Minimize Investment Risk By Building Up Your Savings

Personal Finances

Woman looking down and putting money in a piggy bank while holding it

Life is full of surprises. You don’t want to be caught in an emergency that leaves you desperate for cash when all your funds are tied up in bonds, CDs and stocks. It’s important to have a solid cushion of savings before you start putting your money into an investment. Follow the 50/30/20 rule. Financial advisers suggest that 50% of …

Getting Your Finances In Order

Personal Finances

Man looking through file cabinet with multi colored hanging folders: camera focused on tab reading "Investments"

Congratulations! You’ve made the important decision to invest some of your finances this year, and it’s your first time ever. You’re eager to get your money into the market, yesterday. But where do you start? Jumping into the market without first taking careful stock of your finances is like asking for seconds at the dinner table before finishing your first portion. …

Personal Loans: The Swiss Army Knife Of Personal Finance

Personal Finances

Young woman sitting on floor, smiling, while holding cup of coffee, scrolling through her mobile phone, moving boxes all around her

Sometimes life throws expensive surprises. To cover them, you’ll need to borrow. If you’re borrowing to finance one of these costly events, consider a personal loan. 1.) Weddings. When it’s time to get married, the wedding is on – there’s no waiting for funds! The average wedding costs over $30,000, too much for one credit card, and the interest would …

Free Checking Accounts

Personal Finances

Couple going over bank statements and receipts in their kitchen utilizing a tablet and calculator

Q: Everyone seems to be offering “free checking” these days. How do I know who has the real deal? What questions should I be asking as I comparison shop and what should I be looking for? A: The federal Truth in Savings Act (TISA) mandates a no minimum balance requirement and no maintenance or activity fees in order for it …

Credit Cards Or Debit Cards – What’s The Smartest Swipe?

Personal Finances

Young, smiling, man sitting cross legged on couch with laptop on lap holding debit card in one hand and giving a thumbs up with the other: 2 boxes stacked placed next to him

Most people own at least one debit card and at least one credit card. Although it may not seem like it, there are many differences between the two. Each time you use a credit card, you’re borrowing money. You’ll need to pay that money back to the credit union along with interest. A debit card, on the other hand, simply …

Don’t Sleep On Your Savings: Avoiding Dormant Accounts

Personal Finances

Young woman peeking up at a piggy bank

The best things to do with a savings account is to forget about it and let it earn dividends. However, don’t forget about it so long that it becomes dormant. A dormant savings account is one with a low balance that has had no deposits in a while. Exact criteria varies by state. Generally, accounts with less than $50 that …

Time Is Money: How To Calculate Your Wage For Savings

Personal Finances

Woman holding money

Exchanging time for money is a basic economic activity. It underscores every transaction. You go to work and exchange your time and labor for a salary. You’re tired on the way home, so instead of cooking, you exchange money for the time and labor of a fast-food worker. You want to go out to dinner with your partner, so you …

Share Savings Certificates: How To Keep Your Money Spinning

Personal Finances

Man surrounded by money

Share Savings Certificates are an excellent savings option. They’re NCUA-insured, have a better dividend rate than a savings account and generally safer than the stock market. Before you lock your money up, though, answer these questions: 1.) What am I saving for? If you’re saving for a rainy day, you’ll need the flexibility to withdraw your money quickly. Consider a …

4 Home Improvement Projects With High Long-Term Return

For the Home

Older couple laying on the floor, coffee cups next to each while reviewing home improvement plans

When you’re making improvements to your home, you’re not just making your life better in the short term. You’re also making an investment in your future. Ideally, the increase in the value of your home will exceed the cost of the improvement projects. However, it seldom works out like that. The most efficient home improvements don’t pay for themselves immediately.  When …