As we approach the end of the year, this is a good time to consider a few good money moves that will make a difference in your finances. 1. Check Your Tax Withholdings Take a few moments and utilize a tax calculator to estimate your expected taxes for the year.  With the changes to the tax code, individuals may be in for a surprise.   The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a withholding calculator that can quickly estimate your expected tax liability. Using information from your last paycheck, projected profits from self-employment and rental activities, current deductions and much more, you can
Here are a few great budget apps to help you stretch your dollar! Transportation – #1 SpotHero This is one of my favorite apps!  This parking app allows you to search for parking garages, valet, and other parking areas to locate the best price.  The great thing about this app is that you can choose the times you desire and the lots that are close to you.  It searches all nearby parking options and provides you with options to park at a cheap rate.  And the best thing is that the prices are often cheaper than what is offered by the
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  The midterm elections brought about many changes across the United States.  With the recent changes, there could be some impact on your finances. Your Taxes Within the last two years, we witnessed one of the biggest changes to the tax code through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  This measure easily passed both the House and Senate before making its way to the President’s desk.  While the tax reform act has made several changes to the Code, individuals can expect to see a major change in the following areas: Standard Deduction – Many individuals will no longer have a need to
For many recent college graduates, student loans await.  According to the New York Fed, student loan debt is now more than $1.34 trillion and continues to rise. For many younger Americans, it has become the largest household debt. Here are a few things you need to know: Forgiveness programs The Department of Education offers forgiveness programs to help borrowers with student loan debt. These programs include the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program. Both programs are designed to alleviate the student loan burden.   Public Service Loan Forgiveness  The PSLF program is available
Millions of Americans do not have life insurance.   And while of course, determining your need for life insurance depends on your personal situation, it is important to take the time to determine if life insurance is a good fit for you and your loved ones. #1 Determine your life insurance need Get an understanding of your final expenses.  This could range from Leaving money for a spouse or dependents Funding education for minor children Funeral expenses Unpaid debts, mortgages Business succession #2 Understand the different types of policies There are many different types of life insurance policies available.  But generally,
Credit cards can be an issue for many.  According to Experian, the average American has a credit card balance of $6,375.  Credit card debt has reached its highest amount – more than $1 trillion dollars – according to a report by the Federal Reserve. So if you find yourself in more debt than you could imagine here are a few strategies to pay off that credit card debt.  Tip #1 – Stick to a budget This may seem cliche, but having a budget and really sticking to it is key.  Most often, not all the time, we may rely on
With the recent death of Aretha Franklin and the news of her passing without having a will or trust in place – she is not alone.  According to a Gallup poll, only 44% of individuals stated they have a will in place. The poll also found that those who are older are more likely to have a will in place, whereas only 14% of those under the age of thirty have wills. The importance of a will A will is a document that allows the distribution of assets according to the deceased wishes.   If a person dies without a will,
If you are seeking ways to pay for college, there may be some free money that may be available to you.   In the 2016 – 2017 academic year, college students received a total of $125.4 billion in grant money according to College Board.   But the way to free money will require some work, take time now to start your research to see what programs may work for you. 529 Plans and TOPS (Louisiana) Here in the state of Louisiana, we have the Start Saving Plan.  This plan allows participants to save money for students.  One of the advantages of the
While homeownership is definitely an American dream, there are some barriers that may prevent one from purchasing a home. With the rising costs, down payment requirements, affordability, and other factors, the path to homeownership may often be delayed. But there are programs to help you to reach your American dream, whether you are a future homeowner are seeking home improvement grants! For Firefighters, Emergency Personnel, and Teachers HUD’s Good Neighbor Next Door Program allows teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and other professions to purchase properties at 50% off the listing price. While these properties are in certain areas, it allows
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible states, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones…(Luke 16:10). God makes it clear in His Word, that when He can trust you with little, he will then bless you with much!  So if you want to be blessed with a million, you must first learn to take care of a thousand! But what does that mean? This not only applies to your time, talent and other resources, but more importantly, it refers to your finances. It means when we are wasteful over our spending, we
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