5 Most Common Mistakes That Lower Credit Scores

Your credit score serves as a quick way for lenders to get an idea of how well you've managed your credit in the past, especially when banks are deciding whether to lend you money in the future. If you're looking at taking out a loan, avoiding small mistakes that can ding your score can help you secure loan approval -- and a lower interest rate. Signing Up for Retail Cards Signing up for a... Continue reading

10 Questions to Ask Before Saying "I Do"

Congratulations! You found Mr. or Ms. Right, fell in love and now the Big Day is right around the corner. If you’re planning to say “I do” soon, save yourself some arguments later by talking about your money now. More important than the cake, flowers or even the invitations is preparing for your financial future together. Make a date to sit down, discuss your goals and expectations and come up... Continue reading

How to Budget for Emergencies

There isn't a magic amount that applies to everyone when it comes to how much you should set aside. "I recommend three to six months of living expenses," advises Baehr. "More if your job or health situation is not stable." For example, if you work as a freelancer or do primarily contract work, you need a larger emergency fund than if you're the picture of perfect health and have a stable job at a... Continue reading

Tips on Setting Budget Goals for Families

Tips on Setting Budget Goals for Families Creating a budget is no one's idea of a fun evening -- you'd probably rather go to the movies. But a properly planned and executed budget just might increase the number of movies you take in, and do a whole lot more to improve your life besides. When you set budget goals, you and your family are actually setting life goals -- the ability to pay for... Continue reading

Healthy Financial Relationship 101: Should You Merge Your Finances?

When it comes to relationships, money usually isn't the hottest topic for a first date. But, as things get more serious and you start sharing more of your lives, the topic of money will eventually come up. Having an open conversation about how you want to manage money as a couple can build trust and set you up to meet your goals, whether that's with merged finances, separate accounts, or... Continue reading

Household Budgeting: Secrets to Marital and Money Bliss

Janet Bodnar, deputy editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, was once asked to talk about finances to a small group of engaged couples attending a marriage preparation program. She told the participants that she felt as though she were watching a scene from Oprah focusing on dysfunctional relationships. What Bodnar saw were three textbook examples of how money and marriage don’t... Continue reading

How Can Budgeting Affect One's Personal Life?

Disagreements about household finances is a source of friction among many couples. This can begin early on in a marriage when couples spend too much on expensive gifts for one another, go on pricey vacations, or purchase a home they can't really afford at that time. Continue reading

Negotiation, Budgeting & Setting Financial Goals for Couples

Negotiation, Budgeting & Setting Financial Goals for Couples If you and your partner don't see eye-to-eye on money issues, establishing a joint budget can take work. Even if you're both smart with money management, you may disagree on, say, whether buying a house is higher priority than saving for retirement. Certified Financial Planner Craig Schmith says typical goals include saving for... Continue reading

Good Ways To Teach Your Kids About Money

Warren Buffett is the third richest man in the world and one of the most financially savvy individuals that has ever lived. Buffett's prowess for investing probably wasn't engrained at birth; he learned it. If you want to help your child become a financially responsible adult, you have to start teaching children about money early and use every available resource such as household budget software... Continue reading

Budgeting Tips for Single Parents

It's the first of the month, the rent is due, the car payment is looming -- and your son or daughter has just told you that the money for the class trip is due tomorrow. It may not seem possible, but there's no need to panic. Single parents travel a rough financial road sometimes, but with proper planning, a workable budget is doable. Setting Limits Although it's often easier said than done,... Continue reading