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Seven Ways to Spend a Little to Save a Fortune This Spring

Congratulations. You and your home survived another winter. If you got through it without frozen pipes, a damaged roof or furnace failure, consider yourself fortunate. Don’t press your luck now that spring has arrived. Spending a few dollars or hours on low-cost or DIY maintenance this spring can stave off thousands in repairs down the road. Here are seven of the more doable and valuable home maintenance tasks for your to-do list: Get After Those Gutters Water will always flow in the path of least resistance. Ideally, it’s through wide open gutters and downspouts. But leaves, sticks and other debris…

Explaining the FIRE Movement

What if someone told you that you could retire in your 40s, 30s or even maybe late 20s if you put your mind to it? This sounds like some sort of fantasy to many people, but to a small group of dedicated budgeters it is anything but. They are members of the FIRE Movement, which stands for Financial Independence / Retire Early. If a very early retirement sounds like something you might enjoy, follow along to learn about the FIRE Movement and how you can get on track to your own early retirement. How FIRE Works for Early Retirement Early…

Insurance Protection for College Students

College students don’t likely see themselves as someone who needs term life insurance. Getting to class on time, grade point averages, hanging out with friends and keeping up with the latest social media trends are more likely top of mind. After all, they’re young and healthy and any vague thought about an untimely death is scary business and best avoided. Financial experts, on the other hand, advise that term life insurance for college students is extremely important to at least these two categories: Parents who have co-signed a student loan. College students with a family or financial obligations like a…

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Have you ever compared the purchase price of your home with the amount you’ll actually end up spending to pay it off over the life of the mortgage? If you have, you’ll know the sobering realization that comes with seeing just how much your home will cost you, and the inevitable question that follows – should I pay off the mortgage now, so I don’t have to fork over all that interest? It’s an exhilarating thought, freeing up so much extra cash. But when it comes down to it, whether you should actually pay off your mortgage early is dependent…

Is it Time to Turn Your Side Hustle into Your Main Gig?

More than 53 million Americans work as independent contractors according to a 2014 study issued by the Freelancers Union. LinkedIn research forecasts independent workers will comprise 40 percent of the workforce by 2020. That’s a substantial percentage of the workforce operating independently already, and a significantly larger number predicted to be working for themselves in just a couple years. The “gig economy” is in full-force  and shows no signs of slowing down. Quite a few people will likely leave their full-time jobs to work for themselves over the next couple years. The prospect of working for yourself and building your…

How to Help Your Brain Age Gracefully

Living life to the fullest includes keeping the mind and body active at all ages and stages. Our brains actually shrink as we get older, especially the frontal cortex, which has a direct effect on cognitive ability. The good news is there is a long list of ways to keep your brain sharp as you age—probably more than you can, um, remember. Give it a Workout Researchers have found regular mental stimulation can build new connections between nerve cells, maybe even help the brain generate new cells. Who couldn’t use a few more of those? This doesn’t mean you have…

Teaching Kids About Money

A basic financial life skill is knowing how to live within your means – something that schools don’t teach. The live-now-pay-later lifestyle is alluring, with credit card companies targeting adults of all ages, starting with college students. It’s all too easy for young adults to max out several cards and paying the minimum each month until they’re in so deep they have no choice but to file for bankruptcy. Perhaps if parents can teach their children, starting at a young age, how to successfully manage money, the danger of living beyond their means could be prevented. Here are financial lessons…

Why Estate Planning is for Everybody

Estate planning and life insurance go hand-in-hand. Or, as Forrest Gump might put it: they go together like peas and carrots. Thinking about your last will and testament and other end-of-life decisions usually involves thinking about your life insurance needs, too. Unfortunately, avoiding one usually involves avoiding the other – and the majority of Americans are falling short when it comes to estate planning. Do you have an estate plan? Do you have life insurance? If not, here are some compelling reasons to get you going on both fronts. Everyone Has an Estate The popular connotations of the word “estate”…

Sandwiched In: Focusing on Finances While Supporting Family

Whether it’s stories about the “skills gap” being created as Baby Boomers retire or criticism of the expensive coffee habits of Millennials, generations crowd the headlines. No matter what generation your birthdate puts you in, you might find yourself living in the middle of another one – the sandwich generation. The Sandwich Generation Descriptions of the sandwich generation have evolved since social worker Dorothy Miller, first wrote about these caregivers more than 35 years ago. This is due to longer life expectancies, people having children later in life and the increased needs of some dependent children. If you are caring…

Should you Join a Wholesale Warehouse Club if You’re Not Buying for a Large Family?

For families with children living at home, buying a membership to a wholesale warehouse club like Costco or Sam’s Club is a no-brainer. When you’re feeding growing kids, whether you’ll go through large amounts of produce, dairy and meat isn’t even a question. But what about if you’re a single adult, a childfree couple or an empty nester? Are there ways for you to take advantage of savings offered by wholesale clubs/ bulk packaging without wasting food – or your money? Absolutely. For most, the approximately $60 annual membership fee is well worth the savings you can find throughout the…

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