Predatory lending is an action that targets consumers who are in a vulnerable financial situation in which money is needed quickly to take care of a financial emergency. Alternative financial services (AFS) are the financial products used by predatory lenders.
With each passing day, the demands on our time and financial resources increase causing us to do more in less time or spend more money on fewer items. When this situation occurs, it is important to realign our wants and needs with our values.
When a family emergency or disaster occurs, having quick access to important financial documents is essential. These documents include banking information, insurance cards and policies, wills and power of attorney documents, household inventory, and birth and marriage records. This article will address what are the important financial records, where to keep financial records secure, how long to keep records, and how to create a Grab and Go box.
Having a health insurance plan does not mean that all medical expenses are covered. Health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible savings accounts (FSA) are designed to help consumers budget for deductibles, co-pays, prescription costs, plan out-of-pocket costs, and other unexpected medical expenses. In addition to helping a consumer manage planned and unexpected medical expense, both HSAs and FSAs lower an individual’s taxable income, which in turn reduces the amount of annual taxes paid to the IRS.
Since people are living longer than ever, retirement savings need to last longer and work harder. It is more important than ever to make smart financial decisions. There are four standard sources of retirement income, Social Security, retirement plans and/or employer sponsored pensions, investment income, and earned income from part time employment.
No matter what your age or when you plan to retire, now is the time to begin saving for retirement. Saving becomes secondary when we prioritize other demands, such as marriage, buying a house, and/or raising children. Each month you delay impacts the total savings you will have when you begin retirement.
Using a budget is an essential skill in managing personal finances. If you are a business owner, farmer, rancher, earn based on sales commissions or are seasonally employed, you may not have consistent income from month to month. When your income is irregular, it may be difficult develop a budget that can be used to plan your spending for the month.
The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends sharing good food and gifts. Unfortunately, this time of sharing can create stress for individuals and families who are living on a tight budget. The extra gifts, food, and travel expenses can make a budget that is already stretched, snap. Planning ahead and making decisions about spending will help the holidays be more enjoyable.
Are you or your child planning to attend a post-secondary institution in the fall of 2017? A new rule from the Department of Education allows you to file your 2017-2018 Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as October 1, 2016. Parent or student income and tax information from the previous year, this year using 2015 information, will be reported on the application.
Financial education for today’s youth is an extremely important undertaking. There are concepts that need to be understood and practiced for adults to lead financially healthy lives. Learning these concepts while younger may help alleviate some bad financial decision making later in life. As youth educators, we have a unique opportunity to help teach basic and complex financial concepts to youth across the state.