Last Updated On: June 29, 2015 09:51

Are you one of the many people always concerned about your finances? Are you worried that one emergency expense could throw your whole budget for a loop and don’t know what to do?

3 Steps to Achieve Financial Freedom:

1. Build an emergency fund

  • Nothing throws off your budget (and life!) like an expensive emergency. Accidents and unexpected expenses happen – be prepared by having an emergency fund to cover at least three months of your salary.

2. Get out of debt

  • This includes paying down loans & credit cards. Depending on how much debt you have accrued, this step could be a work-in-progress. Just remember, the sooner you have these paid down, the sooner you can enjoy that extra cash going to an emergency fund – or fun!

3. Save more than you spend

  • Whether you’re trying to cut down on your debt, create a bigger emergency fund, or just live your life comfortably, saving more than you spend is the start of building a lifetime of financial freedom.

All are very common goals, but these three objectives are the stepping stone to a consumer feeling in full control of their financial lives. Start here, and you’ll be soon on your way to financial freedom!

Last Updated On: June 18, 2015 11:26

It’s hard to believe Father’s Day weekend is already here – it feels like Mother’s Day was just yesterday! If you’ve procrastinated with a gift for your dad, we’re here to help you with those last-minute, frugal suggestions!

  1. Offer to do their normal chores. A weekend off from their normal lawn care routine can be a great gift! Even if you need to hire this work out to professionals, your father will greatly appreciate the break to just relax!
  2. Bake his favorite treat, buy him his favorite beverage, take him out for supper - just spending time together is something any parent enjoys!
  3. If you have younger children, a popular gift going around this year is to make a homemade book. Searching on Pinterest can even help you find a free template to print off and fill in with your children’s drawings or pictures.
  4. Offer to spend time with your dad taking part in his favorite pastime, whether it be fishing, a game day, or golfing. A day spent bonding over a fun and relaxing activity could be exactly what he wants!

Just remember, the thought is really what counts! Make time for your dad this Father’s Day – even if it is just a call!

Last Updated On: June 01, 2015 09:50

Springtime brings an upswing in home sales - if you’re looking to move, or even purchase your first home, it’s best to get everything in order now before you start the whole process. Here are the top 5 starting steps to accomplish to make sure the home-buying process is a breeze!

  1. Make sure your credit is in tip-top shape! Pull your reports to make sure there are no errors. If you do find some mistakes, work on getting these taken care of before you apply for a mortgage.
  2. SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! Save for down payments, closing fees, and an emergency fund for all of those things that could go wrong!
  3. Talk with a trusted mortgage loan officer. Do your research; talk to friends, coworkers, and family to see who they’ve used – and shop around for the best rates that each lender would be able to offer.
  4. Get prequalified for a home loan. This way, you can know what is even reasonable for a home payment. Remember - it is not always best to use the maximum loan amount you qualify for. Do some math to find out what your payments would be and see if they’ll realistically fit in your budget.
  5. Make a list of your wants, must-haves, and deal-breakers in a house– and start your house hunting!

Buying a home can be a stressful and anxious time for any potential homeowner. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you start the process and that should help ease a bit of the stress! Good luck on your house hunt!

Bookmark and Share Filed Under: Credit Tips
Last Updated On: May 01, 2015 08:34

Flowers are starting to bloom, the grass is actually green now, the birds are singing – May has arrived! This month brings many things to be excited about: the warmer weather, the beginning of summer activities, graduations, and Mother’s Day.

(“Oh no…I forgot about Mother’s Day…”)

No fear! We’ll help everyone out with a few great (but frugal!) ideas for the mom in your life!

  1.  Make her favorite meal or dessert. The key here: clean up after yourself!
  2. Take over her regular chores for the day (or weekend – there really is no limit here!)
  3. Spend time together with no distractions. Whether it’s a day of shopping, movie watching, or just relaxing, make it just about her. Put your phone away for the day!
  4. If you can’t be there in person to celebrate: write a letter and/or send her a handmade card. All this will cost is cheap supplies for the card, an envelope, and postage. A heartfelt letter can mean more to her than any gift could! If you can, you can also include gift certificates to get a massage or manicure/pedicure.
  5. Make a gift basket of some of her favorite things. With a little bit of searching, Easter supplies can still be found – for a great discount. Grab one of those colorful baskets and then fill it with her favorite things. Dollar stores come in handy with their huge selections of lotions, candles, nail polishes, and all other sorts of pampering materials. Grab a selection and a cute card, and you’ve got an affordable gift she’ll love!

Bookmark and Share Filed Under: Saving Money
Last Updated On: April 01, 2015 10:15

Now that we’ve entered April, Tax Day is quickly approaching. If you haven’t filed your tax return yet, NOW is the time to get the process rolling!

First, make sure you have all the forms you need. If you don’t, start tracking them down immediately so you still have a little bit of time to file your taxes.
Second, find your preferred way to file. If you have questions on whether you should file online or find a tax professional, check out our recent post here. Keep in mind that filing online, or electronically, is a faster process.
Third, double check everything! Last minute preparation may make you rush and could cause simple errors to occur. Take the time to make sure everything is correct before you submit.
Lastly, consider filing for an extension. Be aware that an extension only allows you additional time to complete your filing; it does not extend the date your taxes are due if you owe additional taxes. It’s better to complete filing your taxes and enter into a payment plan, if you can, instead of not completing your tax return and risking a penalty fee.

For more information and tips for filing taxes, make sure to visit or visit your tax professional.

Now that you have these tips – get busy and remember how stressful last-minute filing is so you can try not to procrastinate again next year!

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