Travel Budgeting: The Most Affordable Places to Travel in 2019

Everyone needs to take a vacation once in a while, and most families want to get away from home. Traveling to exotic locations is fun and can make for a terrific vacation, but without propertravel budgeting it also can put you in serious debt.

According to theLearnVest Money Habits and Confessions Survey, 74 percent of families accumulate an average debt of $1,108 to pay for their annual vacation. On average, Americans spend 10 percent of their yearly income on vacations, and a quarter of survey respondents spend 15 percent. The truth is that many families don’t even budget for a vacation. Considering how much vacations can cost, this can be an expensive mistake. However, by choosing the right destinations with proper travel budgeting, you don’t have to break the bank.

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6 Ways to Budget for the Holidays

If you are like most Americans, you tend to spend more than you budget for over the holidays—sometimes a lot more. According to the Coinstar Holiday Survey, 65 percent of consumers set up a holiday budget but 77 percent exceed their budget, and only 37 percent put a plan in place to recover from overspending during the holidays.

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Retirement Planning: Why Setting Up a 401(k) in Your Twenties Is Crucial

Did you know that the 401(k) retirement savings program turned 40 on Election Day? This provision from the 1978 Revenue Act has become the foundation of retirement planning. And the 401(k) continues to be the most common tool to save for retirement. Anyone who collects a paycheck should take advantage of 401(k) savings, and with the cost of living continuing to rise, saving early can make all the difference when it comes time to retire.

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How to Prepare Your Checking Account for Holiday Spending

Prepping for gift-giving season should be something you look forward to. When you prepare ahead of time, you can make sure you’re spending an appropriate amount. You probably have a household budget where expenses are carefully calculated, but when it comes time for holiday gifts and entertaining, the budget goes out the window. How many times have you dreaded opening your January credit card and bank statements because of the damage you’ve done to your checking account over the holidays?

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8 Questions to Ask When Applying for a Credit Card

People love to use credit cards, but when looking for a new credit card, you want to be sure to get the right services and features. You should understand the terms and fees for your credit card so there are no surprises when you open the monthly bill.

What specific questions should you ask before you sign for a new credit card?

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How to Build Up Your Savings Account in 8 Easy Steps

Everyone wants to put some money away for retirement or even just a rainy day, but surprisingly few people actually manage to accumulate savings. According to a study by Northwestern Mutual, one in three Americans have less than $5,000 set aside as retirement savings, and 21 percent have no retirement savings at all. Another survey by Bankrate shows that 13 percent of Americans are saving less for retirement than they were a year ago, largely because their income hasn’t changed while the cost of living continues to rise.

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Credit Card Advice for First-Time Applicants

Most people have an aversion to accumulating debt and are cautious about using credit cards. However, credit cards are useful financial tools.

If you use your credit card responsibly, it can help you build credit and achieve a higher credit score. Your credit score follows you throughout your life and will be used whenever you need to borrow money or apply for credit, whether you need a car loan, a student loan, or to qualify for a mortgage.

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Retirement Planning: 401(k) vs. Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA

We all need to plan for retirement, and it’s never too early to start. Everyone should be disciplined about saving, and although putting money in a savings account is always a good idea, you want to consider long-term strategies as part of retirement planning. Putting money into a 401(k) plan, a Roth individual retirement account (IRA), or a Traditional IRA as part of retirement planning is smart, but it’s important to understand the similarities and differences between each.

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How to Harness the Power of Your Checking Account

Consumers are putting more cash in their checking accounts than ever before. According to the 2016 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, the average checking account balance in 2016 was $10,545, and the median checking balance was $3,400. (The discrepancy is because of a few high-deposit checking accounts that skewed the average results). This is up from an average of $9,132 and a median of $2,900 in 2013. And the average balance in U.S. checking accounts continues to climb, partly because consumers are finding new ways to leverage their checking for more types of transactions. 

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Credit Card Interest Rates and What They Mean for You

When you’re shopping for a credit card, one of the most important considerations is the interest rate on the card. Whether you choose a VISA, MasterCard, Discover Card, department store card, or any other kind of credit card, you will have to pay interest on any unpaid balances. How much interest you pay depends on various factors.

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