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Three Questions, Then Three Questions

Chalkboard with Question MarksAs 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to figure out if you’re in your best possible financial shape. While performing a self-audit can seem like a daunting task, we’ve created a simple way to get started. Below, we ask three questions about where you are now compared to where you were a year ago. Your answers should help you understand if you made the right choices in 2015. After that, we’ve got three more questions to help guide your 2016.

Good Debt, Bad Debt

Cash, Calendar, CalculatorToday’s students pay a premium to go to college. It’s more expensive than ever to pay tuition, textbooks are borderline extortion, and after inflation the minimum wage is about 30% less than it was a few decades ago. So working all summer to pay for school has turned into working as many hours as you can to support yourself while taking out a staggering amount of loans. We all know it; the headlines are everywhere.

Holiday Budgets - Involving Your Kids

Parents and Child Shopping OnlineOnce your child is old enough to know that Santa is a fantasy, and it’s actually mom and dad who sponsor those wonderful holiday gifts (it was fun to believe it, though, wasn’t it?), she is old enough to discuss, in an age-appropriate way, budgeting for those gift-filled holidays. While you don’t want to spoil the fun with lectures, here’s how you can take advantage of the teachable moments to impart important lessons without your child feeling like she’s learning:

Pay for Delete Scams

Businessman with Fingers CrossedYou may already be checking your credit report regularly and you might have developed the habit of challenging or reporting any suspicious activity. But what do you do with a stubborn charge that won’t go away? You know you shouldn’t have to pay it, but for whatever reason, you can’t get it off your report.

When I Was Your Age

Picture of LegosKids are incredibly expensive. That’s probably because they’re worth it.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Football on top of MoneyEvery Sunday, Americans gather to watch football. Wherever you are, whatever else you do, the one thing we all (it seems) have in common is this Sunday ritual. When Dr. King called Sunday the most segregated day in America, he couldn’t have imagined the unifying force football would become, dominating popular culture and conversation in a way few other forces could. In fact, of the 50 most popular programs last year, 90 percent of them were professional football games.

Buying a Used Car, Part Two: Loans and Negotiation

Car LotIf you missed part one of our guide to buying a used car, take a moment to check it out. We covered choosing the right car, understanding the value of the vehicle and many aspects of the process up to the point where you sit down with the person from whom you’ll make a purchase.

Buying A Used Car, Part One: Finding The Car

Toy Cars on CashYou’ve probably heard that a car is the second-largest purchase the typical American makes after their home, but that’s not really true. It might seem like it, since the median home price in the US was just under $190,000 last year, while a new Honda Civic starts at about one-tenth as much. When you look a little deeper, though, you’ll probably only ever own one home at a time, and when you sell it, you’ll get your money back. You might even make a profit on the sale.

Saving Your Marriage from Money

Wedding Ring on CashMy partner and I always seem to find ourselves disagreeing over money matters. It’s come to the point where we can’t argue productively. Every time we try to talk about our finances, we end up fighting. How can we make our conversations more productive?

Halloween and Budgeting

Kids Sorting Halloween CandyCan you feel it in the air? It’s almost Halloween! It’s time for costumes, ghosts, spooky movies, candy corn, and most importantly for the kids out there, it’s time for trick or treating. Sometimes, it’s easy for adults to forget just how important that one night is for our kids, at least until they get their costumes on and lose their minds with excitement. Once they’re running and giggling and hoarding their chocolate, it’s pretty clear what a big deal it is.

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