Personal Finance is a catch-all for anything that falls under the umbrella of taking care of your money. A lot of people think of their personal finances as some "other" thing they don't always have to pay attention to. I think it's integral to your life and health.

Take a look at the articles below and get your personal finances in shape.

7 Ways Your Finances are Scarier Than Zombies

7 ways your finances are scarier than zombies.

Thanks to the Walking Dead zombies are more popular than ever this Halloween.

You might even say they’re cool.

But do you know what’s scarier than zombies?  Facing yet another Halloween with your financial demons!

Here are 7 Ways Your Finances are Scarier Than Zombies…Read on…IF YOU DARE!!!

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Should You Buy a Bigger House? Take These Into Consideration First!

Should you buy a bigger house?

Many people look to the time when they can get a bigger home. 

Sometimes you just need more space.  Some just want the bigger place.  I see homes being torn down and re-built into much larger houses.

Thing is, when you buy a bigger house you aren’t just paying a bigger mortgage.  With a bigger house comes some other expenses and costs that increase.

The question is, should you buy a bigger house?

If you have weathered the current recession and have the funds, those beautiful, large houses that were built just fifteen to twenty years ago may be tempting.  Even if the price on a larger house is one you can afford, think carefully before upsizing.

With an upsize comes many other upsized costs.  Keep reading and see why buying a bigger house may be more than you expected.

Here’s What You Can Expect to Go Up If You Buy a Bigger House:

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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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Is Your Money Mindset Killing Your Finances?

Is your money mindset killing your finances?

Millions of Americans are struggling to pay their bills and meet their financial obligations. 

The last eight years have taken a toll on Americans economically, and many are still feeling the financial repercussions.  According to one study, indebted Americans owe $14,517 on credit cards on average (Forbes).

But how much they owe isn’t the only problem.

The other half of that equation is how much they’re saving. . .or not.

According to TIME, only 1/3 of Americans have at least $1,000 saved in an emergency fund.  Of course, logically, if they’re not saving for the short term, they’re also not saving for the long term.   As CNN Money reports, “About 49% of Americans say they aren’t contributing to any retirement plan, according to a new survey conducted by LIMRA, a trade association for the financial services industry.”

Americans are in bad shape financially.

But what if the secret is not learning how to live more frugally?  What if the secret is instead to look at your money mindset?

If you’re stuck in a financial rut, could one of these reasons be the cause?

4 Crucial Places Your Money Mindset is Killing Your Finances

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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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How to Teach Your Children to Be Financially Responsible

How to teach your kids to be financially responsible.

As parents, we all want what is best for our children.

You may often hear parents boast, “I want my kids to have what I didn’t have.”  We want the next generation to be more successful than we are.

Yet, more and more that’s not happening.

“Johnny” is a 54 year old man who still lives with his parents.  He moved out briefly when he married and had two children, but 8 years into the marriage, he and his wife divorced, and he moved back home with his parents.  That was 20 years ago.  He is unemployed and has been for over a decade.  His parents pay his living expenses.

“Renee” is a 27 year old college graduate.  She went to college at an expensive school to get an art history degree.  She is now paying back over $40,000 in student loan debt.  She’s working at the local coffee shop while she looks for a job in her field, though in her small town, such jobs are nearly non-existent.

Unfortunately, these types of situations are more and more common.  As parents, we want to do everything we can for our kids, but often that turns into enabling, which can lead to the situations above.

A far better response is to teach our children to be financially independent at a young age.

Remember, the earlier you start, the more adaptable your children are.  Consider these strategies below…

Here’s How You Help Your Children Be Financially Responsible

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When Does It Make Sense to Automate My Finances and How Do I Get Started?

When does it make sense to automate your finances?

Automating your finances is one way of simplifying your financial life.

When your automate your finances you use your bank, credit card, or service provider’s website to set up automatic transactions on your behalf.  You can automate paying your utility bills, paying your credit card, investing your retirement funds, and many other tasks.

Finance automation is often touted as one of the top ten things you should do to improve your finances.

While having your bills paid on time does help you save time and avoid late fees, completely automating your finances is foolish and nearly impossible to do.

How Automating Your Finances Improves Your Finances

Late fees.  Overdraft fees.  High interest rate penalties.  Missed payments.

All of these items are the result of mismanaging your finances.  Missing one payment can result in your interest rate on your credit card going sky high.  Missing the payment due date on any bill will automatically reward you with a late fee on top of what you already owed.

In short, mismanaged finances end up costing you thousands of dollars with all the fees and higher interest rates you pay.
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