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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.
A man smiles and pets his dog while hiking, knowing he's avoided some common financial mistakes .

3 Common Financial Mistakes & How to Recover From Them

Common financial mistakes include not paying off credit card debt, falling behind in saving for retirement, and living beyond your means, but it is possible to recover by developing a plan and taking control of your finances.
A self-employed woman wonders, "Can I manage my own 401(k)?"

What Is a Solo 401(k)?

A Solo 401(k) is a retirement plan designed for self-employed individuals with no employees, offering similar benefits to regular 401(k) plans but with specific eligibility and contribution limits.
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Do You Know How Much Assisted Living Costs?

With assisted living costs on the rise, it's more important than ever to be proactive. Learn more about assisted living costs and payment options.
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 college study group preparing for an exam and discussing how to pay for college

How to Pay for College

Paying for college requires advance financial planning through vehicles like 529 savings plans and FAFSA, as well as exploring scholarships, grants, federal student loans, and other aid to cover tuition.
Tax Season Woman Organizing Paperwork Working Online

How to Prepare for Tax Season 2024

To prepare for tax season, understand your filing status, gather all tax documents, decide whether to file yourself or use a tax preparer, maximize retirement contributions, and adjust your tax withholding to ensure you pay the proper amount throughout the year.
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.
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Financial Planning for College's Smaller Expenses

College students should budget for college's small expenses like books, transportation, and entertainment, and explore working part-time as well as pursuing grants, scholarships, and reasonable student loans to help cover college costs.
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.
Business Owner Finances 5 Considerations to Help Prepare For Recession

5 Considerations to Help You Prepare for a Recession

To plan for a recession, consider diversifying your investments, utilizing the bucket system for liquidity, monitoring debt for refinancing opportunities, maintaining a sufficient emergency fund, and adjusting retirement planning to ensure financial stability during economic downturns.
A couple meets with a financial representative

What Is a Financial Representative?

Licensed to sell insurance and financial products – a financial representative works with individuals and businesses to understand their financial needs and provide guidance on insurance and financial products.
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. 
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Take Control of Your Finances With Our Financial Planning Checklist

Have you thought about your personal finances lately? Our financial planning checklist can help get you started on what to think about and specific steps you could take to help get your finances under control.
A happy group of friends discusses personal finance for women.

Considering Personal Finance for Women

Women often have different needs when it comes to personal finance. Here's what to consider. 
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. 
College graduate celebrating with her family after commencement: 529 college savings plan

What Is a 529 College Savings Plan?

A 529 savings plan is a tax-advantaged investment account that allows families and individuals to save and invest money specifically for future college expenses; contributions grow tax-deferred and can be withdrawn tax-free when used for qualified higher education costs like tuition, fees, room and board, and required supplies.
male student meets with career advisor to discuss trade school, vocational school and online degrees

When to Consider a Trade School, Community College or Online Degree Program

Four-year college programs may be the norm, but that doesn't always mean you should write off other worthwhile types of higher education.
A happy family celebrating a daughter's graduation after using all of their college funding options.

College Funding Options: Federal vs. Private College Loans

Many college students — and their parents — choose loans to help fund their higher education. But what about choosing between Federal and private?
kid brother hugs older sister at college graduation as family is successful in how to save for college

How to Save for College

To save for college, start early by opening tax-advantaged 529 and Coverdell accounts to maximize earnings potential, and supplement savings with scholarships, grants, federal student loans, and savings bonds; developing a comprehensive savings strategy that utilizes multiple options can help families offset the high cost of college over time.
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.
Adult man taking notes on a tablet after going back to college

Going Back to College as an Adult: Potential Benefits, Costs & Saving Strategies

Are you thinking of going back to college as an adult? Here are some potential benefits and financial considerations. 
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.
Parents with their daughter who just graduated and spent money on 529 qualified expenses

What Are 529 Plan Qualified Expenses?

Unlock tax-free withdrawals by spending from your 529 plan on qualified expenses such as tuition, school fees, textbooks, equipment, and even room & board. This covers not just college, but also qualified elementary, secondary, and vocational schools.
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.
Two graduates taking a selfie and thinking about paying off student loans

How You Could Pay Off Student Loans Before 30

This fictional story showcases how paying off student debt in eight years takes a lot of focus and commitment — but can be possible.
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. 
Mother and teenage daughter reviewing their saving for college options on a computer

What Can You Do With Unused 529 Funds?

Understanding alternative uses for a 529 plan can help you avoid penalties and taxes on any unused or surplus funds.
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.
Man on the phone discussing critical illness and disability income insurance

What's the Difference Between Critical Illness & Disability Income Insurance?

Here's an overview of these two types of insurance that help provide coverage when health issues arise.
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.
Man on a run with his dog on a sunny day after wondering what is an HSA

What Is an HSA?

A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged account that allows you to set aside pretax income to pay for current and future qualifying medical expenses if you have a high-deductible health plan.
Family opening financial gifts on Christmas

Financial Gifts to Consider Giving to Babies, Kids, & Adults

Some financial gifts to consider giving are 529 college savings contributions, shares of stock, custodial accounts, savings bonds, prepaid debit cards, and personal finance books can help teach money skills.
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.
four smiling college students on campus discuss common financial problems and money management

5 Common Financial Problems for College Students & How You Could Avoid Them

Common financial issues in college can be avoided through proper financial aid utilization, budgeting, distinguishing between wants and needs, responsible credit card use, and future financial planning.
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.
College student and mom standing at car hugging after talking about refinancing student loans

Refinancing Student Loans: 5 Things to Consider

Refinancing student loans can help make repayment more affordable, but might not be the right choice for everyone.
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.
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.
A patient discussing the difference between critical illness and health insurance with her doctor

What's the Difference Between Critical Illness & Health Insurance?

Health insurance is important, but critical illness insurance can help cover critical gaps. Learn the differences between the two.
Happy father sending his son to college thanks to attainable college funding options

Paying for College Without Loans

A well-rounded college funding plan can help reduce loan debt for your child after graduation. Here are some available tools to consider.
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.
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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.
two women drink coffee at a café and discuss why buying long-term care insurance in your 20s makes sense

Why I Bought Long-Term Care Insurance in My 20s

Long-term care insurance is not a pressing concern for most 20-somethings. Learn why one woman chose to purchase a policy in her late 20s.
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.
roup of young people study at a table and discuss their financial education as college students

Money 101: A Financial Education for College Students

You can build a strong financial foundation by responsibly managing student loans, building credit, setting SMART goals, budgeting properly, and continuously seeking knowledge to make informed money decisions. Doing these things now will set you up for financial success in the future.
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.
A multi-generational family spends time at home: caring for aging parents

6 Financial Questions to Ask When Caring for Aging Parents & Grandparents

The important financial questions to ask aging parents or grandparents are as follows: are they paying bills on time, are their assets protected, is their insurance information organized, what health coverage do they have, do they need further help with caregiving, and where do you stand in terms of your own future financial plans.
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.