Walmart Life Insurance Policies – Should You Buy Yours There?

Imagine the unimaginable–you’ve died. 

In the prime of your life, years before you thought you would, you’ve died.  You’ve likely left behind a spouse and children.  Of course, they will grieve your loss terribly, but soon after you pass on they’ll be confronted by a harsh reality of life without your financial contribution.

How will your spouse survive and meet the bills?  Will she have money to send the kids to college?

Unfortunately, financial considerations crop up soon after someone dies when the funeral needs to be planned.

Life goes on.

If you’re the primary breadwinner, life goes on for your family with much less money, unless you had life insurance in place.

Unfortunately, 30% of Americans have no life insurance.  “Of the 35 million American households without life insurance, 11 million include children under 18″ (MSN).  While dying in your prime is unlikely, it happens every day.  My dad died when he was just 38, and my parents were woefully underinsured with life insurance.  My mom has struggled financially since he died over 25 years ago.

Why Don’t More Americans Get Life Insurance?

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Children and Allowance – When to Start and How Much

Long before we enter the working world, wage disparity can occur in the form of allowance.

I don’t remember talking to my friends about how much allowance they made, but I am guessing the subject probably came up.  As a parent, allowance is definitely something to consider carefully.  You don’t want to give your child too much nor too little.

-“This is an emergency!  I need to know all of your allowances!”

-“Why?”

-“Because you are all still friends, even with different allowances!  I have to know how you do it.”

-“Do we get different allowances?”

-“I don’t know, do we?”

From the kids’ show Arthur, in the episode More! where Arthur’s little sister, D.W., is angry she earns less allowance than her friend.

When Should Children Get an Allowance and How Much Should it Be?

Determining the Work to Be Done

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How Can I Pay Off My Student Loan Faster? 3 Programs to Help

There’s no doubt that American college students are in deep–deep in student loan debt, that is

The average college graduate who has student loan debt walks away with roughly $25,500 in debt.  To pay those loans off in 10 years, the graduate will have to pay nearly $300 a month and will pay almost $10,000 in interest over the life of the loan.

New college graduates in this tough job market often must settle for low paying jobs to gain experience before they can move up to a better paying position.  Factor in rent, food, a car, health insurance, and a professional wardrobe, and tacking on a steep student loan payment can be difficult.

While there is no easy way to get out of student loan debt quickly, there are a number of programs that are available to help graduates pay off their debt faster.  These programs won’t erase student loan debt, but they can give graduates a little extra help paying off their loans.

3 Programs to Help You Pay Off Student Loans Faster

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First Comes a House, Then Marriage?

Did you live with your spouse before getting married?

If so, you’re not alone.

More and more Americans are choosing to live together before getting married.  According to a CDC study, 48% of women interviewed between 2006 and 2010, ages 15 to 44, had cohabitated with their significant other.  This trend has been on the rise, so it’s not surprising.

When you consider the level of student loan and credit card debt some adults have when leaving college, living together may also be prompted out of financial necessity to pool resources and be able to afford living expenses while paying down debt.

A New Trend — Buying a Home Before Marriage

Did you buy a house with your spouse before you were married?

The opportunistic housing market with low housing prices and unbeatable interest rates combined with the trend for many couples to cohabitate has sparked a new trend — buying a house together before getting married.
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Second Marriage? Have a Financial Date Before You Tie the Knot

With a divorce rate that is commonly quoted as being 50%, second marriages are common. 

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, many experts cite the divorce rate of second marriages to be 40%.

Second marriages come with more baggage — ex-spouses, stepchildren who may or may not like the new step parent, and, of course, financial complications including spousal support and first family obligations, just to name a few.

It’s no secret that money disagreements can be one of the top causes of divorce.

According to a study conducted by Jeff Dew of Utah State University, “Couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances a few times a month” (The New York Times).

So how do those in second marriages, who perhaps bring more money issues and baggage into their marriage with them than they did their first marriage, avoid financial conflict?

One strategy is to have a financial meeting before they marry (and some may argue before they even get engaged).

Make sure to consider these financial topics before that next marriage:

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Is it Better to Rent Or Buy Stuff? – Renting Items To Save Money

My friend’s parents were recently locked in a marital battle.

They wanted to travel from Michigan to Florida for a wedding, and she wanted to fly for free using frequent flier miles they had accrued.  The transportation cost for the trip would be limited to the car they would rent for three days when in Florida.

He, on the other hand, thought it was silly to rent a car when theirs worked perfectly fine.  He wanted to make the 24 hour drive down to Florida for their three day trip.  He was sure this was the cheaper way to travel, even though they would have to pay for gas and put wear and tear on the car.

Ah, the rental battle.

Is it worthwhile to pay for a rental?  The answer, in all honesty, is often that it depends.  However, in this case, simple math would have shown him that her plan would have been the cost saver.

Marital battle aside, we Americans don’t often think of renting outside of cars and apartments.  Instead, our first thought tends to go to ownership.

There are just a few things we automatically think of renting–of course, cars when we are traveling, tuxedos when our children are going to prom or when men get married, apartments, sure.  But for most other temporary needs, we tend to buy instead of rent.

However, if we could let go of this mindset, we may save a substantial amount of money.

How to Determine If It Is Better to Rent or Buy

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Multi-Generational Living – Is a Next Generation Home for You?

The economy has hit many hard. 

Retirees have seen their investments drop leaving them with less money to pay their living expenses and ever rising medical and prescription costs.

College students struggle to pay their college and living expenses while not going too deeply in student loan debt.

Meanwhile, the so called sandwich generation, those who have elderly parents who need support as well as children that also need support, struggle to make ends meet and take care of both generations while also saving for their own retirement.

Multi-Generational Living:  Coming Back in Style

The idea of generations living together is not new.  One hundred to one hundred and fifty years ago, 3 generations living together was quite common.

Yet, as our society changed and people became more independent, multi-generational living fell out of vogue.  It is no longer necessary, so most people don’t do it.

However, the current economy has changed the most recent housing dynamic. 
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