How Much Money Do You Need To Buy A House?

You’ve been diligently saving, and that savings account you’ve amassed looks pretty healthy. Now you’re ready to take the plunge and buy your own home. But have you considered all the items you’re going to need cash for between now and closing the deal? Are you sure you have enough?   Earnest Money Deposit   Earnest money is pretty much what it sounds like — cash placed on the table at the... Continue reading

New Year Financial Resolution: Pay Down Debt

Paying down debt can be a life-altering New Year's resolution -- if you actually carry it out. Often, best intentions are not enough. To successfully reduce your debt levels, you can employ tools and strategies to make the job easier. The rewards for paying down debt include more money for discretionary spending or saving, improved credit scores and an ego-boosting sense of accomplishment. Begin... Continue reading

You Are Not Your Setbacks: How to Recover From a Troubled Financial Past

Life is unpredictable. Financial setbacks can befall anyone, but with hard work, planning and discipline, recovery is possible and often achieved. Along the way to recovery, you might develop different attitudes and goals -- ones that lead to happiness and fulfillment in unexpected ways. A Budget Is Your Buddy   Your first step to financial recovery should be to take stock of your situation and... Continue reading

Tricks to Win the Fight Against Debt

No matter how you acquired the debt, you can't go back and change the past. But, you can implement a plan to win the debt reduction war and start spending your money the way you want, rather than scraping by to pay off your old creditors. It may be a long fight, but with a plan you can start by winning the small battles that will help you turn the tide and declare your financial freedom. Know... Continue reading

How to Stay Debt-Free

Stick to Your Budget Once you've gotten out of debt, it may be tempting to start splurging. However, that could start you back on the road to more debt. According to Clare Levison, CPA and author of "Frugal Isn't Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better," "To stay debt-free, you need to embrace the mentality that frugal isn't cheap -- it's smart. Being frugal means taking pride in using... Continue reading

Budgeting 101: How to Pay Off Old Debt

Whatever the source of your old debt -- old student loans, past due credit cards or something else -- it can feel like a millstone hanging around your neck, especially if debt collectors are hassling you. However, don't let the fear or uncertainty get the best of you. According to Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner in Boston who works with young professionals across the country, "The... Continue reading

3 Budget Tips for Paying Off Credit Card Debt

3 Budget Tips for Paying Off Credit Card Debt If you have credit card debt you're trying to pay off, you're not alone. As of the start of 2013, reports that Americans had more than $600 million of credit card debt. "Paying off debt can be a long, tedious process and leave you feeling a bit deprived and sometimes like it will never be over," says Erin Baehr, a certified financial... Continue reading

Personal Finance Turnaround: Debt Management Resources

Personal Finance Turnaround: Debt Management Resources The most courageous step you can take to improving your financial health is admitting that you need assistance with managing debt. According to Certified Consumer Credit Counselor Natasha Wyckoff, "One of the positive aspects of a fluctuating economy is that you and other consumers have similar challenges." In other words, you are not alone... Continue reading

Debt Management Programs: Pros and Cons

Credit can be a wonderful thing. For example, credit cards are safer and more convenient than carrying cash, particularly when you are traveling. But too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Downturns in the economy, or even poor financial management, can result in out-of-control debt that leaves you with too much month at the end of your money. You might consider entering a debt management... Continue reading

Budgeting Conundrum: What Are the Benefits of a 401(k) Loan to Pay Off Debt?

Your 401(k) plan is designed to help you save for your retirement. Anytime you take money out of the account, you're depleting your long-term savings. To discourage you from accessing the funds early, the Internal Revenue Service taxes and penalizes withdrawals before retirement age. However, if you have a short-term emergency need for funds, you may be able to avoid these costs by taking a 401(k... Continue reading