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February 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.

Use Leap Year To Get
Your Financial House In Order

By Gail Cunningham If there’s one thing everyone wants it’s more time, and that’s exactly what we have this year. A once every four-year phenomena of the calendar known as Leap  Year is providing us with 24 extra hours today. For some, the day will come and go with little to show for it. However, with a little forethought, people can use the extra hours to make a difference in their financial …Read More

Pay At The Pump

By Gary Silverman, CFP® Back in the days when I had a real job my commute was 50 miles one way. Can you imagine what that would be like today with the gasoline prices where they are? I was wondering that myself the other day so with calculator in hand I went to work. I came up with an annual commuting distance of about 25,000 miles. If I remember correctly …Read More

Take ‘America Saves Week’ to Heart

By Jason Alderman After four years of coping with a stagnant economy probably the last thing you want to hear is how important it is to sock away money for a rainy day – you already know that. But hear me out, just in case. Those who struggle with long-term unemployment or under-employment often simply don’t have spare cash available to save (although people can be remarkably resourceful, as you’ll …Read More

Financial Tip of the Day:
The Power of Compounding

By Drew Kessler Albert Einstein called compounding interest the eighth wonder of the world. When compounding works for you it’s wonderful. A small amount of money adds up quickly because you earn interest not only on the money you have deposited in the bank, but also on the interest you have previously earned. There is a trick though. You only continue to earn interest on interest as long as you keep your money in …Read More

Payroll Tax Cut Provides Employers
With Teachable Moment

By Gail Cunningham Thanks to Congress extending the payroll tax cut millions of Americans will continue to receive a fatter paycheck.  However, a recent NFCC poll revealed that 66% of workers did not realize that their paychecks were larger, in spite of the 2% payroll tax cut having been in place for over a year. In 2012 the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax increased to $110,100, …Read More

Talking Finances With Your Valentine

By Jason Alderman Valentine’s Day may have just ended, but that shouldn’t stop you from talking about your financial future as a couple to keep your relationship on a healthy footing. In any marriage, major life changes may require you to reassess how you manage the family finances. Unfortunately, many couples don’t make time to plan ahead and are later caught off guard by their lack of decisiveness. For example: …Read More

Should America’s Love Affair With Charging
Extend to Taxes?

By Gail Cunningham It’s always good to have options. It’s even better to choose the right option, particularly when it involves paying your federal income tax obligation. With April 15th fast approaching, many are discovering that they have a tax liability they are not prepared to pay. Consumers who find themselves in this predicament do have some options, but it is critical to select the payment plan that is right …Read More

Financial Tip of the Day:
Kick Your ATM Habit

By Drew Kessler We all have bad habits. We eat too much fried food, don’t exercise enough, and waste electricity by not turning off the lights when leaving a room. There’s one bad habit that most of us have in common. It doesn’t involve food or exercise, but causes a major drain to our wallets….our love of the ATM machine. To pay for all their incidental treats some people go to their ATM, withdraw $40, …Read More

Ten Ways Americans Waste Money

By Stacy Johnson Saving money isn’t as hard as it seems. Step 1? Stop needlessly blowing it. Take a look at the following checklist and see if you’re guilty of wasting cash. According to the latest release from the Census Bureau, in 2010 the average American household income was $49,445. Adjusted for inflation, that’s about where it was 15 years ago. Even more depressing: The 2010 poverty rate in the …Read More