Believe it or not, the holidays are here. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you probably only have like 6 more paydays till Christmas. Factor in your car payment, rent, utilities, tuition, happy hours – whatever you spend your money on – and you don’t have a whole lot left for gifts this year if you don’t take initiative now.
Summer is coming to a close, which means we’re all paying the highest electricity bills we’ll see all year. What’s that about? I’ve had two electricity bills over $200.00 this year. It’s hard to escape this in Texas—a state that has set, and broken, its own energy consumption records THIS YEAR—but there are still ways to minimize the impact on your wallet whether you live in an apartment or a house. Part of being a responsible consumer is being a responsible consumer of our resources, like energy. There are more of us than any previous generation, and we have to do better as a whole.
When it comes to buying a new car, you have three options: purchasing it with cash, purchasing it through a loan (also known as financing) or leasing it. For most shoppers, the decision comes down to buying or leasing.
We’re constantly told to save, save, SAVE! Have an emergency fund, a rainy day fund, a college fund. But we’ve also been told to get rid of debt… To pay it all off… Don’t charge ANYTHING. Where’s the happy medium? Should I really have six month’s income in a savings account when I owe thousands in student loans? Yes and no.
The value of a college degree isn’t what it used to be, but its importance certainly hasn’t diminished. In fact, in Sallie Mae’s report, “How America Pays for College,” 90% of families expect their student to earn at least a bachelor’s degree, with 54% expecting a graduate degree. Of course, if you’ve read any recent news about the financial details of college education, you’ll know that it’s also a foreboding prospect: there is nearly $1.3 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt, ongoing wage stagnation, and the prospect of enduring years of underemployment.
Don’t you wish college was like kindergarten? With designated nap times, snack breaks… And even report cards that let you know how you’re doing. What about school supply lists? In college, you’re pretty much on your own. The syllabus might tell you what book to buy – but as far as the rest of the supplies go… you’ve pretty much got to guess. But we’ve come up with a list of necessities for college students, those living on campus and even commuters. Take notes.
An emergency fund is an essential part of your personal finances. Its importance is stressed in almost every personal finance book and budgeting blog, and yet 26% of Americans currently have no emergency fund in place. Of those who do have an emergency fund, up to two-thirds do not have the often-recommended six months’ worth of expenses saved up.
Having a good credit score is incredibly important. Not only does it define your creditworthiness but it can also be a blueprint for financial institutions to see your monetary situation. Today’s economy runs on credit score based decisions. Have you ever heard of the saying “First impressions are everything?” That’s the type of approach you should take when trying to construct a strong credit score. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to build good credit and keep it there.
Millennials are labeled constantly. One of the characteristics that sets us apart from other generations is that we don’t make large purchases. Well, things are changing and the first big purchase for many of us is a car. There are a multitude of factors that financial institutions consider when approving a loan for a vehicle, and there are just as many factors that you should consider when choosing your lender—like who will give you the lowest APR with your credit. There’s a lender out there for each of us.
Alright millennials, listen up. I might be wrong in assuming that you’re anything like me but I’m gonna go ahead and give it a shot.
You eat out. A lot. You love Chipotle and Chickfila. You see no shame in stopping at a sushi bar after work. You frequent Starbucks and Sonic on the weekends and then complain that you’re broke.
Regardless of how you got here, you’re here. Maybe it was one credit card you sort of…forgot about. Maybe it was a few cards you neglected. Maybe you didn’t actually have the money to make the payments and, well, here you are.