Most people wish they had more money. However, too many of these people don’t have enough financial literacy to make this a reality. If you’re among them, then you know the frustration. Fortunately, obtaining financial wellness requires knowledge and discipline more than anything. Here are a few things you can do to improve your financial health.
Don’t Agree to Anything Too Quickly
Most people can get caught up in the moment when they’re out shopping, and many will agree to deals that aren’t so great for them because of it. This is why it’s important for you to have some discipline when it comes to impulse spending, particularly when you’re making big purchases. Shopping around ensures that you get the best deal. It’s okay to not buy something until you have all of the facts laid out before you.
At the End of the Day It’s Your Money
If you live in the modern world, then it’s likely that you feel like everyone wants a bit of your money. However, when financial difficulties arise, the people asking you for money aren’t going to be the ones to bail you out. That’s why it’s important to remember that it’s your money. You can spend it (or not) any way you choose. Learning to say “No, thank you” is also important. Here’s an example. Say you’re working with a real estate agent to buy a home and need financing. You should know how to break it to them if your agent was the one trying to find you a lender, but you found a better one. It may make the transaction a bit uncomfortable in the short-term. However, not honoring your financial wellness will have detrimental effects for you long after your real estate agent goes away.
Learn to Budget
It turns out that one of the secrets to financial wellness isn’t such a secret at all: budgeting. However, most people detest budgeting,which is why so many people have trouble with their finances. They don’t know how much they bring in nor what they spend their money on. This leads to overdrafts, excessive credit card uses and other financial mishaps. Don’t be one of those people. It’s important to learn how to budget and commit to keeping your spending within the limitations of your budget. Budgeting is the key to having more money and more financial wellness in the end.
Getting control of your finances is a key component of financial wellness. However, that may be easier said than done. It doesn’t have to be this way. Once you realize that it’s your money and what happens to it has a direct effect on you, it becomes easier to take care of it and yourself in the process.
Practical advice to get started making your financial future better - read the full Medium article here.
Getting your financial house in order doesn’t have to be a burden. Follow these tips to establish a budget and begin building healthier money habits! Read the full article here.
Buying a home is the American dream. Finding the right loan and lender to process your home is not always as easy as finding the right place to hang your hat. Since you are going to be taking on a 30-year commitment, you want to make sure that you get the best bang for your buck. If you're ready to start negotiations on a home to put down roots, then here is an easy guide you can use.
Finding a Lender
Finding a lender seems like a simple task as you just get online or ask a friend for advice. However, different lenders have different requirements. For instance, the threshold to get an FHA loan approved is a credit score of 520. However, most lenders won’t even consider approving a loan unless the FICO is above 580. Why the difference? The underwriting company at each bank has specific guidelines that they use for their loans. Make sure you brush up on lending terms so that you can understand their jargon before going into negotiations. You must find the right company to work with that can use your credit and income to give you the best possible mortgage. You’ll likely receive offers that vary greatly, but don’t be surprised if some banks will match others to vie for your business. Don’t just fall into the trap of going with the first bank you find. Good deals come to those who do their homework.
Possibility to Refinance
It’s common for people to sign for a loan with the hopes of refinancing into a better mortgage later. Refinancing rates change as the interest rate goes up and down. You can lower your payment significantly by switching banks. You might be able to refinance with another lender. However, your credit score, income, and debt to ratio must be adequate for such a transaction to be approved. Your credit situation can change overnight, so you should never get a loan that you can only afford long term with refinancing. Nevertheless, it’s a great option if your credit is worthy.
Choosing the Best Loan for Your Credit
If your credit score is below 620, then you may want to hold off on a purchase. Many lenders will give you a mortgage that requires you to pay some of the principle and interest if you cannot meet the entire 20 percent down payment. Additionally, you may be talked into a loan that has an adjustable rate. While it seems like a good idea at the time, balloon mortgages increase your payment every few years according to the interest rate. Before you buy a house, make sure your credit, income and down payment are all in order. Not only does it make the process easier, but you will get a more affordable mortgage payment and an attractive loan.
When it comes to dealing with lenders, you can certainly negotiate your terms. However, they are more eager to negotiate with those who have an excellent FICO and significant down payment. Don't think you have to settle for the first loan you're offered. You are in the driver’s seat. If you do get a loan with lackluster terms, then you can always refinance later.
In order to keep your financial and personal information safe, it’s necessary to look for red flags and be proactive about security. Here's important information to help safeguard your money, your personal information, and your family today.
(BPT) - You work hard for your money. Unfortunately, crooks work hard as well, attempting various tactics to take your money. If you fall for a scam, little can be done to help you get your money back. In order to keep your financial and personal information safe, it’s necessary to look for red flags and be proactive about security.
Know the red flags
From classic methods to using sophisticated technology, criminals will try a variety of strategies to gain access to your money. If you experience any of the following, consider it a red flag and pause before you act:
Learn the do's and don'ts
The Bank of America Privacy and Security Center provides key actions you can take to help protect yourself from becoming the victim of a scam:
Learn more and find out about the latest scam and fraud prevention news by visiting www.bankofamerica.com/security.
¹Transactions typically occur in minutes when the recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile number is already enrolled with Zelle.
Zelle and the Zelle-related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.
Ready to own your own home? Ready to make the investment of your lifetime? Here are three things to know financially when buying your first home.
Preparing to buy your first home is both exciting and stressful. Before you start down the road of home ownership, it is vital that you have all of your finances in order and that you fully understand what is in store for your budget. Here are three things to know financially when buying your first home.
Mortgage and Down Payments
The world of mortgages and down payments can be confusing for the first-time homebuyer. Understanding the differences between a fixed-rate and an adjustable mortgage will help you to make a more informed decision. You also need to plan how much money you want to put down on the home. There are several advantages of placing a 5 percent down payment, but it’s important to consider what works best for you and your financial situation. Keep in mind that if you put less than 20 percent down, it is likely you will be charged a monthly fee for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Consider the pros and cons as you're weighing the offsetting advantages of placing a 5 percent down payment.
Set a Price Range
Picking the right price range is an imperative step in finding the right house for your personal needs and your budget. When it comes to real estate, timing is everything. If you are shopping in a buyer's market, you are going to get more for your dollar. There are a host of online tools to help you figure out how much home you can afford. A lot of times, a real estate agent can also help you to figure out how much you can afford. You also need to examine your current and projected lifestyle to determine how much you can spend. For example, if you plan on having children in the future, you need to add these costs to your overall budget, especially if one parent plans on staying home with the kids.
Budget for Extra Expenses
The costs of purchasing a house go well beyond the basic outlay for the down payment and insurance. Chances are that if this is your first home, you will be upgrading to a significant amount of additional space. This will likely necessitate that you set aside extra money for new furnishings. If you are moving into a newly constructed home, it is also probable that you will need a budget for landscaping. Depending on the condition of the home, you will want to have some cash on hand for repairs and renovations.
Equipping yourself with the right tools and knowledge will help the process of buying your first home go more smoothly. All of the stress will be worth it once you are relaxing in a place you own.
It is never too late to start planning for your future or even planning for next week. Managing your finances in your 20s is an essential step in order to be better prepared for the years ahead. This article serves as a guide on how to get started to secure your financial future - today!
When you are in your 20s, there are countless things to worry about: Creating an independent life on your own is challenging, a work-life balance isn’t always easy to achieve, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult. Beyond all of that, it is also necessary to manage your finances. Money for bills and other life necessities is one aspect, but it is also essential to plan for your financial future. While it is never too early to start working towards this, if you are not careful, you might start planning for your financial future too late. There are also the added benefits of early financial planning, forming smart money habits, and small amounts now growing into much more significant amounts in the future.
Even if you are starting with small investments, starting early will have considerable benefits in the long run. While small investments will begin with small returns for you, those small returns will begin to grow from compounding interest. Monitoring your investment accounts and ensuring your returns are adequately reinvested will gradually become a source of personal wealth.
You Need a Healthy Financial Portfolio
As you begin to invest, it is best to not look into only one investment opportunity. Creating a diverse portfolio of investments allows your wealth to grow even in volatile markets. Beyond that, it is vital to understand the immediate impact of your financial health. Your financial portfolio determines how much of a house you can afford. It also affects lines of credit and other large purchases.
Planning Now Means Less Stress Later
Establishing a financial portfolio with smart investments is more than an immediate benefit; it is also a step towards your long-term financial planning. While retirement seems like a long way off during your 20s, It will happen before you realize it, and an intelligent financial portfolio can help you get set for it. Not to mention, emergencies will inevitably occur in your life that will make planning even more essential. By having a healthy portfolio, you might not be able to fully prepare for them, but you can at least be prepared to pay for them with a lesser degree of stress.
It is never too late to start planning for your future or even planning for next week. Managing your finances in your 20s is an essential step in order to be better prepared for the years ahead.
Please check out our other financial-related topics here!
Your home is the most significant investment for almost every American. Do you know how to choose the right coverage for you and your family? Here's tips how.
How to pick the right homeowners insurance
(BPT) - If you're like many Americans, your home may be your most valuable asset. That's why it's so important to protect it with homeowners insurance. Plus, it's probably a requirement of your mortgage. Setting up your coverage the right way starts with understanding the major parts of a homeowners policy.
Consider the following information and tips from the USAA Home Learning Center:
This protection covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it's damaged or destroyed. When you select the amount, keep in mind the cost to rebuild your home is different from its market value.
It's important to get the dwelling coverage right and to monitor it over time to make sure it keeps up with construction costs to rebuild. Under most homeowners policies, if you file a claim and have underinsured your home, your payout may be reduced.
Some insurers will help you estimate the rebuilding cost. They take into account the features, materials and finishes that make your home unique.
Personal property protection
This protection covers your furniture, clothing and pretty much everything else inside your home. Most policies set the amount of personal property protection as a percentage of the dwelling coverage.
It may not be enough, though. Homeowners plans set limits on certain high-value items. If you own expensive jewelry, art, guns, stamps, furs, cameras, computers, silver or collectibles, you'll want to consider buying valuable personal property insurance. This is sometimes called a "personal articles floater."
When you set up your homeowners policy, you may have to make an important choice about how to reimburse losses. There are two approaches:
To make your recovery from a loss as smooth as possible, replacement cost coverage is recommended.
This is one of the most important and least appreciated forms of protection offered through homeowners coverage. It protects you if you're found to be at fault for someone's injury or property damage. It even covers you for non-automobile incidents away from your home. Generally, it also covers your legal costs associated with such claims against you.
As a rule, your liability coverage should at least be equal to the total value of your assets for both your homeowners and auto insurance. If your assets are higher than the maximum coverage allowed under the policy, consider purchasing umbrella insurance to cover the difference. This is important to protect the savings and other assets you've worked hard to acquire.
As with other types of insurance, a deductible is the part of a loss that you're responsible for covering out of your own pocket. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium.
Choosing a higher deductible can save you money with a lower monthly premium but increases the risk you take. Consider the amount of cash you typically have on hand in your emergency fund or checking and savings accounts. Make sure you can cover the deductible amount comfortably.
What may not be covered
Your policy's basic coverage won't cover some special risks.
For additional information on protecting your home, visit USAA.com/Homeowners.
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