Emergency Fund Boot Camp It’s time to get your savings in shape—and having an emergency fund in place is a solid step toward a fit financial future. Fitting an emergency fund into your budget can be confusing, though. How much should you save, exactly? What kinds of situations should it be used for? How is […]
Cost of Poor Credit
Can Refinancing Your Car Help Your Overall Financial Health?
When someone is looking into refinancing a car, there is always a financial reason behind the decision. They are usually looking for lower monthly payments to improve monthly cash flow, reduce interest rates to lower the overall amount that will be paid over the life of the loan, or to help pay off debt by […]
What You Need To Know About Chip-Enabled Cards
Are you a swiper or a dipper? Chances are, you have at least one EMV chip-enabled card in your wallet. EMV, which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, and has been used for years throughout the world, was introduced in the U.S. about 18 months ago. The cards are also called smart cards, chip cards, […]
Review And Adjust Your Investments Each Year
Your portfolio is diversified and you’ve developed an asset allocation strategy that you’re comfortable with. All is well. Then, at the end of the year, you find that the weighting of each asset class in your portfolio has changed. What happened? Well, over the course of the year, the market value of each security within […]
Changes In The Vantage Score System
Q: I’ve heard that the Vantage Score system is getting an overhaul. What kind of changes are being made and how will this affect the way my score is calculated? A: The Vantage Score, which dictates the way credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax — determine your credit score, is going through a shake-up […]
5 Common Tax Mistakes To Avoid
It’s that time of year again! Get ready to break out the calculator and pencils; dig out the enormous pile of receipts, tax forms, and pay stubs, and get to work. Whether you choose to go it alone, use a tax-prep computer program or hand it all over to an accountant, start with checking out […]
401k Programs for the Self Employed
Did you know that if you are self-employed you can set up a solo 401k program for yourself? Yes, that’s right! You don’t have to be employed by an employer who has set up a 401k program for the company’s employees. If you are a sole proprietor and self-employed, you can set up your own […]
OPT-OUT! Services to make your life easier!
Now you can OPT-OUT of many solicitations of mail, email and phone calls. De-clutter your life using the links below. To cut down on credit card and insurance offers in your mailbox, go to www.optoutprescreen.com and choose whether you want to opt out for 5 years or permanently! To cut down on the number of […]
How Men and Women Manage Money Differently
Over the last century or so, society has made tremendous strides toward gender equality on every level — and this includes basic money management. Today’s culture has further narrowed the gap between the sexes, and the caricatures of the “overspending wife” and “overworked husband” have nearly become extinct. Despite society’s advancements, there are still significant […]
Investing in Low Cost Index Funds
In advice for his trustee to follow upon his passing, investing genius Warren Buffett says: “Put 10% of the cash in short-term government bonds and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund.” Evidently, Buffett favors low-cost, low-risk index funds over other higher-risk investment vehicles. Are you an active investor? Here’s a sobering thought […]
What does Prime Rate mean?
Q: What is the prime rate and why does it matter? A: The prime rate, or prime, is the current interest rate that financial institutions in the U.S. charge their best customers. How is the prime rate determined? The Federal Reserve System, which is the central bank of the United States, sets the federal funds […]
Avoiding the Credit Card Trap
Did you know the average American household carries $6,358 in credit card debt? If that isn’t alarming, consider this: A debt of $5,000 with an average interest rate of 24.99% where only the monthly minimum payment is made can accumulate $4,823 in interest over five years. That means you’ll pay almost double the amount you […]
How Much Should I Invest In Retirement?
Experts recommend allocating 15% of your monthly income toward retirement. Before you start exploring your options, though, you will need to set a goal, or a target number. This number will represent how much you need to have saved for living comfortably and independently throughout your retirement. A good way to set a target number […]
How Long Does It Take to Become a Millionaire?
A million dollars. For many people, it’s the pinnacle of financial success. For others, it’s just the first stepping stone toward their outrageous dreams. But how long does it take to actually reach that goal? How much would you need to save on a monthly basis to net a cool million? And, most importantly, is […]
How Much Money Should We Keep in Our Checking Accounts
Savings accounts are always talked about. But what about our checking accounts? You might read up on financial experts who recommend keeping three to six months worth of living expenses in your savings account, or maybe you’ve seen a tip about socking away enough money to cover larger expenses. But what about our checking accounts? […]
6 Money Myths
6 Money Myths We Need to Stop Believing We all grow up hearing the same financial advice: Spend less, save more and invest early. While most of these words of wisdom ring true, there are lots of widespread money management tips that are actually false. Outlined here are 6 money myths that might be causing […]