How Merging Assets Affects Your Credit

You may want to share everything with your new spouse, but you'll each forever own separate credit scores. Nonetheless, merging assets can affect credit reports going forward and can influence access to credit. When spouses with widely different credit scores apply jointly for purchases like a car or house, one spouse's credit history might help the process while the other's might cause... Continue reading

Take a Financial Inventory

If you're on top of your regular income and outgo, then maybe you can safely skip this section to personal budgeting. But if you're barely making it from payday to payday, or have the distinct feeling that you're treading water while others swim merrily by, then here is where you'll find the means to get moving. One thing you need to do is take a financial inventory. That means sorting out the... Continue reading
Save Money for a Wedding

How to Budget for a Large Event

Whether it's a wedding, a family reunion or your church's Easter festival, big events cost money. You don't want to base your decision on price alone, though, according to Katie Wilgus of Gather Event Planning. It's important, for instance, that your vendors can deliver the level of quality and fit the type of event that you have in mind. Be Clear On What You Want Before you draw up a budget,... Continue reading

Taking Inventory of Your Personal Finances: How Do I Start a Household Budget?

However hard it may be to believe, "budget" is not a dirty word. A budget isn't supposed to be a set of handcuffs to keep you from enjoying life. A properly designed budget actually helps you get more out of life by allowing you to control your money, rather than letting your money control you. Setting up a household budget isn't complicated, but it will take some time and attention to detail. Continue reading

How to Successfully Save Money

Saving money is on many people's to-do list, but it can easily get pushed down the priority list. No matter what you want to save for, whether it's a new car, home down payment, or going back to school, making a plan and sticking to it is critical if you want to meet your goals. Setting Savings Goals No matter what you're saving money for, the first step toward success is setting a goal... Continue reading

Average Monthly Expenses For One Person: A Breakdown

You’ve heard the mantra over and over: budget, budget, budget. This is money management rule number one as you graduate, start bringing home a paycheck and begin life in the real world. But if you’ve never had to pay for life’s essentials yourself, coming up with a realistic spending plan can feel like wandering in the dark. Continue reading
5 Common Budgeting Mistakes To Avoid

5 Common Budgeting Mistakes to Avoid

Budget Accurate budgeting starts by identifying every category of expense, no matter how small the annual expenditure on the item might be. Underestimating your expenses means that, at the end of the month, you'll have less money than projected in your budget, and you won't have the funds to put into savings or to pay down debt. It's not a challenge to include the obvious monthly obligations,... Continue reading

How to Develop a Personal Budget to Buy a Car

How to Develop a Personal Budget to Buy a Car Before you head down to the dealership to check out the latest models, it's important to set a personal budget so you know how much you can afford. "When planning to buy a car (or make any major purchase) keep in mind the purpose of what you're buying," advises Jim Blankenship, a Certified Financial Planner practicing in New Berlin, Illinois. Buying... Continue reading

How to Rebound from a Poor Credit Score

Fair Isaac Corporation provides consumers with FICO scores to gauge their creditworthiness. Scores range from 300 to 850; a "good" score, though not rigorously defined, falls in the mid-700 range. You can take steps to improve your score even if you had credit problems in the past. Take control of your spending Establish a budget and stick to it. This is the first step recommended by financial... Continue reading

Debunking Common Budgeting Tips

Budgeting comes in many shapes, sizes and philosophies, each with the purpose of getting finances on track. From skipping that daily cup of coffee to stuffing cash under your mattress, the personal finance world is rife with ideas, tips, suggestions and pearls of wisdom, many guaranteeing success if you follow just a few simple steps. There's a wealth of good and bad advice out there, some of it... Continue reading