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
It may be great that you earn a six-figure income, but if you live a six-figure lifestyle – the occurrence of one negative financial event can cause a financial downward spiral. Nothing teaches us this lesson more than the past NBA lockout a few years back. We witnessed firsthand millionaires struggling to make ends meet as they hope to soon get a paycheck. Many of us are saying, “If I had that kind of money, I would not be in that situation.”  Oh really? But know, whether big or small if you are living at or above your means, you
It is important to create a roadmap for your finances – a budget. Remember, your budget does not have to be complicated, just simple and easy to use. Consider using three steps — A, B and C — to get back on track. The ABC’s to budgeting! A — Automated savings If you have struggled in the past with savings, set up an automatic draft to have the money withdrawn directly from your checking account and deposited into a savings account. B — Bill management Determine the total amount of your monthly bills. Then, set up a checking account dedicated
Here are 21 ways you can save: Shop around for lower insurance costs Make a shopping list before grocery shopping and seek out deals beforehand Limit or eliminate your use of credit cards and other debts Eat most meals at home Create an eating out budget if you frequently dine out Reduce or eliminate services such as premium channels and cell phone features Look for local restaurants that offer great food for a fraction of the cost Consider using employer spending accounts for dependent and medical expenses Seek steals and deals through coupons, internet deals, and discounted gift cards. Contact
In case you need to evacuate this hurricane season or prepare for any disaster, here is a list of documents you should bring with you.  This checklist includes key financial documents such as tax returns, titles, deeds, insurance policies, and other essential items.  Also, keep in mind the list also includes non-financial items such as resumes, licenses, transcripts and other items just in case you need to search for a job or transition to a new location.       Click on the image for a printable copy.    
Click here to watch video!  Does Uncle Pete owe you money? Deduct it on your tax return! This can get a little sticky, especially if you are expected to see him at the next family reunion. If you tried over and over again to get your money back, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will allow you to take a non-business bad debt deduction on your tax return. So, how does it work? Before you go crazy with this deduction and deduct everything that everyone has ever owed you, there are a few things you should know. Yes, it has to
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