6 Money Matters to Consider Before Getting Engaged

6 Critical Money Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged

Almost everyone fights about money with their friends, family, coworkers or spouses at various points in their lives, but this can be a particularly touchy topic for couples. Do you know the hard, critical money questions to ask before you get engaged? A survey from Coupon Cabin found that almost 50% of divorced or separated couples wished they had talked more about money before getting married. Money Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged To prevent this from happening to your own relationship, here are a few money matters you should consider before you get engaged to the person of your dreams: Lay It All Out on the Table Do you know your future fiancé’s credit score? Do you know whether they … Read more

Three Crucial Money Conversations Parents Need To Have Before College

Money Conversation - Three Crucial Discussions Parents Need To Have

Money Conversation - Three Crucial Discussions Parents Need To HaveParents need to have a money conversation before they send their college freshmen off to school. Most new college freshmen have never taken a course in money management or personal finance. Personal finance isn’t taught in America’s high schools. And, it’s up to parents to have a money conversation and discussion about being financially smart before their children learn hard lessons on their own.

A recent survey by USAA.comUSAA found that 82% of parents are discussing budgeting with their soon to be college student. Parents must have a tough money discussion with their children just like they would discussing their expectations and priorities for their children’s academic studies.

A recent @USAA survey found that 82% of parents are discussing budgeting with their college freshmanClick To Tweet

Here are three key topics that parents should discuss with their college bound children during their first year on campus.

Money Discussions Parents Need To Have With Their Children

Building Credit Responsibly

When I left for college, my mother gave me a credit card to use for emergencies. She had me listed as an authorized user of one of her credit cards, and I got one associated with her account with my own name on the card.

The real issue came from us not having a very good and clear discussion before I left about money and what constituted an emergency. Her idea of an emergency and mine turned out to be vastly different when I started charging lunches with friends, clothes, and a host of other things on the credit card.

“Responsibly managing credit is a key part of the financial education that should be happening at this time of our kids’ lives,” says JJ Montanaro, a Certified Financial Planner at USAA. “To that end, I like the idea of helping our kids obtain a low limit credit card or a secured card.”

Other financial experts don’t recommend parents giving their children a credit card as an authorized user on their card. Others simply think that young adults need their own credit cards in order to help them start to build their own credit history.

Another option is for parents to help their college-bound children apply for a secured credit card to start. Many secured cards require a deposit that acts as the card’s credit limit. Many secured credit cards also report activity to the three credit bureaus, which helps young adults build a credit history for other non-secured purchases later in life.

Be sure to check out a USAA Secured Credit Card that can help you build or improve your credit scoreUSAA. The card from USAA is secured by an interest-earning CD, which you set up when you open the account.

“While you can add them as an authorized user, that approach could increase the potential damage of a misstep,” says Montanaro. “Adding [a child] to my $20,000 limit card vs. cosigning a $1,000 card is potentially less dangerous. The beauty of this sort of arrangement is that you can closely monitor what’s happening while they learn the ropes of responsibly managing credit.”

Or, you can send your college freshman to school with a prepaid debit card. Prepaid debit cards have many advantages to them that could benefit your student.

College is a place to learn both academically and life lessons. One-third of parents surveyed by USAA.comUSAA say their children will not have a credit card as they head to college.

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5 Signs You Should Hire A Coach for Your Life or Business

5 Signs You Should Hire A Coach

5 Signs You Should Hire A CoachCoaching has become a rapidly growing profession worldwide, expanding form its origins in sports and branching out into a number of different areas. There are business coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, health & wellness coaches, and general life coaches. But, should you hire a coach to help you succeed in life or in your business?

People seem to be recognizing that having a coach can make a difference. In fact, studies of coaching in organizations shows a return of $4 – $8 for every dollar invested.

At the same time, people have begun to recognize that top athletes spend around 95% of time practicing with a coach and 5% actually performing. While the rest of us spend almost all of our time performing, with almost no time to practice or improve.

Why shouldn’t everyone benefit from more time to work with a coach and develop mastery?

5 Signs You Should Hire A Coach

You See The Possibilities

You see great possibility for yourself, your career, or your business, but you can’t turn that possibility into a clear vision, action, and/or results. In other words, you are stuck.

What is your purpose? What is your vision for your life, career, or business? What are your strengths and how can you use them to make great things happen? A coach works with you to get answers to these questions.

Your Having Challenges

You are having challenges influencing or working with other people to get things done. Leadership – in life and in work – is partly about influencing others.

Many people have challenges with how they communicate, work on teams, and make things happen. A coach can help you develop new skills and behaviors to have more impact when working with other people. Your coach can also help you to understand how to build a powerful network of relationships so that you can get more things done more easily.

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Riding the Wall Street Wave: Ways to Succeed in a Volatile Market

Tips and Hints for Your First Stock Market Investment

Tips and Hints for Your First Stock Market InvestmentVery few things in life stay the same for too long and you can certainly apply that philosophical view to financial markets, where there is often a snooze-you-lose mentality pervading many trader’s thoughts.

The way silver prices are currently reacting to market conditions is a case in point, and you can read the full article on MoneyMorning.com to get the lowdown on that situation. Volatility in many different markets is often only a breaking news story away. So, how do you successfully ride the Wall Street wave?

Timing the market dips

Volatility can bring trading opportunities, but if you want to know how to time the market dips successfully, the simple answer is that you shouldn’t even try, unless you plan to relieve your bank balance of a few extra zeros.

You might get lucky and execute the perfect trade, buying at the lowest entry point and then watching the stock price climb again shortly afterwards, but the point about timing the market dips, is that much of what you achieve will be down to just as much luck as judgment.

The investing mantra that you would do well to keep in the forefront of your mind every time you are tempted to profit from a breaking news story, is that in the long-term, consistency over immediacy will give you a much better survival rate and allow you more chance to post solid gains.

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Amazon Prime Now Review – Groceries and Booze Delivered to Your Door in One Hour

Amazon Prime Now Review – Groceries and Booze Delivered in One Hour

My wife and I have been an Amazon Prime member for years now, and we love it. But, I was even more blown away by Amazon Prime Now when we stumbled on it this week.

Amazon Prime Now Review – Groceries and Booze Delivered in One Hour

What Is Amazon Prime Now

About a year ago, Amazon introduced an expansion of their Amazon Prime service called Amazon Prime Now. Amazon Prime Now gives Prime members in select markets one-hour delivery on more than 10,000 items.

Most of the items are grocery related, but there are some of the other standard Amazon wares included as well. You can also purchase select items from categories including electronics, household products, apparel, personal care products, and toys. 

While Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery is included in the cost of your Amazon Prime membership, there is an $8 delivery fee for the one-hour delivery service of Amazon Prime Now.

Amazon Prime Now is currently in 24 markets across the United States, and it’s expanding quickly.

Amazon Prime Now Review – Groceries and Booze Delivered in One Hour

How We Found Amazon Prime Now

So, after spending the last two years living in Tennessee, I’ve gotten into whiskey and bourbon. So, I’m always on the hunt for a great, new whiskey to try out.

Recently, Liquor.com featured an article about Amazon Prime Now on their blog. In a few select cities like New York City, Minneapolis, and Seattle, you can have beer, wine, and liquor delivered right to your doorstep in one hour thanks to Amazon Prime Now.

Of course, Amazon Prime Now doesn’t deliver booze throughout the Bible Belt. But, it still got me thinking. And, my wife and I looked into Amazon Prime Now. It might be really nice to have some of the things we forgot to pick up at the grocery store the other day delivered to the house. This would keep us from having to make another run to the store.

70% of Amazon Prime Now users are purchasing items several times per month. #amazonprimenowClick To Tweet

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Five Major Reasons to Avoid Paying with a Debit Card

Reasons to Avoid Paying with a Debit Card

Reasons to Avoid Paying with a Debit CardDebit cards are the most popular non-cash transaction method in the U.S., with about 5.1 billion debit cards in circulation and $1.4 trillion in debit card purchases each year. Despite this popularity factor, using a debit card is generally a bad idea compared to alternative payment methods. Here are the reasons that you should generally avoid paying with a debit card.

Reasons to Avoid Paying with a Debit Card

If you currently rely on debit cards for most of your purchases and orders, then don’t miss these major reasons why you should avoid paying with a debit card.

Legal Protections Against Fraud 

According to Nasdaq, 31.8 million American consumers’ credit cards were breached in 2014 and the number of both credit and debit card breaches is supposed to rise 34% from 2014 to 2018. Globally, fraud losses on credit, debit, and prepaid cards hit $16.31 billion in 2014.

And, number is expected to fluctuate based on the increasing shift towards EMV cards (with chips imbedded in the card to prevent counterfeiting) and new technologies to prevent identity and financial theft.

For the time being, there are laws in place to protect consumers from fraud as much as possible. Most major credit card companies offer theft protection for their cardholders, which include both zero-responsibility policies for fraudulent purchases and email or text alerts when a large purchase is made far from the cardholder’s residence.

Under federal laws, credit cardholders are not liable for more than $50 of fraudulent transactions made on their card (again, many credit card companies don’t even hold you liable for a penny).

The story is somewhat different for debit cardholders, however. Under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, debit cardholders have to notify their bank within 2 days of noticing a lost or missing debit card, just to qualify for the $50 loss liability limit.

If you notify your bank within a 2-60 day window, then you won’t be liable for more than $500 in fraudulent charges on your card. Waiting longer than 60 days to report the fraud may cost you the entire amount scammed from your account. Worse still, even if you were to eventually receive a refund, you won’t have access to these funds until the claim investigation concludes.

Using a debit card is generally a bad idea compared to alternative payment methods. Here's why.Click To Tweet

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