Financial Considerations

Early and Consistent Saving is Key to Paying for College

If you have a child, or are even thinking about starting a family, you may be wondering how to afford to raise and educate your son or daughter with the cost of living ever increasing. Thinking about financing an education for your children is the first step in securing their future. But act – don’t just think. Start a college savings plan right now, no matter the age of your children, or even if you are just in the family planning stage. The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be when it comes to paying for the astounding cost…

7 Personal Finance Milestones in Your 30s

We recently discussed 5 Personal Finance Milestones in Your 20s, and today are following up with the next decade. Today we dive into the most important personal finance milestones of your 30s. Buy a Home While there are many circumstances where renting makes sense, owning your own home is a major milestone in your personal finances. When you buy a home, you stop paying someone else to live in their property and instead build equity in your own. On the 20s milestones list, an important item to help help you with this goal was noted: saving a down payment. If…

7 Reasons Not to Buy a House

Maybe you still consider home ownership the fastest path to the “American dream.” Maybe you’re fed up with increasing rent rates and think paying a mortgage every month could actually be cheaper. Maybe you think buying a house is the best way to get enough room for your growing family or your best (furry) friend. There are many wonderful reasons to take on home ownership, but just as many to avoid it … at least for now. Trying to decide whether you’re ready to buy a house? If any of these seven bullets apply to you, you should wait before…

How to Apply for Social Security

What most people think of as Social Security is just one part of a much larger program. In 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act—legislation that provided for Retired Worker Benefits, Survivor Benefits and Disabled Worker Benefits. This post focuses on Retired Worker Benefits—that money you’re expecting to see after all those years of payroll deductions. What Do I Need to Know to Get Social Security? So, the day has finally arrived. You’ve decided to sign up and start collecting your Social Security benefits. Before you start the process, ask yourself an important question: Is this the…

6 Tips to Manage Your Finances With a Stay-at-Home Parent

The decision for one parent to stay home can cause tremendous heartburn. Many feel strongly about staying home with kids, but don’t know if they can make it work financially. However, with careful planning and a keen eye on the budget, having one stay-at-home parent can work for many families. According to Amy, a stay-at-home mom in the Midwest, the key to managing finances when one parent stays home is open communication and a solid budget. These six tips will help you shore up your budget and manage your finances when one parent stays home. Include Activities in the Monthly…

Save Big With Coupons

If you think couponing is about trimming squares of paper to save 25 cents on toilet paper, you have another thing coming. Couponing looks incredibly different in today’s digital age. Couponing has become much more streamlined and efficient, not mention more lucrative. Whether you are looking to pay down debt or hit a savings goals, learning to take better advantage of discounts and coupons really adds up. The Changing Face of Coupons Once upon a time, coupons were only found in the sales section of the weekly newspaper. Some papers came filled with sale inserts and manufacturer coupons on Sundays.…

5 Personal Finance Milestones in Your 20s

Your 20s is an amazing time of adventure, career building, self-discovery and building the foundation for a path to navigate your financial life. Reaching life’s biggest financial goals requires a plan that starts with a series of important financial milestones. Follow along to learn about five major personal finance milestones in your 20s and how to achieve those important goals. Building an Emergency Fund The first financial milestone of your 20s involves savings. Specifically, emergency savings. A GoBankingRates survey found nearly two thirds of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. That means they can’t afford to fix a broken…

7 Common Questions About Credit Reports

The whole credit reporting system can seem a bit mysterious. In fact, when you first realize you have credit reports and a credit score, it may feel a bit like being graded for a class you didn’t even know you were enrolled in! To help demystify this important aspect of your financial life, here are answers to seven common questions about credit reports. What Information Does My Credit Report Include? Today’s credit reporting system is designed to provide a “just the facts” summary of your financial track record. Your credit reports provide a summary of your credit history. They include…

Credit Cards: Fantastic Plastic or Financial Folly?

Credit cards. Are they good? Or are they evil? Are they an effective way to track and manage your spending? Or are they a road to a mountain of unmanageable debt? Throw those questions into a roomful of armchair money managers and you’ll have the makings of a lively discussion. The truth, as with so many things, rests somewhere in the middle. There are times when using a credit card is a great idea and there are times when you should probably keep the cards in your wallet and wait until you can pay cash. And actually, a credit card…

Navigate