There’s a lot more to homeownership than paying the mortgage loan.
The holidays can be one of the most stressful times on your budget. Now that the holidays are through, it’s important to take a look at your financial well-being and get back on track in the New Year. Here’s some tips to help you recover and minimize debt from holiday spending.
Every year, we make tons of resolutions. We sign up for a gym membership and vow to get healthy, we swear to ourselves we’ll start going to bed on time, and we make promises to become healthier, happier people. But this year, the best resolutions you can make are the ones that affect your finances. Help nurse your credit score back to health, make your checking account happier, or invest in your future and start down the path of a healthier, happy financial year.
Share Certificates: You might have seen this term before but didn’t know what it meant. Share Certificates are a secure, long term investment that give you the returns you deserve, while giving you the flexibility to choose how much you invest and the length of term.
If you’ve been following this blog, you may have suddenly realized that you want everyone in your family to become member-owners of the USC Credit Union. However, they might also be hesitant to make the switch. The process of closing one account and opening another appears daunting, but it is actually very easy! If you want to share the joy of lower fees, greater accessibility, and better resources with a loved one, just send this blog their way to clarify the process.
How much should I contribute to my 401(k)? How much should I have invested for retirement at 30, 40, 50, etc? These are good questions. Here, I try to answer them, but I should warn you:
Personal finance is PERSONAL!
The more you can contribute to your 401(k) and the sooner you can start, the better. But everybody’s situation is different. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel “behind” in the retirement game…remember, you can’t change yesterday but you can TAKE ACTION today and change tomorrow.
So while we’ll get to how much you should have in your 401(k) at 30, 40, 50, etc…let’s start with the more important question:
How much should I contribute to MY 401(k)?
The answer? As much as you comfortably (and legally) can!
Thanks in part to the time I spent serving in the Army, I have tons of friends with unusual hobbies. Friends who skydive every weekend, with hundreds of jumps under their belts. Helicopter aviators who are learning how to fly airplanes. Endorphin junkies who register for triathlons and adventure races every chance they get.
On the more sedentary side, my parents collect wine and have a cellar full of bottles. And I've been taking guitar lessons for years. But there's a problem with all of these hobbies: the cost.
All the fun pastimes are expensive, or so it seems. Army officer and adventure racer Robert Kurtts agrees. "Adventure races and triathlons not only have entrance fees," he says, "they also have the cost to travel to the race and stay overnight before an early morning race start."
Those entrance fees can range from $20 for a short local race to more than $500 for a national or international class event. Beyond that, Kurtts notes, some races are gear-intensive, and all the necessary equipment can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Kimberly Paine, aka Misfit Merida of the Providence Roller Derby team, says that her sport is putting unexpected pressure on her home life. "Gear, dues, insurance, after parties ... the expected and unexpected costs of playing roller derby have strained our wallets and our marriage," she says. "One pair of skates can cost between $300 and $600, and a set of wheels can cost over $100. The average roller derby player spends about $600 a year on her favorite pastime."
Hobbies like these can get quite costly, and that's not even taking into account the value of a person's time.