Bad Credit Card Moves To Make

When the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was put into place, credit card holders were supposed to benefit from the new regulation.    Consumers would receive new notifications for rate fee increases, statements would inform consumers on how long it would take to pay off balances, and credit issuers were required to mail bills at least 21 days before the due date.     Now that some time has passed since the Dodd-Frank Act, consumers are still struggling with all time high levels of credit card debt and the fine print coming from credit card companies are smaller than ever.   Here are five things you should keep an eye on so you don’t get stung by the credit card companies.   Late Fees – Late fees are a big source of ways that credit card companies earn money. Since many of us pay our bills through automatic payment, you should make sure you pay your credit card bill a few ...

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When Is The Right Time To Refinance?

With the Fed recently raising interest rates, many people have started to wonder if they should act on the refinance now or wait to see what happens with interest rates.  If you are buying a new home, thinking about refinancing your mortgage, or just wondering where this is all headed, it is a good time to start crunching the numbers and examining the current mortgage you have in place.  So, when is the right time to refinance? Side note: There is “Rule Of Thumb” – the rule of thumb really boils down to a math equation which I will lay out for you here in the article. Question 1: What Is This Going To Cost You? There is always a cost to refinance. Sometimes you will hear on television these deals that say no closing costs or no cost to refinance.  What some companies do is simply roll those closing costs into the newly refinanced loan so instead of refinancing ...

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Is It Time To Do The Holidays In July

It’s July.  Why in the world would we want to start thinking about holiday time in December right now.  One of the biggest financial hangovers people have in their budgets is when they overspend during the holiday season.  Now that we have hit July, I have some smart money moves tips that can put a few of those dollars back in your and maybe even take some of the stress out of your life.  Here are five money ideas for doing Christmas, Chanukkah, or whatever holiday you celebrate with your families in December to save you some money. What’s On Sale Now – When you are out and about at the stores, you should always take a peek at the clearance racks. You might find some cool piece of clothing, shoes on sale, or some piece of technology that is being upgraded to a new version.  For sure, all summer clothes will start to go on sale, so this can be ...

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How Do You Know If Your Portfolio Is Doing Well

Happiness is all about expectations met or unmet.  There have been so many articles written about how to discuss fees with your wealth manager or financial advisor, but very few that talk about the mutual responsibility between the advisor and the client about how to measure performance of your investment portfolio.   This is an important discussion because whether you are managing your money yourself or you turn it over to a professional, the question is do you know how to measure the performance of your portfolio? In 2008, when the S & P 500 had a -37% return, if your portfolio achieved a return of -35% because you were using the S & P 500 as a benchmark would you have been happy?  Conversely, in 2013 when the S & P 500 had a 32.39% return, would you have been happy if you and your advisor agreed that 6% return was the absolute return that was agreed on with you ...

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5 Amazing Technology Gifts For Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is less than a week away and word on the street is that spending is up this year.    The National Retail Federation estimated that consumers will spend 19.9 billion dollars on Mom this year in 2018 which is actually down from last year.  If you are counting that is an average of $162.94 per consumer which is $6 decrease from a year ago.  Men will spend more than Mom than women by more than $70!  Being a Mom is a tough job, and we need to all appreciate what Mom’s do throughout the year. Most consumers will acknowledge that appreciation with a greeting card (81.3%), though it appears her loved ones will also look for special gifts. Two-thirds (66.6%) of those celebrating will buy mom her favorite flowers, spending a total of $2.3 billion, and 33.5 percent will look for spring sweaters and blouses, spending a total of $1.7 billion on apparel and accessory items. Mom’s loved ones ...

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Five Money Moves To Make If Your Company Files Bankruptcy

As we get deeper into the calendar year of 2018, bankruptcies are at an all-time high for the retail sector.  In fact, in 2018 store closing are expected to be up 30% and cross over 10,000 retail stores that will close this year.  There isn’t a person you run across today who won’t admit that online companies are killing brick and mortar.  Even if your company says they will reorganize their debt and not officially lay everyone off, it’s probably time you make some smart financial moves now to get your personal financial plan in place.   Make sure you take care of all of your health items- Health insurance is one of the biggest things to be thinking about if your company is filing bankruptcy. What you want to understand is what will be happening with your company benefits. If you do lose your job, do you understand the COBRA rules and the costs? Do you understand what the ...

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Can You Retire On 1 Million Dollars?

One million dollars used to be the gold standard when it came to figuring out how much money you would need to never have to work the rest of your life.   Now, we all know if you really put your mind to it that you could probably retire on a million dollars, but the real question is whether or not you could maintain the standard of living you have been accustomed to off of your current income.  With our society having become more of an outsourced society than a do it yourself society, here’s why 1 million dollars isn’t what it used to be. The Slient Killer – Inflation may be the number one item underestimated when it comes to overall retirement planning. Inflation is on the rise, and if it rears its ugly head at the 4% level you better seek shelter to figure out how to make your money last.  At a 4% inflation level, 1 million dollars ...

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Five Ways To Save Money On Pet Costs

As the millennial generation grows up (people born 1981-1996), many couples are actually substituting the idea of having children with have pets as the cental focus of their family.   According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), the 2012 Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook showed that almost 40% of households in American had a pet dog.  Cats were at 31% falling in seconds place and a litany of other animals were further down on the list.   It turns out that if you ask most people what they think the cost to own a dog will be during its lifetime they gave an answer of $6,000.  However, the range actually falls between $27,000 and $42,000 in actuality over the course of ten years.  Of course children are more expensive, but here are five ways you could save money if you have a pet. Schedule Regular Checkups – We know that it is always better to be proactive versus reactive when it ...

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What’s Best? Buy, Lease, or Rent A Car

One of the day to day family financial decisions we have to make as adults is whether or not we should buy a car or lease a car.  Over the past twelve months, there have also been options popping up across America around the concept of joining a subscription service and renting a car.  Making the right decision for your family can potentially not only improve your budget, but it could also improve your lifestyle.  Here are my side by side on whether you should buy, lease, or rent a car. Buying A Car – There are lots of considerations when you buy a car, but traditionally I have only been a fan of buying used cars that are two to three years old and the large initial depreciation wears off.  You can cover yourself by buying a bumper to bumper 100,000 mile extended warranty if you have concerns about something major happening to the car, but I like the ...

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