August, 2017

How to Plan and Finance Home Improvements

August 24th, 2017
How to Plan and Finance Home Improvements image

Once the thrill of becoming a homeowner wears off, reality sets in. Your home is likely to be the biggest single investment you’ll make in your lifetime. If you want to preserve its value over time, that means doing regular maintenance. Know what to expect Mortgage finance company Freddie Mac has a useful checklist to help you plan for regular upkeep, and you should also expect periodically to do larger home improvement projects like replacing the roof. Keep a budget Predicting maintenance costs is tricky, but some experts suggest setting an annual budget of 1% to 4% of your home’s [ read more ]

Are You Financially Healthy?

August 10th, 2017
Are You Financially Healthy? image

Traditional financial literacy efforts haven’t been a rousing success. Research from Harvard Business School shows that even Americans who are taught personal finance in school don’t seem to save more or manage credit better than anyone else. That’s why many experts concerned about Americans’ money habits — including regulators such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and financial think tanks such as the Center for Financial Services Innovation — are promoting the concept of financial health. “Financial literacy is really what you know. Financial health is the outcome,” says Rachel Schneider, the center’s  senior vice president. “You might know what [ read more ]