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January 2012

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the largest serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. Find various topics in this blog, including personal finance, credit counseling, housing, budgeting and student loan help. Click here to speak with an NFCC-certified Consumer Credit Counselor.

Your New Year’s Resolution Should Include
Paying Off Retail Credit Cards

By John Ulzheimer Happy New Year to you and yours. If you’re like me you’ve made a bunch of resolutions that you probably won’t keep for more than a few weeks. However, if you have debt on retail store credit cards then I’d suggest making a commitment to pay them off and following through. Despite the predictions of gloom and doom by analysts, retailers did very well this past holiday season. And, unless …Read More

What’s the Best Kind of Vacation?
A “Pre-paid” One!

By Drew Kessler Yes, it’s still January. But, time is flying by and before you know it you’re flipping the calendar to March and thinking of someplace warm for a spring break getaway. Did you charge your last vacation?  Vacations are fun, but not if you don’t have the money to pay for them.  From now on it may be better to save for your vacation in advance and pay as …Read More

How to Undo a Roth IRA Conversion

By Jason Alderman We’ve all suffered buyer’s remorse – say you buy something you really can’t afford or the item’s sudden drop in value make it seem, in retrospect, a poor investment. That’s what has happened to some people who’ve taken advantage of IRS rules that allow them to convert a regular IRA or 401(k) into a Roth IRA, only to discover later it may not have been the right …Read More

How to Talk About Money Before Marriage

By Matt Bell When you’re getting to know the person you’re thinking about marrying there’s so much to learn. Some of it comes about through questions as you ask each other about past experiences and future goals. Some of it also comes about through observation. Does he respect his parents? Is she usually on time? But it isn’t always easy for couples to talk about money. Nor is it easy to understand the truth about …Read More

Three Simple Steps
To Make Managing Finances Easier

By Gail Cunningham Just three weeks into the new year many are finding that their financial resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. The following three steps are ones that anyone seeking to be in a better place financially should put in place. The three A’s of financial wellness are as follows:  Action – Many are paralyzed by their situation, frozen in a state of financial anxiety. Others feel that they …Read More

30 Tips to Spend Less and Save More

By Stacy Johnson I was recently asked to speak at a new event: the first annual Financial Blogger Conference. Held in Chicago, it was a gathering of hundreds of money writers from all over the country with one thing in common: the burning desire to make a living (or at least part of one) by helping people spend less, save more, and otherwise improve their financial lives. Never able to …Read More

Ten Smart Things To Do
To Keep Your Credit Report Healthy

By Sara Gilbert Your credit report and credit score are a summary of your bill paying history that will affect your ability to purchase items on credit. Taking good care of your personal credit report and score could save you thousands of dollars in interest over your life time, and give you the buying power you may need to purchase a home or auto. Potential employers and insurance companies also may pull …Read More

Financial Tip of the Day:
Pay Yourself First

By Drew Kessler Believe it or not, the first person you should pay from every paycheck is yourself.  This is true even if you are self-employed.  Surprised?  To reach many of the goals you have set for yourself, you’ll need money.  If you want to take a nice vacation, buy a house, or enjoy a fairly comfortable retirement, you’ll need to save. Of course, this rule only applies if your …Read More

NFCC Welcomes New Member
To Credit Counseling Network

By Gail Cunningham The NFCC is pleased to announce that American Financial Solutions (AFS) has joined the NFCC network of nonprofit credit counseling agencies.  “The NFCC is proud to welcome American Financial Solutions as our newest member,” said Susan C. Keating, president and CEO of the NFCC. “By enhancing the national footprint of our credit counseling network, consumers now have even more opportunities to take advantage of quality counseling and find …Read More

Financial Planning for Later-Life Marriages

By Jason Alderman Couples who marry as young adults usually don’t bring a lot of financial baggage to the table, aside from student loans and car payments. But what if you’re getting married in your 40s, 50s or later – after divorce, children, and years of building assets have complicated your economic situation? Do you and your spouse-to-be have a game plan for how to comingle your finances? The key …Read More