Financial literacy

American Financial Solutions Clients Highlighted in National Campaign

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC) today announced the six-month activity report of the Sharpen Your Financial Focus program. To date, more than 20,000 consumers from a diverse array of states have enrolled in the program, and have completed at least two of the three steps to increase their financial situations.

Posted on Apr 09, 2014

Personal Money Management Quiz

It’s Financial Literacy month! Start out with a quick personal finance habit assessment and then visit our main page and click on MyMoneyCheckUp to complete a free, full financial review!

Posted on Mar 31, 2014

No Interest! 90-days Same as Cash! A Money Saving Deal for Purchases?

You’ve seen the advertisements offering 30 days, 90 days, 18 months “same as cash” sales. The enticement is that as long as you pay it off within that time frame, you can buy something on credit and not pay interest.  If you want something bad enough you might be tempted to overestimate your ability to meet those terms. Doing so can be costly. There is no doubt that these offers are effective at generating sales. You might even think to yourself, “I’d be stupid not to buy it.” But be forewarned; if you don’t pay it off within the time frame in the contract, you are in for a huge shock when the next bill comes around. And some experts say that...

Posted on Mar 26, 2014

Ask yourself what you deserve more

When you are in a department store, eyeing a new shirt or skirt or pair of shoes for your wardrobe, one of the messages you might tell yourself is, “I deserve this.” We won’t argue with that. You do deserve it. But you deserve something else, too, the peace of mind that comes from living debt free.  You also deserve the things you can buy with cash later because you have rid yourself of debt. So if you can spend cash for that piece of clothing you have your eyes on and enjoy the vacations, the car and the house in the future, then your purchase won’t cost you more than the number on the price tag. If, however, you need a credit...

Posted on Mar 21, 2014

Baby Steps in Helping Someone Establish Good Credit

If you are a parent of an older teen or adult child and the idea of them walking around with a credit card scares you, there is good reason. Anyone using credit and debt without a proper appreciation for the pitfalls can find themselves on a disastrous date with debt later on. The best time to help your children establish and learn about credit, though, is while they are still living under your roof. That gives you a better opportunity to mold their habits in dealing with personal finances. Helping your child establish credit does contain some risk for you and your child, but eventually he or she will want to buy a car and perhaps a house and won’t be...

Posted on Mar 12, 2014

Tips for how to burn through your money quickly

So you’ve found yourself with extra walking around money lately and you really don’t like that feeling. By following just a few easy methods you can make yourself feel better by getting that money into someone else’s pocket where it belongs. First, when you have to spend cash, try to get it from an ATM that is not in your network. That way your bank will charge you a couple of bucks, and so will the ATM. Next, why spend 50 cents a year on drinking water when you can spend hundreds? The bottled water you are drinking is sometimes the same or worse than tap water and by buying it, you will have one or two fewer dollars to worry about....

Posted on Feb 28, 2014

You don't have to wait 30 years to pay off your mortgage

Your parents, or maybe your grandparents, might have been frugal enough to have a mortgage burning party. While some financial advisors might encourage people to maintain a mortgage to take advantage of tax benefits, many of us are more excited about the freedom that comes with a home owned with no debt. If you would like to reach that day sooner than your current mortgage calls for, there are at least five things you can do to make that happen. Remember, with most mortgages any extra money you use to pay it off goes to principal, so you save on interest costs right away. And the more extra money you can devote early in a loan’s life, the more months you...

Posted on Feb 26, 2014

How the Seattle-Denver Super Bowl applies to your finances

Just because this is finance and credit blog doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun on Super Bowl weekend. Even if you are not a football fan and could not care less about Sunday’s game, you might enjoy these fun facts that serve as metaphors for your financial situation. First let’s look at the cities: Seattle and Denver. Did you know that Seattleites claim the term “skid row” comes from the Emerald City? The legend is that mill owner Henry Yesler had his crews grease logs and skid them downhill along a path called “Skid Road” to a mill below. A Historylink.org piece now rules that legend to likely be untrue. Later, though, a prohibitionist used the name “Skid Road” to...

Posted on Jan 31, 2014

A Tax Break that can Boost Your Efforts to Reduce Debt

As tax time approaches one important federal tax program might provide you a good way to put some money away into savings as you work on improving your financial situation. Financial experts differ on how much you should have set aside, but agree that you should have something to prevent you from relying on credit to pay for emergencies. Like any federal tax incentive or credit that focuses on a particular group, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the accompanying Child Tax Credit might rise to the level of “political footballs” in the coming years. Both are scheduled for reduction in 2017. But they are still available now, for tax year 2013. As you prepare your taxes or have them done,...

Posted on Jan 24, 2014

Safety Tips for Those With New Smart Phones

With many of you sporting new smart phones you found under the Christmas tree, it’s a good time to go over some useful safety tips to make sure you don’t make sensitive information visible to someone who shouldn’t be seeing it. Since so many people have been using smart phones for years, for many the new phone this year is not the first one. If you are in that position, you should take some steps to make sure your old phone doesn’t come back to haunt you. Wipe any personal information off of your old phone. A story from a Philadelphia ABC affiliate in December advises that it’s important to get rid of any financial documents, photos and anything else that can identify you...

Posted on Jan 23, 2014

 
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