Identity theft and cybercrime have become a fact of life in the 21st century at a cost of $600 billion per year. With the right information, a hacker can clean out your bank account in seconds. And they are virtually untraceable. If the loss goes undetected for more than 60 days then the bank isn’t liable to cover cybercrime losses. What’s worse is, if you lose control of your identity, you can have unauthorized transactions, charges, and online activities that haunt you for years, affecting your credit rating and every other aspect of your life.
Is 2019 going to be the year you buy a new home? If you have been waiting for the perfect time to buy, then there is no time like the present. The housing market continues to fluctuate based on any number of factors, such as the amount of homes on the market and changes in mortgage rates. If you have been tracking the housing market, then you know how volatile it can be—and housing prices are expected to go nowhere but up, so it might be time to stop thinking about buying a home and actually take the next step.
Credit is a fact of life, and many Americans are overspending because of rising credit card limits. In order to make money, credit card companies want you to spend more than you can pay back each month on the revolving credit they provide. The problem is that too many Americans spend a lot more than they can afford to pay back, which results in having to make higher credit card payments without putting a dent in your overall debt. If you want to pay off a balance on a high-interest credit card, it may be time to consider a balance transfer.
Every family wants financial security. You need enough money to put food on the table and a roof over your head, but how much is enough to be comfortable? Do you have sufficient income to cover all your expenses each month? Are you saving for the future? What exactly do we mean by financial well-being, and what is the best way to achieve it?
The New Year is the time of resolutions. Whether it involves living a more healthy lifestyle, losing weight, or saving money, come January 1, you’ll want to start with a clean slate. Many people include saving more money on their list of New Year’s resolutions, but in order to increase your savings, you will have to change your money habits.
In the past, we have written about creating a household budget and managing the family expenses. There are some costs, such as groceries and utilities, that you will incur no matter what your living situation, but if you own your home, you will have homeowner expenses that you may not have anticipated.
Nothing remains the same, including your credit card. Terms change. Interest rates change. Your financial situation changes. Your life is in forward motion and your financial needs change, so why are you continuing to use the same old credit card?
There are a number of signs that indicate your credit card may be outdated and it’s time for an upgrade. Any of the following nine signs should be enough to make you consider a change:
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.
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.
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.