understand your credit position? By consistently monitoring your credit, you may be able to detect any inaccurate or incomplete information that will affect your ability to shop using credit.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

Make Your Mark with Older Americans Month       Article        Audio

Around the nation, older adults make their marks every day as volunteers, employees, employers, parents, grandparents, mentors, and advocates. They offer their time, talents, and experience to the benefit of our communities.

 Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

 Income Drop? Take Stock and Set Priorities     Article           Audio

The COVID-19 situation has affected many families in our district financially. From layoffs and closures to limited schedules, farm markets and more. Financial strain is a real issue for our friends and neighbors as they struggle to pay their bills and feed their families.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

 Childcare Solutions during Quarantine             Article            Audio

I know I am not alone in juggling a few kids, work, and pets while all together at home.  The thought that I am not the only one experiencing these adjustments is encouraging!  Thanks to a team of colleagues from K-State Research and Extension, a new program is being launched to assist older children in helping to care for siblings and additional resources for all families.

 Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

 Secrets to Success: It's Time to Think Differently       Article           Audio

This world is always evolving. Technology, healthcare, education – you name it. The world looks much different than it looked 100 or even 50 years ago. Our nation has, for years, been adapting to change. Today, however, we find ourselves in chaos and crisis as we are forced to change virtually everything about our everyday lives in just a few short days.

Julie Smith, Family Resource Management and Entrepreneurship Agent

 Working Remotely Amid Multiple Life Shifts       Article           Audio

Most of us have experienced several life shifts within just a few short days!  I set up my current remote office late yesterday afternoon.  When I say ‘set up’, I mean dusted off the desk that is in the corner of our living room!

 Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

 Random Acts of Kindness              Article                Audio

My sisters and I have had a few road trips over the years and we have another one coming up next month. This has me reminiscing about past trips where we decided to do small random acts of kindness. On these adventures, we would pay the toll for the car behind us and a meal for someone in the restaurant we stopped at.

 Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

 Staying Independent- My Mobility Plan        Article                 Audio

Many people make financial plans for retirement, but not everyone plans for the mobility changes that may come with age. One in four Americans now 65 years old will live into their 90s. It makes good sense to plan for what’s ahead! 

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

 Slouching…. So Wrong, But It Feels So Right      Article          Audio

Fifty percent of people in the industrialized world suffer from some form of back pain and many are related to poor seat design and posture.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

January is Radon Action Month               Article               Audio

Because of its odorless, tasteless and colorless ways, radon can be a silent killer and unfortunately, it’s fairly prevalent in Kansas soils. The radioactive gas that occurs naturally in some soils is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans every year, according to the EPA. But there are ways to test for it and mitigate it.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

 Make a Map for Your Wellness this Season        Article           Audio

The end of another year and the beginning of the new often goes by in a blur because of all we have to do in this season.  I am the queen of to-lists and get quite a bit of satisfaction out of crossing items off.  This can help in busy times, however, I heard some insights from K-State Research and Extension’s Behavioral Health Specialist, Brad Dirks, which reminded me to add self-care to the routine.

Tara Solomon-Smith, Adult Development and Aging Agent

 Caregiving and the Holiday Season      Article          Audio

As the U.S. population ages, more older adults are likely to be diagnosed with a cognitive impairment. Holidays are stressful for everyone and spending holiday time with someone who experiences memory issues may pose concerns.

 Emotional Wellness and Anxiety      Article            Audio

Emotional wellness is just as important as your physical wellness.  One aspect is anxiety.  While anxiety doesn’t typically feel very good, it is a very common, human and normal reaction to stress.

 The Power of Sleep                               Article               Audio

I spent a very restless night this week and thought I probably wasn’t the only one.  We all have trouble sleeping from time to time, but when insomnia persists day after day, it can become a real problem. Beyond making one tired and moody, a lack of sleep can have serious effects on our health, increasing our propensity for obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

 New Scam Targeting Seniors              Article              Audio

Everyone is vulnerable to scams in one way or another.  Hopefully you have heard about the newest and largest healthcare fraud schemes in US history targeting Medicare beneficiaries.   I am speaking of the genetic testing scheme where individuals were recently charged for collecting and selling patient information and corruptly prescribing these tests.  So why seniors? 

 National Suicide Prevention Month:  Something to Talk About       Article       Audio
What seems to transcend age, gender, socio-economic, and educational levels?  Suicide, and there is no other time but now to talk about it!

Don't Forget About Medicare Part D Open Enrollment      Article             Audio
Fall is quickly approaching and I am looking forward to all that comes with it!  Including Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan) Open Enrollment.  This is your opportunity to make sure you are getting the most out of your prescription drug plan.  Here are some common questions to help you understand your options.

Some Traveling Tips for Your Sanity         Article             Audio
I see several friends heading on vacation during this time right before schools starts.  I am a bit sad we took ours earlier in the summer!  The last two years, my family and I have been able to travel with our extended family to new destinations.  These trips hold great memories of cousins playing and adults visiting around games!

Decisions About Your Doctor           Article                  Audio
We will all need to see a doctor at some point, most likely more than once in a year, no matter how healthy you are.  Your primary care doctor is your first point of contact and often the ‘team leader’ in times of illness.  I know it can be challenging in a rural area and with many community changes.

Stay Cool with these tips to Lower Cooling Cost        Article                
As summer starts to heat up and temperatures rise, many of us are cranking up the air conditioners to stay cool. It should come as no surprise then that air conditioners use about five percent of all the electricity produced in the U.S., costing homeowners more than $29 billion a year in energy costs.


Top 10 Facts about Mold              Article                       
Molds are part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold is not usually a problem, unless it begins growing indoors. The best way to control mold growth is to control moisture. Molds can have a big impact on indoor air quality. Read on to learn the top 10 things you should know about mold.

Mold chart

 Money Matters Newsletter
In this quarterly edition you can find tips for a Better Boxed Meal           Article

 Budgeting for Vacation                 Article                      
Summer brings visions of vacationing for some.  However, our finances might be throwing a kink into those thoughts.  Sometimes, we just don’t know where to start to either plan or save for a vacation.



How to Build Credit                  Article                     
The most important way to build good credit is to consistently pay bills on time. One late payment can decrease a person’s score by 40 points. A good rule to follow is to keep balances low (less than half of the total credit line), pay off debt rather than move it between cards, limit the number of credit accounts, and build savings.


Keep Kids Safe this Summer                                             Article                     
Summertime is quickly approaching. Many kids will enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities and keeping them safe and healthy is the number one priority of summer fun. There are five key areas to touch on, water safety, beat the heat, keep the bugs away, prevent injuries and stop the violence.

Prepare Yourself for Severe Weather          Article                    
Would you be prepared to take action if your property was hit by a tornado, overcome by a flood or destroyed by a fire? Many people have installed smoke detectors, fire alarms, and dead bolt locks in their homes and stocked extra food in the pantry but there is more to preparing. To be prepared, you should also have a household inventory, check your insurance coverage, and prepare a grab-and-go box. Read on to learn more.



Smart Uses for Your Tax Refund                  Article                    
Get the most out of your tax refund by developing a plan. Make a commitment to enjoy part of the money. Be smart, and use the rest for practical purposes.

If you are just getting ready to do your taxes and are looking for a smart way to use your refund, check out this video.




Saving ,Spending Tips Help Young Adults Manage Money           Article              
With many costs rising, teens and young adults find it more difficult to cover the cost of dinner and a movie. Check out this video for tips on money management....



America Saves Week- Join Now and Save                Article                      
Many Americans are one unplanned expense away from wishing they had a savings account. A savings account should hold three to six months of income to help feel secure when an unexpected financial cost arises.



Making the Most of Your Tax Return                    Article                       
Palms get itchy this time of year with folks anticipating their tax refund. All too quickly the refund is here and gone again, spent as quickly as it came. It is important to remember that a tax refund is not "free money," rather it is the return of earned income.



January is National Radon Action Month                      Article                        
“One in four homes in Kansas will test at or above the EPA’s radon action level,” said Bruce Snead, director of the Kansas Radon Program at Kansas State University. He referred to the Environmental Protection Agency’s radon action level of 4.0 picocuries of radon per liter of indoor air.



Tips for a Strong Financial New Year                      Text                   
The holidays give you the chance to spend time with loved ones and friends, catch up on your favorite TV shows and make resolutions for the New Year. While it can be overwhelming thinking about what you’ll do differently next year, focusing on your financial future is a great place to start. For a strong financial new year try these six tips:



Keep Hackers from Ruining your Holidays                   Text                        
Kansans will soon take to the Internet for a variety of cheerful holiday reasons. The increase in cyber traffic means, however, that home computer networks and smart devices will be more vulnerable to malicious scamming and hacking by persons’ intent on dampening your holiday spirit.




Shop Online Safely                      Text                          
As you scroll online another ad pops up, peaks your interest and before you know it you are buying online, again! Once a shopper sees how easily it is to purchase online they tend to be hooked! It is convenient, quick and you don’t have to fight the crowds!




Money Matters Wildcat Extension District- Keeping Holiday Debt Under Control



Beat the Holiday Financial Blues           Article                  
It is hard to look forward to a holiday, if you are worrying about how to pay for it. Have you stressed about how to provide a fun experience for children without breaking the bank?



Money Matters Wildcat Extension District -Financial Tips You Can Use



Prepare Kansas, Are You Ready?            Article                          

Sometimes, life in the heartland is not for the faint of heart. At least that’s the way it seems when homes and communities experience tornadoes, flooding, drought and other disasters like Kansas communities can.



Back to School- Off to a Smooth Start            Article                        

Summer is winding down and it’s time to think about school again. Listen to these four tips to make it a great start to a successful school year.



Stay Cool with these tips to Lower Cooling Cost             Article                          
As summer starts to heat up and temperatures rise, many of us are cranking up the air conditioners to stay cool.



Save Money When Money is Tight               Article         
The idea of saving money can be an intimidating concept for some. Having money saved and available can provide security in the event of an emergency and even reduce stress in everyday life. However, studies have shown that one out of three Americans do not have sufficient savings to cover unexpected expenses.



Planning an Inexpensive Vacation                  Article         
A family vacation is an annual tradition for many families but for those on a tight budget, it may be an unnecessary expense. Like any big purchase, a vacation requires planning.



Are You Prepared?          Article             
Tornado season is here and can strike at any time. Are you prepared? To be prepared, you should have a household inventory, check your insurance coverage and prepare a grab and go box.



Tips Help Young Adults Manage Money            Article       
With many costs rising, older teens and young adults who learn and practice money management and saving strategies now rather than later in life may be better able to meet their future financial needs.  



Cut the Clutter and get Organized!                 Article           
American consumers have a desire for purchasing a great deal of “stuff,” which has led to clutter-filled homes. In addition, families have less time to keep everything organized.


What to keep? What to throw out?              Article       
One of life’s most important lessons is distinguishing what is trivial from what is not. While we’re tempted to lump our personal documents among life’s petty details, their significance can be major.


How Will You Make Your Tax Refund Work For You?         Article      
Tax season is here. How are you planning to use your tax return? Using your tax refund to pay off a bill is a great financial decision to start off your new year.

Paying Off Holiday Debt              Article            

The joy of the holiday season is now behind us. Soon, coming to your mailbox will be the bills for all of the gifts, food and traveling expenses that built up over the last few months. Do you have a pay-off plan?


Radon                Article       

You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year.  In fact, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools, and other buildings for radon. Click the link for further information.