Money

Your Emergency Fund: How Much Is Enough?

Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as you’re driving to work, giving yourself your best, “You can make it!” pep talk, you see smoke seeping out from under your hood. Bad things happen to the best of us, and instead of conveniently spacing themselves out, they almost always [...]

2018-11-28T00:44:28-05:00Money|

Buying Vs. Leasing A Car

Some people approach buying a car like they approach marriage, “till death do us part.” Others prefer to keep their options open, trading in every few years for the latest body style, the hottest technology, or the highest horsepower. Whichever describes you best, we all face a similar decision when it comes to acquiring a car: finance, lease, or pay cash. About one-third of people lease their cars, but most choose to finance, and some still [...]

2018-11-28T00:38:40-05:00Money|

Pay Yourself First

Each month you settle down to pay bills. You pay your mortgage lender. You pay the electric company. You pay the trash collector. But do you pay yourself? One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of “paying yourself first,” in other words, making the first payment of each month into your savings account. Americans’ saving patterns vary widely. And too often, short-term economic trends can interrupt long-term savings programs. [...]

2018-11-28T00:41:28-05:00Money|

Life And Death Of A Twenty Dollar Bill

The average $20 bill is in circulation for 7.9 years, according to a report by the Federal Reserve. That’s better than the $10 bill, which has a life span of only 4.5 years, but worse than the $100 bill, which is in circulation for 15 years.¹ Here’s a quick look at what goes into creating a $20 bill and what determines when a bill’s lifespan ends. Paper A $20 bill starts out life as part [...]

2018-11-28T00:40:36-05:00Money|

U.S. Personal Savings Rate

The U.S. personal saving rate stood at 3.7% in January of 2017, a bit lower than its 10-year average of 5.5% and well below the recent five-year high of 11% in December 2012.1 The personal saving rate is the federal government’s estimate of what percent of their incomes U.S. households are saving. But market watchers and economists are mixed on what can be learned from swings in the saving rate. Why Economists Struggle They struggle [...]

2018-11-28T00:43:22-05:00Money|

How Does Your Credit Score Compare?

Fast Fact: Get Over It. A bad credit score doesn’t last forever. Since your credit score is a "snapshot" of your risk at a particular point in time, it changes as new information is added to your bank and credit bureau files. Scores change gradually as you change the way you handle credit. Your credit score is simply a statistical estimation of how likely you are to pay your debts and, by extension, how much credit [...]

2018-11-28T00:40:00-05:00Money|