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Five Money Moves to Make Before Summer

This time of year, the promise of warmer temps has us dreaming of and planning for summer vacations which can distract us from financial matters. However, instead of delaying the inevitable there are some key things to put on your financial to-do list to help position yourself better for the future.

Tackle these things now so you can truly relax once summer arrives.

Adjust Tax Withholding: If you received a tax refund of $1,000 or more you should consider adjusting your withholding. If you do not anticipate any significant changes to your situation it may make sense to change your withholding…


Tips to Tackle Home Improvements this Spring

We spend several months trapped inside during the winter months due to weather and shortened daylight hours. With so much time on our hands stuck inside we often evaluate everything around our home we would like to fix or improve. Well, the time has come. Spring is here and there is no better time to begin planning your home improvements. Here are few steps to get you started:

Create a budget – Take an honest look at your finances to determine how much you can afford to spend on home improvements right now. Knowing your budget in advance can help…


Revamp Your Broken Financial New Year Resolution

It’s no secret that many well-intended New Year’s resolutions fail after a few weeks of diligence. People often resolve to improve their finances at the start of the New Year and set lofty goals. However, it can be hard to stay inspired to stick with your changes when significant progress isn’t made. While not seeing an instant benefit as you tackle long-term goals is common, research shows that having an immediate reward can actually help to reach those goals.

If you’ve already broken your financial New Year’s resolution, you can get back on track. There’s still plenty of time…


Suddenly Wealthy? How to Manage a Financial Windfall

As the Winter Olympics approach, it’s become top of mind that the athletes participating in the Games are hitting the peak of their careers at a young age. For many, their sport is their career, and through endorsements and partnerships, they can make a great deal of money early on in life. For example, 33-year-old Olympic ski racer, Lindsey Vonn, already has a net worth of $3 million, according to Forbes.  Whether it’s an Olympic athlete, NBA draft pick, pop star or a professional with high earnings, it is important to equip those who are young and successful to…


Tips to Build Your Savings

Do you want to save more money this year? The first step to starting to save is to figure out how much you spend. To get a snapshot of where your hard-earned money is being spent, keep track of all your expenses for a month. In addition to obvious large expenses like your rent or mortgage payment and utilities, don’t forget to track every latte, magazine and pair of shoes you buy.

Once you know where you are spending your money, organize your expenses into a budget. Creating a budget will outline how your expenses measure up to your income…


Don’t Let a Holiday Debt Hangover Linger for Months

Guest Blogger: Cait Klein, NerdWalletSmall-arrow-for-disclosure

If you got carried away this year with the holiday spending, you likely are in the throes of a financial hangover. This nasty ailment can cause headaches and last for months, if not longer. But there is a cure. Here are five steps to get over it:

1.  Take a look in the mirror: The first step is facing the facts—you can’t simply look the other way when it comes to holiday debt


Financial Planning Tips for Special Needs Families

Financial planning is important at practically every stage of life, but it is especially critical as your family grows. For some, that may include more planning and preparation than others. As a parent of a child with special needs and as someone who is in the business of financial planning, I know and understand first-hand the challenges families face when it comes to planning for special needs kids.

Over the past 13 years, my wife and I have learned a lot about caring for our son, Thomas, which we couldn’t have done without the help of experts along the way….


Build a $1,000 Emergency Fund

Guest Blogger: Katie Bryan, America SavesSmall-arrow-for-disclosure

Do you have $1,000 set aside for emergencies? If you already do, you could probably use another $1,000 in that account. Experts recommend keeping at least three months expenses in a reliable, liquid account – but even an extra $1,000 can be a life-saver. However, finding $1,000 to save isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve put together this 4-step plan on how to save $1,000 in 10 months.

Find a Safe Place to Save Your Money – You will…


ATM Skimming: What Consumers Should Know

Card skimming is the illegal copying of information from the magnetic strip of a credit, debit, or ATM card. Skimming devices can be placed on or near an ATM or any device in which you swipe your card to make a payment and can be difficult to spot. The devices can capture information such as the account number, card number, name and the PIN (Personal Identification Number) associated with the card. The data collected from the skimming device is then used to create fake ATM or debit cards providing criminals with access to a bank account to make purchases…


Personal Finance Lessons for College Freshmen

If parents were to ask their college-aged children about interest rates, 401(k)s or budgeting, chances are they would be stunned at their children’s limited knowledge of personal finance. The onus is on the young adult to grasp financial know-how throughout their college years, before they enter the real world. To help set up your child for financial success, parents should help cover fundamentals. College freshmen, who are getting accustomed to a new world of independence, have a few money lessons they must master.

Lesson 1: Safely build credit

Once enrolled in college, students will likely be approached by a bank to…

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