What Should Be On Your Year-End Financial Checklist?

ChecklistIn a few short days we’ll be wrapping up the year and heading into 2015. This time of year can be hectic, especially with the holidays and wrapping up year-end duties at work. However, there are also a number of things we should look at to make sure we’re setting ourselves up to succeed financially in the year ahead. Success starts with not allowing the craziness of the holidays to keep you from planning ahead and that planning should start with setting simple financial goals.

Assess This Year and Make Goals for the Next

Year end is a perfect opportunity to look back at what you’... KEEP READING

So, You Want To Go To Grad School?

University applications slumpEver since I was a child, I’ve wanted to earn an advanced degree. My ultimate goal was to obtain a Ph.D., like my dad. However, I’ve had to reconsider that aim, especially in terms of what makes sense for my finances. While I did go back to school to complete my M.A., I have yet to advance further, since it wouldn’t make financial sense at this time. Deciding to go to grad school, especially at a time when our nation has more than $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt and the cost of a higher education is increasing ... KEEP READING

Gifts That Keep Giving: 5 Financial Gifts for Your Grandkids

With the holidays coming up, it’s time to start thinking about what to get for your grandkids. There are a lot of “hot” items out there, and kids get excited giftmoneythinking about what they’ll unwrap. However, the truth is that a hot toy today is old news in three months. Instead of giving your grandchild a $40 toy that eventually breaks or gets ignored, give him or her a gift for the future. Here are 5 financial gifts that keep on giving:

529 Plan Contribution

With the cost of college on the rise, you can contribute to your grandchild’s future with a 529 contribution. Your contribution can ... KEEP READING

iQuantifi Raises $1 Million in Angel Round Funding

Nashville, Tenn. – December 2, 2014 - iQuantifi, the first virtual financial advisor to provide comprehensive, goal-based planning advice to millennials and young families, announced today that it has raised $1 million in its angel round investment. “We are very excited to have raised this angel round and we see the investor interest as validation of our cloud-based, robo-planning software platform,” said Tom White, iQuantifi’s CEO and Founder. “We intend to use the capital to continue to enhance the platform while expanding our partnerships with financial institutions.” iQuantifi’s virtual financial advisor enables users to take control of their finances by providing real-time, goal-based planning advice. iQuantifi also partners with banks, credit unions and other financial institutions by offering the platform as a turnkey solution to engage their millennial clients, a generation that has been slow to show loyalty to traditional brick and mortar institutions. “Despite the gradual ... KEEP READING

The Do’s and Don’ts of Charitable Giving

Charity imageThe holiday season is quickly approaching and charities are out looking for donations.  It’s a great time for charities to promote their cause as most people tend to be more generous during the holidays.  On top of the holiday cheer, many people are trying to donate at the end of the year for a tax write-off.  Some may think donating to charity is not as popular as it once was, but in a recent survey, it found that 87% of Millennials donated money to a non-profit last year. Whatever your reason for being charitable, make sure you follow these do’s and don’ts of giving.

Don’t give ... KEEP READING

Technology Tips for Taking Control of Your Finances

Millennials love technology. Their entire generation is defined by it. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and all of the social media technology was developed and technologyused by Millennials. While social media technology seems to be the choice of this generation, it apparently also moves into the financial space. In a study by Zogby Analytics, more than one-third of respondents said they have made a decision to spend or switched companies based on what the organization allowed their users to accomplish with a mobile device. 87% of the respondents say their mobile device never leaves their side, both day and night. This means the Millennial generation is completely connected. Banks and financial ... KEEP READING

Start Saving for Retirement with a 401(K) or 403(B)

Saving for retirement is easy to put off. Life is busy and hanging up the proverbial hat can seem so far off that it’s natural to put saving for retirement on the back burner.RetirementArrow There are other reasons why retirement planning gets cast aside though, like fear of investing in the stock market, feeling that you don’t have enough to start to invest with or not knowing where to start. Even in the face of such fears, it’s important to press on and make saving for retirement a priority. The biggest benefit to starting to save for retirement now is because the longer your money has to grow, the more money you are likely ... KEEP READING

Yes, You Should Have a Credit Card

Whether or not you like the credit scoring industry, the fact of the matter is that your credit matters. And it’s about more than getting a good deal on a loan. Your credit history is used when others make all kinds of decisions about you, from what your insurance premium should be (in states that allow it) to what security deposit your landlord asks for. In some cases, an employer might even look at your credit report (but not your score) as part of a background check.Millennial credit card need It may not seem fair that your credit history plays such a big role in your financial future, but that’s the way it is. And ... KEEP READING

Navigate Open Enrollment and Healthcare Options

It’s that time again. Open enrollment for health insurance is fast approaching. Employers are putting together information for their employees to sift through and come up with a plan right for them. If you don’t have employer sponsored health insurance, then you will be looking for coverage on the many Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges, or through Healthcare.gov. No matter how you get Healthinsuranceblogimageyour health insurance, open enrollment is a great time to weigh all of your options and make sure you are paying for what you need. It’s also a great time to look into healthcare accounts to assist with your expenses. Here are some tips to help you navigate through open ... KEEP READING

Think Beyond Income When Deciding To Relocate

Reese_BoxRecently, my family sold our home, packed up, and moved across the country. Our decision to relocate was pretty simple: My husband was offered a full-time job teaching at a Penn State campus -- a step up from working as an adjunct. Because my income, earned by working from home, wasn’t affected by the move, it made the decision that much easier. As easy as the decision to relocate was for us, though, I know that it involves careful thought for others. Deciding to relocate should not just be about whether or not you will have a higher income (although that is a prime factor). Before you decide to move somewhere new, here are ... KEEP READING