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Credit 101

Credit 101

Credit, Miscellaneous
Credit often feels like a mysterious and treacherous aspect of personal finance when you are young and/or just beginning your money management journey. Despite its reputation, credit is a tool that with responsible use will improve your financial standing. Before you embark on the journey of seeking credit, it is important to know how credit and credit scores work so you don’t accidentally end up in hot financial water.So what is credit? Credit is money you borrow to use for goods and service and that you will repay at an agreed-upon time with any applicable fees and charges (usually interest). There are four types of credit.RevolvingChargeServiceInstallment.Revolving credit is typically associated with credit cards. When you use this type of credit, the lending institution approves you for a maximum amount of…
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Double Your Down Payment Savings

Double Your Down Payment Savings

Goals / Taking Action, Miscellaneous, Saving & Investing
Buying a home is a big financial goal, however saving for the down payment can be a major roadblock. There are several different routes to achieving this goal. When the lease on the apartment my boyfriend and I rent was nearing expiration, we considered buying a home. In the process, we discovered a savings program, called a ‘matched savings’ program, to help speed up down payment savings.Matched savings programs are also called Individual Development Accounts (IDA) and are generally offered by nonprofits and/or government agencies in local areas. There are three things these programs can be used to fund.Buying a homeOpening a small businessSaving for college/job training.As you probably gathered from the name, when you enroll in one of these programs every dollar you deposit is matched. Depending on the…
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Healthy Budget Habits

Healthy Budget Habits

Budgeting, Goals / Taking Action
So, you use your budget, yet somehow at the end of the month you discover you overspent. We have all been there; it can be hard to remember your budget while shopping. A budget is not a static document that you write and leave alone, but a working and responsive tool for money management. Try these healthy habits and easy to use tools to stay in tune with your budget throughout the month.1. Regular Check-Ins This is one of the best methods to help you stay on track with your working budget and is most effective when paired with a spending tracker. Checking in with your spending and your budget on a regular basis keeps you in-tune with your goals.How often you check in is a preference, but either every…
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Save Now – Retire Better

Save Now – Retire Better

Uncategorized
When you’re in your 20s, you do not spend much time thinking about retirement. Although it doesn’t need to be priority #1, spending some time planning for retirement now will save you major headaches in the future. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a woman who retires at 65 can expect to live another 20 years, 2 years longer than a man. Having personal savings for retirement makes a substantial difference in your quality of life and ability to meet the cost of healthcare. How much you need to save right now depends on your age, the lifestyle you want, and how many trips you plan on taking when retired. In your 20s, save whatever you can afford to, but aim for 10-15% percent of your income. When approaching…
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Preparing for Unexpected Financial Challenges

Preparing for Unexpected Financial Challenges

Budgeting, Goals / Taking Action, Money in Your 20s/30s/40s/50s/Retirement, Take Action
I think most of us agree that saving money is important, but are we putting our money where our proverbial mouths are? According to a 2015 survey, 35% of American’s had no savings, and 34% had less than $1,000. This means that 69% of Americans are financial fragile. When life starts throwing curve-balls at them, these individuals and families likely will not have the necessary funds to meet the challenge(s). It also begs the question: “Is just one savings fund enough to meet all my life’s financial challenges?” The answer is not really. If all you have is one savings fund, it is still worth taking pride in. Saving money can be very difficult and any progress you’ve deserves celebration. But don’t stop with one. There are three basic types…
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What are You Saving for?

What are You Saving for?

Budgeting, Goals / Taking Action, Money in Your 20s/30s/40s/50s/Retirement, Take Action
We all know that saving a little bit of money here and there throughout the month is one of the best strategies for accumulating savings. However, it can be difficult to keep that in mind while you’re shopping, especially if your goal is generalized to “save money”. Using coupons is a popular method for saving money, and can absolutely be an effective way to generate savings. There is a mental trap that many people, myself included, fall into. When you save $3.00 with a coupon, it becomes very tempting to turn around and use that savings on another item. In other words, you feel like you saved money with the coupon, and want to reward yourself.But really, this means that you didn’t save any money. Yes, it stretched farther, but…
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We are pleased to share the Women’s Money Annual Report for 2016.

We are pleased to share the Women’s Money Annual Report for 2016.

Uncategorized
We are pleased to share the Women’s Money Annual Report for 2016.  This year marks another period of tremendous growth and opportunity for the organization and for financial education to women and families. download the report Looking back on 2016, so many moments served as vivid reminders of the important challenges women are up against, as well as the amazing power we have as a collective force to bring about greater change for justice and equality.Each story in this annual report reflects a moment, person, or project that inspires and energizes us, and continually gives us hope that our work is having real impact.  The year was one of exceeding expectations for Women’s Money. Both, the 2016 Women’s Money Conferences exceeded expected attendance by 15%, and National Women’s Money Week…
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Are the Budget Blues Bringing You Down?

Are the Budget Blues Bringing You Down?

Budgeting, Goals / Taking Action, Miscellaneous, Money in Your 20s/30s/40s/50s/Retirement, Take Action
If you’ve followed my writing, I’m sure you’ve noticed several articles on budgeting. Why so many? Because a budget is one of the most valuable tools for understanding, managing, and growing your money. Yet it seems to me that many people break-out in a cold sweat the moment I say “budget”. If the B-word induces anxiety in you to the point you can’t bring yourself to write one, try changing your terminology. A budget is just a plan for how you are going to spend your money, so try calling it a “Spending Plan”. Using a Spending Plan is a small lifestyle adjustment to help you reshape your spending habits. It takes time and practice to write and use Spending Plans that are reasonable and accurate, but as you develop…
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Plan your Meals; Plan your Spending

Plan your Meals; Plan your Spending

Budgeting, Goals / Taking Action, Miscellaneous, Money in Your 20s/30s/40s/50s/Retirement, Relationships & Money, Take Action
Making food at home is an easy way to trim your spending, but it can often feel difficult to fit in cooking, and clean-up, within daily life. A few months ago, my boyfriend and I started meal planning to save money and eat healthier and so far, we’re achieving our goal. There are different kinds of meal planning. In one of the most popular methods, you plan and prepare every single meal for the week in one day. We chose to adapt this method slightly and only plan our meals for the week, but planning and preparing on the same day is very effective for many people. Here is some more information on the strategy, as well as a guide to help you start out. Because Sunday is our day…
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How Do You Know What You Can Deduct?

How Do You Know What You Can Deduct?

Entrepreneurship / Making Money, Miscellaneous, Money in Your 20s/30s/40s/50s/Retirement
It’s tax time and that can be stressful. It can also be a time where people feel hopeful about receiving a large refund for taxes overpaid during the year. In order to fully understand this process, it is important to recognize that your refund is for taxes that you paid during the year that are more than your tax burden should be based on your income and expenses. This seems simple enough, but many people feel sheepish about taking the full benefit of their write-offs. This is silly however, because a write-off represents your expense while contributing to the the economic value of our economy. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is acceptable to deduct and what isn’t. Because most people would rather have a root canal without anesthesia than…
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