Everyday Tips

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How Often Should I Compare Life Insurance Rates?

If you’ve purchased life insurance, whether recently or some time ago, you might be unaware that procuring a life insurance policy is not a finite process. After all, your mortality isn’t a fun topic to consider. And once you’re done with the “hassle” of getting a policy, you’re probably ready to move on. Many who own life insurance policies likely aren’t comparing rates on a regular basis—especially given that almost 40 percent of Americans don’t have life insurance, Still, there are viable reasons to look into changing your policy, finding lower rates sitting atop the list. Staying up to date on rates for life insurance policies is a beneficial habit because insurance companies usually change their rates every year. With these fluctuating rates, you may be overpaying if you fail to regularly compare your rates with those of other insurers. So, staying current on rates could save you a considerable…

Debit Card or Credit Card: Which is Right for You?

Paying with plastic is par for the course these days, even for small purchases. The question is, which kind of plastic is best? People tend to have strong opinions about debit versus credit cards. Debit card diehards are the modern-day version of cash-only consumers. They won’t spend what they don’t have and using a debit card eliminates any temptation to overspend. However, there are plenty of people who could pay with debit but opt for credit cards instead. Often, it’s because they are earning cash back or racking up points. We all know at least one frequent-flyer fanatic who takes great vacations using credit card miles. The debit-only approach sounds smart. But those credit card perks sound smart, too – why not get a little payback on money you’ll be spending anyway? It really can be difficult to know which is best. Let’s take a closer look at arguments from…

College and Insurance: Insurance Entrance Exam for Kids on College Campuses

If you have a child living away at college, you’ve probably been through an extensive checklist in getting him or her prepared and moved to campus for the fall semester. Amid the flurry of planning and packing, have you thought about college and insurance? Although still your dependent, your child living away from home may have additional insurance needs to protect their belongings and their well-being. Consider these areas: Auto Insurance Fewer than half of college students have cars on campus, so if your child doesn’t have wheels, let your carrier know. Your student may be eligible for a “distant driver” discount, especially if the college is more than 100 miles from home. The discount may be as high as 20 percent. Keep your child on your auto insurance policy so coverage continues during school breaks and visits home. If your child does have a car on campus, report this…

Take Steps Today to Ensure Your Life Insurance Pays Off

If you have a life insurance policy, you have already taken the first positive step toward protecting your loved ones’ financial futures. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month and the ideal time to take the next steps to ensure that you not only have adequate coverage but that your good intentions will be carried out too. Here are key points you need to know about how to manage life insurance policies and about how insurance is paid out: Check Your Records and Update as Needed Maybe you took out the policy many years ago, during which time your beneficiaries have moved or changed names through marriage or divorce. Make sure your beneficiaries are updated with your life insurance company, including their names, addresses and Social Security numbers. Tell Your Beneficiaries About Your Life Insurance Policies The Insurance Information Institute recommends you inform your beneficiaries about the company that issued your…

7 Bad Money Habits That Can Ruin Your Finances

Habits can make or break our personal finance success. While good habits can help you build savings and live without financial stress, bad money habits can turn into a downward spiral of debt, fees and struggles. Making some small adjustments to your financial habits is easier than you may realize. Break these seven bad money habits to put yourself on track to a happy financial life. Making Only the Minimum Payment When you get a loan statement in the mail, whether it is from a credit card, mortgage or student loan, you can quickly find your minimum payment for the next month. The key word here is “minimum.” Paying only the minimum payment means you pay the maximum possible interest over the life of the loan. Every dollar you pay early saves you on interest every single month for the remainder of the loan’s life. The more you pay sooner…

Personal Finance Quiz: 9 Questions to Ask Yourself

How well do you know your money? Odds are you are more familiar with your finances than anyone else in the world. If that isn’t the case, it’s time to make a change. Find out if you know enough about your money with this quick personal finance quiz. Are You Saving Enough for Retirement? How much do you need save for retirement? Are you on track to reach that target? Many Americans never calculate how much they need for retirement. The average baby boomer is destined to see a dramatic lifestyle change after paychecks stop in retirement. Even with social security and the increasingly rare pension, most Americans are far from saving what they need for retirement. SmartAsset suggests the average retiree should have between nine and 11 times their annual salary saved for retirement. It doesn’t matter if you are five years from retirement or 50, make sure you are…

Family CFO Monthly Money Management To-Do List

Managing your family’s finances is a bigger job than many people realize. A family’s finances work similar to a small business. You have cash flowing in and out, savings and investments, credit cards and debt, bills to pay, and people relying on you for their basics needs. Whether you run your finances like a Fortune 500 company or a mom and pop system, follow these steps to ensure you are fulfilling your family Chief Financial Officer duties each month. Review Your Family Income Statement In personal finance, there is a simple saying to help you manage your income and expenses each month: spend less than you earn. At the end of each month, do you know where you stand? Thanks to modern apps, you can get this important information automatically. Connect your bank and other financial accounts to money management apps such as Mint, Personal Capital or Penny and the…

6 Health Tips That Can Also Grow Your Wealth

The relationship between our health and wealth is strong. Those in poor health suffer from a variety of illnesses and incur the high cost of medical care. And when someone is struggling financially, looming debt and the daily struggle to pay bills can negatively impact their health. This can become a vicious cycle of increasing financial hardship and declining wellness. There are moves you can make to help break this cycle or even try to prevent it in the first place. Staying healthy can make a big difference in improving your financial situation. Your level of fitness has both short and long-term effects. And many of them are related to money. Here are some important tips that will make a difference to your health and your wallet. Few would argue that not smoking is incredibly important to both our physical and financial fitness. With the average cost of a pack…

Extreme Home (and Car!) Makeover

Budgets being what they are, renovating your home or getting a new car may not be in the cards. And while it’s not the same as brand new, here are 10 tips to renew your love for your home and car  – without putting a major dent in your bank account. Home Lighten Up No need to install an expensive lighting system to completely change the look of your home. A few strategically-placed lamps can add dimension to any room. Even changing bulbs to more energy-efficient LEDs available in “warm white,” “soft white” and “bright white” can completely transform your home. Embrace the Slipcover Slipcovers are a great way to give your living room a facelift without overspending. Freshen up your sofas and chairs with new slipcovers, cushions or upholstery. It’s a lot more affordable and way more environmental than buying new pieces. Keep It Clean Cleaning your home regularly…

3 Options to Help You Manage Your Budget Better

Budgeting is one of the most important parts of personal finance yet it’s a known fact that few people can say they truly enjoy it.  In the old days, budgeting required paper, a pen, a calculator, and a lot of time. Checking in on how you’re doing required a checkbook register and bank statement. Thanks to technology, things are much easier now. You can look at your spending by category in a couple of clicks! Here are three options you can use when budgeting to help keep things simple and easy. Automated Budgeting Mint.com launched in 2006 and led the first wave of online budgeting apps. Now joined by sites including You Need a Budget, Level Money, Mvelopes, and Wally, this industry offers a ton of budgeting features with a minimal time investment. Apps like Mint and Personal Capital connect to your bank, credit, loan, and investment accounts so you…

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