Financial Pitfalls to Avoid

/ BY / Personal Finance

Money mistakes can topple your financial plans for the future. By familiarizing yourself with some of the most common financial missteps, you can avoid the money woes that often accompany these errors. These are some of the most common pitfalls to be aware of: Everyday demands on your budget can make it difficult to find even a few dollars to set aside for a rainy day. With no savings, emergencies like car and home repairs can force you to take on debt you can’t afford. With less cash available for things like debt reduction or saving, you can quickly lose control of your finances. A savings account provides you with cash for unexpected expenses and allows you...

Teaching Kids About Money Management

/ BY / Personal Finance

Parents know that a good education can help their children become more successful in life. But those lessons should go beyond reading, writing and math. You can give your kids a solid financial foundation by teaching them about saving, spending, budgeting, credit card rates, compounding interest and more. Your kids’ money education should begin before they enter kindergarten. Help them understand how your family gets the money it needs to live. A four or five year old may watch you take cash out of the ATM or pay for a purchase with a credit card without realizing how it relates to mom and dad going off to work each day. One way to make that concept more understandable is having kids earn...

How to Obtain a Loan with Bad Credit

/ BY / Personal Finance

It’s not impossible to get a loan when you have bad credit—but you may have to work a little harder than you would if you had a good or excellent credit rating. Just as there are options when you want a credit card for bad credit, you have a few choices when it comes to finding a loan for a car, for college or even for a new home. Consider getting a secured loan, like a home equity loan. Do you have collateral you can offer as assurance that you’ll pay back your loan? If you’ve built equity in your home or if you have a fully-paid off vehicle, a lender might be more willing to work with you. Go to the best sources. A local credit union is usually a better choice than the branch of a big national bank...

This Tax Season, Use Your Refund Wisely

/ BY / Personal Finance

Over 80% of Americans filing taxes this year will get refunds. For many people, this much-anticipated refund is the one redeeming quality of tax season. With the average tax refund hovering around $3,000, you probably already have plans for your tax refund. Or, maybe you're not sure what you're going to do with it. Either way, here are a few of the smartest things you can do with your tax refund. Get current on your bills. Get current on your bills. First things first—if you’re behind on any bills or have accounts in collections, use your refund to get caught up. Being in the red can wreak havoc on your credit score (not to mention your emotional state of mind), and the longer and more behind you get, the more difficult it is...

How to Create a Personal Monthly Budget Plan

/ BY / Personal Finance

A budget customized to fit your specific needs can be a powerful tool--one that helps you maintain control of your personal finances. It’s easy to build a budget that suits your style—all you need is some time, paper, and a pencil. Getting Started Before you can build a budget that’s accurate and useable, you need to know exactly where you stand financially. Using bank statements, receipts, and bills, make a list of your fixed and flexible expenses and your total income. A fixed expense is one that never changes, such as your mortgage or car payment. Flexible expenses are ones that change monthly, like utility bills. Funding Your Fixed and Flexible Expenses Once you have your expenses listed...


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