Financial Management

Earning money might be hard, but managing it isn't easy either. Budgeting, saving, and keeping track of where your money goes can be challenging.

The tips in this section can help you take care of your money so it is there when you need it most. You'll find information about IRS allowances, home equity, saving money, retirement planning, and other topics. The more you know about money management, the more flexibility you'll have in the long run.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'Financial Management' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

   401K Planning
Taking the time to understand your 401k and strategies for building wealth will pay off in the long term. Following the simple strategy of Diversification, Allocation, Buy and Hold and Long Term Perspective will help you make the plans you need for retirement.

   Avoiding Financial Mistakes in a Divorce
Divorce is a horrible, gut wrenching, and life changing experience that it is extremely easy to make some fairly costly mistakes. One of the most common types of mistakes to make is in the financial area. By avoiding financial mistakes in a divorce you can help prevent a lot of unnecessary heartaches and troubles.

   Avoiding Probate
Unlike many think, dying isn't simple, at least from a financial perspective. There is a lot of legal muck to sort through and if you can reduce that then you're in a good place. Avoiding probate is a great way to reduce what you have to pay when you die and it also leaves your successors in a much better peace of mind.

   Developing Financial Discipline
Financial discipline may intimidate some, but it's really like any other kind of discipline. Start simple and easy and work your way up to where you're in complete control of your finances and you'll experience true financial freedom!

   Discussing Finances with Your Partner
Money discussions can be uncomfortable and frustrating, but they need not be. If you can just approach the conversation with honesty and tact then the conversation with your partner can be productive and successful.

   Getting Your Credit Report
Today more than 50% of all credit reports have errors. You are entitled to a free credit report annually, take advantage of this service to preserve your good credit rating.

   Handling a Cash Settlement
Have you recently won a large amount of money due to a contest, lawsuit, or some other means? If done properly, this can be a huge opportunity for you and your family. However if it is not done properly then this can be an extremely dangerous time for you. Make sure that you know the proper way of handling a cash settlement.

   How to Calculate Your Cost of Living
The Consumer Price Index is a measurement of a basket of goods and services. By looking at the CPI for your location you can compare your cost of living to other locations. You can also compare your cost of living to previous years. Researching the cost of living in a new location is a good idea to make sure you are getting the salary needed to maintain the standard of living you have in your current city.

   Living on a Fixed Income
Living on a fixed income is a challenge. If you or a loved one is living on a fixed income it is important to stay on top of spending and make sure that each dollar goes as far as it can. To save money, you should keep a log of spending for several months and look for places to cut expenses. Whenever possible work towards building an emergency fund to take care of unplanned car or appliance repairs.

   Obtaining a Business Grant
If there is one part of starting a new business that is the most stressful, then it has to be coming up with the money to get your business off of the ground. One of the best ways to help in this area is by obtaining a business grant. While it may not solve all of your problems, it can definitely take the edge off.

   Obtaining a Business Loan
The steps for obtaining a business loan are similar to those for obtaining a mortgage or car loan. The main difference is the requirement for a business plan. You can prepare for obtaining a business loan by reviewing your credit history and by writing your business plan. Be sure to have all your documentation ready when you visit with your banker or credit union.

   Paying for Multiple Kids at School
Children are great, wonderful additions to any family that help make the darkest days brighter. Unfortunately they also tend to be just a tad expensive. One of the most expensive times is when schooling comes around. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can make paying for multiple kids at school just a tad less painful.

   Reading an Amortization Schedule
Amortization schedules may be daunting to think about, especially when you realize it deals with mortgages and interest and concepts of the like. Amortization schedules however aren't that hard to figure out and once you do you'll be in good shape for really managing your loan.

   Staying Financially Grounded Through Divorce
Divorce can be a difficult time emotionally. Emotions can get in the way of making good decisions about your financial future.

   Strategies to Save Money
Saving money doesn't have to be complicated. The trick is to start small and make saving a habit. You can quickly accumulate a significant savings if you remember to pay yourself first, make it automatic and cut back on spending by avoiding high retail prices.

   Tapping Into Your Home's Equity
There are many options for tapping into your home's equity. Banks offer several kinds of home-equity financing options from home-equity loans to home-equity lines of credit. Before putting up your home as collateral for these types of loans, you should carefully consider how you will use the money and what the term of the loan will be. You should try to keep a cushion of at least 20% equity in your home, any lower and you'll pay higher interest rates and risk an important source of emergency funds.

   Unclaimed Money
Many people don't realize that they could have money sitting out there that they don't know about. With just a little bit of research, you could find unclaimed money that's rightfully yours.

   Understanding the Intangibles of a Salary
When many people look at a salary, they only look at the money that they receive. In truth, there are other things that can be considered part of your salary that you may not readily see. These things are called intangibles. Understanding the intangibles of a salary can go a long way to helping ensure you will be compensated fairly by your employers.

   Ways for Teens to Make Money
Teens have a number of ways to make money, both traditional and newer online job opportunities. You can find work through job postings and by handing out business cards to neighbors and family friends. Remember that word of mouth is a great way to generate new business. If you provide a high quality service for a good price, your customers will recommend you and you'll have no shortage of new business.

   What are IRS Mileage Allowances?
The IRS allows deductions for car mileage for business travel, medical care and for charitable purposes. You can deduct your car mileage based on either the IRS standard deduction or on actual car expenses. The standard deduction has recently changed so be sure to look up the latest amount before applying them to your taxes.

   What Happens When You Sell a Structured Settlement?
Selling a structured settlement is often the natural result of being awarded such settlements. After all, who really likes to wait around for all that money, when they could get it right away? But what happens when you sell a structured settlement? The process is not exactly what you think it might be.

   What is a Portfolio?
Portfolios, while a bit vaguely understood at first, are great for investors and are key in controlling financial assets. While you may not currently or even ever need an official portfolio, you should know what they are and leave that as an option for you in taking better control of your finances.

   What is Better, Salary or Hourly?
There are pros and cons to hourly and salary payment methods. It is important to understand each compensation method and determine which is best for you.

   What is the Cost of Living?
In its simplest terms, the cost of living is the amount of money required to support a specific lifestyle. The cost of living fluctuates from region to region.

   When is it Time to Change Employment?
Leaving a job is never a fun, but sometimes it is absolutely necessary to do so. But when is it time to change employment? While it can be different for everyone, there are some similarities that will effect just about everyone equally.