I’m often asked what’s the biggest financial mistake millennials make when it comes to their finances. In the past, responses have been not getting started or paying for services they can do themselves, for less. After five years of teaching financial education, I’ve realized that one of the biggest mistakes millennials make when it comes to their finances is focusing on only one aspect of their financial journey.Read More
The first time I reviewed my credit report it felt like I was walking into a well-appointed room decorated with mistakes from my past. Some were bigger than others, but they were all there, and every line of my report reminded me of a bad financial decision that I would have loved to forget about — but due to my neglect, these mistakes were anchored to the walls and rubbed into the fabric of the carpet that paved my financial journey.Read More
We’ve finally reached that time of year, the holidays. If you’re anything like me, right about now you’re waist-deep in travel plans, holiday meal planning, and of course, the dreaded gift shopping. It seems like every year we go into this frenzy trying to find the “perfect” gifts for our loved ones, scouring the internet for deals, fighting with random strangers over the last hot item on sale on Black Friday, and maxing out our budgets, all in the name of Christmas.
If you don’t work, you don’t eat. Truer words have never been spoken. But here’s something that also rings true. Even if you do work, if you don’t create a food budget that fits your lifestyle and paycheck, you could end up eating cup o’ noodles by the end your pay cycle as you wait for the next paycheck.
I don’t have health insurance, now what?
According to the Henry Kaiser Foundation, by the end of 2016 the number of uninsured nonelderly Americans was 28 million. Under the current administration the number of uninsured has risen to a three year high. While the Obama Administration made strides under ACA with a public health insurance plan, many of the uninsured population in the United States lacked health insurance due to the high cost of health coverage. Many Americans are lucky enough to have health coverage, but many Americans lack health insurance for a variety of reasons. Some people may not have health insurance due to a pre-existing condition, while others may be uninsured due to an accident or recent job loss. Luckily you do not have to sacrifice your health due to being uninsured. Here are ten options to consider if you don’t have insurance:
Have an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses The first source is always YOU. Having money saved will go a long way if you are uninsured. Depending on the services or products you need, sometimes you may be required to pay the costs in full or at least a percentage. You will have some peace of mind if you have your own money set aside.
Ask for uninsured discounts When you are receiving medical services or products, most times they will give you a discount if you pay in cash or by check.
Ask for a payment plan Some medical offices, especially if you are a regular customer, will allow you to start a payment plan. They will provide you with the services you need now and allow you to spread the cost over the next few weeks or months. You may be required to pay at least five to ten percent of the total balance when services are rendered.
Use Groupon Most times you will find that a dental office, medical office, massage therapist, or chiropractor will offer affordable deals that you may not receive elsewhere.
Ask for new customer prices Most times you can get services and products for free or receive a large discount as a new customer. Sometimes those deals may not be offered or advertised.
Contact local Dental Schools If the work you need is not very serious or complicated, you will find that utilizing the services provided at dental schools are much cheaper. If they are unable to do the work you need, they may have a connection with a company who can provide you with the service at an affordable price.
Ask friends and Family You would be surprised who the people in your life are connected to. Someone always knows someone, who knows someone else. Someone may know of a company who could provide services at a low cost. Everyone loves referrals.
Contact local churches, community centers, and nonprofit organizations They may have connections with local companies or programs that can provide products and services for those who are uninsured and unable to cover the cost themselves.
Try an Urgent Care before the Hospital Emergency Room Unless you have a serious life threatening issue, I would suggest getting services from a local Urgent Care. The emergency room can sometimes have longer wait times and are more expensive.
If you or someone you know is uninsured, these tips will provide a head start with navigating through the experience. Although the results may vary depending on your location and situation, I can guarantee that at least one if not all of these tips will be helpful for someone who is uninsured. The big take away is start with having money saved and be proactive with asking anyone and everyone questions about discounts and other affordable options in your area.
Fall is finally here, and you know what that means? The weather is changing and so is your wardrobe! Whether you’re working from home or the office, dressing appropriately for your career is imperative. Seasonal changes can make getting dressed somewhat challenging and a little costly. Pour a cup of coffee and continue reading to learn How to Transition your Work Wardrobe from Summer to Fall (on a Budget) for both business professional and casual work environments.
This post was sponsored by CreditRepair.com.
You work hard for your money and the last thing you want to do is lose it in a scam. Millions of people fall prey to scams every year. They affect people of all education levels and societal classes. Thieves and fraudsters are evolving with technology and it’s important to identify the signs of a scam as early as possible to avoid costly effects that could take months, even years to erase.
Here are four warning signs that you might be getting scammed:
They Approach You
For most of us, when we want something we conduct research and then contact the preferred vendors or businesses. Unsolicited calls with exceptionally good news are usually a sign of a scam, especially if you haven’t received a written notice from the company before. If you receive a phone call that seems suspicious DO NOT provide any information before asking and receiving the following.
● The employee's name, ID and a call back number with their direct extension if necessary.
● The website of the company they are calling from.
● Information regarding how they obtained your information.
Once you receive this information look up the company online to find out if any search yields information pertaining to scams. If it is legitimate then you can call the employee back at the number and direct extension they provided to you.
The same goes for home improvement scams. According to CreditRepair.com “if someone knocks on your door or calls you and you haven't been investigating any home improvements, beware.”
They Invite You to Check Their Better Business Bureau Rating
Back in 2010 it was uncovered that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) was essentially a pay to play organization. If a company had money to pay the BBB, they’d receive a grade A regardless of customer complaints or customer experiences.
Scammers use the platform as a way to”legitimize” their business. Rather than referring to the BBB check out Yelp for customer reviews or ask friends and neighbors for referrals.
They Request That You Pay Up Front
While some business interactions require a deposit or payments at regular intervals, beware of claims that state that you have won a lottery, prize, or can invest in a great opportunity, if you pay a small fee in advance. According to the FBI, often times these scams require their clients to sign contracts where they agree to pay the fee. Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the nonrefundable finders fee according to the contract.
You shouldn’t have to give money to receive your prize money in return.
They Ask For Private Information Without Previous Interaction
Your private information is just that, private. A company that you have no previous relationship with should not request personal information such as bank account information, birthdate, or social security number without providing you ample notice such as a mailing, that they will need this information and that they will be contacting you.
This is not to say that something is automatically a scam if it contains any of the aforementioned warning signs, but it does mean that you should conduct extensive research on the company to determine its legitimacy.
For more information on identifying loan scams in particular visit CreditRepair.com’s Resource Center.
Thinking about having a child? Or maybe you’ve recently found out you’re pregnant! Congratulations!
A range of emotions may have hit you – excitement, bewilderment, surprise, and anxiety – but after some time, your rational mind kicks in and asks,
“Wait, can I even afford to have a child?”
“How much should I save?”
“Does my job offer paid maternity leave?”
These are the questions my wife and I had when we first started to think about having our first child. There’s so much involved with bringing new life into the world, we really didn’t want to add financial stress to the list.Read More