Clean the Money Clutter

In the last blog post we talked about how summer can throw your budget off the rails. Now it's time to talk about getting your finances back on track. There are two phases, and they assume that you rang up debt over the summer break. Phase 1 - Decluttering Start by organizing your credit card and other debt balances based on the interest rate. Those with the highest rate at the top, the lowest rate at the bottom. If the rate on two products is the same, prioritize the one with the highest balance relative to its limit. High utilization rates, particularly on credit cards are killers for your credit score and a bad score can seriously hamper your future options. If none of your cards have a h

Summer Vacation Damage

My son started kindergarten this week, a big milestone in my family’s life that we’re excited to celebrate. The start of school also marks the end of summer vacation which means it’s time to take stock of something you may be embarrassed to talk about in public: the havoc summer wreaks on your finances. Did you take a one week vacation and come back with a credit card balance $1,000 over what you budgeted? Do you look at the statement and glaze over trying to figure out what went wrong? Expenses like hotels, amusement parks, and other tourist attractions can be reasonably predicted in advance when setting the summer vacation budget. What almost always trips up the summer vacation budget is f

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