Smart Money Page 9

  • 5 Budgeting Problem Areas (And How to Fix Them)

    5 Budgeting Problem Areas (And How to Fix Them)

    Whether you are working towards a financial goal or just trying to make ends meet, finding ways to reduce spending and streamline you budgeting can be exasperating. It seems like there is always another bill or unexpected expense, leaving you with a number that’s less than ideal and little clue where your cash went. Budgeting should be your first step, and we’ve got tips to trim some of the fat so you actually…

  • Are You Ready For Retirement? Find Out With These 4 Tips

    Are You Ready For Retirement? Find Out With These 4 Tips

    Each of us has our own idea of the ideal retirement. Does yours consist of traveling the world? Do you want to spend the rest of your days fishing? Do you just want to spoil your grandkids to death? Retirement is that state of life when we are able to leave the workforce permanently and live with financial independence. Two elements of retirement to consider are how to prepare for retirement and when to retire. W…

  • 5 Important Reasons to Have an Emergency Fund

    5 Important Reasons to Have an Emergency Fund

    Emergency funds may not be the most exciting topic in personal finance, but it is one of the most crucial if you want to avoid unnecessary debt. The main reason financial planners give for creating an emergency fund is to pay for the necessities in case of a job loss. However, don’t let a stable job keep you from creating or maintaining your emergency fund. Check out these reasons to have an emergency fund beyon…

  • Don't Let Paycheck Allotments and Auto-Payments Lower Your Credit

    Don’t Let Paycheck Allotments and Auto-Payments Lower Your Credit

    Military members often use paycheck allotments to pay off their recurring expenses. Although this is a simple way to budget your payments automatically and ensure you don’t miss one, there are some personal finance rules to follow to make sure allotments don’t cost you on your credit report. When Allotments Are Risky Allotments are risky when payment amounts fluctuate. Too many people get hit with late …

  • Personal Finance 101: What is APR, Anyway?

    Personal Finance 101: What is APR, Anyway?

    APR is one of those financial terms you might see everywhere. But what precisely does it mean? When you borrow money from someone, whether it’s a bank, credit union or other establishment, you have to pay interest on what you borrow. It’s how these guys make their money. Your interest rate is calculated by several variables, such as your credit history and debt-to-income ratio. Your interest is set for the …

  • Fall Out of Debt: How to Bounce Back from Summer Travel Spending

    Fall Out of Debt: How to Bounce Back from Summer Travel Spending

    Summer may be over, but your debt from summer travels might not be. There's nothing wrong with treating yourself and your family to a relaxing vacation, but you might have spent more than you planned for initially. "It can be especially hard to pay off debt for something like travel, where you've already 'used up' what you have purchased," said Gerri Detweiler, Director of Credit Education at Credit.com. "But payi…

  • How to Use Credit Cards to Boost Your Credit Score

    How to Use Credit Cards to Boost Your Credit Score

    From your mailbox and the mall to your evening TV time, credit card offers are everywhere. As annoying as these solicitations are, credit cards are an important part of your debt mix and credit rating – 30 percent of your credit score is determined by the amount you owe weighed against your available credit. As credit cards become more prevalent and easier to use, it’s understandable that so many people are ov…

  • Capital One Pays $12 Million to Servicemembers to Settle SCRA Violations

    Capital One Pays $12 Million to Servicemembers to Settle SCRA Violations

    Back at the end of July, the news broke that Capital One would be paying $12 million to service members and their families to settle serious claims of wrongful foreclosures that violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The settlement is a reminder to the military community to stay active in checking that protections like the SCRA are enforced at every level. What Happened? Capital One was accused of…

  • Final Exam: 9 Tips To Avoid Post-College Money Nightmares

    Final Exam: 9 Tips To Avoid Post-College Money Nightmares

    You just graduated from college. Whether you or your parents handled your finances these past four (or five or six) years, you are probably in need of some financial advice as you start your career and become self-sustaining in your 20s. What should you do with your money now? Here are nine helpful tips you can use to become financially independent and make the most of your money — whether you're in the mili…

  • How Much Does Your Commute Cost?

    How Much Does Your Commute Cost?

    With ever-expanding suburbs and a difficult job market, long commutes are becoming a normal part of American life. Although long commutes aren’t uncommon, they are costly in numerous ways that should be considered before accepting a distant job, getting that house an hour from work or deciding to live off-base. Why We Commute According to a Census study in 2009, the commute time of the average American w…