Start Them Young to Learn How to Save
By teaching kids how to save for their goals, they'll have one of the most difficult aspects of saving under their belt by the time they're teens—being a consistent saver. Here are just a few clues to help teach kids of different ages about being a savings sleuth: * Have young children—preschool age—sort different types of money into piles by color and size. * At the grocery store, let kids of all ages help you shop. Teach them how to comparison shop—for example, show them that for every $4.85 box of cereal, there may be similar brands on sale for half as much. * As kids get older, let them know what things cost. Share sales receipts and bills that you receive for items or services you've purchased for them. * If you decide to pay your kids an allowance, include them in the decision. Discuss allowance amounts and what...
Are you thinking of remodeling your kitchen, or do you need help with tuition expenses?
Are you thinking of remodeling your kitchen, or do you need help with tuition expenses? Home equity loans offer a low-cost option that’s quick and easy to obtain. There are two types of home equity loans—a regular home equity loan and a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. With a regular home equity loan you get a lump sum of money and, depending on the loan terms, you pay a predetermined amount back each month for the life of the loan. This option makes sense if you have a large expense up front, such as business start-up expenses. A HELOC differs from a conventional home equity loan in that you don’t receive the entire sum up front but will draw against a “line of credit” to borrow sums that total no more than the credit limit, similar to a credit card. You can use our online banking...
Give Your Debts a Financial Health Check
A debt-to-income ratio is a measure of financial stability calculated by dividing monthly minimum debt payments by monthly gross income. This calculation gives a straightforward depiction of your financial position. Typically, the lower your ratio, the better handle you have on debt. Determining your debt:
  1. Collect your most recent credit billing statements for current balances
  2. Outline your total monthly bills using two columns: bill type (such as car loan, mortgage/rent payments, and so on) and monthly payment. Do not include bills such as taxes and utilities in this list.
  3. Add up the total for all of the monthly payments listed.
  4. Calculate your monthly before-tax income. If you receive a paycheck every other week, as opposed to twice a month, your monthly gross income is your before-tax income from one paycheck times 2.17.
  5. Your monthly debt-to-income ratio is calculated by dividing your monthly debt payments by your monthly income. For example, someone...
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