Month: March 2015

Credit Bureaus Are NOT Government Agencies?

Some people think that credit bureaus are government agencies because of the word “bureau” for one thing. Like the Bureau of Land Management or something. But they’re not. They’re privately owned companies – a couple of them are publicly traded but they’re privately owned by the investors. These are companies that are buying and selling our personal information for profit.

arrow Read this post

When It Comes To Their Tax Refunds, Americans Are Proving Themselves To Be Spend-Happy



When It Comes To Their Tax Refunds, Americans Are Proving Themselves To Be Spend-Happy

Nearly 1 in 3 who think they have poor credit scores (32%) plan to spend tax refunds on vacation, entertainment (such as going out to movies or dinner), and electronic or mobile devices.

arrow Read this post

College Savings Explained: Options for Your Child’s Future


We all want the best for our children, and in today’s world, the best comes with a hefty price tag. According to the Department of Education, the cost of a four-year public education will exceed $200,000 by 2030. This figure may leave you feeling daunted and hopeless. You might think, “My budget can’t sustain this kind of savings,” or “I don’t earn enough to make a difference. I’ll never be able to pay my child’s full tuition.” Although your worries are valid, don’t allow doubt to discourage you just yet. As we’ve learned with retirement savings, time is money, and investing early is the best way to achieve success. So, how should you save for college? Popular vehicles include:

Section 529 Savings Plan

arrow Read this post

Security 101: Should I Send Money Online?


Online banking is gaining some new players. On March 17, Facebook Inc. announced plans to incorporate a free money transfer feature in their Messenger app. Billed as a “more convenient and secure way to send or receive money between friends,” the feature allows users to link debit accounts to their Facebook pages and send money to friends with a few clicks. Facebook isn’t alone in their foray into finance. Apple, Google, Samsung and Snapchat are among the top brands now offering money transfer options to their customers. As technology advances in the name of convenience, it’s important to consider security before joining the pack. In 2014, the U.S. experienced 783 data breaches and millions of personal identity theft cases. Avoid these consequences by following a few banking best practices. Ask yourself:

arrow Read this post

I Can’t Afford My Lifestyle—Now What?


Oftentimes, overspending is a gradual process. Your utility bills are a little high, you spent too much on entertainment last month, your car broke down, etc. The weight of your actions may not be obvious until you see the consequences on a bank statement. If you’re struggling to get back on track, follow the steps below. A few fixes could mean the difference between stability and disaster.

Step #1: Identify the culprits. Unless you are keeping up with the Joneses, overspending is usually limited to one or two areas. If you’ve gone off-budget lately, audit your bank statements to identify the culprits. Divide your spending into two categories. For example:

  • Necessities, i.e., bills, groceries, utilities
  • Entertainment, i.e., dining out, movies, etc.

arrow Read this post