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Beware of These Financial Tricks or Treats

By Drew Kessler Halloween tricks or treats come along only once a year, but the consequences of financial decisions usually last far past the next spooky holiday. Options that seem good on the surface, if not handled properly, can have long-lasting negative consequences.To understand how a seemingly good financial move can work against you, the NFCC encourages consumers to review the following to see if their actions are resulting in …Read More

Make Sure Your Freshman Gets a Money-Smart College Start

By Nat Sillin You’ve worked to train your children in money management, but college brings a whole new level of financial decision-making and challenges. So before they are off on their own, review these topics to make sure they’re ready. Start with what college costs. On average, the Class of 2015 graduated with a little over $35,000 in student loan debt. Depending on your financial situation and how you’ve planned …Read More

10 Things to Give Up in Order to Save Money

By Lauralynn Schueckler No matter what your income level is, learning how to budget and save a little money each month is a valuable skill. If you’re dealing with a change in income, mounting debt or have exhausted your emergency fund due to an unexpected need, then saving will help you regain financial health. If you are struggling to find extra cash in an already tight budget, try giving some …Read More

Mission Possible: Budgeting With A Yo-Yo Income

By Mark Foster In our budgeting classes with adults, one question often pops up – “How do I budget with fluctuating paychecks?” If your paycheck amount yo-yo’s instead of staying the same each period, it certainly is more challenging to create a budget and make it work, but it isn’t Mission Impossible. Look at what your minimum paycheck amount tends to be and budget using that. Too many people do …Read More

Money Saving Tips for College Students

By Drew Kessler Let’s face it, college is expensive and most students have a limited cash flow. The good news is that a number of businesses realize this and make an effort to accommodate their student clientele. Always keep an eye out for student discounts, and bring your student ID with you wherever you go. Many establishments offer discounts to anyone with a student ID – from clothing stores to …Read More

Christmas in July

By Mark Foster It may seem crazy to be thinking about Christmas in July, but actually it makes good financial sense. We know Christmas will eventually roll around, so it’s wise to start planning for it now to avoid stressing out and overspending later. When people wait till the last minute and basically wing it, it’s very tempting to just start charging gifts on the credit cards because there’s not …Read More

Save Money on Gas

By Lauralynn Schueckler The cost of living continues to rise for the average American, forcing many to make drastic budget cuts and eliminate many luxuries from their lives. One element that is a necessary component in nearly every person’s life is the availability of a car. However, the rising cost of gas has travelers looking for ways to save money. Here are a few strategies that will help the penny pincher …Read More

Planning a Wedding on a Budget

By Jason Alderman Should a dream wedding mean delaying a down payment on a home? That’s a tradeoff many couples make these days. The Knot, a wedding planning and publishing company, recently released its Real Weddings Study of average wedding costs for 2014, setting a national average price tag of $31,213 (not including the honeymoon). If the average cost of a U.S. wedding now tops $30,000, that’s a substantial sum …Read More

5 Things Every New American Should Know About Personal Finance

As the nation celebrates Independence Day, many Americans think about what it was like for the early settlers arriving on our shores for the first time. Those early pioneers faced much uncertainty when it came to basic survival and the ability to provide a secure future for themselves and their families. Today’s immigrants may not face such extreme conditions, but they do have some significant hurdles to clear when it …Read More

A First-Year Money Management Guide for the New College Grad

By Jason Alderman Getting a grip on finances at the very start of one’s working life can be challenging. Yet that first year out of school offers new grads an opportunity to jump on a lifetime of financial goals. As the nation’s full retirement age edges closer to 70, it means a 22-year-old college graduate has nearly 50 years to save and invest. That’s why solid money habits built early …Read More