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Your 4 Step Guide on How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Your guide on how to stop living paycheck to paycheck

For more than a decade, wages, in real terms, have been pretty much stagnant.

Even as productivity has increased among the middle class, wages have failed to improve to match.  So, even though the recession has been over for more than five years, many Americans still feel the pinch.

Recent research suggests that more than 25 million middle class Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

According to a study from the Brookings Institution, 66 percent of the American households living “hand-to-mouth” are families with median incomes of around $41,000.

This means that, even though there is an economic recovery underway (albeit is rather lukewarm recovery), millions of Americans — many of them with jobs — aren’t reaping the benefits of the recovery.

When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you don’t usually have liquid assets, such as savings accounts.  The research finds that these Americans do have homes and retirement accounts, but, even then, the median net worth is still only $41,000.

To get beyond living paycheck to paycheck, the Americans in this study needed an income of $51,000 a year, and had assets of $116,000.

But that doesn’t mean that you are doomed to live paycheck to paycheck, no matter how much (or little) you make.  You can stop living paycheck to paycheck, if you are willing to make changes to the way you handle your budget.

Here’s How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

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Capital One 360 Financial Independence Days Sale 2014

mount_rushmore

Head on over to capitalone360.com/independence to grab some savings and wave the flag of financial freedom.

Capital One 360 Financial Independence Days Sale – 2014

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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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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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Should I Buy Travel Insurance for My Next Trip – Pros and Cons to Consider

Should I Buy Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is one of those up-sell services you see tacked on to your flight and hotel reservations when you book through most online travel sites.

You stop and think about it for a minute, but it can be frustrating.

Is insuring your trip worth the price asked?  What are the odds you need to use travel insurance?  Do you really need this type of insurance or is the travel company just looking to pad their pockets with your hard earned cash?

As is the case with most insurance questions, the answer to whether or not you need trip insurance is maybe.

Read on and you’ll see some compelling reasons for and against buying travel insurance for you next trip.

Pros of Buying Travel Insurance

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Tips to Save Big When Traveling on a Tight Budget

tips to save big when traveling on a tight budget

Just a month into our relationship, my husband and I took a trip to New Orleans. 

Later, we went to Memphis.  Then we flew to Japan.

We did all of this travel the first year we were together.  Simply put, we love to travel.

However, we don’t have the money to travel now as we did when we were first dating.  Since travel now usually includes bringing along our 3 kids, expenses can add up fast.  But we didn’t want to give up travel all together.

Instead, we found frugal ways to travel.

Gone are the days of staying at a bed and breakfast and eating out every meal when we vacation.  Instead, we travel in a much more practical manner, but we still get to explore places we’ve never been before, which makes scrimping all worthwhile.  Because we want our kids to travel and see the world, we’re glad to cut corners to do so.

We’ve learned many strategies for saving on travel.

Here Are Some Tips to Save Big When You Travel On a Limited Budget

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The Difference Between a Hard Credit Pull and a Soft Credit Pull

Soft credit pull vs hard credit pull

Your credit score is an incredible tool that can build up your life if used properly and tear it down if abused.

The difference between a great credit score and an okay credit score might be the difference in 0.5% interest on a home or auto loan and thousands of extra dollars of interest paid.

If you’re looking to protect your credit score you need to be aware of the difference between a soft credit pull and a hard credit pull.  One can damage your credit score while the other is mostly harmless.

Do you know the difference?!?

Keep reading and you’ll learn the difference between a soft credit pull and a hard credit pull.  You’ll see which one is relatively harmless while the other can affect your credit score.  This is extremely important stuff to know, especially if you need a great credit score for an upcoming loan.

Two Types of Credit Inquiries: Soft Pull and Hard Pull

Here’s a look at the two types of credit report pulls.

What is a Soft Credit Pull?

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