According to Bankrate.com, more than 1 out of 5 individuals aren’t saving anything toward emergencies, financial goals or retirement.  In addition, a survey conducted by GoBankingRates.com found that approximately 58% of Americans do not have at least $1,000 saved! If you find yourself in this situation, here is an easy 1-2-3 approach to saving $2,000 this year!  Download your savings challenge here! #1. Find ways to save First, find ways to save more in your budget.  Review your budget and determine what expenses you can live without in efforts to save more money!  Think about eliminating premium cable channels, eating out
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
While the season of Spring has many people thinking of ways to spruce up their homes, closets and simply declutter, we cannot forget to also spruce up our finances! If your finances need a checkup, here are a few ways to ensure you give your money the Spring cleaning it deserves! 1) Give yourself a raise. This is a great time to review your tax withholdings and determine whether you are withholding too much.  In most cases, if you are receiving a large refund, it could be because you are paying too much in taxes throughout the year. Keep in
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 funds available to help you reach your goal! 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 for these individuals to obtain instant equity in their home. Purchasers are required
Whether you are in your 20’s or 90’s, it is never too early to get your financial house in order.  From creating a will, obtaining life insurance, putting a basic budget in place, here are a few things you should consider. THE IMPORTANCE OF A WILL 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. A will is a document that allows the distribution
If you are seeking ways to pay for college, there may be some free money that may be available to you.   In the 2017-2018 academic year, full-time undergraduate college students received a total of $8,970 in grant aid.  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 plan is the state will match
Financial scams are on the rise! According to the Federal Trade Commission, during 2017 the total fraud loss was more than $905 million dollars.  In addition, the median financial loss per person was $429! Each and every day, individuals are targeted by scammers with hopes to steal their financial resources.  But don’t fall, victim!  Tax Scams You receive a phone call from a scammer who threatens to arrest you, garnish your wages and other actions if you do not send money immediately. Keep in mind, the IRS will never make calls of this nature.  More importantly, they will send you
If you are one of the millions of Americans who received a tax refund this year, know that getting a refund may not be in your best interest! Don’t allow Uncle Sam to use your money interest-free! Of course, during this time it is great to get a windfall, but you are only allowing Uncle Sam to use your money interest free throughout the year! But why not change it up! If you get a large refund, consider using the money to reach your financial goals, such as paying down debt. The American Bankers Association estimates a family carries approximately $10,000 in credit card
As we approach another tax season, there may be some items you received during the tax year that may actually be taxable! Gifts Any transfer to a person where money is not received in return is considered a gift. And this may be taxable to the IRS. In most cases, the donor is responsible for gift taxes. However, there may be an agreement in place where the donee would actually pay taxes. Generally, gifts that are not more than the annual exclusion for the calendar year is not taxable. For the year, 2018 and 2019 tax year, the annual exclusion
As we approach week five (5) of the government shutdown, many government workers are finding themselves facing another week without a paycheck.  And while Congress plans to take a vote this week to end the shutdown, many experts believe these bills will not end the government shutdown. While many government employees are impacted by this shutdown, it is a lesson to save more for all of us. Calculate your emergency savings goal First, determine how much you need to set aside for an emergency.  This can be achieved by determining your non-discretionary expenses, which are expenses that are required to
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