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.

How to Budget and Plan After You're Accepted to College

You’ve just received the letter you’ve been waiting months for – you’ve been accepted to college. Congratulations! Underneath all that excitement, you might be a little nervous about what you should do next. After all, college is a huge milestone. It means leaving home and embarking on your own journey. You get to be completely independent for (likely) the first time in your life.You'll also need to budget and plan your finances for the first time in your life. You might get a credit card for... Read More >>>

Budgeting for Your College-Aged, Fiscally Independent Child

You've sat down with your child to explain that Mom and Dad aren't paying for college. Your child understands that their educational expenses fall squarely on their shoulders. They're sending themselves to school, using a combination of summer jobs, part-time work, scholarships and loans to cover their bills. As the parent, you might think there's no need for you to set aside more money for your college-aged child. But be prepared: you'll need to pay for a few costs you might not anticipate.... Read More >>>

How to Negotiate Lower Rates on Common Monthly Expenses

If you’re savings-savvy, negotiating is a great way to save on big-ticket items like a new car or home. But did you ever consider negotiating some of your smaller monthly expenses, too? Contrary to common belief, you are not stuck with whatever rates your service providers offer you. Many recurring expenses, like phone service and even utilities, can be negotiated lower. And every extra dollar you can shave off your budget means one more dollar you can put towards something else—like paying off... Read More >>>

How to Free Up More Space in Your Budget

You’ve reviewed your budget time and time again, and you just can’t force your expenses to fit with your income. No matter how many times you comb through your budget, you’re still spending more than you earn. You know that this isn’t sustainable and you want to be saving more money. How can you make this possible? Here are a few tips. . Review Your Insurance Policies - I know insurance might sound like the most boring topic imaginable, but reviewing your insurance policies once a year can... Read More >>>

What's the Difference Between a Bank and a Credit Union?

What's the difference between a bank and a credit union? Which one should you pick for your financial needs? At first glance, banks and credit unions seem similar. They offer checking and savings accounts. They have ATMs, debit cards and checkbooks. They issue CDs and offer money-market accounts, and typically, both will issue auto loans and home mortgage loans, as well. But dig deeper, and the differences are stark. A bank is a for-profit corporation. Many, but not all, are publicly traded... Read More >>>

What's a Time Deposit?

What's a time deposit? How is it different from a demand deposit? A time deposit is an interest-bearing bank deposit that has a specific maturity date. If that sounds like jargon, don't worry. This simply means that a time deposit is a deposit within a bank account that earns interest and is expected to be held within that account until a particular date. A certificate of deposit, or CD, for example, is a time deposit. This account is created and held by a bank or credit union. The money... Read More >>>

What's a Credit Line?

A credit line, also known as a line of credit, is an agreement between a financial institution (like a bank or credit union) and another entity (like a person or a business) that allows the entity to borrow money, up to a certain maximum amount. For example, let's say that Joe the Carpenter applies for a line of credit at his bank, so that his carpentry business can purchase tools. The bank agrees to issue a $20,000 credit line. This is the maximum Joe can borrow. He doesn't need to take... Read More >>>

What's the Difference Between a Debit Card and Credit Card?

What's the difference between a debit and credit card? At first glance, these two products might feel similar. They're both plastic cards, of equal size, shape and weight, each with your name and the issuing company image or logo on the front, and each with a magnetic stripe and signature line on the back. In other words, they look virtually identical. Behind-the-scenes, though, they work very differently. A debit card immediately draws upon funds within a linked bank account, such as a checking... Read More >>>

How I Improved My Budget By Lowering My Housing Costs

This is the true story of how I dramatically improved my budget – and my overall financial life – by figuring out a way to "hack my housing," paying $0 out-of-pocket housing expenses for five years. I hope that this story inspires you to find ways to lower your housing costs, which comprise the single biggest expense category within your budget. Enjoy!  I’ve always been a naturally frugal person.  I come from an immigrant family, and my parents pinched pennies out of necessity when I was growing... Read More >>>

Why You Should Look Beyond the Degree When Considering College

Did you know that only 3.2% of college graduates faced unemployment in August 2014, compared to 6.2% (nearly double that amount) of those with just a high school education? There’s a constant debate happening over whether or not college is worth the cost. With tuition rising steadily, and student loans reaching overwhelming amounts, many high school students are forgoing the traditional 4 year route of higher education. However, depending on the field you’re in, that may or may not be a smart... Read More >>>