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9 Essential Budgeting Practices You Might Not Be Following

9 Essential Budgeting Practices You Might Not Be Following Christmas decorations are already hitting the shelves. Combine that with Thanksgiving and the fact that Halloween has surpassed Easter as the Number 2 most expensive holiday for families and you’ve run into the trifecta of budget busters…..The Holidays.   A great way to approach these impending events is…

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Our Homes, Our Voices

In the coming fiscal year, caps on federal discretionary spending will be about $3 billion less than the year before. This means that without an increase in the spending caps, Congress will have to cut funding for discretionary programs, meaning affordable housing programs administered by the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture are…

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Decoding Debt Settlement

Decoding Debt Settlement Debt settlement companies promise to “reduce debt up to 70 percent,” “negotiate with creditors,” and “help avoid bankruptcy.” Their promises sound too good to be true. The truth is that while debt settlement agencies sometimes accomplish what they promise, it comes with a price. Debt settlement is a form of debt arbitration.…

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End of Year Checklist

End of Year Checklist Just when you thought you had crossed all of the last minute items off your “to-do” list here are a few more to check off before years’ end. You don’t need to get them all done before the end of this year but now is the time to schedule your planning…

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Holiday Shopping Tips

Holiday Shopping Tips While you are making your holiday shopping rounds, do your budget a favor and keep in mind that it is better to give than to receive. When they holidays come around keep this in mind: While 53%  of the average shopper intends to spend for holiday gifts is $800, 30% will spend…

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Check Your Withholdings

Check Your Withholdings Nobody likes writing a check to Uncle Sam in April. This is the result of under-withholding. A healthy refund check is more fun to anticipate! However, receiving a refund check is not necessarily good for you. Whenever you receive a tax refund it means you paid more taxes out of every paycheck…

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Applying for a Mortgage – Part 1

Applying for a Mortgage – Part 1 So you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner. As a smart consumer, you and your household are preparing for this big financial step. If you’ve been considering homeownership for a while you’ve probably already considered the pros and cons of homeownership and whether renting or buying is the best…

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Prime, Subprime, and Predatory Lending

Prime, Subprime, and Predatory Lending Many Americans translate the American Dream as owning their own home. In our country today, owning a home is one of the most basic methods of increasing your wealth. Homeownership also assists in stabilizing and enhancing pride in neighborhoods that might otherwise decline. Because of this, numerous organizations, many of…