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Financial Planning: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Basic Budget Worksheet for Setting Up Your...
Budget worksheet form for setting up your personal budget
The 5 Biggest Mistakes People Make Buying Cars
For most people, a car is a necessity. We often depend on our vehicles to get us to and from work every day, transport children to events, and even for pleasure. Because they are such an important aspect of your life, you want a vehicle that is reliable, comfortable, and maybe even a bit stylish. The vehicle choices are almost endless, so finding the right combination of wants and needs with an affordable price tag can be challenging.
Your 7-Step Guide to Creating a Budget
Creating a budget may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world to do but it is vital in keeping your financial house in order. Before you begin to create your budget it is important to realize that in order to be successful you have to provide as much detailed information as possible. Ultimately the end result will be able to show where your money is coming from, how much is there and where it is all going.
How to Buy an Engagement Ring on a Tight Budget
When deciding to get engaged, you’ll surely have a lot running through your mind, but putting yourself into debt by buying an overpriced engagement ring shouldn’t be one of them. Some people still go by the old “two month’s salary” standard, but that surely isn’t necessary.
4 Big Ways Families Can Save Money
Are you looking for some easy money saving tips for your family? It's easy to make small tweaks that will help you keep your family within budget.
The Happiest Retirees Plan Early and Pursue...
Be the happiest retiree you know by following a few key steps. Plan early, develop multiple streams of income, pay off your mortgage, enjoy hobbies.
Helpful Tips to Budget Your Finances
Budgeting lies at the foundation of every financial plan. It doesn’t matter if you’re living paycheck to paycheck or earning six-figures a year, you need to know where your money is going if you want to have a handle on your finances. Unlike what you might believe, budgeting isn’t all about restricting what you spend money on and cutting out all the fun in your life.
Great Tips for Establishing Good Credit
When you don’t have a credit history, it can be difficult and frustrating when trying to obtain a credit card or other type of loan. Establishing your initial credit history can be a Catch-22. If you don’t have credit, not many places are willing to give you credit, yet how can you ever establish credit if nobody is willing to give you any?
How to Get Your Tax Questions Answered by...
Are you looking for help with your taxes? Try calling 1-800-829-1040. This is the toll-free number for the IRS tax question line. With this number, you will be put in touch with someone right at the IRS who can assist you with your own personal tax situation if you have any questions.
Where's the Best Place to Keep Your Savings?
A look at savings accounts, money markets, certificates of deposit, and savings bonds, and help in figuring out which is right for you.
4 Steps To Pay Off Your Mortgage
Happy retirees have their mortgages paid off or are within five years of paying off their mortgage. Follow these four steps to pay your mortgage.
How to Calculate Your Net Worth
Your net worth can be a useful tool to measure your financial progress from year to year. Your net worth is essentially a grand total of all your assets minus your liabilities.
4 Easy Ways to Contact the IRS
Have questions on your tax return, refund status, or need help? The IRS makes itself quite accessible. You don’t have to fear the IRS. While nobody wants to talk to them about an audit, they are there to help you with your taxes.
What's the Ideal Down Payment for a New Home?
In order to receive the best possible interest rates and to avoid private mortgage insurance it is still a wise decision to have a significant down payment, but how can you save tens of thousands of dollars for this purchase?
How to Start Investing Without a Lot of Cash
Is trying to come up with hundreds or even thousands of dollars keeping you from opening an investment account? It shouldn’t. In the past it was almost a requirement to have quite a bit of money available in order to make your initial investment in a mutual fund or open a brokerage account. Today, things are quite different. You can now start investing with very little money up front. Here’s how.
How to Save Thousands and Shave Years Off Your...
Chances are that if you have a mortgage currently you’re making monthly payments. The typical mortgage is structured so that you make a single payment each month for a total of twelve payments per year. The good thing about this is that it means you pay the same amount at the same time each month so there are no surprises and it’s easy to budget for.
Pros and Cons of a Joint Bank Account for Couples
One of the main advantages of a joint bank account is that there is a smaller chance of encountering financial “surprises” when all money goes into and comes out of one account. Married couples with joint accounts often have an easier time keeping track of their finances because all expenses come out of one account. This makes it harder to miss account activity, such as withdrawals and payments, and easier to balance the checkbook at the end of the month.
4 Types of Life Insurance: Which One Is Right...
Navigating the life insurance landscape can be tricky. You are sure to encounter a number of different policies and terms such as whole life, term life, cash value, variable life, and much more. How can you make sense of all the different types of policies and know that you’re making the best choice?
Do You Have Too Much Debt?
Two major components of tracking how you’re doing financially can be broken down into your income and debt levels. ¬Obviously, you’d like to have more income coming in than debt payments going out, but even if you are making more money than you owe, how can you tell if that’s good enough?
Should You Take a 401(k) Loan?
Many retirement plans such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s allow participants to borrow money from their retirement savings, but there are many things you should consider before tapping into that retirement plan with a loan.
Easily Get Out of Debt
High interest rates make it difficult for people to pay down their credit card debt.But you can if you follow a few basic steps and put a plan in place.
3 Effective Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget
Would you be interested if I told you there’s a secret to saving money? Well, it’s true. There are a few secrets that can be used to save money, even if it doesn’t feel like you have any money to save. The bad news is that these secrets have been made public for decades and it’s simply up to you to decide whether or not to use them.
Why Getting a Tax Refund Anticipation Loan is...
A Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) is a loan that is offered by many tax preparation companies to people against their income tax return. A tax refund anticipation loan can be approved in a manner of minutes and the money accessible within a day or two
How to Create a CD Ladder
Creating a CD ladder can be a creative and simple way to take advantage of a traditionally safe investment product. By laddering your CDs, you can maximize your potential earnings and determine the frequency at which you'd like them available.
Homeowners: Save Money by Eliminating PMI...
Private mortgage insurance, often referred to as PMI, is insurance that lenders require borrowers to pay for when they get a mortgage and don’t have enough equity in the home.
Is Your Emergency Fund Big Enough?
In life you should expect the unexpected, and this is why you need an emergency fund. The best you can do is to prepare for emergencies that require access to additional money and having an emergency fund is the ideal solution. Financial emergencies can come in the form of a job loss, significant medical expenses, home or auto repairs or something you’ve never dreamed of.
Be Prepared for Closing Costs When You Buy a Home
Here's what to expect for closing costs when you buy a home, and how to be prepared to identify inflated fees
Budget Worksheet for College Students
BUDGET WORKSHEET FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS Click here for a printer-friendly version of the College Budget
The Easy Way to Create a Budget
A budget is nothing more than a breakdown and plan of how much money you have coming in and where it goes. Could you imagine a business becoming successful if it didn’t keep track of its income and expenses? The same holds true when it comes to your personal finances. If you don’t know how much money you have coming in and where it goes, your road to financial success will be a difficult one.
The Easy Way to Know What to Spend on a New Home
When the time is right to purchase a home, the first question you need to be able to answer is how of a home you can afford.
Is Refinancing Your Mortgage Really a Good...
If you have a fixed-rate mortgage and mortgage rates are falling, it only makes sense to consider trying to refinance at a lower rate. But as with most things in finance, it isn’t always a simple answer. Refinancing can certainly make sense, but it also costs money to refinance a mortgage. Depending on your specific situation, a refinance may actually end up costing you more money instead of saving money.
5 Ways to Maximize Fun and Happiness Heading...
There are some key ways to maximize your happiness during your retirement years. The happiest retirees follow a few key tips to enjoy these years.
How the Rule of 72 Can Increase Your Wealth
Compound interest is an amazing thing, and the Rule of 72 is a simple way to quickly estimate how long it will take your investment to double.
Fun Ways for Teens to Make Extra Cash
Some teens want to work right out of the gate, but in many cases you’ll have to coax your teen into making money for themselves.. This can help them become responsible young adults.
Payday Loans: Beware of These Dangerous Loans
During these turbulent economic times millions of working Americans are facing, payday loans are becoming a popular source of short-term financing. This has been especially true for low-income families. Payday loans are easy to get and don’t require any sort of credit check, but are they really a good idea?
12 Fees You'll Pay When Buying a Home
When buying a home, most people focus on how much it costs and what interest rate they can get on the loan. While that is certainly very important, the other fees that come with buying a home are often overlooked. Here is a list of the most common fees involved when buying a home.
Banks and Financial Institutions
Here you'll find links to Canada's banks, credit unions and trust companies.
5 Ways to Save Money on Homeowners Insurance
With homeowners insurance comes a lot of opportunities for increasing or decreasing your premium. Here are five quick tips that can save on your premium.
The Hidden Cost of Home Ownership Most Buyers...
Closing costs are funds, in addition to a loan down payment, paid at settlement. Costs vary among states, but cash transactions have fewer costs than financed purchases. Although many of the costs are associated with financing, others are independent of the mortgage loan.
How to Decide if You Should Co-Sign That Loan
One of the favors that might be asked of you at one point is to co-sign on a loan. Whether your child is asking for help getting his or her first credit card, or whether a friend needs a co-signer for a car loan, you might be asked to help out. Before you co-sign a loan, though, you need to consider the pros and cons associated with taking on this responsibility.
Everything You Need to Know About Your FICO...
You may have heard that your credit score is important, but what is a FICO score? FICO is short for Fair Isaac and Co. The Fair Isaac Company developed custom software back in the 1980s that helped other companies determine a credit risk based on a number derived from a person’s credit history. This number soon became a standard that was adopted by the three main credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. The FICO score ranges between 300 and 850.
4 Kinds of Insurance Everyone Should Have
You can find an insurance policy to cover almost anything imaginable but only a handful of policies are actually ones that you need to have. You work hard throughout your life to build wealth and live a happy and comfortable life, so some types of insurance can protect your possessions, income and even provide for a loved one when you are gone.
How to Check the Status of Your Tax Refund Online
Have you filed your tax return and are now awaiting a refund? The good news is that you don’t have to be left in the dark in regards to the status of your refund. The IRS has a great tool on their website that allows you to instantly check on your refund status.
The Conversation You Need to Have Before You...
Conversations about money can be uncomfortable for new couples, but deciding how you are going to handle your finances together is essential.
Pros and Cons of Leasing a Car
Have you ever been in the market for a new vehicle and wondered whether you should buy or lease? In recent years leasing a vehicle has become very popular and carries some definite advantages depending on certain individual preferences, but before deciding whether to lease or purchase a vehicle there are a number of important factors to be considered.
5 Easy Steps To Start Saving Today
There a number of alarming statistics about the financial situation of people heading into retirement. Start saving today with these five easy steps.
What Single Parents Should Know About Child...
Everyone is responsible for the child they bring into this world. It doesn’t matter if was planned, unplanned, or even a child through adoption. This child has a right to be raised in a safe environment and provided everything needed which often includes financial support even if one of the parents are not around.
11 Reasons to Create a Budget Today
Living without a budget is similar to traveling across the country without a roadmap. While both can be accomplished, the result is usually expensive and wasteful.
How Do I Generate More Income From My...
Learn to generate consistent cash flow from liquid investments through income investing by way of dividends from stocks, bonds, and distributions.
Having a Kid Could Pay Off on Tax Day
Did you know that there is a hefty tax credit available to many households who have a dependent child? This may come as a surprise to many new parents, but it’s important to plan for so that you can make the most of your money. After all, the credit is worth up to $1,000 per child.
How to Have an Affordable Wedding
According to a recent survey, the average cost of an American wedding is just over $27,000. This can be a significant burden on those who need to foot the bill, but it doesn’t have to be so painful. There are many steps you can take to make sure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck when planning that special day.
6 Tips for Coping with Financial Emergency
Have you just been blindsided by an unexpected financial emergency and don’t know what to do? Whether it’s a job loss, medical expenses, or an emergency home repair, an unexpected change in your financial situation can be incredibly stressful. The bills still need to be paid, the utilities need to stay on, and you need to put food on the table, so how should you cope with a financial crisis?
Can't Pay Your Taxes? Here Are Some Options
The realization that you can’t afford to pay your taxes can make you feel uneasy, but don’t worry, there are some actions you can take to remedy the situation.
The Difference Between APR and APY
Both APR (annual percentage rate) and APY (annual percentage yield) are commonly used to reflect the interest rate paid on something, but what is the difference between the two? Understanding the difference will help you understand exactly how hard your money is working for you.
What Kind of Financial Advisor Should You Choose?
Should you use a fee-only or fee-based financial advisor- and what are the differences? Putting your trust in someone to manage your money can be tricky.
3 Terrible Ways to Pay Off Your Debt
Getting out of debt is a major financial goal for many people. While it’s important to reduce your debt load and try to begin creating wealth it’s also important that you take the right steps toward repaying your debt. In fact, there are a few common methods people use to help them get out of debt that can end up doing even more harm than good. Here are a few things you may want to think twice about in your quest to become debt free.
Monthly Budget Worksheet for College Students
MONTHLY BUDGET WORKSHEET FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS (Printer friendly version of this worksheet) CATEGORY MONTHLY
Consumer Credit Counseling Services
Many people worried about overdue bills and debt collectors can seek out these nonprofit agencies to help you find a workable solution to financial problems.
A Simple Technique for Getting Out of Debt Fast
The debt snowball, made popular by Dave Ramsey, is a method that allows you to reduce debt by tackling the small balances first. Getting out of debt is one of the top financial goals for many people.
Pros and Cons of Investing in Savings Bonds
If you’re tired of the pitiful interest rate on your savings account at the bank, you may want to look into U.S. savings bonds for an equally safe place to keep some of your savings. With most bank accounts, the safety of your money comes from being insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC. This provides insurance on up to $100,000 per depositor. Unfortunately, while your money may be safe, there is a good chance the interest rate on the account is quite low.
3 Traits for Budgeting Success
Most people fail not in creating a budget but maintaining one. Three traits you must have: a positive attitude, motivation, realistic expectations.
Why You Need an Automatic Savings Plan
Do you have a savings account yet find it difficult to find money to deposit into it? This isn’t an uncommon problem and most people find it hard to save.
Answers to the 5 Biggest Financial Questions
Everyone has a unique situation, and there are no concrete financial numbers that define success, but there are some rules of thumb that can help you gauge your progress.
Marriage and Money - Planning Your New...
Marriage introduces changes in a new couple’s financial situation that will affect all aspects of their life together. Everything from personal financial goals to credit card debt will bring new challenges to the relationship. Understanding how to navigate through these changes can be challenging, but planning ahead can allow you to build a strong financial foundation for your relationship.
Financial Planning Basics - Personal Finance 101
Personal finance covers a wide variety of money topics including budgeting, expenses, debt, saving, retirement and insurance among others. Understanding how each of these topics work together and affect each other is important for laying the groundwork for a solid financial foundation for you and your family.
How to Budget for Back-To-School Shopping
It's time to plan your back-to-school budget. You will probably have to budget for more than you think. Check out these back-to-school expenses.
How Much Should I Save for My Child’s...
How much money you are saving is less important than how soon you begin saving. Compound interest is a wonderful thing and the longer your money has to grow, the more it will grow.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Home: Are You Ready?
For many people, owning a home brings a sense of pride and freedom that cannot be matched by renting. When you own your own home, you aren’t bound by a landlord’s rules, and your monthly payments are actually building equity. Although buying a home may be the first step you take toward building long-term wealth, it is important to understand the pros and cons of home ownership before taking the plunge.
Top Five Money Mistakes College Students Make
College students face many hard financial decisions. As a young adult they need to figure out how to pay for college, earn some spending money, and still get a good education. This is a tall order for anyone, so it’s no wonder that many college students end up making some costly money mistakes.
How to Get Your Free Credit Reports
In 2004, an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act was made that states that you can obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit reporting bureaus once every 12 months. Your credit report contains the following information:
Top 4 Digital Tools for Personal Money Management
Using software to assist in keeping your finances in order is a great way to stay on track. Most financial software will allow you to keep track of income, expenses, and even your investments. Some even have the option to automatically download or connect to your financial institutions via the Internet, which can simply the process even further.
Examine the Roots of Overspending
To build wealth and reach financial independence, you simply need to spend less than you earn. It is an easy concept to understand, but why is it so difficult? To answer this question, you need to examine the roots of overspending. When you know what factors drive your spending, you can fight back and save money so that you can spend less than you earn.
Is It Risky To Invest In Annuities?
Annuities may promise you a stream of steady income in retirement, but it imperative to know the risk factors before investing in these products.
If You’re Addicted to Spending and...
Even with all of the advice and information available to help people break their overspending habits, for some, this desire to spend and rack up insurmountable debt becomes a serious problem that overtakes other aspects of their lives. As with any addiction, this can negatively affect your performance at work, quality of life, and relationships with family and friends.
5 Tips to Cut Spending Leaks
Sometimes it is the little things that add up. Stopping the little spending leaks in your life may amount to significant savings over time.
Top Picks: Personal Finance Books
Top picks for personal finance books: personal finance books managing your personal finances college educations money goals corporate tools
Personal Finance 101
Personal finance covers a wide variety of money topics including budgeting, expenses, debt, saving, retirement and insurance among others. Understanding how each of these topics work together and affect each other is important for laying the groundwork for a solid financial foundation for you and your family.
Insurance Basics - Why Do I Need Insurance?
You've worked hard to build a solid financial footing for you and your family, so it needs to be protected. Accidents and disasters can and do happen and if you aren’t adequately insured it could leave you in financial ruin. You need insurance to protect your life, your ability to earn income, and to keep a roof over your head.
Breaking the Minimum Payment Habit on Your...
One of the most costly mistakes you can make with credit cards is getting into the habit of only paying the minimum amount due each month. While the minimum amount may be affordable; it will also cost you more money in the long run.
College Students and Money
College living is an exciting and challenging undertaking for most students. Moving away from mom and dad, living on your own and making decisions for yourself and having to manage your own finances are just a few of the roadblocks you will be facing.
The Importance of Your Credit Score
Your credit score and underlying history is one of your most vital parts of your financial life. Your credit score follows you forever and it will play a huge role in many major financial situations throughout your life.
Mutual Fund Distributions Explained
Distributions from a mutual fund are earnings from the fund's operation. Unlike individual company who can chose either to retain the profit, or return it to shareholders in the form of dividend or through share buyback, a mutual fund is required by law to be passed on profits to investors.
Saving Money on Home Expenses
When you add up the cost of expenses associated with your home, you might be surprised at the end result. While you know that buying a home amounts to the biggest purchase you are likely to make in your life, it is easy to forget about all the other expenses that add up.
How to Spring Clean Your Finances for 2013
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Understanding the Alternative Minimum Tax
When it comes to taxes, there is a three-letter abbreviation that is feared, yet it’s still a mystery to most people. AMT stands for the Alternative Minimum Tax, and while it doesn't sound too harmful, if you’ve ever been hit with it you know that it can be quite painful.
What is a Traditional IRA and Who Should Have...
A traditional IRA (individual retirement account) is an account that is used to save pre-tax dollars for use in retirement.
How the Convenience of Credit Cards Costs You...
Credit card offers are hard to resist. It would be tough for most people to pass up an offer for a 56 inch plasma television worth $2500 for only $50 a month on a credit card. Even though many individuals can afford a $50 monthly payment, they may not realize that they will end up paying more in interest than for the original cost of the television.
How to Sell Your Stuff to Get Out of Debt
Although the down economy may have inspired you to reduce spending and start saving, the average American still carries more than $7,000 in credit card debt, according to CreditCards.com. With the average current interest rate on credit cards at more than 14%, that's almost $1,000 in unnecessary interest payments you could be doling out each year. Now is the time to get out of debt by selling your stuff.
Should Teens and College Students Have Credit...
If you want your child to have good spending habits and resist the temptation that can come with having a credit card, it’s up to you to educate them.
Ways to Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a very important number that lenders use in order to determine whether or not to extend credit to you, and what the interest rate and terms of the credit or loan are.
Money Tips for Singles - Saving Money When...
Being single presents some unique financial planning challenges. Whether you’re single by choice, or as a result of a recent breakup or divorce, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when managing money just for yourself. Since you’re the only one earning income and still have bills to pay, you need to be sure that you’re making the most of what you have since you don’t have someone else to fall back on.
9 Ways to Keep Utility Bills Low in Winter
Here we are, noticing our summer tans fading, dark roots growing out from our scalps, and waiting for the first winter snow fall amidst the freezing rain and blowing wind. Winter is rearing its ugly head and so are heating costs. The television and web are full of great ideas on how to save money on energy costs, but more often than not it takes money to save money. For many, spending money on major home improvement projects to make a home more energy efficient just isn’t in the cards this year.
How to Find the Financial Advisor That's Right...
With a little knowledge and willingness to create and follow a financial plan, most people can adequately manage their own finances. Even so, there are many instances where you just don’t have the time or have a complicated situation that may need the assistance of a finance professional.
David Fisher
David Fisher - Bio of David Fisher
What Is A Mutual Fund?
Mutual funds are a popular investment vehicle for investors large and small. They are affordable and diversified, but be aware of the fees involved.
What is a 401(k) Plan?
Don’t let the cryptic name of the plan confuse you, these plans are actually fairly easy to understand. A 401(k) is a retirement plan offered by some employers in the United States. The plan received the name from the section of Internal Revenue Code it was named after.
Investing 101: What Are Bonds?
Most investors are familiar with the two primary types of investments: stocks and bonds. Stocks are easy to understand because we hear about the stock market on a daily basis. The news constantly reminds us about whether the stock market is going up, down, and what companies are doing the best and worst. What about bonds? Most of us have bonds in our portfolios, but we hear very little about bond markets or how these financial instruments actually work.
5 Ways Everyone Wastes Money (and How to Stop!)
A big drain on your finances is bad money management. When it comes to monthly expenses, it can be difficult to identify financial leaks, but just like those tiny drops of water, pennies at a time can add up to an ocean of lost cash. So, pull on your plumber's overalls and put these five tips in your tool kit.
How much money do I need to retire?
This question is frequently asked, but rarely has a definitive answer. The problem is that everyone’s needs are different. What you might need in retirement will be completely different than your friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Even though your situation is unique, there are a few ways you can estimate how much money you will need to retire.
Finding a Lost Pension
t may seem impossible to track down the old pension provider but there is a valuable resource available to the public in the form of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Take Advantage of Your Employer’s Open...
The open enrollment period is important because it is one of the few times you can make changes to many of your employer provided benefits.
An Introduction to Saving Money
The ability to save money is the cornerstone of building wealth. In order to save money, you need to spend less than you earn. This is often easier said than done, but there are plenty of ways to help you begin saving money on even the tightest budget.
You Could Be Paying Too Much in Taxes If You're...
When it comes to reducing your tax burden, itemizing deductions may be the way to go. The standard deduction is certainly easier, and might be a better option if you have a simple tax situation or don’t own a home, but if you determine that itemizing is right for you, it could lead to substantial savings.
How to Prepare for Falling Interest Rates
Interest rates play an important role in not only the economy, but your personal finances as well. The Federal Reserve regularly monitors economic conditions and has the ability to raise or lower key interest rates that trickle down and affect everything right down to your savings account. As rates begin to fall, what does this mean for you, and how can you plan for lower rates?
Are You Claiming the Right W-4 Tax Exemptions?
If you work for an employer that automatically withholds taxes from each paycheck, then you have the ability to adjust how much is withheld by adjusting the exemptions on IRS Form W-4. This is important to review because many different changes in your life could impact the amount of money you should have withheld.
Try Using Cash to Keep Spending Under Control
If you are struggling to stay within your budget or always seem to spend more money than you should it might be a good idea to go back to using cash for daily purchases.
Budgeting
Budgeting information, advice, tips, and resources to help you set up a successful budget and stay motivated
10 Tips to Help Prevent Identity Theft
You’ve heard about identity theft in the news, and if you’re like most people, you probably think it will never happen to you. While there is a good chance that you’ll never experience this unfortunate situation, it only takes one misplaced document or accidentally clicking on a link on the web to put you at risk. Because it is becoming easier for thieves to obtain the information needed to steal and damage your identity, it is important to take a proactive approach and protect yourself.
Types of Individual Health Insurance Policies -...
If you are self-employed, or otherwise find yourself in a situation where you need to obtain your own health insurance coverage, the choices available to you can be confusing. You'll be sifting through terms like HMO, PPO, premiums, co-pay and deductibles, which can be intimidating if you don't know what you're looking at.
5 Ways to Save on Gas
Make no bones about it, gasoline is expensive and it isn’t getting any cheaper. You don’t need to switch to public transportation to cut costs at the pump. There are a few basic things you can do that could considerably save money on gas.
Checkbook Balancing Form
Click here for a printable version of this checkbook balancing form. Checkbook Balancing Form 1.  Outstanding
Types of Insurance Policies You Don't Need
There are some types of insurance that you absolutely should have but there are just as many that you are probably better off without. Some of these policies may sound like a good idea when in reality all you are doing is wasting money on the premiums.
It Pays To Do A Summer Internship. 5 Tips For...
A summer internship is an invaluable way to gain experience and to build a network. Always be professional and make a positive lasting impression.
Maintaining Health Insurance During Early...
If you worked for an employer that offered health benefits, when you decide to retire early or lose your job, it becomes quickly apparent how valuable that benefit was. Generally, when an employer offers health insurance coverage, the premium costs are split between you and the employer. Whether it is $20 or $300 per paycheck, you’re generally only paying a portion of the total premium in a large group plan. So, what happens when you are no longer employed and eligible for these benefits?
Beware of the Warning Signs of Too Much Debt
Do you have debt that is bogging you down and keeping you from reaching your financial goals? Using credit and debt can be a powerful tool that allows you to buy a home, a vehicle, send children to college, and even provide leverage for other purchases, but when you accumulate too much debt, it can pose a serious problem.
Where Your Social Security Taxes Go
If you work, you are probably aware of the Social Security taxes that come out of your paycheck. Since a relatively large portion of your income goes toward this tax, it is important to understand where it actually goes.
Retirement Planning 101
For most of us the quality of our retirement will depend on how much money we saved. While you may have some retirement income in the form of Social Security or a pension, more often than not it isn't enough. That means it's up to you to plan for and put some money aside for retirement. Here's what you need to know to get your retirement on track.
Trade School vs. Traditional Colleges
Even though the job market is beginning an economic upswing, there are still many unemployed workers in the US, and often simply not an adequate number of jobs to sustain the surplus pool of applicants.
5 Steps To Harness The Power Of Compound Interest
Will you have enough money for the future? The key is to start saving early- a dollar saved today will be worth more than a dollar saved tomorrow.
Being a Stay at Home Parent Might be More...
In the modern world most of us feel that it takes two incomes to make ends meet. This has put a tremendous burden on new parents as they struggle with the decision of staying home with the children or going back to work and paying for daily child care.
Asking for a Lower Interest Rate
As you are probably aware, credit card interest rates can be quite high with rates upwards of 30% annually. This staggering rate can make it nearly impossible to pay off your debt if you can only afford to pay close to the minimum each month. One way to get out of debt even faster is to reduce your current interest rates.
Traditional vs. Roth IRA: Which is Best for You?
A common question many people have is what type of IRA is best. Both the Traditional and Roth IRAs have significant tax advantages, but in some situations one may be better than the other. Since we can't predict what taxes will be like 20 years from now, if you have the ability to contribute to both types of IRAs, that might be a good idea. By diversifying your tax liabilities, you can be prepared for any significant changes in tax rates by the time you reach retirement.
Financial Designations
Finding the right financial adviser can be a daunting task, given the sea of insurance agents, commissioned brokers and fee-based money managers who are out there competing for your business.
Foreign Exchange Information and Rates
Links to information on foreign exchange, including exchange rates.
How Bankruptcy Works
Bankruptcy is a very complicated legal proceeding, though its prevalence today sometimes gives the impression otherwise. Though many commercials tout bankruptcy as a way to get a new start and solve all your financial woes, the truth is much more grim. Bankruptcy will, indeed, offer a solution to some financial problems, but it is not without its drawbacks.
Changing Careers is a Big Decision. Make Sure...
Are you unhappy in your current job? Has the economy forced you to consider a new career? Whatever your reason for seeking out a new path, it's a decision that you can't take lightly. Changing careers can be very stressful, and if you're not careful, very costly.
Find Money to Pay Down Credit Card Debt
Are you struggling to come up with enough money to pay more than the minimum on your credit card debt? It can certainly seem as if there is never enough money to go around, but you might be surprised where you can find a few extra dollars to apply towards that debt and accelerate the payoff.
Home Improvements – Getting the Most Bang...
If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve either thought about or already made some home improvements. For some, this was part of the plan all along. They bought a house that was in need of some improvements so they were able to purchase at a bit of a discount and then put money into the upgrades they wanted. For others, the idea of home improvements came up as a way to increase the value of their home upon resale.
7 Things To Consider Before Booking an...
It's summer and time for vacation. You don't want to break the bank but deserve a great trip. Should you plan an all-inclusive vacation?
Planning for the Future - Making the Most of...
When it comes to planning for the future, most people think of retirement. Retirement planning is important because it allows you to do the things that you were unable to do while working—travel, start a business, go back to school, be closer to family, or simply relax. Because retirement is such an important phase in your life, careful planning is a must.
Financial Aid Basics
While college may be expensive, thankfully there are numerous sources of financial aid available to ease the pain. Financial aid comes in two forms: money that is gifted, such as grants and scholarships, and money that is borrowed.
Get Next Year’s Income Tax Refund Now
The IRS sends out nearly 100 million income tax refunds each year. That’s a lot of money! If you’re like most taxpayers, you’re probably familiar with the drill. You have taxes withheld from your paycheck all year and then come March you begin to prepare your taxes so that you can get that tax return. Since the average tax return is a little over $2,000, this is real money that can go toward a number of important financial issues in your life.
What Makes Up Your Credit Score?
Your credit score is a number that is calculated with a formula that lenders use to predict how much risk you are as a borrower. This score is one of the most important factors used when determining whether or not to lend you money and at what interest rate.
Six Retirement Planning Mistakes to Avoid
We all make mistakes, but learning from our mistakes and identifying what mistakes to avoid can make a big difference. Here are six common mistakes people make with retirement planning that you should avoid.
Protecting Your Financial Interests During a...
Going through a divorce can be a very difficult and stressful experience. Whatever the reasons for the divorce, you're likely overwhelmed with emotions and the desire to move on as quickly as possible. Even so, you have some important decisions to make in regards to your finances, so you need to be careful and plan appropriately.
Credit and Debt 101
Credit cards and other forms of debt can be an essential part of your financial toolbox, but you must exercise care when using credit and taking on debt. Find out the difference between good debt and bad debt, and learn how to establish credit and maintain a good credit score.
Shopping Safely Online
Online shopping is just a way of life these days. Most people don’t even think twice about using their credit cards to make a transaction with some online entity, but that complacency could be costly if you aren’t careful. Shopping online can be a perfectly safe experience, but there are a few things to keep in mind when doing it.
How to Save Money on Your Debt
You can easily save thousands of dollars a year with very little effort by following even a few of the cost-saving measures. The more cost-saving measures you adopt, the more money you'll save. Here are a few ways to save money on your debt:
7 Ways to Save More Money for Higher Education
Because costs are climbing higher than ever before, it's more important than ever to find ways to conserve cash. Here are eight things you can do to save money for your children's higher education.
What Generation Do You Belong To?
What generation do you belong to? Take a look at the different generations in America and how they make their own unique footprint on our country.
Save Money by Choosing the Correct Tax Form
Taxes are one of the certainties in life, and the IRS doesn’t make filing a tax return the easiest thing in the world. For individuals, there are a number of variants for the same form. You have form 1040, 1040A, and even 1040EZ.
Make the Most of Your Paycheck from Your First...
Getting that first job after college or high school is a very exciting, yet stressful event. You’re probably overwhelmed with many new challenges, opportunities, commitments, and have a lot of questions. One of the biggest changes may be in regards to money.
Financial Planning Considerations With a...
Everyone has financial needs, but if you’re the parent or guardian of a child with special needs, some unique considerations need to be made. There are a number of legal, medical, and financial issues you should plan for.
Wedding Budget Worksheet
Click here for a printer-friendly version WEDDING BUDGET WORKSHEET Item Budgeted Cost Actual Cost PRINTING:
School Year Budget Worksheet for College Students
SCHOOL YEAR BUDGET WORKSHEET FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS (Printer friendly version of this worksheet) CATEGORY
Affluenza: A Disease of Overconsumption
The Epidemic of Affluenza How to Diagnose It. How to Treat It. Related Resources • Avoid Bankruptcy •
How to Create an Organizational System for Your...
The first step to effectively managing your finances is to see what kind of financial shape you're currently in. And the first step to determining that is to get organized. Financial organization means, in part, that every bill, policy, statement, and receipt has its place.
Are You Ready to Buy a Home?
Home ownership is a traditional goal for many Americans. Having a place to call your own provides a sense of stability and community. You can establish roots and get to know your neighbors. Add a room or knock down a wall; the choice is yours. People like owning things and this includes homes.
Job Hunting Tips for New College Grads
The job hunt for a college graduate begins long before she gets the sheepskin in her hand. College is an excellent place to prepare for life in the real world and offers a significant amount of resources that college students should learn to take advantage of.
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