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Making Ends Meet


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I learned a lot from the families I interviewed for my two-part series, "Making Ends Meet in Utah." I was particularly impressed with the Hardings of South Jordan. They are enrolled in Utah Saves, and are teaching their children to save. The kids all talked about their goals and what they are saving for, and Austin said he wants a Hummer. I asked him how much more he had to save and he paused, then said "A lot." He had $118 saved so far, which is much more than I had at his age!

How impressive for those parents -- for any parents -- to teach their kids good financial habits. The advocates and experts I interivewed for the piece all said that a family example and support system is key, especially in making sure the next generation can make it. But it's also important for those kids to know they probably won't be as well off as mom and dad right away.

It was hard for me to interview Utahns who face rising costs all around them but whose wages stay the same. Or others who drown in debt and don't know how to pull themselves out of it. Some advocates say government and society need to do something to stop these things from happening, or help when things outside of your control happen to you (injury, job loss, etc). Others say more Utahns need to take some accountability for their own financial choices and actions.

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Mary Richards

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