More Than Finances

Get your finances in order!

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Is a Debt Consolidation Loan the Best Option for Your Debt Relief?

Let’s face facts; having a lot of debt can be frustrating. Your monthly payments may be hard to manage, and it seems like those minimum payments just aren’t chipping away at your balances.

You know something has to give, and a debt consolidation loan can appear to be an attractive option. But is it the right choice?

If you’re considering a debt consolidation loan, here’s what you need to know. Read More

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Property Taxes: What New Deductions Can I Take in 2018?

Property Taxes 2018

With new federal income tax laws coming into effect for the 2018 tax year, many have questions about deductions. One of the deductions changing in the current tax year is the property tax deduction.

In fact, when news of the updates spread, some people were rushing to prepay their property taxes to have them apply to their 2017 tax returns. However, not everyone qualifies for that approach, and some couldn’t make the payments in time.

Since there are some many people with questions about property taxes in 2018, here is an overview of what to expect. Read More

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Meet Zelle – Your New Best Friend for Sending Cash

Zelle

Have you ever borrowed money from a family member or friend? How did you pay it back? Did you have to hit an ATM for cash? What about write or send a check from your bank? Did you use a third-party payment app like PayPal or Venmo? No matter how you handled it, there’s a better option in town.

Zelle is making waves in the mobile payment world, especially when paying back friends and family. Instead of being produced by a third-party, a group of banks got together to create a seamless way to transfer funds. If you’re looking for a better way to send money to friends and family, here’s what you need to know about Zelle. Read More

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Saving Made Easy

When it comes to our personal finances, there’s a lot to worry about. There are a number of parties interested in taking as much of our money as they can. For example, you spend a lot of your money on groceries and bills each month. And, that’s just for starters. The point is, it can seem impossible to save the money you’ll need to get ahead in life, or even to just be prepared for the worst. That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with the knowledge needed in order to save your money. We all know it’s important, but we don’t always know how best to approach saving. Here are some tips to help you out.

First and foremost, make use of sales and coupons to save money on the things you need. While some purchases are unavoidable, and others still important on some level, that’s no to say that they have to be costly. For example, here’s a Best Western coupon to help you save money on a hotel room in case of travel. This is just one example, however. Retailers frequently employ sales and coupons in order to drum up new business from customers new and old, and that presents a savvy shopper with the opportunity to get most, if not all, of their shopping done at a severely reduced cost. You just have to know where to look in order to see these special cost cutting offers. There are online resources aplenty, such as Groupon, to help you find these savings, so keep your eyes peeled.

Another important element of saving is to know when and where to save your money, and when to spend it. For example, there are a great many purchases that we make that are simply unnecessary, so you can reduce or eliminate this spending. However, in some cases, an item is of enough of the right kind of importance that me be wise to spend more than average. This ensures quality, which means replacing these items less and saving money in the end. Such items can including things like shoes and Winter coats.

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Teaching Your Kids How to Manage Money

Teaching your kids to be responsible with money is perhaps one of the very most important tasks for any parent. After all, if you don’t want to be supporting them for the rest of your life, you’re going to need them to know how to manage their own financial affairs.

 

The earlier you start helping your kids to develop good spending habits, the more likely they will be to be financially secure later in life. Here are 5 tips to help you help your kids learn to manage their own money.

1. Make them earn money

Giving kids and allowance is a great way to get them to start managing their own money, but if you don’t want them to just expect handouts later in life, you need to not just start handing it out early on either. Kids have a difficulty making the connect between the work you do to earn money and the cash you pull from the ATM or the purchases you make on your credit card.

 

The first step in helping them make this connection is paying them for work. Whether it’s washing the dishes, washing windows, making their bed or cleaning their room, make sure that any allowance you give them is earned in some way.

2. Make them responsible for certain expenses

It doesn’t help make a connection between work and finite income if you simply give them money for whatever they need whenever their own runs out. Whether it is buying their own candy, their own clothes or their own video games, make sure that they are responsible for purchasing something all on their own.

 

If they run out of money, do not bail them out unless you want to still be bailing them out when they don’t have enough rent in their 20’s because they spent their money on other things.

3. Help them learn to save regularly and for large purchases

This is a good time to help your children start building the habit of setting aside some money from every allowance or paycheck. In addition, this is also a good time to help them learn the financial discipline it takes to save up for major purchases. Instead of buying them things like a car, cell phone or television, offer to match funds with them.

The more they participate in buying their own things, the more likely they are to take better care of them. Particularly if they know you won’t be simply replacing them if they get lost, stolen or broken.

4. Help them learn how to budget

As your children get older, you can start making them responsible for budgeting their money to cover their own expenses. At the beginning of each semester of school, you can give them a lump sum that will have to last them for several months. When or if the money runs out, there will be no more.

 

Help them to learn to budget for expenses like clothing, entertainment and gas or transportation expenses. Again, however, the importance thing is not to bail them out if they blow through it too quickly.

5. Help them understand credit

As teenagers, you may consider getting your child a secured credit card (which automatically keeps the limit fixed in place) or a pre-paid debit card. This will help them understand that plastic is not “magic money” that just appears out of thin air when they need it. When they are 18, you can check their credit score with them and help them understand the importance of maintaining good credit.