How much of my income should I save?

Financial experts recommend that you save at least ten percent of your take-home income (after taxes have been deducted). But what’s more important than the amount you save is getting into a habit of saving based on your personal goals and what’s realistic for you. To determine what makes sense for you: List and prioritize…

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How To Talk about Finances with Your Children

It’s important to talk openly with your family about your financial goals, values, and situation on a regular basis. However, that’s easier said than done. As early as preschool, you can start talking to children about money and building their financial skills in age-appropriate ways. For preschoolers, you might focus on the skill of waiting…

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Tips for Managing Your Debt in Case of a Recession

It is important to consider any financial goal, including eliminating debt, in the context of your overall financial well-being. What are your priorities? What is your financial picture now and in the future? With a recession comes more uncertainty. What you choose to do will depend on your circumstances. Generally, the foundation for financial health…

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Who qualifies for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Unemployment insurance can provide a temporary but vital replacement of earnings during the COVID-19 crisis. Unemployment insurance (UI) is a joint federal-state program. It’s administered by states and provides cash benefits to eligible unemployed workers. In response to COVID-19, qualifying for unemployment has become more flexible. Even if you didn’t qualify for UI in the…

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Guide to Filing Taxes as an Independent Contractor

New to being an independent contractor? Here’s what you need to know about taxes. Being an independent contractor or gig worker comes with more flexibility. It also comes with new tax responsibilities. At a high level, the IRS considers you an independent contractor, and therefore self-employed. You are paid for the result of your work,…

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6 Steps to Create the Perfect Budget

Black man wearing a black short sleeve t-shirt writes on a notebook

The key to creating a budget is finding what works to help you manage your money. Many budgeting tools exist, but you need to find what works for you. Managing your money is about choices – choosing how to earn, spend, save, and keep track of your money. A personalized, realistic budget can help you…

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What is private mortgage insurance?

Scenic picture of the painted ladies in San Francisco as well as the Financial District in the background

If you get a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home price, you are required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI protects the lender (not you) in case you fail to make your mortgage payments. Banks, savings associations, credit unions, and mortgage companies make conventional loans…

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Should I Rent or Buy a Home?

Symmetrical photo of a yellow door of a white house with fences on either side

Renting versus owning – how to determine which is right for you Choosing whether to own or rent a home is a big decision. The “right” answer for you will be deeply personal, based on a few key considerations that we will explore below. 1. Examine your personal values A good place to start is…

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