Back to Basics: The W’s of Budgeting

Keeping a budget seems like such a basic, fundamental concept to finance. But the data suggests that, for most families, maintaining a budget isn’t so simple after all. 61% of adults admit to not having a budget, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC). That means over half of adults don’t know the details of what their money is up to every month.

Why? Budgets Help Improve Your Financial SituationBudget

It’s difficult to stay out of debt, build up savings, and know what you need to do if you don’t know where you’re currently at with your money. That’s exactly why a budget makes a difference. With minimal effort, it helps you see at ... KEEP READING

iQuantifi Selected to Present at FinovateFall 2014

FF2014_JoinUs_v2_highresWe are excited to announce that we will be returning to the stage for FinovateFall 2014. Finovate is the pre-eminent financial technology conference and boasts a “who’s who” list of attendees and presenters. Companies like Mint, LendingTree, Intuit and Visa are past presenters and have used the stage to display new advancements in their technology. We debuted at Finovate Spring 2012 and won Best of Show. Since then, we have been working hard to enhance our platform and make it even easier for our users to get the personalized and comprehensive advice they need to achieve their goals. We will be launching several new features at Finovate. ... KEEP READING

Get More Out of Your College Savings Strategy

Where are you stashing your savings for your child’s education?collegesavingspig According to Sally Mae’s 2014 edition of their study, How America Saves for College, 45% of families who are saving are doing so with a standard savings account at their local bank. This is not an adequate vehicle to use to hold a child’s college education fund, but many young families don’t know or don’t understand what other, more appropriate, options are available. Let’s look at why a regular savings account is not the place to put college savings, and what Millennials with growing families can do with their cash set aside for education instead.

Why ... KEEP READING

iQuantifi on the Rise

Last month, we had the pleasureriseofrestblogmessage of presenting and competing in Steve’s Case’s “Rise of the Rest” pitch competition. For a startup like iQuantifi, it was a big deal. To be selected as one of 10 among hundreds of startups in the area is quite an honor. It gave us the opportunity to present our business and model to an audience of seasoned investors and eager millennials. While we did not win the $100,000 grand prize, we received excellent feedback, more users and a few interested investors. The highlight had to be tweets from several audience members complimenting us on our service and “gotta have that” response. The best news is that people are ... KEEP READING

When to Ignore Financial Advice from Your Parents

Scoldmomadvice Common sense says to listen to our parents when they have something to say. After all, they’ve lived a bit more life than we have and we can learn from their experiences. But there are times when it’s completely appropriate to ignore financial advice from your parents. Mom and dad may mean well when they try to give grown children advice on personal finance and good money management. But times have changed and younger generations are facing a vastly different financial world than the one known and understood by the parents of Millennials. Watch out for these common bits of wisdom that may not be so wise -- and learn when you should ignore even ... KEEP READING

Should Couples Keep Joint or Separate Finances

WeddingcakeIt’s a hot topic in the personal finance world -- and often one that sparks intense debate, too. Newlyweds are wondering if they should keep finances separate, even after marriage, or if it’s best to combine accounts. It’s not surprising that this is a popular subject to discuss. After all, money is often cited as one of the top causes of marital discord. Learning to manage your money in a way that makes both you and your significant other happy can go a long way in avoiding fights, stress, and anxiety. We’re here to present the arguments for both sides, so you can collect the information you need about these two different money management methods within marriage.

The ... KEEP READING

Four Financial Planning Steps to Take Before Having a Baby

funny-twins-babies-tshirts-planned-surprise

It’s an exciting time in anyone’s life: your family is growing and you’ll soon be welcoming a little one into the world. And it can be a financially stressful time, too. Babies are bundles of joy to their new parents, but it’s a well-known fact that raising children costs money. The best way to handle the changing finances of a growing family? Take these four financial planning steps before having a baby. 1. Start Saving Now While becoming a new parent is exciting and an honor for many, it also means increased responsibility. You need to take your role as a provider seriously. Before having a baby, ... KEEP READING

Compound Interest and the Power of Starting Early for Retirement

Compound interest is an insanely powerful force, and the explanation behind why you need to start saving and investing as soon as possible -- even if you feel like you don’t have enough money to make a difference.infographics_compundInterest_870 The math works in your favor as long as you provide your money what it really needs to grow: time. Compound interest works on an exponential curve, and it allows your wealth to grow exponentially as well. You don’t necessarily need a high level of income to become wealthy and to reach your retirement and financial goals. You only need a willingness to start saving right now, even if it’s just $10, $50, or $100 per month. ... KEEP READING

When to Tap into Your Cash Reserves

sneaky_pig Having an emergency fund is always touted by financial experts as one of the first things you should do to get your finances in order. There are also many points of view as to how much cash reserves you should have, and just as many opinions on where to put it. But what is not spoken of enough are guidelines on when it is okay to tap into those reserves. To set the record straight, the amount of reserves one should have is based on the amount of cash someone is comfortable with to sleep well at night—that could be $5,000 or $50,000. But it doesn’t stop there. The general rule ... KEEP READING

The Real Meaning of Being Frugal

being-frugalBecause it’s commonly misconstrued to mean cheap, “frugality” is thought of as a bad word. But in reality, there is a big difference between being frugal and being cheap. When someone is frugal, it may be that they do spend less money than the average consumer. But they’re not miserly – or extreme with saving. Being frugal means one is less wasteful and more resourceful and people who live a frugal lifestyle are simply happily living with less. The key is striking a balance between spending and saving. You don’t want to be a mindless consumer, attempting to keep up with the Joneses; you want to practice conscious spending. Frugal individuals still spend, but they ... KEEP READING