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3 Ways Your Credit Cards Can Make Halloween More Affordable

For many people, October means the arrival of cooler weather, the beginning of the autumn season, and the start of the endless fall of leaves that must be raked. But for others — of all ages — October means just one thing: Halloween.   Yes, Halloween isn’t just for the kids these days; nearly 70% of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween this year, and they’ll spend an estimated $9 billion …Read More

A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Better Bookkeeping

One of the most underappreciated yet vital aspects of running a business is bookkeeping. Far from the most glamorous part of entrepreneurship, keeping detailed financial records can be the difference between success and bankruptcy for small businesses. Bookkeeping requires time and effort, but you cannot put a price on having a clear sense of your debts, deposits and credit as you make important decisions.   Between the hundreds of companies …Read More

The Ups and Downs of Student Credit Cards

For many students, college is the ideal time to try new things and take on new challenges. One important challenge to consider taking on while in college is that of establishing and building your consumer credit profile.   Not only will most people benefit from having a solid credit history when they enter the workforce, but college students are eligible for student credit cards, which can be one of the …Read More

When Does It Make Sense to Use an Emergency Fund?

Your commitment to building an emergency fund has been rewarded with a healthy financial buffer. If you’ve been following the general advice regarding the size of a “rainy day” fund, you should have saved at least three-to-six months worth of living expenses. But, when should you actually tap into this emergency fund? What is considered a financial emergency? Each person has his or her own ideas of when it makes …Read More

5 Ways Car Insurance Companies Determine Your Premium

When it comes to car insurance, most people realize there are many factors that go into determining your risk and ultimately how much you pay. Some might be obvious, others … not so much. Here are just a few of the things insurers consider when calculating your car insurance rate.   The City (or Town) You Live In   If you’re an urban dweller, you may have a higher insurance …Read More

Why Mortgage Credit Scores Are Different Than Consumer Scores

Qualifying credit is a cornerstone of a home loan application. Mortgage lenders use credit scores to help assess a potential homebuyer’s ability to make steady, on-time payments. Given the weight of credit scores in the mortgage market, hopeful homebuyers should absolutely look into their credit before applying for a loan.   We’re fortunate to live in a time when consumers have easy access to their credit scores. Services like Credit …Read More

5 Numbers Every Business Owner Needs to Know by Heart

Numbers dance around business owners’ heads all night long. How much do I need to make payroll this month? When will I run out of inventory this month? What will my tax bill be when April hits?   It’s no surprise that keeping track of those ever-changing numbers is a job unto itself — small business owners are often the CEO, sales department, accounting, marketing, business development, and sole employee …Read More

Getting the Kids Back to School Without Breaking the Bank 

Getting even youngsters ready to go back to school can cost a family hundreds of dollars — and the cost only goes up from there, with the cost of outfitting a high-school or college student climbing into the four-digit range.    Between clothes, classroom supplies, and the increasingly necessary technology purchases, finding any savings you can is the key to avoiding breaking the bank while getting the kids back to school. Thankfully, …Read More

3 Steps to Take After Graduating From College

An education is a great thing—but just because a student has graduated from college doesn’t mean they’ll make all the right decisions when it comes to personal finance. In fact, according to one survey, most recent college grads reported making a credit-damaging mistake within two years of getting their degree.   The post-graduation world of student loan debt and added responsibility can be a lot for anyone to take in. …Read More

Figuring out How Much Car You Can Afford (and the Cost of Overestimating)

Easy transportation continues to be a necessity for most of us. About 9% of U.S. households have no vehicle at all, although some adults choose to forgo a car and use public transportation. But if you’re in the market to purchase a car, you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford.   Car ownership has never been cheap. Alongside the costs of purchasing a vehicle (whether new or …Read More