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Throwing a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving Without Breaking the Bank

The holidays are a time for family, friends and feasts. Time spent together is the most important part of gathering together during the holiday season, but most people admit these gatherings wouldn’t be the same without the food – turkey, pumpkin pie, ham, mulled wine, rum balls and sugar cookies. But somewhere along the way (can we blame Instagram and Pinterest?), you may feel every holiday meal should look like it belongs in a magazine. Free-range turkeys dressed in epicurean herbs, 12 organic sides and elaborately crafted baked goods are delicious, but they’re a lot of work and frankly, they’re expensive. When you’re gearing up for arguably the most expensive months of the year, it’s not always wise – or possible – to empty your bank account for one meal. Thankfully, it’s also not necessary. It’s still possible to do a big, traditional Thanksgiving dinner on a budget. It’s All…

Personal Finance Quiz: 9 Questions to Ask Yourself

How well do you know your money? Odds are you are more familiar with your finances than anyone else in the world. If that isn’t the case, it’s time to make a change. Find out if you know enough about your money with this quick personal finance quiz. Are You Saving Enough for Retirement? How much do you need save for retirement? Are you on track to reach that target? Many Americans never calculate how much they need for retirement. The average baby boomer is destined to see a dramatic lifestyle change after paychecks stop in retirement. Even with social security and the increasingly rare pension, most Americans are far from saving what they need for retirement. SmartAsset suggests the average retiree should have between nine and 11 times their annual salary saved for retirement. It doesn’t matter if you are five years from retirement or 50, make sure you are…

6 Health Tips That Can Also Grow Your Wealth

The relationship between our health and wealth is strong. Those in poor health suffer from a variety of illnesses and incur the high cost of medical care. And when someone is struggling financially, looming debt and the daily struggle to pay bills can negatively impact their health. This can become a vicious cycle of increasing financial hardship and declining wellness. There are moves you can make to help break this cycle or even try to prevent it in the first place. Staying healthy can make a big difference in improving your financial situation. Your level of fitness has both short and long-term effects. And many of them are related to money. Here are some important tips that will make a difference to your health and your wallet. Few would argue that not smoking is incredibly important to both our physical and financial fitness. With the average cost of a pack…

7 Big Money Secrets the Financial Industry Doesn't Want You to Know

The finance industry is about making money. However, unlike most industries, you can use knowledge of banking and personal finance to save yourself a boatload of cash. Instead of handing your hard-earned cash over to wealthy bank executives, have a good understanding of these seven money secrets so you can keep as much of your money as possible. Stock Brokers Want You To Trade According to famed investor Warren Buffett, most of us are better off investing only in low-fee index funds like the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF or mutual funds. It is extremely difficult to beat the markets consistently. Even professional fund managers often underperform the S&P 500. If investment professionals can’t beat the market, people who don’t spend eight to twelve hours per day learning about stocks and the stock market will perform even worse when picking stocks and investments. Keep in mind, that is exactly what your…

8 Ways to Catch up on Retirement Savings

It’s hard to believe that the year is more than half over and students will be headed back to school in just a few weeks. Now is an excellent time to ask yourself if you’re making progress with your retirement savings. Many Americans make the mistake of procrastinating when it comes to retirement planning. Some wait until their fifties or sixties to start saving, while others don’t ever save at all. The good news is that by taking some simple steps today, you can prepare for your future. Here are eight easy ways to get your retirement on track. Analyze Your Monthly Expenses Are you aware of how much you’re spending each month? Overspending can be detrimental to your retirement savings. Analyze your cash flows for the last several months and figure out where all of your money has been going. Reduce unnecessary expenses and consider automating contributions to a…

Could You Actually Need LESS Life Insurance?

a little money in your pocketThere are many reasons why individuals change their life insurance policies, but most often than not, insurance companies prompt you to change your policy to increase your coverage for a few reasons– new job, new home, new member in the family, etc. Each of these events require you to adjust your life insurance policy accordingly to protect your family’s financial security. However, there are a few instances where you might need less life insurance.

It may sound weird at first because you may be thinking, Well why would I ever need less life insurance? Is there actually such a thing as too much life insurance? Well, if you experience a life-changing event in which you no longer need to support someone financially, you may actually want to lower your policy.