While the labor force continues to grow, Bankrate’s most recent Financial Security Index survey reveals that the savings rate Americans continues to trend downward. In January, only 39% of people surveyed said they had enough in their savings account to cover an unplanned expense of $1,000 (this was especially true for those making less than […]
1. File on time. This can be the hardest step—and the most important. The IRS charges penalties for failure to file taxes and for failure to pay them. Avoid the late-filing fee, even if you can’t pay what you owe. For 2018, tax returns are due on April 17, which gives you two additional days […]
Financial Capability Specialist Peggy Olive has talked with thousands of people about their money. Whether coaching, counseling or training others to be financial coaches, Olive is driven by the same purpose: to help people align their money with their values. Financial coaches are a relatively new option for people looking to gain a better handle […]
If you’ve succeeded in setting aside a chunk of change to cover those inevitable-yet-unexpected “expense shocks,” congratulations! You’re doing better than most. According to the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making (SHED), barely half of Americans have an extra $400 at their disposal the event of, say, a car repair or […]
Emergency savings give people peace of mind—or what we like to call “financial well-being,” which is really defined as being subjectively OK with where you are. A big component of that is not worrying about stuff, being resilient to extra expenses, feeling in control. If you don’t feel like you can set [financial] goals and reach them, it makes you feel less financially well. That has negative side effects for people’s physical and mental health.
Suppose you owe $1,000 on a loan and the interest rate is 20% per year compounded annually. If you didn’t pay anything off, at this interest rate, how many years would it take for the amount you owe to double?*
If you don’t know the answer to that question, you’re not alone. Nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic financial literacy test with questions about interest rates, mortgages and economic trends, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation.
Seeing that last year’s average tax refund hovered above $2500 (though in Wisconsin it’s a little less), you may well be expecting a hefty check in the next few months. But before you start Googling “Vacations in Veracruz,” consider finding some better ways to spend your tax return. Especially if you’re among the 63% of […]
So often tips to “make the most” of our paycheck involve some kind of budgeting hack: pack your lunch, forgo some convenience, discipline, discipline, discipline. But what about putting your savings plans on autopilot in order to milk your paycheck? Here’s the thing: Once you take the time to set up automatic payroll deductions and […]