For you to enjoy a white Christmas with your family without the winter hassles, you need to be prepared. In a country where 31% of households have trouble paying their energy bills, every dollar saved matters.
Life is less forgiving in your mid-40s or 60s. At this age, you have tried your hand at various things in life, and you either succeeded or failed. Be it divorce, bankruptcy or financial mistakes that result in a bad credit score, you have to pick up the bill and get back on your feet. With a bad credit score, usually below 619 on the FICO score, many doors will be closed for you. That means no access to loans, higher insurance premiums and sometimes unemployment because some employers take credit reports seriously.
Living on a low or fixed income means every cost you incur needs to be deliberate and well thought. A budget helps you to plan financially and ensures you stay out of debt. Through a priority list, you can balance your income to your expenses.
Though tax season officially starts on January 27th, 2020, many people push off filing until March or April. If you find that you're one of those people who always wait until the last minute to file your taxes, you can save yourself some stress by filing early this year. Read on to learn more about the benefits of filing your taxes early.
Get Your Return Sooner
While filing your taxes is less than fun, getting that tax return check in the mail can make it all worth it. If you expect to receive a tax return this year, make it a goal to get that money into your hands as soon as you can. Filing your taxes early can help you get your return months in advance. And if you file online, you can get it even faster.
Paper filing can sometimes take weeks for the IRS to process, even if you file early. E-filing your taxes and opting for direct deposit is often a lot quicker. Those who e-file can see the money in their account in an average of three weeks. If you use your tax return to pay down debt, getting your return earlier means you can pay debt earlier and avoid interest.
And data shows that those who file their return earlier tend to get a bigger check. The IRS notes that those who file by the end of February sometimes get up to $400 more in their return than people who wait until March or April to file. If you were given the option to get more money sooner, you'd take it, right?
Topics: My Finances
As the dog days of summer are counting down and the cool air of the fall approaches, it's time once again to start planning for the holiday season. As we contemplate where the time has gone, at least there is still enough time to plan for the upcoming holidays and ensure they are meaningful. One good planning strategy is to check your credit/debit card rewards and retailer loyalty programs to help get extra cash and find great deals.
The Holidays are Expensive
As technology advances, so do the methods that hackers use to steal your information. That’s why raising cybersecurity awareness is more important now than ever before. You need to know how to fend off cyber threats like email phishing and identity theft before it takes place. Below are a few tools and tips to help protect yourself in this highly evolving digital age.
Create Strong Passwords
The easiest way to access an account is to have the password to it; weak passwords cause 81% of all hacking related data breaches. That’s why hackers and scammers usually try to obtain passwords before anything else. Despite that, people rarely put thought into their passwords. For example, the password used for the U.S. nuclear missile unit was “00000000” for twenty years. Passwords should be complex and unpredictable strings of letters and numbers. They shouldn’t contain any common words, and they should be lengthy. A password that is over 16 characters would take thousands of years to crack from a brute force attack!
Over the past ten years, the average cost of tuition at a four-year university has risen more than $7,000. This can pose a significant problem for many college students and their parents as they struggle to figure out how to come up with the cost of tuition, room and board, books, and more. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help many students better afford the rising cost of tuition.
1. Apply for FAFSA Early.
FAFSA registration opens on October 1. If your student wants to qualify for the best possible grants, scholarships, and work-study aid, it's important to apply as soon as possible. Many universities and even scholarship programs also require early registration for FAFSA, so make sure that your student takes care of filling out that important paperwork as soon as possible.
Summer vacations are a wonderful opportunity to get away from the normal stresses of home and soak up the sun. Whether you head upstate to visit relatives or fly to a white sunny beach somewhere far away, your home will be waiting empty until your return. Unfortunately, while you're enjoying your summer fun, criminals may be casing your home.
Many people find excuses to limit their exercise regimen as they get older. Pain, limited mobility, or previous injuries. For others, it's simply a matter of being lazy, regardless of age. Then there are those who relish in the opportunity to get outside and remain active.
No matter what your age, physical ability, or physical limitations, there are a number of ways to stay active as the summer approaches.