1. How to Develop a Household Budget for the New Year

    Man calculating expenses, creating budgetIf you’re like many people, you probably start off the New Year with the best of intentions and set resolutions for yourself. Perhaps you want to eat healthier foods or work out more often, or you want to get a handle on your household spending. If the latter describes you, you are not alone.

    According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, 34 percent of Americans who made a resolution in 2015 had one that was money-related. In fact, spending less and saving more was ranked as the third most popular resolution of 2015.

    A great way to take control of your expenses is to create a household budget. Developing a budget is easier than you might think. You don’t have to be a financial expert.

    Here are three simple ways to track your spending and gain control of your household budget.

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    Categories: Saving Money
  2. Equipping Your Teenager with the Needed Financial Tools for Adulthood

    Mom paying bills with teenage sonTeaching teenagers how to manage their finances when they become adults is one of the most important lessons that a parent can impart.

    Here are four basic lessons on money-management for teens that parents should plan to teach their teenagers early on:

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    Categories: Saving Money
  3. 5 Reasons to Have Life Insurance (and Why It Can Cost More Not to Have It)

    top 5 reasons for having life insuranceAccording to the 2015 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and the life insurance association LIMRA, more than 40 percent of Americans don’t have life insurance. That equates to more than 128 million people without coverage.

    Reasons that people give for not having life insurance vary, from “life insurance is too expensive” to “I still have time, I don’t need life insurance yet” to “I don’t know how to get coverage.” However, its purpose remains the same: Life insurance can provide loved ones with financial protection when they need it most, just like automobile insurance, health insurance and home insurance.

    If you don’t have life insurance, here are five reasons for life insurance that you may have not yet fully considered:
    Reasons to have life insurance infographic

  4. Which Everyday “Necessities” are More Expensive than Life Insurance?

    girl with grandparentsDid you know that the biggest misconception about life insurance is the price? Some people still believe that life insurance costs significantly more than it actually does.

    According to a recent study conducted by LIMRA, a worldwide association of insurance and financial service companies, and Life Happens, a non-profit organization based in Arlington, Va., 80 percent of consumers misjudge the cost for life insurance. The study also found that both Generation X and the Millennial generation overestimated the cost of life insurance by more than 110 percent.

    What’s the story?

    To protect your family through Gerber Life Insurance, for example, a $25,000 10-year term life insurance policy for a healthy 32-year-old costs $8.40 a month for a female and $9.00 a month for a male.

    To put that into perspective, here are some typical items that can cost more than a life insurance policy:

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  5. Life After Debt: Tips for Helping You to Become Debt Free

    young woman cutting credit cardBorrowing money on various occasions is a normal part of life for many people in the United States. When unexpected situations arise, or during financially tight times, we often turn to our credit cards. Unfortunately, debt can quickly grow if we do not closely monitor the charges and do not pay our credit card bills in full and on time each month.

     

    The average household in the U.S. has a credit card debt of $15,480, according to the personal finance website NerdWallet. The average mortgage debt stands at $156,474, and student loans account for an additional $33,424. Many families face a debt so large that they think they’ll never be able to pay it back in full.

     

    Many ways are available to help people manage their finances and pay back debt. This might require making some hard decisions, but eventually those decisions can pay off – literally.

     

    Here are some tips to help address debt and move toward financial freedom: