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The student loan industry is huge now. Indeed, outstanding student loan debt now exceeds outstanding credit card debt in the U.S. As you get ready for college this fall, it’s a good idea to think about your college funding options, and consider your financing. If you have a child that is still a few years away from college, it’s never too early to start saving. Here are some ways to avoid student loans: Save up:…

One of the questions we sometimes have to ask ourselves is this: Is it sometimes worth it to pay a little more? The issue of the Netflix price increase has me thinking about when it might be worth your while to pay a little extra. For instance, if the Netflix price increase will allow the company to expand its streamed offerings, then I think that the higher price is well worth it. There are other…

One of the most common financial goals that many people have is paying down debt. Finding the money to pay down debt can be difficult, though. In order to be more effective as part of a debt pay down plan, you need to make some changes in the way you handle money. This way, you will be able to pay down your debt faster: Move Debt Up the Priority List The first thing you need…

One of the the things I’ve learned about personal finances is that there is a big difference between what you can do and what you should do. When my husband and I were shopping for a home, we were approved for more than twice what we ended up paying for our mortgage. According to the mortgage lender, our credit situation, and our income, qualified us for a home — and a loan — twice as…

It can be tempting, when creating a debt pay down plan, to start with the lowest balance first. This is because you tend to get an emotional boost when you pay off the debt. It can help you keep going. But, if you are looking at matters as they relate to saving money as you pay off your debt, you should consider starting with highest interest rate debt first. In some cases, your highest interest…

One of the biggest questions people ask about finances is what the 30% rule means for housing. Does it mean net or gross income? Is it just the mortgage plus interest, or does it include other expenses? You might get several different answers. The most generous answer, of course, is that you can “afford” to pay 30% of your gross income on mortgage and interest payments. While you might feel good about this plan, it…

One of the big pieces of news recently is that the PlayStation Network was hacked. The end result? A large number of people had their personal information compromised. I’m one of them. I had a credit card stored on the PlayStation Network, and I’m a little bit worried that it is compromised. So, what are my options? Get New Cards Rather than wait to see what happens, I decided to be proactive. I called the…

One of the most common concerns for many consumers is whether or not they can afford a mortgage. Figuring out whether or not you can afford a mortgage should be more about simply figuring out what your mortgage payment should be. You should also realize that once you buy a home, there are other costs involved. Better Safe Than Sorry Many personal finance experts will tell you to keep your mortgage payment to 1/3 of…

We hear a lot about how money can’t buy happiness. However, in some cases it really can. Recently, a study pointed out that $75,000 was the salary for happiness. Many might argue that they are perfectly happy with less than $75,000 a year. And that is probably true. However, the report does point something interesting out: Money can contribute to happiness. [ad#Content 300×250] It would be nice to think that money can’t really buy happiness,…

[ad#Content 300×250] One of the issues you have to contend with when it comes to retirement is inflation. Inflation, at its most basic, is viewed as rising prices. Inflation erodes your buying power, creating a situation in which your dollar does not go as far as it used to. If you consider that inflation has an annual rate, you can see why it would be a problem. If the rate of inflation is 3% annually,…