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
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.
A digital wallet is defined by Investopedia as a system that stores personal payment information and passwords for multiple payment methods. Just like your physical wallet, a digital wallet stores your credit, debit, and other card information. However, all of the information is conveniently located on your smartphone. With 77% of American adults owning a smartphone, extending the convenience of these devices to consumer banking and purchasing habits is a natural next step.
As children grow, parents and teachers seek ways to educate them in every subject to help them reach success in adulthood. Unfortunately, the subject of finances is often overlooked. While it's important to gather knowledge and seek a good career, most of this planning is in vain when careful saving and spending habits are never acquired.
Topics: My Finances
Creating a budget can be daunting to some, especially if finances are tight. And while it might seem initially scary to set limits on yourself and impose new rules, it does not have to be. If set up correctly, budgets can be freeing, believe it or not. They give you a better perspective on your spending habits, what to improve, and which areas of life you can allocate more money. And once you get into the habit of sticking to a budget, it gets easier and easier. Here are some ways to start:
With many Americans finding their 2018 income tax refunds a mere shadow of what they had been, now is the time to review your credit report to ensure it's in good shape--without that annual windfall to take care of old bills, you've got to be more strategic in how you manage your debt. Worse, if you owe any taxes for last year, it's imperative that you get your finances back on track so your borrowing power is strong.
Topics: My Finances