Smart Money Blog

5 Financial Tips for Future Parents


Expecting a new bundle of joy? Talking to adoption agencies? Or have you just started discussing a family with your spouse? Wherever you are on the journey to parenthood, preparing your finances is just as important as preparing your heart for your new addition. Here are some tips to help get you ready for your new little one’s arrival.

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Protect Yourself from Counterfeit Checks


Counterfeit checks may look like an ordinary personal check, or even like a cashier’s check. If you deposit a counterfeit check, you will have to pay back your financial institution. You may also have to pay a fee for depositing an invalid check. Here are some ways you can protect yourself from being scammed by a counterfeit check:

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Don't Drive Your Financial Life Without a Dashboard


A properly designed budget tells you how much money is in your financial tank and how quickly you’re moving toward your goals.

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How Millennials Can ‘Score’ a Mortgage at the Best Rate


If you’re a Millennial and are thinking about buying a home in the near future, you’re not alone. Credit bureau TransUnion estimates there will be between 2.8 and 3.4 million first-time home buyers per year over the next five years, the majority of which will be between the ages of 20 and 39.

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How To Survive Wedding Season--Without Busting Your Budget


It's wedding season! You've probably got a few dates circled on your calendar for weddings to attend this summer. It's fun and exciting, but the costs can really add up. Wondering how you can be there without wrecking your finances? These simple tips can help you enjoy a worry-free wedding season!

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Keep Your Social Life Without Busting Your Budget


Love getting together with friends but worried about how much those weekly outings are costing you? You don't want to offer excuses that make you feel like a bad friend. And you don't want to get yourself into debt by keeping up with all those dinners and nights out.

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How To Write A Check


You might prefer to use electronic payment options, but paper checks are still important. According to the Federal Reserve's 2013 study, 18.3 billion checks are written every year. Another study by market research firm New Heights Research showed that over half of all landlords only accept paper checks.

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Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft And Online Fraud


Many of us shop with cards instead of cash these days, and online shopping makes it easy to buy anything from groceries to furniture without leaving your home. Unfortunately, the Internet also makes it easy for crooks from all over the world to steal your identity and help themselves to your bank account without your realizing it. Don't let this happen to you! When you shop, be careful with your debit and credit cards.

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5 Reasons Your 20s Are A Great Time To Save


Your 20s are an exciting time, and you should enjoy them to the fullest. You probably have lots of people offering advice on some of your life choices, especially your finances.

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2 Things You Need To Know About Money Market Accounts


"Do you have any savings?" It's a big question, with equally big implications for your financial future. Whether you're putting money away for a dream vacation, a new car, or an emergency fund that you can rely on in case of a job loss or other unexpected expense, saving now can (literally) pay off big dividends later.

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