Smart Money Page 16

  • Student Loan Options

    Student Loan Options

    Military members who want to attend college have several funding options available. For qualifying service members GI Bill Benefits are available, but for those who do not qualify, loans are an option, too. The reality is the military’s education benefits may not always cover all expenses. It isn’t uncommon for students to seek out loans to close any gaps. What Student Loan Options are Available T…

  • What Goes Into Your Credit Score?

    What Goes Into Your Credit Score?

    Your credit score ranges from 300 to 850. Most VA lenders require a credit score of 620 or higher. Although the exact formula for calculating the score is proprietary information and owned by FICO, here is an approximate breakdown of how your credit score is formed: Payment History (35%) Thirty-five percent of your score is based on your payment history. This is mainly for lenders to see the risk involved with …

  • Investing in Your Future: Traditional IRA vs Roth IRA

    Investing in Your Future: Traditional IRA vs Roth IRA

    As of now, military members with at least 20 years of service qualify for a 50-percent pension plan upon retiring, but for many service members, this alone will not guarantee a comfortable lifestyle. It is important for military members to explore alternate retirement strategies in conjunction with military-based plans. Establishing an individual retirement account (IRA) is a smart decision for military member…

  • Check Out Thrift Stores for A Quick Deal

    Check Out Thrift Stores for A Quick Deal

    Odds are, if you're trying to budget and save money, you're buying as much as you can used. Thrift stores can be a great place to find used electronics, clothes and other household items. But combing through them effectively to find great deals without sacrificing a lot of your time or sanity can be tough. Here are five tips to making your next trip to the thrift store bear better finds and less stress. …

  • Discounts for Veterans to Start Their Own Business Franchises

    Discounts for Veterans to Start Their Own Business Franchises

    Military members gain a host of crucial leadership and adaptability skills during their service to our country. When the time comes to reintegrate back into civilian life, scores of veterans look to leverage those unique skills and build their own businesses. To help aid those prospective entrepreneurs, dozens of national franchises offer incentives to help veterans get local franchises off the ground. Starti…

  • Organizing A Successful Garage Sale

    Organizing A Successful Garage Sale

    Garage sales are a testament to the belief that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. They’re also an excellent idea for those looking to make extra cash or simply get rid of junk. Garage sales sound simple enough; gather things you don’t need, throw them on the lawn, and wait for people to buy it all. But, in reality, successful garage sales are the product of a lot of hard work and planning. I…

  • Thrifty Living: Six Steps to Thrifty Groceries

    Thrifty Living: Six Steps to Thrifty Groceries

    The average American household spends about an eighth of its annual budget on groceries. That's a lot of money, and with the economy still sputtering, a lot of military families are trying to cut down the size of their monthly food bill. So here are six simple ways for you to cut down on how much you spend at the grocery store: Set a monthly grocery budget Use your budget as a guide, and don't exceed it. …

  • Financial Checklist for the Soon to be Deployed

    Financial Checklist for the Soon to be Deployed

    Horror stories of soldiers accruing debt while serving are far too numerous.  Financial preparation can reduce stress and save money for both the service member and his or her family. However, how does one save while deployed? And what are some tips for soldiers without an emergency fund? Things to do Before Deployment Military members have the opportunity to save a good amount of money while deployed.  This …

  • Thrifty Living: Washing on a Budget

    Editor’s note: This is the first post in our new Thrifty Living series, which explores simple, concrete ways military families and consumers can save money without sacrificing quality or peace of mind. When you're trying to pinch pennies, the best place to start is the everyday stuff. We're going to tackle your everyday grind and find where you can cut costs. For this first installment, we’ll begin with that e…

  • 5 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

    5 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

    Add increased confidence in the economy to the beginning of summer, and you have a lot of people thinking about home improvement projects. If you're not a carpenter or weren't lucky enough to score a Handyman-in-Law, you're probably going to hire this project out. Contractors can be a great way to get a job done right, on budget, and keep your weekends free. Still, everyone's heard horror stories about the door th…