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Have you finally decided it’s time to make a budget or at least get your some of your expenses under control?  Well, one of the first questions you should have is how much should be allocated to each expense area.  The best way to answer that question is to use what others are spending for each type of expense and build your budget from that starting point.

Looking back at 2013.

Many people find it a struggle to pay their bills – especially as they age. 
 
So if you find yourself observing your parents or an elderly relative in need of a helping hand, here are a few of many issues to consider:

Categories: Budgeting, Spending

Let’s face it, budgets have a terrible reputation because they deprive  you from what you love. But is that really true?

Categories: Budgeting, Credit, Saving, Spending

It's the end of April and spring is finally here – well, sort of. The weather may not be cooperating in the mid-west, but we doubt unpredictable weather will hinder planning your dream vacation for this spring or summer.

Vacations can be good and bad – they allow for a change of scenery, exploration, and relaxation. However, vacations can also break the bank, especially since a lot of Americans resort to using their credit cards to pay for them. It doesn’t have to be that way; there are a couple of easy things you can do to ensure you have the money for your getaway.

 

Categories: Homeownership, Spending

The process of improving your home can be very exciting because it allows you to make your home unique to your tastes. But if you don't do things correctly, you could be out a large chunk of money and hinder the ability to sell your home at a later date.

Here are some simple things to avoid so you don't fall into the home improvement money pit:

There are a lot of important events that take place over the course of our lifetime. Marriage, buying a home, and having your first child are all events that are very exciting but also very stressful.

The excitement combined with the stress can lead us to rationalize very poor financial decisions by saying things like, "Well you only get married once," or, "Just getting one more thing for the new baby won't hurt." It's important to keep your emotions under control during these milestones so you don't end up in financial hardship.

Categories: Budgeting, Saving, Spending

It’s not surprising that the convenience factor of online shopping has made it very popular among consumers. Although convenience plays a huge role in its popularity, there is something else to mention: your ability to compare prices of products. These things work in the favor of the value-conscious consumer. Let's dig a little deeper:

The Comfort from Reviews.
Even if you don't want to buy a product online, reading reviews can help. It’s really difficult to get information on something when you’re at the store. The odds of finding someone who has purchased the same thing are small. Fortunately, this is where online comparison shopping comes to the rescue. You can simply type in the name of the item into a search engine and see numerous reviews from people who actually have experience with the item.

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