Being financially literate in today’s economic climate is more important than ever. Understanding finances can help you make better money management decisions, budget your money properly, adequately save for college, and be financially prepared for retirement. While it may sound daunting, financial literacy starts with a budget. Today, only one third of Americans have a budget that they actively use when making financial decisions, although 75% of Americans believe you should have a budget.
Creating a financial plan may seem overwhelming to those that have never completed one, but taking the first steps to creating a plan is much easier than you may think. Even if you plan on hiring a professional financial planner down the road, creating a rudimentary plan can go a long way towards sharpening your goals, making your meeting with a financial planner much more useful when it does occur.
If you’re not sure where to start, just follow these easy steps.
Sometimes simple is best. Many of us tend to complicate our financial situation; overthinking our options while ignoring the basics.
But like anything else, the simplest rules are often the most important ones; and the ones most likely to be ignored. How many of these rules do you follow?
If you’re ready to start saving towards your financial goals, you may want to consider hiring a financial advisor to guide you through the maze. While robo-advisors are also available to help you with your savings goals, they are best suited for those just starting out or for those with limited funds to invest.
Has a dog or cat grabbed hold of your heart? It doesn’t take much. A paw on the arm. A lick on the nose, or a soft purr or whimper can turn most of us into dog or cat parents in minutes. With animal shelters across the U.S. frequently at their max, there are a record number of dogs and cats available for adoption. Of course, there are also those that are looking for a particular breed, and are willing to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars when they find it.
If you’re in your 20s, rejoice! You’re in a great position to create the life you want, starting with a secure financial future. While it’s common to feel overwhelmed when entering the workforce full time, there are a lot of things you can do fresh out of college that will help you attain your professional and financial goals earlier than you may expect. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:
Zombie debt is old debt that is typically written off as bad debt by the original creditor and then later sold to collection agencies for pennies on the dollar. Most of the debt sold is years old and cannot legally be collected, though many consumers are unaware of the statute of limitations for legal collection of this debt. In many cases, zombie debt is legally unenforceable, meaning that unlike your current creditors, zombie debt collectors cannot sue you in order to collect the debt.
Like health care, many of us continue with the same auto insurance policy for years, never bothering to find out whether another insurance carrier could provide better service or save us some money. But there are several reasons why shopping for another auto insurance policy can make sense. Here are just a few:
While owning a home is the quintessential American dream, not everyone is able to purchase a home when they desire. If you’re fresh out of school with a boat load of student debt, it’s probably best to wait until you’ve been working for at least a year before you start looking to buy. You’ll also want to make sure that your credit score is where it should be, since the higher your score, the lower your interest rate will be.
In 2018, Americans’ debt hit $13 trillion, with the average American carrying more than $38,000 in debt – not including home mortgages. For many, debt is simply a way of life, with more Americans living from paycheck to paycheck.
For those consumed by debt, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an option, with Chapter 7 wiping out eligible debt, and Chapter 13 reducing debt and allowing filers to make monthly payments to pay off the rest.