For a lot of us, when things get complicated and we have big decisions to make, we secretly want someone to just tell us what to do. I never liked when my parents did this when I was a kid, but now? Please do! Someone….anyone? Help!
Credit cards can be a great tool. They're convenient, help build your credit history, and come with benefits like cashback and travel rewards. For all their virtues, however, credit cards can come with a big downside when they're not used wisely. They can tempt us to spend more than we normally would and things can quickly spiral out of control before we even realize.
One question I often get asked is, "how much should I keep in my checking account?" Magic numbers are hard to come by when it comes to personal finance and this question is no different. If you read an article or have a professional who gives you a one-size-fits-all solution, it's probably a good idea to get a second opinion. Personal finance is meant to be personal, after all . So if there's no magic number, how do you figure out what's right for you?
You've probably heard a lot about your credit score over the years, but have you ever actually looked under the hood and try to better understand it? If you're answer is no - don't worry, you're not alone. Surveys have shown that Americans simply don't know enough about how credit scores work and the effects their score can have on their lives.
Have you ever dreamed of owning your own home? Whether that be a condo in the city or a colonial in the burbs, even the most die-hard renters may find themselves peaking at online real estate listings every now and then, thinking of what life would be like. Sure, the housing crisis was scary, the stress of the home buying process is legendary, and the fact that there's no landlord to call is a lot of responsibility but despite it all, the attraction is still there.
The internet is a place of extremes. Extreme weight loss, out of control Pokemon Go tactics, and unrealistic frugality. A blog post about someone who pays off $67,000 of debt in 20 months is eye-catching clickbait. However, the much more common and realistic version of personal finance stories that detail the slow and steady approach of people who pay off debt, build up their savings, and enjoy a secure retirement over the course of decades are far less sensational.