Debt is a four-letter word of the bad kind, according to some people. The type of thing that shouldn’t even be considered by responsible adults. However, not all finance professionals agree debt is something to be avoided.
“Not all debt is created equal,” says Gary Poch, vice president of global consumer services for Equifax. “There may be some types of good debt.”
Specifically, experts told U.S. News it may pay to go into debt for one of the following four reasons.
Reason No. 1: To Buy a House
For many people, home ownership is only possible through debt in the form of a mortgage. The average cost of a home sold in November 2015 was $374,900, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That price makes it impossible for many U.S. families to pay cash for property, unless they save for years or even decades.
That’s not something people should have to do, says Finder.com CEO Fred Schebesta. “I’m a big believer in saving money, but it’s better to do some things while you’re young,” he says. Rather than waiting until the kids are grown and there is
When we think of “cheat days,” we tend to think of a sweet treat or indulgent meal that breaks a cycle of strict dieting. A cheat day is meant to satisfy cravings, and it’s a great way to incorporate foods you normally wouldn’t include in your diet without ruining your metabolism. Similarly, a financial cheat day can help you budget better and prevent an overindulgent, perhaps impulsive, shopping spree.
There are plenty of financial resolutions that can help fatten your wallet this year. You can check your credit card history, increase your savings or adjust your lifestyle to live well below your means. The Internet and mobile apps make it easy to monitor spending, and even blogs like this one provide helpful tips on how to maximize your savings. But sticking to a strict money diet can be mentally exhausting, and even the most diligent saver can suffer the occasional slip up here and there.
The discipline and patience needed to stick to your financial resolutions can be taxing, just like how following a strict diet can drive you crazy. Just like
When you carry a balance on a typical credit card, the credit card company is simply extracting money from your wallet. If you carry a $2,500 balance for a year on a typical 20 percent APR card, that means you’re giving the credit card company $500 of your hard-earned cash just to keep that $2,500 balance. That’s $500 that just blows away in the wind. The higher the balance, the worse it is – and the higher the APR, the worse it is, too.
One of the best money-saving strategies is to simply reduce that interest rate. If you knock an interest rate down from 20 percent to 10 percent, you save $250 a year in the example above. That’s a lot of money.
The first step is easy: Just call the number on the back of your card. But you might need some help once you’re actually on the phone. Here are some tips for negotiating a better rate on your credit card.
Make sure you have a position to negotiate from. Have you been a customer of this company for years?
Since make money trading currency online, many traders make for yourself a biased picture. They expect that after the installation of the shopping assistant all goes like clockwork, and they will only need to take a profit. In reality, things are not quite so. In reality, things are not quite so. Money is not the river will flow to you yourself, it will have to make a dent. Still, the currency market Forex – this is the real world in which strict and sometimes even harsh laws. Traders have to deal with real money, which is much easier to lose than to earn. According to statistiс, less than one third of Forex traders have a more or less successful career. Why is this happening and how to negate the risk of loss? Let’s investigate.
The role of psychological factors in the make money forex trading https://freshforex.com/partner/partnership/
Any trader begins to feel confident when developing their own successful strategy. Up to this point, there are two extremes of behavior: either a beginner overestimate their capabilities and catches the pool with his head, with no basic knowledge, or, conversely, underestimate the fears and real trade. While working on the strategy trader receives a
On the list of things you hate, somewhere in there is probably learning that something you didn’t think you had to pay tax on, you do.
Any money that comes into your life can be taxable, says San Diego-based tax attorney Sam Brotman.
“Technically, under Internal Revenue Code Section 62, the IRS can find a way to tax almost every way of receiving money … Even finding $20 on the street would be considered taxable, and the IRS would want their fair share of the money that you receive,” he says.
On a practical note, Brotman says most people don’t report that $20 bill, and “the reality of the situation also is that the IRS does not have enough enforcement resources to come after people who forget to declare little items on their return. It would cost them more to come after those people than they would get in tax revenue for the government.”
Still, $10 you won from a lottery ticket and $1,000 in winnings is another story. If you want a heads up on what unusual monetary situations are taxable, and what you should be reporting when you file, read on.
Employee awards. Were you an especially productive employee last year? You may
Food is among the most expensive costs in the average American family’s budget. And we don’t make it any easier on ourselves by dining out so often in restaurants.
In fact, the average U.S. consumer spends nearly one-third of his or her food dollars in restaurants, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
By cutting back on dining out, and enjoying the occasional home-cooked meal — you remember those, right? — you can save a lot of money.
Following are nine great websites and apps that can help you save at the grocery store, or that suggest ways to stretch your ingredients further.
Cash-back and coupon websites and apps
1. iBotta: This app is a frugal favorite, and it’s no wonder why: The app pays you cash back for groceries you need to purchase anyway.
Here is how it works: First, download the iBotta app. Then, look for deals on popular products. Once you find a deal you like, qualify for the offer by performing a simple activity, such as watching a video or filling out a survey.
Then, go to an eligible store — including Walmart, Target and many major grocery chains and drugstores — and purchase the item. After you have done so, take a
Are you engaged? Getting engaged soon? Hoping to get engaged someday? No matter where you are in the process, it’s worth thinking about how you want to make the statement.
Many couples are finding that they don’t want to go the traditional route of offering the bride-to-be a diamond ring. Some choose something else because they want to make a statement, others because they disapprove of the diamond industry — and even others because they simply like another option better.
If you’re considering doing something non-traditional, there are many ways to personalize your engagement and make it stand out from others. Here are some frugal ideas for you. (See also: 7 Smart Ways to Save on a Wedding Dress)
Even if you choose to use a ring to symbolize your engagement, it doesn’t have to be a diamond. These options work if you like the symbolism of the ring but want more flexibility in the material.
- Wooden Rings
- There are so many wooden ring options to choose from! Many people like the fact that wood is a natural material and that trees symbolize both growth and rootedness — two ideas that are foundational to a marriage. Wooden rings sound like they might be big
Retiring comfortably — never mind wealthy — may seem out of reach to many people, given current savings rates. Consider that median savings accumulated by workers ages 51 through 60 years is $49,000, while the number for people ages 30 through 40 is $30,000, according to professional services firm Towers Watson.
Don’t let the statistics scare you. With a little advance planning and self-discipline, you can have a golden nest egg at retirement. Here’s how:
Rule 1: Spend less than you earn
The formula for retiring rich starts with you actually putting money in the bank. Social Security alone isn’t enough to have you living the good life during your golden years.
Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson recommends you spend only 90 percent of the money you make and sock away the remaining 10 percent.
If you have zero savings right now, concentrate on building up an emergency fund in a savings account first. Once your rainy-day fund is full, put that 10 percent you’re not spending into a dedicated retirement fund.
If you’re currently spending more than 90 percent of your income each month, you may want to read about how to save $1,000 by summer.
Rule 2: Start saving early
Thanks to the power of
Money remains a leading cause of stress in romantic relationships, according to surveys released ahead of Valentine’s Day.
But that doesn’t mean you should avoid discussing finances, they say.
In a Country Financial Security Index Survey called “‘Til Debt Due Us Part,” more than 9 in 10 of the 1,000 respondents told the insurance company it is important to discuss finances with their significant others.
About 7 in 10 surveyed said they prefer to start conversations about personal finances within the first few months of a relationship or sooner. Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security at Country Financial, says in a press release:
If you haven’t discussed money with your valentine, consider starting the conversation sooner rather than later. Talking about finances as your relationship is budding can help quell financial quarrels down the road.
Millennials in the survey were more accepting of a significant other’s debt level. Nearly 2 in 3 said they would rather date a college graduate with significant student loan debt than someone who doesn’t hold a college degree.
Also, 2 in 3 millennials were concerned with their love interest’s debt, compared to nearly 8 in 10 of the general population. Almost 9 in 10 Americans over age 65 believe a significant
The single best day of the year to purchase a home is — drumroll, please — Oct. 8. But if you’re in the process of purchasing a home now and have a closing date later in the month, don’t despair; chances are you’ll still get a pretty good deal.
RealtyTrac, a company that tracks public record housing data, recently crunched the numbers for more than 32 million house and condo sales since 2000 to figure out the best and worst months for buyers to purchase a home.
The study revealed that homes usually sell at their lowest prices in October. “Of the 2.7 million sales closed in October over the last 15 years, the average sales price was 2.6 percent below the average estimated full market value at the time of sale,” RealtyTrac said.
Within the month, the magic day was Oct. 8, with the best deals of any other single day. RealtyTrac said that housing deals that closed Oct. 8 sold for an average of 10.8 percent below estimated market value.
February, July, December and January are the next best months to try to score a bargain deal on a house.
“The start of the school year and the holidays influence our buyer decisions
It’s easier than ever to start a business from scratch without any overhead costs, which is great news for aspiring business owners who don’t have the capital to start anything big. But to grow a business from an idea to something profitable, you do have to put some money into it. Here are five investments you should make to grow your business.
Every business owner needs a coach or mentor. The opportunity to tap into the knowledge, experience and connections of an expert is worth every penny.
Business coaching is a popular service to offer right now, so make sure whoever you hire is qualified. Ask for referrals, and hunt for experts who have tangible business experience, solid credentials and client testimonials. After you create a short list of candidates, hold phone screenings to choose the best coach for you.
A business mentor that will help you for free is an invaluable asset. Sure, you don’t need to invest money into the relationship, but you do need to invest your time to keep the bond strong. Schedule regular meetings with your mentor to stay on his or her radar. And remember, all relationships are a two-way street. Figure out what skills or
You might be sabotaging your financial well-being without even knowing it. Behaviors that might seem inconsequential, or perhaps even beneficial, could be preventing you from getting ahead financially.
“Destructive money habits will keep you poor and in debt unless you change them,” said Thomas Corley, author of “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.” To change these actions, you first must become aware of them, he said. Here are five common money behaviors you should stop now.
1. Watching too much TV. During his five-year study of wealthy and low-income individuals for his book, Corley found that more than 77 percent of poor adults admitted they watched more than an hour of TV a day; 74 percent said they spent more than an hour a day on the internet. By contrast, 67 percent of rich adults he interviewed said they watched less than an hour of TV a day and 63 percent spent less than an hour each day on the Internet.
“When you’re wasting your time watching TV, on social media or reading for entertainment, it leaves little time to do productive things like reading to learn, building relationships with other success-minded individuals via networking or volunteering or building a
NEW YORK — You have some very funny ideas about car insurance, but none of them are all that helpful — or even correct.
According to an August survey of 1,000 adults conducted for insuranceQuotes.com by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, many of you have little idea what you’re signing up for when you take out a auto insurance policy. Don’t believe us? Well, let us as you a question: Does owning a red car increase your auto insurance rates?
No, no it doesn’t. However, that didn’t stop 44 percent of you from believing that it does — as if highway patrols are keeping a eye peeled for any red Dodge Neon from the 1990s that goes puttering by. Despite a seven-film “Fast and the Furious” series that made fast cars look like trouble in any color, a whole lot of drivers — especially those ages 18 to 29 (53 percent) — were willing to buy into myths as dated as the Ferraris Tom Selleck and Christie Brinkley drove on screen in the ’80s. Why?
“Most people don’t spend a lot of time and energy learning about insurance,” Rob Hoyt, professor of risk management and insurance at University of Georgia’s Terry College of
If you’re a gardener, or even if you keep up with some minor landscaping, then you’ve probably spent considerable time and money over the last two seasons planting, weeding and cultivating. Now that you’ve made a significant investment into your yard, you’ll want to protect it over the harsh winter months, which will be here soon. Follow these steps to prepare your garden for the off-season.
Take advantage of fall-friendly flowers. It may seem counter-intuitive, but you can still plant during the cool season of autumn. Mums do very well in fall temperatures, as do pansies, which will bloom again in the spring. You can still get a bit of color in your yard before winter arrives.
Plant for spring. This is also an important time to add to your spring garden. Look for perennials and bulbs that bloom in the spring, such as daffodils, tulips, peonies and hyacinth. You can also plant vegetables in the fall, especially bulbs like garlic and shallots. The fruits of your labor will eventually be delicious in stews and pastas.
Maintain your perennials. Take an assessment of the perennials you currently have in your garden. Break apart flourishing plants from those that aren’t doing well, and then
NEW YORK — Kristina McKinney was left with no recourse when her mother used her identity and rented six apartments during her stint in the army, leaving her on the hook for the unpaid rent.
When the creditors started garnishing her wages, McKinney, 23, who is now a manager at a Walgreens drug store in Colorado Springs, Colorado, faced only two heartrending options — file a police report and send her mother to prison for fraud for the leases she signed over five years or file for bankruptcy. Unable even to obtain a cellphone contract or rent her own apartment because of the debt, McKinney decided her only option was to file for Chapter 7 in January.
“I feel like I did the right thing even though it sucked,” she told MainStreet. “The debt made me look like an irresponsible person.”
“I don’t have that much to my name, but I did it more so that we could survive since I am about to have a baby,” she added.
While many millennials and Gen-Xers may have more debt than assets, they should determine if they need to file for bankruptcy
Seek Counseling Before Filing
McKinney sought the free advice of a free credit counselor from Transformance,
Several members of our staff recently went to an investment conference at which a hot topic was women and money, and they suggested that we do a story on the subject. The office reaction was mixed. “It sounds patronizing,” said one female colleague.
For me, it was a case of déjà vu. Ten years ago, I was asked to write a book about women and money, and I had a similar discussion with my editor at the time. Money is gender-neutral, he argued, so any financial story we did should apply equally to men and women. Wouldn’t it be unnecessary, even insulting, to suggest otherwise? I replied that it certainly would be insulting if we adopted the attitude that financial information needed to be dumbed-down (or softened up) for women. But we’d be doing a real service if we reflected reality: Women often need specific financial advice tailored to their needs.
In the end, I wrote the book, originally titled “Think Single! The Woman’s Guide to Financial Security at Every Stage of Life.” The idea of “thinking single” had nothing to do with a woman’s matrimonial state. Rather, it referred to a state of mind in which women think independently about money
As employers try to cut their costs for providing health insurance to workers, they’re offering more high-deductible health plans. The premiums are lower, but you’ll pay $1,000 or more — sometimes a lot more — out-of-pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in.
High deductibles also are the rule for many plans available on the federal and state health insurance marketplaces.
How do you get the best use of this kind of coverage? Here are 10 tips:
1. Claim your freebies. Under the Affordable Care Act, certain preventive health services are free to you, even with a high-deductible policy. Make sure the doctor’s office or hospital accurately codes any such procedure you have. That way, the insurance company will know it’s one of the free services and will cover the cost.
You can find the list of free procedures and screenings at HealthCare.gov. There’s a separate list for women and for children.
Before you have a test or screening, check to make sure which costs are covered. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson found out the hard way that some of his annual physical was provided at no cost to him, but that much of the rest wasn’t.
2. Ask for a discount. Tell your doctor’s office
If you could have Jessica Alba or Warren Buffett as your financial adviser, who would you choose? Nearly half of millennials said they’d pick the so-called Oracle of Omaha, according to a survey by the Insured Retirement Institute and the Center for Generational Kinetics. But more than 1 in 10 preferred to get financial advice from Alba, the actress and co-founder of The Honest Company. Another 32 percent would turn to Oprah Winfrey, and 4 percent said they’d choose NBA superstar LeBron James.
Still, mapping out a long-term financial plan, or even finding a financial adviser, can feel daunting to many — especially younger investors. In fact, 60 percent of millennials in the same survey said it’s harder to plan for retirement than to stick with a diet, and
Financial rules of thumb have their place. They can help remove the complexity from financial decisions we have to make. Relying on them blindly, however, can be a costly mistake. In fact, some rules of thumb are flat out wrong in many cases.
Here are five of them to watch out for as you make your next big financial move.
1. Pay off debt before saving for retirement. I cringe every time I hear this one. It’s sad to see families toiling away for what can be years paying down debt while ignoring retirement savings. Watching them is like watching a movie where everybody but the heroine knows the bad guy is lurking behind the door. And If they are foregoing a company match with their 401(k), they might as well just peek behind that door and get it over with.
Debt, particularly consumer debt, creates financial hardships. And getting out of debt is an important goal. But ignoring all other financial goals in the process is rarely the best option. Instead, guard your credit score, refinance debt to the lowest interest rates possible, and begin saving for retirement as part of a comprehensive, holistic approach to your finances.
2. Spend three times your