money

10 Posts Back Home

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…

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…

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…

How to Stop Procrastinating With Your Money in 4 Easy Steps

Personal finance prosperity requires a long-term plan, dedicated effort and regular check-ins to maintain focus. It takes work to reach financial goals. Millions of Americans complain about high debt, low savings and a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle that seems difficult to escape. But if you take the time to get your money systems setup, you can relax as your money goes to work for you. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to avoid putting off getting your finances in order.   Start a Budget Already Do you know you should budget but don’t think you have the time to put one together? Wrong! Anyone can budget in the time it takes to check your email. And you can do it on your smartphone or laptop. Popular budgeting apps Mint (free) and YNAB (paid) connect to your bank accounts, credit cards, loans and other financial accounts to summarize everything in one convenient dashboard. Both…

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score: most days you probably don’t think about it at all. But at pivotal milestones throughout your life, a good credit score suddenly becomes crucial. Your credit score affects your ability to buy a new car, qualify for student loans, get approved for an apartment or even land a job. With a good credit score, you’ll be able to finance a vehicle, get approved for an apartment with a safety deposit, and pass an employment background check. And with an excellent credit score, you’ll find yourself eligible for the lowest interest rates, with better chance of approval for loans and rentals, access to the best credit cards, higher credit limits, easier mortgage approval and so much more. No matter where you are in life, it’s worthwhile to put in the effort to move your credit score from bad to good, or from good to excellent. So where do you…

What Impacts the Price You Pay For Auto Insurance?

Many factors can affect how much you pay for auto insurance. Most insurers start with demographics, but personal behavior matters too. What matters most to insurers? It is a variety of reasons but some things are out of your control. The Gender Gap While it might sound discriminatory or unfair, how you identify might increase your premiums. Statistics show women are more likely to avoid accidents, less likely be cited for moving violations, such as driving while impaired or speeding, and tend to buy cars that cost less to insure. Women also don’t drive as much as the typical male. Auto insurers consider these factors when calculating premiums. Experience Behind the Wheel Counts Inexperienced teenagers, not surprisingly, are the priciest group to insure because they have more accidents. Once a person turns 25, premiums typically start to drop — but they start to rise again once you turn 60. To Have…

Need to Control Your Spending? Try Zero-Sum Budgeting

Do you have a solid idea about where your money goes each month? You probably can list the big-ticket items – rent or mortgage, car payment, maybe even utilities or other fixed expenses. But hundreds of other dollars have a way of vanishing and you may wonder why your bank account looks a little thin by month’s end and why your savings don’t grow as much as you’d like. Some financial advisors recommend zero-sum budgeting as a way to track your money, resulting in finding big and little ways to cut expenses to a more reasonable level. This budgeting system is popular with millions of people. Zero-Sum Basics You assign a job to every dollar you make in order to prevent waste and maximize the use of your income. The premise of zero-sum budgeting is that you use your last month’s income to pay this month’s expenses. So, you probably…

A Debt-Free College Degree? Yes, It’s Still Possible

Chances are your Facebook feed is lined with cute pictures of the first day of school. And everywhere you turn, there’s a back-to-school promotion. Too bad there aren’t any sales on college education. Quite the opposite, in fact. The average cost of tuition, room and board at American four-year colleges has more than doubled in the past 20 years, while the Consumer Price Index rose only 35 percent. With average costs at $11,970 (public 2-year), $20,770 (in-state public 4-year), $36,420 (out-of-state public 4-year) and $46,950 (private 4-year) per year, it’s no wonder Americans carry a larger student loan debt burden than ever. About 44 million people are on the hook for over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt. For perspective, total U.S. credit card debt is “only” $860 billion. If you or your college-bound child want to avoid the average $35,000-plus debt burden on graduation day, here are 10 ways…

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 You Budget Better Creating and sticking to a budget is one of the best ways to find financial freedom. The following apps keep your budget at your fingertips. Mint: With Mint, you can manage all your finances in one place. Connect the app to your bank accounts, credit cards and…

Are Extended Warranties Worth the Extra Money?

The late comedian, John Pinette, had a routine about buying a $2,000 TV and being asked if he’d also like an extended warranty. The exchange went like this: “What do I need an extended warranty for?” “Well, in case the TV breaks.” “If the TV’s gonna break, I’m not buying it!” According to Pinette, the salesman’s eyes went dead: “Nobody had ever said that to him before. Nobody ever questions them! We just sign on the dotted line, and it’s wrong! And I was gonna stick up for all of us!” The routine comes with an important message: Don’t sign up for extended warranties, just because some extra protection sounds good. You have to find out if the deal makes sense. What Is an Extended Warranty? Extended warranties are insurance policies that extend or supplement the manufacturer’s warranty that comes with a product. Sometimes the coverage comes from the manufacturer…

Navigate