Personal Finances 101: Understanding Your Paycheck Withholdings

Personal Finances 101: Understanding Your Paycheck Withholdings If you have ever wondered, "Who is FICA, and why does he get so much of my paycheck?" you are not alone. It can be a bit disheartening to work hard all week, only to discover how much of your pay was withheld. Some of your paycheck withholdings are mandatory, while others are voluntary. It might take some of the sting out to know... Continue reading
Resolutions: 1. 2. 3.

5 Financial Resolutions to Consider This New Year

The end of the year is a good time to take stock of your financial condition and form resolutions to improve it in the new year. The power of resolutions is their specificity: You can make concrete goals with outcomes you can measure. You can use tools such as budgets and portfolio managers to help you understand your current finances, set goals and monitor your progress toward success. Prepare... Continue reading
How to Track a Household Budget

How to Track A Household Budget

Emergency Savings Maryland-based financial adviser Lamont Corprew, a Certified Public Accountant, is an advocate for having an household budget emergency fund. "Make saving for an emergency a a priority, because you never know when you'll need it," Corprew notes. "But keep it separate from your regular savings account. Commingling your emergency fund and other savings can be a spending temptation... Continue reading

Financing Your Wheels: How Much Should I Budget for a Down Payment on a Car?

Financing Your Wheels: How Much Should I Budget for a Down Payment on a Car? A new car will lose a huge amount of its value the minute you drive it off of the sales lot. Typically, depreciation in the first year is between 20 and 25 percent, while the average buyer makes a down payment of only 5 percent. That amount is often not enough to cover the sales tax and other fees, let alone the vehicle'... Continue reading
Calculate your net worth using Quicken

How to Calculate Your Net Worth

To figure your net worth, you need to figure out how much everything you own is worth and how much money you owe to various creditors. Using a computer program, such as Quicken, can help you keep your finances in order and make calculating your net worth a piece of cake Net Worth Formula At the most basic level, your net worth is a measure of your assets minus your liabilities. Your assets... Continue reading

Taking Inventory of Your Personal Finances: How Much of Your Paycheck Should You Budget for Bills

Taxes Whether you get paid an hourly wage or a monthly salary, at the end of the pay cycle, chances are that your paycheck is less than your earnings. Your employer is typically required by law to withhold a percentage of your paycheck for income taxes, Social Security and Medicare. You might have additional withholding for retirement contributions or health insurance. The federal tax system is... Continue reading

Car Shopping? Budget Tips for Buying or Leasing a Car

Before you start shopping around for a car, either to lease or buy, you need to know your budget. And keep this in mind: "A car is transportation," notes Jim Blankenship, a certified financial planner practicing in New Berlin, Illinois. "It won't make you money, and it won't make you better looking or more popular. It's a practical purchase only if you're getting value for your money. The value... Continue reading

The Lifetime Costs of Pets

This year, Quicken users will make 5 million pet-related purchases, totaling more than $216 million dollars. That’s an average of $42.96 per transaction! Like any parent, pet owners can be impulse buyers and don’t always worry about the cost of pets. A quick trip to the pet store for dog food can evolve into picking up treats, toys, and accessories for your furry friend. But when it comes to your... Continue reading
budgeting-for-a-wedding isn't easy

3 Steps to Creating a Wedding Budget

Estimate Savings From All Sources Though creating a wedding budget can seem like a daunting task, in reality a wedding budget is simply a math equation. To determine how much you can realistically afford, start by figuring out what you can comfortably save on a monthly basis. Multiply this amount by the months you have until your wedding and you'll have a baseline number for your total wedding... Continue reading

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

In this economic climate, more of us are struggling to pay the bills, buy groceries and fill up our gas tanks. Paying off the mortgage, putting the kids through college without financial aid, and amassing $1 million for retirement seem out of the question now. Just having cash left over at the end of the month would be nice. Accumulating a nest egg—or even saving for a rainy day —gets put on the... Continue reading