Sending kids off to college isn't easy. Even though you think it's time for your child to experience life on their own, you know they'll still depend on you for some financial support. One of the biggest questions you'll struggle with is the whole credit card dilemma. Is it really the right thing to do to turn your teen into a credit-card-carrying adult with no strings attached? Not so long ago, new college students were inundated with credit card applications and could easily apply for and receive a card without their parents even knowing about it. However, this situation changed dramatically [...]
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You might dream of traveling, playing golf, or spending time with the grandchildren when you retire. You're probably not dreaming about paying on your debt. Ideally, none of us would be worried about debt in our later years. The reality is that half of us will have debt in our retirement years. What are the options for dealing with it? Options for dealing with debt in retirement: 1. Ensure that you're aware of all the benefits you should be receiving. There are benefits available to help with utilities, food, health care, and other items. Check with the National Council on Aging [...]
Does financial freedom seem like an unreachable goal for you? For some, the only goal in sight is getting that next paycheck so you can pay the bills before services get disconnected. Even if your current situation seems dire, there are things you can do to achieve financial success. Options that can improve your financial situation are all around you. When you want to move your financial life forward, the first step is deciding on a worthwhile goal. What do you want to see happen? When? As soon as you've made that determination, you can begin marching toward your success in [...]
Many consumers have a variety of debt. All the payments and different due dates are enough to drive anyone crazy. Wouldn't it be nice to address all of your consumer debt with one, simple, monthly payment? There are many options for consolidating your debt into a single loan and eliminating some of the stress from your life. Examine these debt consolidation options that may be available to you: 1. Credit card consolidation. You've seen the offers for 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for the next year or two. These can be an effective way to transfer all of your [...]
Especially now, in a time where the economic situation may be forcing you to be creative in your spending exploits, you have to be on top of your money. It's in your best interest to be smart when you spend. Your ability to find that delicate balance between cash and credit could be the difference between: * Having enough reserves to cushion a possible financial blow, and * Having a mountain of debt staring you in the face Using these strategies will help you juggle your payment methods effectively: 1. Separate recurring and one-time expenses. Split your expenses into two categories: [...]
Millennials have unique challenges, including a soft economy with no end in sight. Entry-level jobs are also of much lower quality today. It's more likely that a recent graduate will be forced to endure a minimum wage internship than start at a healthy salary. It's not an easy time to be a young adult. Consider these financial issues and see how you can resolve them: 1. A lack of preparation for financial emergencies. Everyone needs an emergency fund. While the lack of an emergency fund is common within every age group, millennials are especially likely to not have any money set [...]
Getting married is a happy and exciting time. One of the issues that can quickly put a damper on the positive energy, though, is money. Financial issues can create a lot of stress and even animosity. Ideally, you've already had a lot of communication regarding your finances. If you haven't, a little prevention isn't a bad idea. It can be much nicer to discuss the topic of money before it becomes necessary and tensions are high. Be proactive. Heed these helpful money tips for newlyweds: 1. Agree on a set of financial rules and goals. Work together to establish a few [...]
College is expensive! Sixty percent of those who graduate from college with a bachelor's degree also graduate with around $26,000 worth of student loans. For those who go on to pursue a postgraduate degree, the debt can be significantly higher. Luckily, there are some ways to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, this debt. Loan Forgiveness Programs There are several programs you may want to consider that can eliminate part or all of those loans: 1. Volunteer for community service. If you apply to the AmeriCorps program, you can help people in your community while also reducing your debt. The program [...]
The retirement years are meant to be golden. By retirement age, you've likely worked for 40+ years, and you can finally relax, enjoy family, and visit friends. Unfortunately, staying financially stable, though, is often a challenge. Working through these tasks will help you maintain financial stability when you retire: 1. Understand the key to stability. The key to achieving financial stability is to make your money last. * Life expectancy continues to rise. Can you afford to stay in retirement if you live to your 80s, 90s, or beyond? This is an important question that requires careful thought and planning. * [...]
Student loans are the bane of many graduates' existence. The debt and payments can be a part of your life for 10 years or more. Your life circumstances may change, but that debt is always there until it gets paid off. So it's wise to know ways you can prevent or minimize issues with your student loans. These ideas can help you, whether you're in trouble with loans already or planning ahead to prevent such a situation: 1. Borrow only what you need. From a financial standpoint, being a student isn't fun. Everyone gets tired of not having any money. However, [...]