Personal Finances

Consumers Don't Know Personal Finances

When we were in school, an average or failing grade would have meant big trouble for us at home, often resulting in our parents putting us into "time-out" -- and that may be just what some fiscally irresponsible adults need. An NFCC survey allowed consumers to grade themselves on their knowledge of personal finance, and 34 percent -- more than 7... more

4 Ways to Make Rounding Up a Big Win

Stacks of coins and pile of bills.

A little research led me to a surprising discovery: Uncle Sam rounds down. Yep, when answering a recent reader question, I discovered when you're retired and get an annual cost-of-living adjustment, your new check is always rounded down to the nearest dollar. That means whether the initial calculation results in some dollar amount plus 39 cents... more

5 Tips to Avoid Damaging Your Credit Score

Credit History

A good credit score will not only facilitate your ability to get financing for a car, a home and many other things at favorable interest rates, but it can also help you get a job and obtain or keep your security clearance. Your credit score is a very important number. So, how do you build and maintain a good one -- and, over time, even improve y... more

Don't Let a New House or Car Bust Your Budget


Just because you can buy it doesn't mean you should. That basic financial rule of thumb is especially true when you're shopping for a home or car, says JJ Montanaro, a certified financial planner™ professional with USAA. Most people take years to pay off those big-ticket items, so they deserve serious scrutiny. Montanaro suggests considering t... more

Understanding Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallet in checkout.

We've all been there: you're waiting in line at the grocery store and the person in front of you is slowly rummaging for the right credit card—or worse, pulls out a checkbook. As you stifle an internal groan, think positive: quicker payment options are here! While Apple Pay™ and Android Pay™ have recently been making headlines, the technol... more

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