Sarita Harbour Sarita Harbour is a full-time writer with over 12 years of experience in financial services. Her career included roles as a small business finance consultant, senior personal banker, and financial advisor. During her successful career in banking she assisted clients with personal and business credit and retirement planning. Sarita is a regular contributor to several personal finance and small business websites, and is passionate about money management for individuals, families, and entrepreneurs. She is the author of "How to Build Your Brand With Pinterest" and "Instagram: How a Photo-Sharing App Achieved a $1 Billion Buyout in 18 Months."
Perhaps you have a new job, are a newlywed, or have recently committed to a personal savings plan. Whatever your life stage, you’ve surely heard that regularly contributing to savings is an important financial strategy. You know to save for emergencies, retirement, college, and large purchases such as cars and homes, but where do you start? How much should you put away from each paycheck, and how do you prioritize your savings goals?
Every situation is different, but figuring out the details of how much to save on a regular basis isn’t difficult. Once you’ve established a savings strategy that will help meet your family’s financial goals, start saving immediately.
Boring educational material on money, credit, and investments can actually discourage people of all ages from learning valuable information that can help them make wise financial decisions. Fortunately, money management lessons masquerading as games can make learning about finance easy and even fun.
Some of today’s best money management board games have been popular for years. Continual revisions to older games keep them relevant to today’s financial world while still teaching players how to build wealth and minimize debt. From well-known games like Monopoly, to the newer but wildly popular Cashflow 101, there are a number of fun, educational board games available to help people develop and master their financial management skills.
Today’s freelancers, work-at-home moms, and small business owners have more choices than ever when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping services. Gone are the days when you needed to collect your scrap receipts in a shoebox and deliver them to a professional bookkeeper each month.
The recent explosion of online cloud-based applications has widened the selection of easy-to-use, inexpensive, and even free online bookkeeping options for businesses of all sizes. However, wading through the features of each application in search of the perfect bookkeeping solution can be daunting if you don’t know what you are looking for.
Though it may be hard to believe, there are instances when the best mortgage rates are the worst thing for your finances. If they entice you to make decisions that cost money instead of saving it, then what seems like a great deal can actually be devastating.
It can be tempting to refinance your home mortgage when you have the money to make a big purchase. Luxury vehicles, boats, RVs, new furniture, and expensive cruises or vacations are typical large purchases that homeowners may use as excuses to increase a mortgage when interest rates are low. The problem with doing this is that these purchases quickly depreciate in value – your debt increases, but your assets do not. Instead of building wealth, repeated cash-out refinancing when mortgage rates are low has a negative effect on your personal net worth.
No matter how much we dislike debt, most people achieve home ownership with the help of a mortgage. While it may be necessary to get your foot in the home ownership door, paying off a mortgage as soon as possible has many financial benefits, including saving thousands of dollars in interest payments.
If you want to pay down your mortgage faster, start by reviewing your papers and noting whether there is a mortgage prepayment penalty. If so, identify in which cases you have to pay it and how it is calculated.
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