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

Filing Bankruptcy and Its Effects on Personal Finances

Filing Bankruptcy and Its Effects on Personal Finances Bankruptcy can create havoc with your finances, but you can recover. Filing bankruptcy has been called the "nuclear option" when it comes to personal finances, because it creates dramatic and far-reaching effects. However, while the word "bankruptcy" still carries a stigma in some circles, in many cases it is the right financial move. If you... Continue reading

Live Debt-Free

To hear the media tell it, Americans are basket cases when it comes to borrowing. The average credit card balance per person is nearly $4,000. College grads who leave school with student loans typically owe more than $19,000. Home foreclosure rates are soaring and threatening the economy as a whole. The truth is, most Americans manage their credit just fine. And for those who are sinking in red... 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

Save or Pay Down Debt

Should you be putting money in savings or investments at the same time you're paying off a loan? That's one of the most frequently-asked questions we get, and the answer isn't always obvious. Even if you have run up a balance on a high-rate credit card, you may hear a nagging voice in your head urging you to keep plowing money into savings for retirement, college for the kids or a new home. The... 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

How to Handle Debt

How much debt is too much? It depends. That's not the answer you wanted, perhaps, but it's the only sensible one: It depends on how easily you can repay the money and what you borrowed it for in the first place. The stories below will help you realize whether you've taken on too much debt and, if so, how to get it under control. If you're too far in over your head, we also explain the basics of... 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 Get Out of Debt

Whatever the elusive "proper" level of debt may be, a lot of people are exceeding it. Despite generally widespread prosperity for the past decade or so, Americans have been going broke in record numbers, filing for personal bankruptcy as never before. If you see such drastic action looming in your future, better to take some steps now before your credit rating is ruined. Roll your debts into a... 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

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