In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
Do you feel like your finances are a mess? What exactly qualifies your finances as a ‘mess,’ anyway? There are lots of rules of thumb and general advice out there—you should have two months’ worth of wages saved as an emergency fund, you should have three times your salary saved for retirement by age 40, and the like. What if you don’t; are your finances a mess? If you’re like most Americans, that may be the case. The truth is that about 63% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and 30% of Americans struggle to come up with $400 to pay for an emergency expense. Regardless of your personal circumstances, here are five steps to consider taking to improve your financial situation.
Prior to entering the adult world, personal finance was not a topic I had learned much about. More recently, it has become a topic of conversation among family and friends out of both necessity and curiosity. I get the sense that there are a lot of people out there, like me, who would love to learn more about how the world of finance works, and more specifically the implications for their own personal finances. There is a myriad of options for your listening pleasure out there, some that tackle the financial world in broad strokes and others focused on personal finance. Here are a few of my favorites.
April is Financial Literacy Month, and I’m taking the concept very literally with some finance book recommendations. There are many books on finance out there, of course, but here are a few of the best books about personal finance, money management, and our financial system that I’ve read.
People have been lending for thousands of years, even before money. The grain banks of ancient Egypt bought and sold commodities based on their value in grain. It feels natural for the concept of a “loan,” something that is so integral to modern everyday life, to be almost as old as civilization itself. Surprisingly, some aspects of lending that we take for granted today are relatively new. Although lending itself has been around longer than written history, the first credit bureaus were created less than 300 years ago, and credit scores are only about 30 years old.
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Financial literacy is more than just the knowledge you need to make responsible financial decisions. It’s also the ability to put that knowledge to good use. Those who are financially literate can create a budget and manage their checking account. They understand how credit cards work and how to use them without racking up debt. And they know what is involved in saving for their future financial needs like college, a home, or retirement.
There are so many reasons to celebrate Women’s History Month, most notably the trailblazers and visionaries of the past and present, who have championed gender equality, calling out the economic, social, cultural, and political oppression women have faced for over a century.
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan has been passed by both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. It now heads to President Biden’s desk, where it is expected to be signed into law as early as this week. Among a variety of economic recovery initiatives, the bill includes direct payments to Americans. Here is what you need to know!
What do you do when your paycheck doesn’t cover your monthly bills? This has become a larger problem for people during the pandemic, but it can be a problem at any time. You may just hit a bad month, where expenses got out of control; or you may have lost a job, found yourself caring for a sick family member, or maybe your expenses increased but your paycheck didn’t. Either way, if you’re in a situation where you’re missing bill payments or skipping meals so you can meet other financial responsibilities, it’s time to take action.