Financial Independence

How to Talk to Adult Children About Your Estate Planning

If you have adult children, you’ve probably done some planning about what you’d like to leave for them when you’re gone. You may even have a will and keep your paperwork and electronic files in places they know how to access. Many parents, however, have not actually talked to their older or adult children about their retirement years and end-of-life financial plans. It’s a subject that many find intimidating and uncomfortable. Or you may think your children don’t want to have such a conversation about that eventual day just yet. If you’re a good planner, take it to the next…

12 Apps to Help Elevate Your Finances

There’s an app for almost everything these days. So, it comes as no surprise you have a wealth of choices to help you budget, save and earn money. With so many options, it can prove difficult to find the best fit for your needs. Here are several of the leading apps in the finance category. Each of these apps has an Apple App Store rating of 4.5 stars or higher. As with any app, the key to success is consistent use. With the help of technology, you’ll have one more tool in your financial toolbelt. Five Awesome Apps That Help…

5 Things to Consider When You Have Student Loans and No Job

What happens when you graduated months ago, but haven’t found a job and are starting to feel your student loans breathing down your neck? First of all, don’t panic. Start by figuring out exactly what you owe, by when. Many students loans, including direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans and Federal Stafford loans, have a six-month grace period after graduation, dropping out of school or dropping below half-time status before you need to start making payments. PLUS loans have no grace period. Grace periods on private loans and Federal Perkins loans vary wildly, so it’s important to know what exactly you…

Should You Consider a Credit Card With an Annual Fee?

There are countless credit cards that don’t require an annual fee, so why would anyone choose a card that requires them to pay every year? It’s all about the perks. Consider those holders of the exclusive American Express Centurion Card (it’s made out of titanium instead of plastic and charges a $7,500 initiation fee plus a $2,500 annual fee*).  Here’s how to decide if an annual-fee card is right for you. As a general rule of thumb, if you get more value in a year than you’re paying – monetary or otherwise – the fee is worth it. Do You…

Maximize Your Money With Smart Investments

A penny saved is a penny earned, right? Savings is important piece of your financial wellbeing, but to really maximize your money—or even just keep pace with inflation—you also need to invest. During periods of stock market volatility, though, investing can be difficult to embrace. Understanding the basic history of the stock market, as well as different investment strategies can help boost your peace of mind as you look to invest even during periods of market volatility. What Investors Should Keep in Mind Though some people choose not to invest because they feel it’s a gamble, the real scoop is…

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…

Passive Income: How it Works and How to Make it Work for You

What is passive income? Passive income is a strategy of using personal finance and other resources to generate a long-term, recurring income with little or no work. Many people around the world dream of making money when they are asleep, but to a large number of those interested in passive income, it is a pipedream with no tangible results. The Passive Income Strategy Passive income is a long-term strategy to help generate income for everything from covering the bills to early retirement. You can use the proceeds however you want. Maybe you reinvest to build your passive income project into…

How to Get Smaller Prices on Bigger-Ticket Purchases

We are all consumers and, as such, we find ourselves consuming at a broad range of prices, buying everything from soft drinks to cars to houses. When it comes to the bigger-ticket items, it helps to have a strategy for making those larger cash outlays. Budgeting should always be first on your list, to make sure you have cash available when a great price comes along. And if you have a big-ticket seasonal purchase in mind, consider seasonal budgeting. Aside from budgeting, one of the first things you should do is identify big-ticket purchases that you make all the time…

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