Resource Center - Budgeting

Choose from the resource categories below to discover and learn more about personal finance across the topics of budgeting, debt, income, insurance, investing, and retirement.

Budgeting: Halloween

October is a month of pumpkins, candy and goblins – and it’s a time when "Trick-or-Treaters" of all ages open their wallets to spend. But Halloween purchases can really add up. Don’t let the first holiday of the season bust your budget. Read on to discover tips to reduce those tricky costs. 1. Trick-or-Treating Trick-or-treating with is a great time to show off your cool costume and earn some serious candy. But for items you’ll only use for a couple hours, consider budget-friendly alternatives... Read More >>>

Budgeting: Holiday Budgeting Center

It's the time of year for giving gifts, entertaining, hosting holiday parties – and for many, overspending and financial stress. Setting a realistic holiday budget and making sure to stick to it are the first steps to a more affordable and less stressful season. Use the tips and tools below to enjoy the season without letting holiday spending get the better of you. The best way to start making a holiday budget is to look at your spending during last year's holiday season.... Read More >>>

Budgeting: Summer Travel

Tips for Saving on Travel - With summer vacation also comes travel season. It’s easy to get carried away under the sun with souvenirs, eating at restaurants and upgrading your accommodations. After all, how often do you treat yourself and go on a holiday? But the last thing you want is to face a big bill come fall. Here are some tips for budgeting accordingly, no matter what type of getaway you’re planning. 1. Be realistic about what you can afford. Hey, we all want an amazing, no-holds-barred... Read More >>>

Financial Tips for Travel Abroad

Overseas travel is an expensive proposition and difficult for many families to afford. Still, there are ways to lessen the financial burden of an international trip so you can see the world without breaking the bank. Here are a few: Get the best exchange rate. There are essentially three ways to exchange currency: converting cash at a bank before your trip, using a currency exchange service like the ones found in airports, or simply using a credit card, in which case your money is converted... Read More >>>

5 Tips to Revamp Your Finances in the New Year

Start by making a budget. A good monthly budget can help ensure you pay your bills on time, have funds to cover unexpected emergencies and reach your financial goals. Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you reevaluated your financial health and created a budget? Get started. Create a financial roadmap. What are your financial goals? Everyone needs to plan for basics like retirement – however far off that may be – but you can also map out your goals.... Read More >>>

Budgeting for Parents

When your baby is born, your financial picture changes drastically. Now it's more important than ever to create, maintain and stick to a budget. You now have someone depending on you to keep the family financial matters in order. A well-thought-out budget will be your most valuable tool in managing the family money. If you already have a budget, you'll need to revise it to fit your new, expanded family. If you don't have a budget, create one right now. This information will be still be here when... Read More >>>

Ongoing Financial Discussions

It's a smart idea to sit down together annually or more often to discuss your finances. You can take that time to assess where you are, determine whether your financial goals have changed, and decide how to better meet them. Other items to discuss might include: Important Documents. Do you both have access to insurance policies, wills, tax forms, bank account numbers, investment specifics and other important documents and information? Current Debts and Assets. How much do you currently owe and... Read More >>>

Making financial resolutions in difficult times

Many folks are happy to see 2008 fade into the distance. Between the rollercoaster stock market, tightening credit availability and falling home values, most of us have taken a financial beating. With a new year upon us and plenty of opportunities to learn from past mistakes, here are a few financial resolutions that make sense for these troubled times: Trim expenses. Many people have gotten out of the habit of watching their spending. A few relatively painless ways to save hundreds – or thousan... Read More >>>

10 Things You Should Buy Used

With the rising costs of gas and groceries and an unemployment rate expected to remain above 9% through 2011, many of us are feeling the pinch and trying to cut back on expenses wherever we can. Before you give up your beloved latte or Friday dinner out, take a look at the items you could be buying used for a fraction of the cost of new – without sacrificing quality, style or safety. You don't have to be a thrift store regular to pick up these items second-hand, and slash your expenses in the... Read More >>>

9 Holiday Savings Tips

During the holiday gift buying frenzy, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed about not having enough money to spend on your loved ones. You do not have to go into debt to show how much you care. With some careful planning and creative gift giving, you can enjoy some holiday cheer without the financial fear. Check out these holiday savings tips from Practical Money Skills: Develop a budget and stick to it: Do not spend more than 1.5 percent of your household annual income on holiday gifts... Read More >>>