Budgeting seems to come naturally for some people. For others, however, it takes research, discipline, and shrewd analysis. Americans sometimes overspend in unexpected areas; small purchases can add up fast, and some recurring charges are easy to miss. If it seems like you’re spending just as much as you’re taking in, evaluate your spending in these four areas. By making a few small changes (or some big ones), you can improve your spending habits and keep your finances in check.
2 min read
Avoid Spending Too Much In These 4 Areas
Topics: Planning in Advance Budgeting
6 min read
The Right Way to Use a Credit Card in Place of an Emergency Fund
Emergencies aren’t fun and they are even worse if you don’t have an emergency fund saved. In today’s tough times, many people have either blown through their emergency fund or just weren’t able to save one.
That doesn’t mean that emergencies won’t happen, though. So, what are you to do?
You’ve heard credit card debt is bad and who wants to put themselves further into debt, right? While it’s not ideal, a credit card can bail you out in an emergency.
Here’s what you need to know to keep it from putting you further into debt.
Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Financial Literacy Emergency Savings Savings Budgeting
5 min read
When Will Interest Rates Go Down?
Mortgage rates have been consistently on the rise as the Fed struggles to battle inflation.
With a recession looming in the distance, you might ask yourself: “Is now the right time to buy a house?”
It’s an understandable question considering how inflation has soared, house prices are high, and mortgage rates keep rising in response. No one wants to make a wrong financial decision.
But it might not be a bad financial decision to buy a house right now. Let’s talk through mortgage rates, how they work, and whether or not today is the right time to buy a home, given the state of the market.
Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Loan Financial Literacy Budgeting
7 min read
Your Complete Guide to Managing Medical Debt
The level of medical debt in America is shockingly high.
According to Debt.org, America’s debt-help organization, the average cost to an individual to stay in a hospital is $3,949 per day. And the average healthcare consumer pays more than $10,000 per year. As a nation, we spent $3.5 trillion in 2017 for health care.
The numbers paint a bleak picture. Americans pay more for health care than anyone in the world, and the impact of facing extreme medical debt can be financially devastating for individuals and families.
Yet despite what the numbers say, there are ways to lessen the financial burden of individual or family health care. Find out how in this guide to managing medical debt.
Topics: Health Care Health Savings Accounts Debt Budgeting
3 min read
Budgeting for a New Baby: Don’t Let Finances Keep You Up at Night
Whether you are deciding to have a child after years of planning or your new bundle of joy is an unexpected addition, having kids is expensive. From diapers and childcare to braces and college, parents sign themselves up for a continuous barrage of purchases, both large and small. Child-related expenses can add up on their own, but parents often have their own unrelated financial situations to consider. Budgeting and financial planning are critical for new or expecting parents, and these tips can help you start parenthood on firm financial footing.
Topics: Financial Planning Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Financial Literacy Budgeting
5 min read
6 Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund in Retirement
An emergency fund—money dedicated to unexpected expenses—should be part of every household budget. When things go south, you won’t have to go into debt to fix them. While the fund might not be enough to completely cover truly serious emergencies, it will at least reduce the amount you have to finance.
During your working years, an emergency fund is a big help. During retirement, it’s crucial to your budget. After all, you’re living on a fixed income. You can’t take on a little overtime to help pay for that transmission repair.
Here are six reasons why an emergency fund is essential.
Topics: Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Financial Literacy Financial Security Budgeting
3 min read
Don’t Let Impulse Buys Damage Your Financial Health: Use the 30-day Rule
Impulse buys happen to all of us. You’re in a store or on a shopping website, and you see something you really want to buy. It’s a new release of software you own, an expensive pair of shoes marked down to half price, or a miter saw that will work way better than the 15-year-old one you currently own.
You know you want it. Do you need it, though? You’ve already pledged to save money for an emergency fund. This purchase will make a dent in that fund.
Topics: Financial Planning Financial Wellness Financial Literacy Budgeting
6 min read
The Top Ways to Hurt Your Credit Score
Your credit score is one of the most important factors in your personal finance life. A bad credit score can make it impossible to get approved for a loan, get good insurance rates, or even get a job sometimes.
Knowing what can hurt your credit score can help you keep your credit score in good standing.
Topics: Debt Savings Budgeting
2 min read
How to Maximize Your Savings at Your First Job
When you land your first job, it's important to learn how to manage your income. Now is the perfect time to establish healthy spending and saving habits. Read on for tips to manage your finances with your new paycheck.
Topics: Retirement Planning Planning in Advance Lifestyle Planning Emergency Savings Savings Budgeting
2 min read
5 More Tips to Manage Your Finances During a Recession
Recessions are never easy. Whether you're becoming aware now or already following the news of a possible economic crisis, it's good to have a mitigation plan for when it happens. Learn how to prepare your finances so they can carry you through a recession and in the aftermath with these tips.