Smart Money Page 5

  • Guide to Managing Money During Major Life Events

    Guide to Managing Money During Major Life Events

    Finances can often get caught up in the midst of marriage, divorce or death, making it that much more difficult to manage an already stressful situation. Let us guide you through the process of each, saving you the stress by providing you with tips on how to effectively manage money during the most common major life events. Marriage Discuss finances early on. If one spouse is a stingy saver while the other is a carefree spender, it can be cause for turmoil in a marriage, especially if …

  • Financial Guidance For Any Age

    Financial Guidance For Any Age

    From Piggy Banks to Pensions

    Anyone who's ever had a piggy bank has experienced firsthand just how difficult saving can be. Saving money takes time, while resisting the urge to first spend it requires discipline. At any age, being able to manage money wisely is key to future financial stability. Comparison shopping, keeping up with credit, and making a valiant effort to save more and spend less are solid financial practices that consumers can adopt at any age. However, not all practices are one-size-fits-all. Topics like…

  • Is it Time to Rethink the Conventional Wisdom on Emergency Funds?

    Is it Time to Rethink the Conventional Wisdom on Emergency Funds?

    Federal employees, disabled veterans and scores of others continue to breathe a sigh of relief, albeit a cautious one, now that the recent government shutdown has come and gone. But the specter of another still looms, and with it the possibility of delayed payments that could lead to missed mortgage payments, unpaid credit card bills and other financial headaches. That frightening potential has spurred a renewed f…

  • Leading Each Other Out of Debt

    Leading Each Other Out of Debt

    Our Facebook Fans Speak Out

    Perhaps one of the most common tips on how to get out of debt is to not get in debt in the first place. However, with 69 percent of Americans battling debt averaging upwards of $70,000, we asked our Facebook followers to share their best piece of advice for those struggling to get out of debt. Here are some of their top tips. Make It Easy on Yourself to Control Cash Flow While credit cards allow you to spend money you don't have, sticking strictly to cash mandates that you spend only t…

  • The Formula to a Balanced Budget

    The Formula to a Balanced Budget

    Developing a feasible, responsible budget is one of the cornerstones of good money management. Most budgets don't work right away, usually because people underestimate their expenses or don't keep an accurate record of their spending, and it's easy to become discouraged. Finding a strategy that works for you is going to be the key to your success. Budgets don't have to be complicated. The balanced money formula offers a simple and effective template which you can use to organize your finan…

  • Should It Stay or Should It Go? What Financial Records You Need to Keep

    Should It Stay or Should It Go? What Financial Records You Need to Keep

    With the sheer amount of paperwork needed to maintain a household, many of us struggle with what to keep and what to throw away. Bills, bank statements, insurance policies and credit card information often blend together into one unintelligible pile. How do we know what is safe to pitch? Developing a solid financial records management system can help you and your loved ones navigate your personal and financial documents in case of a major life event. What to Keep There's a temptation to err…

  • Keep a Count on Your Accounts

    Keep a Count on Your Accounts

    Aside from cash, checks were the most common form of payment for much of the 20th century. In fact, using checks for everyday consumer payments was so popular that "check" became virtually synonymous with "payment other than cash." Balancing the checkbook also became routine procedure, as consumers would compare the figures in their checkbook registers against those in the statements that arrived in the mail each mon…

  • 3 Ways to Know You’re Not Ready For a Credit Card

    3 Ways to Know You’re Not Ready For a Credit Card

    Obtaining one may be as simple as signing your name on the dotted line of a preapproval form, but a credit card is no small responsibility. Complete with fine print and plenty of penalties, they can be both risky and rewarding, especially in terms of your financial future. Fortunately, the decision doesn't have to be daunting. Here are a few ways to gauge if you're ready. Do you budget? A well-maintaine…

  • Stop Living Short: Save More, Earn More or Both?

    Stop Living Short: Save More, Earn More or Both?

    Though 61 percent of Americans are still unfamiliar with personal finance, expert interest in the subject is booming. Blogs have become overwhelmed by articles encouraging readers how to save more, budget better or spend smarter, all in an effort to ensure consumers are equipped with the knowledge to manage their money wisely. Sure, there may be an unlimited number of ways to stretch a dollar, but who says you have…

  • Maximize Your Money Through Minimalism

    Maximize Your Money Through Minimalism

    In the military, you're issued exactly what you need to accomplish any given mission. Every piece of equipment is well-maintained, organized and serves a specific function. From deployments to training exercises, I always enjoyed beautiful simplicity of living each day with only what was needed. It may have been these experiences that attracted me to minimalism. About a year ago, I gave away, sold or donated most of my possessions and moved to a new city out of the back of my car. My original…