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Tips, advice, and the latest news from the savings world.

Painless Ways to Pay off High Interest Debt

Debt
Written by Guest Blogger · 24 July 2012

By Erik Carter, JD, CFP® a resident financial planner at Financial Finesse.

Are you struggling with credit card debt? If so, you’re not alone. Paying off credit cards and other higher interest debt is one of the most common goals that people try to save for. Unfortunately, having to pay off a large amount of debt with ridiculously high interest rates can make you feel hopeless, especially if your budget is already stretched. But it turns out that you don’t necessarily need to make huge sacrifices to become debt free much sooner than you may have thought was possible.

Let’s take a look at an example. Suppose you have 4 credit cards. One has a balance of $1,800 at 19.8%. The second has a balance of 1,500 at 16.99%. The third has a $1,100 balance at 16.7%. The last has a balance of $1,000 at 5.9%. If you just make the minimum payments, it would take over 30 years to pay all that off! Sounds pretty discouraging for someone on a tight budget, huh?

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Find Your Balance

Budgeting
Written by Super User · 23 July 2012

July 23, 2012
By Lila Quintiliani, AFC®
Military Saves Assistant Coordinator

To many people, a budget seems very much like a restrictive diet, with all the negative implications involved.  People don’t want to make what seems like unpleasant sacrifices in the here and now just to ensure a comfortable, but nebulous, future.  But I like to flip that notion on its head: I like to think about what I’d specifically like to accomplish (Set a Goal!) and then what I am willing to give up to get there (Make a Plan).  It’s a delicate balancing act, but it’s one that most successful savers have learned to do, whether consciously or not.

Here is my own personal list of things I am willing to give up (and some I’m not!) in order to build up our new car fund:

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5 Ways to Reduce Your Debts

Debt
Written by Guest Blogger · 19 July 2012

July 19, 2012

By Dylan Tansy, America Saves Intern

When people sign up to become savers with America Saves, one of the first things we ask of people is to set a goal and tell us what it is. Having a concrete tangible goal is one of the best ways to maintain motivation, keep perspective, and measure progress. Roughly one in six people that have committed to start saving with America Saves have chosen “paying off consumer debts” as their top financial goal. This is not surprising as approximately 45% of families earning less than $50,000 a year rely on credit for basic needs. While this figure may be disheartening, the truth is that anyone can work toward becoming debt free. Here are five basic pieces of advice that you need to follow if you are serious about taking control of your money:

  1. Stop borrowing – The bottom line is that your debt will never go away if you are always adding to it. There may be times when you have no other choice but to rely on credit, but you should avoid a revolving balance. Compounding interest will increase how much you owe in the long run and keep you in debt longer. You need to either cut up your credit cards, or hide them from yourself.

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Contributing to the TSP: A Few Simple Steps

Retirement TSP
Written by Super User · 18 July 2012

Contributing to the TSP:  A Few Simple Steps

by Miriam Darden Settles, CFP®
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board


You’ve heard about the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), but are you still sitting on the sidelines not contributing?  If so, what are you waiting for?  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to save for your retirement with what is widely regarded as one of the finest retirement savings plans in the world. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to reap the rewards of participation.

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Know Your Score: Save Money

Credit Score Credit Report
Written by Super User · 17 July 2012

By Lila Quintiliani, AFC©
Assistant Coordinator, Military Saves

Just about everyone I talk to is interested in saving money.  Yet very few people are familiar with their own credit report or know their credit score.  Why is this such a paradox?  It’s because your credit history can determine how much you pay for your house, car, insurance, utility deposit…the list goes on and on.  And aside from that, it can also affect your security clearance, your job prospects and even where you live.  Everywhere you go, institutions and individuals will be looking at your credit history and judging you on it, so your best bet is to know what’s in your own report.

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Tip of the Day

  • Written by Katie Bryan | November 29, 2013

    Transferring #money from #checking to #savings is the fastest way to #save $500 - $1,000 >> http://ow.ly/e7ClM

Saver Stories View all »

When You Start Small, Saving is Easy

Written by Lila Quintiliani | August 12, 2019

When Attiyya first got married, she and her Marine husband had just graduated from college and were focused on paying off student loan debt. They had both attended private schools and had sizeable loans. Then three months after the wedding, the couple found out they were pregnant with their first child.

The first year of their marriage, says Attiyya, was a balancing act between paying down debt and saving for the future.

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Setting a Goal Leads to Success

Written by Super User | May 24, 2019

Growing up, Marisa’s dad had always talked about saving first, but she said she didn’t really internalize it until much later. “I was drifting along with no plan, carrying a little bit of revolving debt, saving some money here and there, but without a real plan for it.”

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Involving Kids in Family Finances

Written by | April 19, 2019

 

One of the best lessons we can share with our kids is about money. By middle school, kids should have a good understanding of how money works as well as the importance of saving.

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