You might be concerned that your children never listen to you. The good news (and the bad news) is that your children are always watching. Kids quickly assimilate your habits and attitudes regarding money. Are you demonstrating habits that will help or harm their financial future? When faced with uncertainty, it's common to rely on experience. When your children grow up and face financial situations, they're going to mimic what they know. It's up to you to set an example that will enhance their financial future. It's likely you haven't considered what you're inadvertently teaching your kids about money. Today is [...]
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How much did you spend on banking fees this year? Surely, you have better things to spend your money on. Luckily, there are ways to avoid these fees! Follow these tips: 1. Understand the fees charged by your bank. Some banks make understanding their fees more difficult because a charge can appear on your account without any details. You can find out more about these fees by reading the documentation you received when opening your account, calling your banker, or checking your bank's official website. 2. Discover how you can qualify for a free checking account. Most banks offer free checking [...]
It's so easy to get carried away during the holiday season! The excitement of the season makes carefree living seems like the only way to go during the holiday. As fun as the season is, however, it's important to keep an eye on your budget during Christmastime so you're not faced with a financial crisis later on. How can you resist the urge to spend frivolously in the name of gifts and having a jolly good time? Consider these tips to manage your holiday cash effectively: 1. Remember January is a long month. Resist the urge to spend all your holiday [...]
We're doing much better about staying on budget within our households. Personal debt levels are at the lowest point over the last seven years. However, that doesn't mean that even the most financially responsible family doesn't have financial challenges at times. Unfortunately, once your household budget has been blown, it gets easier and easier for additional failings to occur. It's like being on a diet and having a piece of cake. Many people will think, "Heck, I've already blown my diet. I may as well have two pieces of cake." It would be better to admit that things get off course [...]
It's possible to raise your credit score with some simple changes. Credit scores affect insurance rates, loan interest rates, and other important financial products. A higher score can lead to a brighter financial future. Consider using these ideas to raise your credit score: 1. Piggyback on good credit histories. You can use a family member's or friend's good credit history to help you. * If you add yourself to an account in good standing, your credit score will go up. * Most credit cards allow users to add family members and distant relatives to their accounts. * You'll be an authorized [...]
Divorce can add extra stress and pressure on parents who want to split the expenses of raising children. It's crucial to discuss how you'll divide expenses and continue to communicate after the divorce. Consider these strategies: 1. Add parenting expenses to the divorce agreement. You may want to allocate certain expenses in the agreement, so both of you know what to expect. * Your lawyers or the judge can outline how you'll handle expenses such as school tuition, school lunches, medical bills or insurance, clothing, shoes, books, toys, and other items. 2. Continue to communicate with your ex. Being a parent [...]
Debt collectors are like mosquitos. They can be annoying and they're hard to dissuade. Fortunately, there isn't a whole lot a debt collector can do besides call you and send you mail. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) spells out the actions that a debt collector may and may not undertake in the process of collecting a debt. Your state has additional laws that may limit debt collectors even further. It's worth investigating these laws, so you understand the rules and can play the game accordingly. What Debt Collectors can do: 1. Call you directly between the hours of 8 [...]
Do the sweet memories of your vacation tarnish a bit when you start getting the credit card bills for it the month after you return home, or as you spend a year paying off your trip from last year? Imagine how differently you would feel if there were no bills to come home to! The best way to steer clear of anxiety and guilt is to save for your trip before ever heading out the door. This will result in a more enjoyable vacation because you'll already have the money set aside and won't have to worry. It's easy to save [...]
Understanding Your Wage GarnishmentAre your wages being garnished? Wage garnishment can occur because of a court order or judgment. It can also happen because of unpaid taxes, defaulted student loans, child support, and other issues. The key idea is that a portion of your paycheck is held back to make these payments. Learn the facts about wage garnishments and how you can protect yourself: Understand the federal laws. In most cases, a bank or creditor has to obtain a judgment in court before wage garnishment can start. You should be notified about the court order process. The law restricts how much [...]
The best way to eliminate the stress associated with planning for the holiday season is to get the ball rolling early. When you want to make Christmas an enjoyable experience for yourself and your family, a little bit of forethought really does go a long way. The Game Plan When you start thinking about Christmas a couple of months early, you'll be able to keep an eye out for great deals and promotions ahead of time. Plus, when you have a holiday game plan in October and divide out the biggest tasks well in advance, you'll be able to enjoy the [...]