Personal Finance

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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…

5 Personal Finance Milestones for Your 40s

Competing priorities for your time and money is always at the forefront no matter your age but it’s especially evident in your 40s. With so many to-dos, you might find yourself wondering where to focus and what should be at the top of the list. This post includes the top five personal finance milestones to hit in your 40s to keep you on track for a great financial future. Get in a Stride With Your Income In your 40s, you most likely have a respectable decade or two behind you in your work and you are at an established point in your career. Unless you’ve changed career paths, you may be in a comfortable place with your income. It’s great if you don’t have to worry about where your next check is coming from or how you will pay bills. If you live paycheck to paycheck, take a hard look…

5 Personal Finance Milestones in Your 20s

Your 20s is an amazing time of adventure, career building, self-discovery and building the foundation for a path to navigate your financial life. Reaching life’s biggest financial goals requires a plan that starts with a series of important financial milestones. Follow along to learn about five major personal finance milestones in your 20s and how to achieve those important goals. Building an Emergency Fund The first financial milestone of your 20s involves savings. Specifically, emergency savings. A GoBankingRates survey found nearly two thirds of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. That means they can’t afford to fix a broken car, cover a surprise medical bill or replace a dead furnace without dipping into credit cards or struggling to pay for other bills. At the bare minimum, you should have at least two weeks of cash or one paycheck in savings. This helps you avoid living paycheck to paycheck. Once…

Credit Cards: Fantastic Plastic or Financial Folly?

Credit cards. Are they good? Or are they evil? Are they an effective way to track and manage your spending? Or are they a road to a mountain of unmanageable debt? Throw those questions into a roomful of armchair money managers and you’ll have the makings of a lively discussion. The truth, as with so many things, rests somewhere in the middle. There are times when using a credit card is a great idea and there are times when you should probably keep the cards in your wallet and wait until you can pay cash. And actually, a credit card may not be right for you at all; perhaps your preferred plastic should be a debit card. There is only one situation in which you should always avoid using credit cards—if you aren’t in a position to pay your entire credit card balance each month. Carrying a balance on your…

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 retirement has been a long-time dream for many American workers, but the FIRE movement emerged over the last decade as a viable method for many workers to escape their daily 9-5. One of the first noteworthy FIRE movement members is Mr. Money Moustache, an early retirement blogger who left his…

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 on many things – primarily, your overall financial situation, your attitude toward investment, your life stage and how you would make it happen. Do the Math From a purely mathematical perspective, most experts agree it is not a smart idea to pay off your mortgage early – especially if you…

Thank You for a Great Year

Thank you for following the SelectQuote blog this year. The goal is to provide you with informative, educational content to help you understand and make the most of your personal finances. As we turn to 2018, we’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to read about in the new year. Share your thoughts in the comments and maybe your idea will be turned into a blog post. Looking forward to a happy and prosperous 2018! ###

15 Best Personal Finance Blogs and Podcasts

Every year, the Plutus Awards recognizes and honors the greatest personal finance blogs, podcasts and content creators in a variety of financial niches. These finalists were voted on by other financial bloggers, so you know they are top of the line. Consider adding these blogs and podcasts to your regular rotation. Each shares high quality, fun ways learn more about mastering your money. Well Kept Wallet Deacon Hayes is behind the blog of the year winner, Well Kept Wallet. The multi-author blog features resources on a wide range of topics to help people better manage their money, get out of debt and maybe even retire early. The Well Kept Wallet even addressed the importance of life insurance in the post, “Do You Really Need Life Insurance?”   Stacking Benjamins Joe Saul-Sehy hosts Stacking Benjamins, the podcast of the year winner. It tackles financial news and advice recorded “live in Joe’s…

Best Personal Finance Books for Beginners and Experts

A solid financial education doesn’t necessarily mean you need a fancy degree in accounting, economics or finance. Most of the basics can be learned with an investment of fewer than 10 hours, $20 and reading a few exceptional books. If you are willing to invest a little time, these books will pay a lifetime of dividends. “The Automatic Millionaire” “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach is a long-time best selling book in personal finance. The tagline, “a powerful one-step plan to live and finish rich” is spot on for the main content of this book. “The Automatic Millionaire” explores options you have to ensure you are on track to meet your life’s financial goals including paying off debt and saving for retirement. This book can help you pick up from where you are and get on track for a successful future, no matter where you are on your life’s financial…

Thinking About Your Monthly Cash Flow Like a Business

If you were a business, would you be a profitable one? At the end of each month, do you earn more than you spend? Is your enterprise profitable? While individuals like us go to work and earn an income each month, few of us look at our finances like a business. However, just like a business, we need to earn more than we spend each month and regularly assess our finances to know we are on the right track. Follow these steps to start treating your finances like a business and establish a path to financial success. The Business of You Before getting into the tactical aspects of managing your money like a business, the first step is to get into the mindset of running your finances like a business. This means a mental shift in how you think about and interact with your money. Businesses use accounting software to…

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