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Money Can’t Buy Happiness … Right?

Money can’t buy you happiness. It’s an adage reminding us the important things in life aren’t things. And it’s often repeated in times of financial stress or upheaval. But it’s only true to a point. A 2010 Princeton study by Angus Deaton and Daniel Kahneman found money can buy life satisfaction, for a while. They found emotional well-being increased along with salary until about $75,000 annually. At that point – after necessities like food, clothing, shelter and transportation were no longer everyday stressors – emotional well-being didn’t continue to climb. The upper middle class have as many problems as the…

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…

7 Simple Ways to Save Money on Taxes This Year

It’s officially tax time – a time to look back over the previous year with an eye toward maximizing deductions and tax credits and lowering your tax burden. Do you find yourself cringing at how much you pay in taxes each year though? You’re definitely not the only one who feels knots in their stomach when reviewing how much in taxes comes out of your paycheck each month. Taxes are unavoidable, but you can minimize the impact they have on your bottom line. While every scenario is different, one thing is universally true, and that is that planning is the…

3 Work Life Insurance Drawbacks: Is It Enough?

Is the life insurance you’re getting through your employer enough to take care of your family? And are you paying too much for that coverage? While basic employer-provided life insurance is low-cost or free, your policy’s face value still may not be high enough. If your premature death would be a financial burden to your spouse and/or children, you may need coverage worth five to eight times your annual salary. Some experts have recommended getting coverage worth 10 to 12 times your annual salary. Both millennials and seasoned professionals alike commonly mistake work life insurance as enough life insurance for their needs, but there…

3 Apps to Make Automated Savings Easy

Americans are generally lackluster savers. Forty-one percent of households lack liquid savings to cover an unexpected $2,000 expense, according to research from the Pew Charitable Trusts, which also found that a lack of saving is a top financial worry – even among families with higher incomes. Also, one in three American families reports having no savings, including 1 in 10 of those with annual incomes greater than $100,000. Recent Federal data show the overall personal savings rate in the United States is about 5 percent, and an analysis by Moody’s Analytics finds that Americans under 35 actually have a negative…

5 Tips for Improving Work Life Balance

A good work ethic is not only important, it’s vital. Always doing your best and having a positive, proactive attitude will take you far in the workplace, and nothing reinforces a healthy sense of self-worth like a job well done. But with smartphones facilitating around-the-clock accessibility, office hours are starting to extend well past the traditional nine to five, and finding work-life balance is becoming more difficult. While putting in extra hours here and there is inevitable, devoting too much time to work can lead to exhaustion, reduced productivity and compromised job performance. It can also lead to feelings of…

12 Insurance Blogs You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Insurance ensures your savings and investments are not wiped out due to an unexpected illness, injury or other worst-case scenarios. Writing engaging blog articles on a topic that isn’t considered to be the most exciting can be tough, but there are some organizations out there making it happen with their insurance blogs. Insurance blogs share valuable insights and help you understand what you need to know to make smart insurance decisions. 12 Top Insurance Blogs The Insurance Word Blog From Life Happens Life Happens is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people take responsibility for their personal finances, with a focus…

2017 Money Expert Cheat Sheet: 6 Steps to Achieving Financial Freedom

Here are the rules:  We’ve all been at zero and even below zero several times, we’ve battled back a few times, and then we did it again and believe or not, again.  We’ve all started new jobs and new careers. Sometimes because of our interests and what we thought we wanted to be changed. A few times because all bridges had been burned beyond repair and almost always because we desperately needed money. People who knew you back in those days, don’t know you at all today. And so it goes. Here we are again, saying goodbye to one year…

Year-End Financial Checklist: 8 Must Haves

New Year’s is just a few days away and it’s always a good idea to assess your financial situation before the year is up. With a new presidency on the horizon as well, it’s also a good time to start thinking about how new reforms could affect your taxable income and finances over the coming months and years. By using a year-end financial checklist, you can ensure your 2017 will start off on the right foot. Here’s a simple year-end financial checklist you can tackle before December 31st to help get your financial life in order. Review Your  Insurance Policies,…

Pet Expenses: How Much Do Pets Cost Us?

How much is that doggie in the window? What about that cat, guinea pig, bird or fish? When it comes to calculating pet expenses, “sticker price” is just the tip of the iceberg. To understand how much a new pet actually costs, you have to take into consideration the amount of money you’ll spend on pet food, veterinary care and other miscellaneous expenses for the rest of your pet’s life. Here’s a list of the five most popular pets in the US, which we’ve ranked in order from the least to the most expensive based on data from the ASPCA…

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