Money

Is Life Insurance Really Worth the Time and Cost?

Let’s face it: Life insurance can look pricey on paper. A lot of people shy away from procuring a life insurance policy for this very reason. Is life insurance really worth the time and cost? For those skeptical or curious about investing in life insurance, we may need to do some myth-busting to get to the central question. We’ll break down what life insurance is and whether the cost and commitment make sense. Types of Life Insurance Explained To answer this question, it’s important to understand the two basic types of life insurance: term and permanent. Term life insurance offers a predetermined “death benefit” (a payout to the beneficiary of the life insurance policy). It covers the policyholder for a certain number of years, usually somewhere between five and 30. The annual premiums of this plan are set on a fixed rate. Like health insurance premiums, they are based primarily…

How to Get a Free Home Insurance Quote

Whether you’re closing on the purchase of a home or trying to reduce insurance costs, getting home insurance quotes tops your to-do list. But, before you pick up the phone or go online to shop for homeowners insurance, do your homework. Having information about your house readily available saves time when speaking with an agent or filling out forms online. While no one likes to spend time researching or paying for a product they hope never to use, protecting your financial future and one of your most significant investments – your home – is priceless. Let’s review what you’ll need to receive your free home insurance quote. The more prepared you are before you start, the faster the process will be. Shopping For Homeowners Insurance Sue Callies, regional coaching manager at SelectQuote, recommends obtaining at least three home insurance quotes to compare. She explains an accurate home insurance quote takes…

7 Budgeting and Saving Apps to Help You and Your Money

No matter what it is, there’s an app that claims to help you do it better. Saving and budgeting are no exception. There are so many saving and budgeting apps that it can be hard to know which to trust. While this is not a comprehensive list, here are seven favorites: YNAB: Comprehensive Personal Budgeting Similar to Mint (another fantastic comprehensive budgeting app), You Need A Budget – better known as YNAB – is designed to help you live within your means, get out of debt and stop living paycheck to paycheck. It works by automatically tracking your income and expenses and then providing education and support to help you make better choices based on those numbers. YNAB will teach you to give every dollar a job, help you embrace your true expenses and prepare you to expect the unexpected, financially. Mvelopes: Bringing the Envelope System into the Digital Age…

Leasing a Car – Does it Make Sense for Your Money?

According to data at Statista, about 30 percent of Americans lease their vehicle. Are they onto something good or are they making a huge financial mistake? Let’s take a look at how vehicle leases work, pros and cons of leasing a vehicle, how a vehicle lease impacts your auto insurance, and whether or not a vehicle lease makes sense for you. How Car Leases Work When you buy a car, with or without a loan, it is clear you own the car. And it’s clear what happens when the loan is paid off. With a lease, things work differently. Rather than owning the car, people with a lease are essentially long-term renters. With a lease, you make a regular monthly payment for a fixed period of time. There may be some additional costs based on how many miles you drive. At the end of the lease, you have the option…

Is an Online Financial Advisor Right for You?

While many people choose to handle their finances and investments on their own, a good number of households opt for the services of a professional financial advisor. This means scheduling visits to an office to discuss investments and other financial goals. Like our shopping, entertainment, and other parts of financial management, you can now choose an online financial advisor that you never meet face-to-face. But is that a good idea? Let’s dive in and take a look at the pros and cons of online-only financial advising and whether or not it makes sense for you. Why an Online Financial Advisor Makes Sense Much of our lives have moved into the digital world. While the concepts hardly existed just a decade ago, we look to our phones and computers for online banking, calling a ride, booking an overnight stay in someone else’s empty apartment and much of our daily shopping. Why…

Best Family-Friendly Spring Break Destinations on a Budget

It’s time to dust off your luggage and pack up the family for a spring break getaway. Luckily, making great memories doesn’t need to break the bank. We’ve hunted down six of the best family-friendly spring break destinations to visit on a budget. We focused on locations boasting: availability of flights high-value lodging, and plenty of inexpensive family activities. Here are our top six picks for the best family-friendly spring break destinations to visit on a budget. Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix, Arizona checks all the boxes of a great family-friendly spring break destination. Warm weather and outdoor activities, including plenty of free hiking, will help the kids run off some energy. For a little education mixed into the fun, visit The Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens. Or, simply hang out poolside and relax. Phoenix has several family-friendly hotel chains across the valley. Or rent a condo or house and…

Borrowing Money? What Loan is Best for You?

Most people need to borrow money at some point. Americans owe more than $13 trillion in total debt. Borrowing is clearly an expensive proposition for many American families. If you do find yourself borrowing to buy a home, a car, an education, or anything else, it is important to look at the pros and cons. It’s all about making the right long-term decisions and minimizing out-of-pocket costs. Let’s look at what you need to know to best evaluate loan options available to Americans today. Common Types of Loans Loans come in many names and forms. When looking at consumer loans (loans to people and not businesses) there are four main categories: mortgages, student loans, personal loans and auto loans. While these are the most common ways to borrow, there are some substitutes for traditional loans to use instead. Those include credit cards, lines of credit, home equity lines of credit…

Home Sweet Homeowners Insurance: Everything You Need to Know About Getting Covered

There’s no place like home. That’s why it’s so important to protect your home with homeowners insurance. While the paperwork can sometimes seem overwhelming, there’s nothing more rewarding than the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have the right amount of homeowners insurance. If you’re ready to get a better understanding of how your coverage works and to see if you need to make any updates to your policy, these tips can get the job done faster than you imagine. Homeowners Insurance Requirements First things first. For most of us, homeowners insurance isn’t optional. Why? We don’t actually own our homes. Banks do. Until your mortgage is paid, your bank or mortgage company is going to require you to carry homeowners insurance. They want their investment protected. The exact specifications can vary, but generally, your lender will want you to have coverage at least up to your outstanding…

How to Get a Better Price on Everything You Buy

Finding the perfect gift for someone is a wonderful feeling. But, for many of us, finding that gift at a great price adds a little extra fun to the experience. It has nothing to do with a lack of generosity, it’s just something we seem to have in our DNA—if we don’t get a bargain, there’s something unsatisfying about the whole thing. The holiday shopping season is a particularly stressful time for shoppers whose favorite sport is finding the best deal on absolutely everything. Of course, that kind of frustration isn’t unique to the holidays or gift-giving; there are plenty of times, all year long, when you have neither the time nor the inclination to wait for a sale. You need the best price on something NOW. While the ideal situation is having time to shop, there are ways of making sure you’re getting a great price, even if the…

10 Ways to Save Money on Energy Bills This Winter

With the chilly winter months here in many parts of the country, it’s a perfect time to assess how to save money and stay warm. A good place to start is by running an energy audit to determine where you spend the most energy dollars. In the meantime, there also are other things you can do to get through the winter without siphoning your savings. Turn Down The Heat Even if you love feeling toasty in the winter, consider regulating your thermostat by dropping it a few degrees and wearing a sweater inside your home. Energy Star offers free advice and detailed instructions on how to manage the thermostat dials. Residents of a typical, single-family home properly following guidelines can expect to save $180 a year. Snuggle under those blankets, pull on those socks and start saving! Service The Furnace Change (or clean, if you can) your furnace filters ever…

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