How to Start an Emergency Fund – It’s Not That Hard!

How to Start an Emergency Fund

One of the best things you can do for your personal economy is to start an emergency fund.

Your emergency fund can help protect you against financial setbacks, since it provides you with a little extra cushion to draw on.  Rather than turning to debt, you can use money in your emergency fund to cover unexpected costs.

Experts recommend that you save at least six months’ worth of expenses in an emergency fund.  So, if you spend $3,000 a month, you need to have $18,000 in an emergency fund.

Notice here that I’m talking about expenses and not income here.  What you need to save in an emergency fund is money to cover what you normally spend in expenses each month, not how much you make.

Anyway, that’s a daunting task.

How can you get started when you have that huge amount of money hanging over your head?

Here’s How to Start an Emergency Fund

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Why Do I Need Life Insurance and How Much Should I Buy?

Why do I need life insurance and how much should I buy?

I think it’s safe to say most people don’t like the idea of thinking about life insurance.

It’s a reminder that, after all, we’re mortal and one day we won’t be around anymore.  In fact the subject bothers some people so much that they don’t even look into getting life insurance.

But you won’t do that, will you?

To help make getting life insurance easier for you I’m going to tackle a couple of common questions when considering life insurance — why do i need life insurance and how much should I buy?

When Most People Start Thinking About Life Insurance

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What Should You Do With a Cash Windfall?

What should you do with a cash windfall?

Quick—if you got a serious cash windfall what would you do with it?

What’s a serious cash windfall?  That number is different for everyone but I think any amount that would make a significant dent in your life (or more).  I’m thinking an amount starting at $1,000 and going up from there.

It’s fun to think about this question, not the least of which since windfalls do happen, at least from time to time.  And when they do come, it never hurts to have some ideas or a plan for what you’d do with it.  This way when the money comes you can act rationally.  A cash windfall is a great opportunity that you don’t want wasted.

The way I see it, there are three basic choices—spend it, save or invest it, or use it to pay down (or pay off) debt.

Which you choose depends on your circumstances.

Let’s take a look at three options for a cash windfall:

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Extreme Couponing: Do You Really Save or is it a Waste of Time?

Is Extreme Couponing Worth It?

Extreme couponing has become quite the craze and there’s no denying there can be significant savings to be had; but at what cost?

This sounds like an oxymoron – but depending on the circumstances, couponing can come with a hefty price tag.  There are some great deals to be had out there and there is no debate that coupons can save you a bit of money but let’s closely examination this activity. Continue Reading

Your Guide to College Student Credit Cards and the Best Cards Out There

Your guide to student credit cards

Should a college student get a credit card?  That’s certainly a heated question.

One the one hand, it’s terribly easy for a young adult to get themselves into credit card debt they may regret years after they graduate. Students loans are bad enough without other debt looming over you.

On the other hand, a credit card can be a great tool to help a college student with their cash flow as well as be a means to build up their credit history early on.  Used wisely a credit card can help a student achieve an excellent credit history and score by the time they graduate.

Sure a student can use cash or a debit card to make payments.  It’s probably a good idea most of the time.  But neither of those options help a student build up a credit history.

Once a college student hits the “real world,” and maybe even before, they may find that their credit score can be used for things as diverse as getting a job, getting a cell phone, or renting an apartment.  Building up excellent credit early on is a clear incentive to have a credit card in college.

It’s Tougher for Students to Get Credit Cards These Days

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10 Tricks to Get Cheaper Textbooks (Because Tuition is Expensive Enough!)

Textbook pile

When I went back to school some years ago I expected tuition to be higher, and it was.  

That wasn’t a shock though.  I know that tuition goes up every year and how expensive it is.  I was prepared for that.

Know what shocked me?  I was shocked at how expensive textbooks had become!

I found that some textbooks were easily $100+, some lots more.  I quickly realized I had to figure out how to get cheaper textbooks!  Read on and you’ll see 10 tricks that can save you a LOT on your college textbooks.

Here are some great ways to save on your college textbooks and get them for less:

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Free Museum Days From Bank Of America with Museums on Us

Happy penguin at aquarium

Wouldn’t you love to visit more museums?  

What generally holds us back from going out to more museums is time and money.  Let’s face it, not only can it get expensive for a family to go to the museum these days but it can get pretty hectic too (at least it is with our small army of kids).

Still, we try to do what we can to schedule trips out when we can.

That leaves the money part of the equation.

Some years ago, we discovered that Bank of America® actually has a great program called Museums on Us®.  

What is Museums on Us?

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