Our Family of Companies
western & southern financial group logo
western & southern life logo
columbus life logo
eagle realty group logo
Fabric by Gerber Life
fort washington logo
gerber life logo
integrity life logo
lafayette life logo
national integrity life logo
touchstone investments logo
w&s financial group distributors logo

Personal Finance

Staying on top of your personal finances is easier said than done. Expand your financial education by learning more about budgeting, debt management, personal financial planning, college funding, career changes, inflation, tax deductions, divorce finances and much more.
retired couple at home researching the question: what does the average funeral cost?

How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

The average funeral cost might prompt you to think about your final wishes — and plan ahead for the expense.
Young couple sitting at a desk looking at personal finances

Your Guide to Personal Finance

Learning the ins and outs of personal finance can feel daunting, but it doesn't have to be scary. Once you understand the basics, it's easy to start.
Most fraud victims tend to be either around college age or 60 and older. Learn how to prevent fraud.

How to Help Protect Yourself From Different Types of Financial Fraud

Being the victim of financial fraud can wreak havoc on your savings and cause a lot of stress. Here's what you can do to help protect yourself.
Multigenerational family walking on the beach and discussing death benefit taxes

What Could You Do With a Death Benefit & How Is It Taxed?

Here are some ways you could use a death benefit, plus some of the limitations you might want to know.
A group of smiling friends discusses how to avoid revenge spending.

What Is Revenge Spending (& How Can You Avoid It)?

Revenge spending refers to overspending or splurging on wants rather than needs, often fueled by credit cards, as a reaction to pandemic restrictions; it can quickly derail financial goals if not kept in check through budgeting, avoiding debt, automating savings, and finding low-cost social activities.
Woman working on personal financial planning with a laptop

How to Plan Your Finances for 2024: 7 Strategies

To plan your finances for 2024, take stock of your current situation, shore up your emergency savings, pay down debt, revisit your investment strategy to make sure it aligns with your goals, and update your estate plan.
A woman looks at papers and a laptop while doing year-end tax planning

8 Considerations For Year-End Tax Planning

Before the end of the year, maximize tax-advantaged contributions, offset gains with losses, take RMDs if required, donate to charity, and adjust withholding to optimize tax savings and avoid penalties.
A couple reviews their finances to create a debt management plan

Considerations for Creating (& Following) a Debt Management Plan

A debt management plan provides a structured strategy to pay down debt over time, often by working with a credit counseling agency to negotiate lower interest rates and consolidate repayments.
Woman using a calculator and laptop to review and add bills while living paycheck to paycheck

15 Ways to Save Money

Improve your financial situation by creating a budget, building an emergency fund, paying down debt, using coupons, planning meals ahead, decluttering, and seeking help. By devising a plan and sticking to it, you can pave the way towards saving more and improving your financial well-being.
Mother reading with her daughter at home and thinking about how much does it cost to raise a kid

How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?

The average total cost of raising a child to age 18 in a middle-income household is $374,634, covering expenses like healthcare, childcare, housing, food, and education.
Parents like this dad may need to set aside more emergency savings to help protect their family.

Why You Should Focus on Building an Emergency Savings Fund

Having an emergency fund enables you to withstand life's inevitable financial surprises and maintain stability without relying on debt.
Happy couple asking themselves: "How much money should you have in savings?"

How Much Money Should You Have in Savings?

You should have enough money in savings to cover 3-6 months of basic expenses in an emergency fund, plus additional savings allocated to medium-term goals and long-term retirement needs based on your individual circumstances.
Confident Bankers Looking to Review Financial Wellness

Your Guide to Maintaining Financial Wellness

Financial wellness is a feeling of confidence with respect to money. It's achieved by having a plan for future expenses, whether planned or otherwise. 
A couple gets excited looking into ways to improve their financial health and prepare for the future

How to Improve Financial Health

From understanding your current cash flow to creating an investing plan, here's how you can help improve your financial health. 
Young woman ponders, "How much money should you have saved by 25?"

How Much Money Should You Have Saved by 25?

In addition to building an emergency fund, anything you invest for retirement now will benefit from decades of potential growth. 
A young couple reviews their finances and asks, "How much money should you have saved by 30?"

How Much Money Should You Have Saved by 30?

While it's important to prepare for retirement now, you also need a plan for your near-term needs. Here's how much money you may want to save by 30. 
A man does research to decide whether or not to pay off student loans early.

Should You Pay Off Student Loans Early?

With many readers deciding whether they should pay off their student loans early or wait, here are scenarios for when each approach makes sense. 
A couple sits on a couch and strategizes how to manage bills and pay on time together

How to Manage Bills

We all have to pay bills every month. Here are five tips to help ensure yours are paid on time.
A couple goes over a step-by-step guide together for how to create a budget plan.

How to Create a Budget: 7 Steps

Budgeting is essential for managing your spending, reducing debt, and reaching financial goals, but creating a budget can seem daunting. This step-by-step guide outlines the key steps to build an effective, realistic budget in just 7 straightforward steps.
A happy family sitting on a couch discussing how to teach kids about money.

How to Teach Kids About Money: 9 Helpful Tips to Try

It's never too early to start teaching your kids about financial literacy. Here are nine strategies for doing so. 
Senior Couple Walking Their Dog Discussing Protecting Retirement Savings From Creditors

Can I Protect Retirement Savings From Creditors?

Retirement accounts may be protected from creditors in certain situations.
An older man and woman discussing budgeting for couples

Budgeting for Couples: 5 Things to Consider

Budgeting together as a couple now can help you lay the groundwork for a solid financial future.
Young man and woman talking about personal finance in your 20s

Guide to Personal Finance in Your 20s

Your 20s can bring some big life changes. Looking at your personal finances now might help you plan for the future.
Mother and father with toddler: a mix of liquid vs. non-liquid assets can help a family's finances

Liquid vs. Non-Liquid Assets: What's the Difference?

Understanding the difference between liquid and non-liquid assets may help you build diversified wealth to serve your needs.
A happy couple sits in their new home after using IRA to buy first home

Can You Use Your IRA to Buy Your First Home? 

Here's an overview of what to consider before using your IRA to buy your first home. 
New mom holding baby kitchen 5 financial mistakes new parents make and how to avoid them

5 Financial Mistakes New Parents May Make & How to Avoid Them

New parents can avoid financial struggles by saving for retirement, using tax breaks, funding flexible accounts, getting life insurance, and writing wills.
Daughter playing a block stacking game with parents after discussing personal finance basics

A Guide to Personal Finance Basics

A foundational understanding of finances can help you manage your money more efficiently.
Man researching types of payroll deductions at home over coffee

Types of Payroll Deductions & Withholdings

The main types of payroll deductions and withholdings are mandatory taxes for income, Social Security, and Medicare that fund public services and programs, as well as voluntary pre-tax deductions for retirement savings and insurance premiums.
Woman shopping for groceries in order to save money on a tight budget

10 Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

The ten ways to save money on a tight budget are planning meals and using coupons for groceries, decluttering and selling unused items, canceling unnecessary subscriptions, and paying down high-interest debt more aggressively.
Mother hugging and supporting adult children

Can Supporting Adult Children Hurt Your Retirement?

Yes, supporting adult children can hurt your retirement. It is recommended to prioritize your own retirement savings over supporting adult kids and setting limits on support through methods like monthly allowances or estate planning instead of open-ended assistance.
Father son helping protect parents from elder financial abuse and fraud

Helping to Protect Parents From Elder Financial Abuse and Fraud

Helping to protect parents from elder financial abuse and fraud is important. To do so, you should have conversations about their finances, look for red flags, consider joint accounts, build relationships with financial representatives, and set up power of attorney to help protect them.
Woman deciding what a budget looks like and writing it down

What Does a Budget Look Like?

Are you ready to start budgeting? Every budget is unique but here are a few tips to consider as you put together a plan to fit your needs.
Woman walking on a beach and wondering how to improve your finances

How to Improve Your Finances This Year: What to Know

To improve your finance, you can take inventory, pay down high interest debt, reduce expenses, automate finances, and increase retirement savings.
mother standing with son and daughter discussing leaving home

Children Leaving Home: Helping Your Kids Prepare to Move Out & Be Financially Secure

If you need to have a conversation with your child about moving out, here are some tips to guide you and help you set them up for success.
teens baking in the kitchen discussing money management

Money Management for Teens: Important Lessons to Teach Your Kids

Teaching your teen about money management now, when there's more room to learn from mistakes, could help set them up for financial success. 
Woman standing in front of a tree and thinking about starting a rainy day fund

What Is a Rainy Day Fund?

How does a rainy day fund differ from an emergency fund and how you can you start saving for one? Here are the basics.
Woman researching apps on her smartphone for personal financial planning.

Personal Financial Planning: The Importance of Reviewing Your Finances Regularly

Your personal financial planning can greatly benefit from regular reviews. Here's how to get started.
Smiling older couple calculating their tax deductions while filing their taxes from home

Understanding the Role of Tax Deductions

What is adjusted gross income? And what does it mean to itemize? We cover basics of income tax deductions.
Pregnant mother doing yoga with her son on the lawn after budgeting for a second child

Budgeting for a Second Child & Beyond

When budgeting for a second child, re-evaluate spending to find areas for cost-cutting, leverage family support for childcare savings where possible, consider insurance bundling for discounts, and start saving early via gifting to children's savings accounts or 529 college plans to set your growing family up for long-term financial stability.
happy mother, father, son and daughter discuss managing family finances on the couch at home

Managing Family Finances: Getting Your Spouse & Children on Board

Managing family finances jointly with open communication, financial education, and dividing tasks can empower all members, reduce stress, prepare for the unexpected, and achieve shared financial goals.
young couple carries a sofa into the living room of their new house as they discuss managing debt

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

As it turns out, not all debt is bad. But how do you know the difference? Here are some tips.
father plays with his son outside in fall and plans a financial checklist for his single-parent finances

Single-Parent Finances: A Financial Checklist for Moms & Dads

As a single parent, chances are you have many concerns running through your mind all day long — but your finances don't have to add to your worries.
graphic outlines and illustrates various life stages and how to financially prepare for them

Which Life Stage Are You Preparing for Financially?

Life stage planning is important — discover the different life stages and what financial strategies to consider as you go through each life stage.
mature couple completes a form online at home to get a vial of life kit in case of a medical emergency

What Is a Vial of Life Kit & Do You Need One?

A Vial of Life Kit is an emergency preparedness tool containing critical medical information for first responders to access quickly when it's needed most.
single female at home reviewing her divorce finances

Divorce Finances: How to Help Secure Your Financial Future

Managing divorce finances involves carefully dividing assets and debts, creating a new budget, reviewing insurance coverage, retaining investments and retirement accounts, and planning for the future.
Woman freelancer working on laptop while sitting at the window in a coffee shop: irregular income

Navigating an Irregular Income: Money Management for Freelancers

Being a freelancer can have its advantages, but managing an irregular income can be difficult. Learn how you could get your money in order.
man surprises woman with engagement ring and plans financial conversations to have before marriage

5 Financial Conversations to Have Before Marriage

To set your marriage up for financial success, have open conversations about debt, account merging, responsibilities and contributions, lifestyle spending habits, and practical protections like insurance before saying "I do."
Family with newborn baby budgeting for a baby

Budgeting for a Baby: A Financial Planning Checklist for New Parents

Budgeting for a baby involves estimating costs of medical care, parental leave, increased living expenses, childcare, and life insurance, with total costs possibly reaching over $370,000 from birth through age 17.
Couple on couch finances laptop money management for couples 6 tips for stronger finances

Money Management for Couples: 6 Tips for Stronger Finances

Successful money management for couples requires open communication, honesty, goal-setting, and equal involvement from both partners when handling finances in order to avoid conflict.
five college friends study together at a table and discuss their financial transitions of adulting

Adulting 101: How to (Financially) Transition Into Adulthood

You're finally leaving home and moving into the world of grown-ups — but have you considered your finances? Adulting 101 could help you get started.
middle-aged couple sits on the couch at home and reviews their personal budget on a tablet

5 Questions to Help You Master Your Personal Budget

Budgeting could be the key to meeting your financial goals. Consider these five questions that could help you master your personal budget.