Another day, another massive data breach.  Equifax, Capital One, Marriott … the list seems endless.  And as more of our personal information is digitized, the risk of it ending up in the wrong hands rises, leaving us increasingly vulnerable to identity theft and trashed credit. But while the scope of these data breaches can seem overwhelming (1.1 billion identities were exposed in 2016 alone), the reality is that you are not powerless. You can defend yourself, and you don’t have to go off the grid and hide out in a bunker in New Zealand. One of the most powerful ways to defend yourself is aRead More →

If you are planning to live independently and you still cannot afford to buy a house, then living in an apartment seems to be a practical choice for now. Apartment hunting can be a tough task to handle if you have no idea where to start, what to look for, and what to do. This feeling is normal for first-timers; that is why you need a guide to make things less overwhelming. Here are some tips to get you started. Know your budget How much money are you willing to spend on rent alone? Ideally, it should only be within the 20% bracket of yourRead More →

If you’re a recent graduate, the last thing you want to think about is the past, right? It’s all about the future. However, if you took out student loans, the time to look back is now (actually, it probably should have been sooner, but let’s not quibble over semantics). If you’re like most grads, you took out multiple student loans over your four(ish)-year career as a college student — consumers with educational debt had an average of 3.7 student loans, according to a 2017 Experian report.  Unfortunately, 11.4% of aggregate student debt was 90 or more days delinquent or in default in the fourth quarterRead More →

Starting a business is the most brilliant idea that can ever cross your mind. You not only become your own boss but also create jobs for others. Studies show that people start new businesses daily. But only a few survive for more than two years. Such information calls for caution as you decide to ditch your day job and start a business. Becoming practical and honest with yourself will help mitigate some of your fears. Below are five steps you need to follow to become a successful business owner. Do thorough research Yes, you have a business idea. That’s very good! But how many moreRead More →

Budgeting can seem so solitary sometimes. You’re trying to get your income to cover your expenses and meet your financial goals. But input from — or venting to — other folks can be a huge help when you’re in the trenches trying to figure out the best strategies to budget your way out of debt or why you continually overspend on food. The Penny Hoarder Community is a great place to connect with other money-minded people. Another good resource is Reddit, a social discussion website where registered members share basically any and everything — including personal finance talk. Here are six Reddit communities, or subreddits,Read More →

It’s difficult to know if you’re saving enough for retirement. You can use a retirement calculator to project, but who knows what life events are going to come along and throw your savings off track? And how do you know the market will be so reliable? Experts often suggest you have a nest egg of $1 million to $1.5 million saved when you retire. Can that possibly be right? Is everyone else sitting on six figures?  It goes without saying that the amount of savings you’ll need to retire depends on your individual situation. But let’s face it: We all want to know what theRead More →

When signing up for health insurance through your job, you may have been given the option of opening an HSA, or health savings account.  An HSA isn’t like a regular savings account. For one thing, there are a bunch of rules around how you can contribute and spend the money. But it can be a very useful and convenient way to set aside money for medical expenses while potentially saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run. Here, we’ll explain how HSAs work and how they can benefit you. What Is an HSA?  The first thing you should know about anRead More →

Have you been avoiding setting up a retirement account because the information is overwhelming and complicated? Yeah, me too. I’m not going to lie; if it wasn’t for the automatic enrollment in my employer’s 401(k) when I was 26, I wouldn’t have started saving for retirement when I did. As my savings — and age — grow, so does my concern about retirement. Why did I wait so long to start saving? Will it be enough when I retire? Is there more I can do now? I guess this means I’m full-on adulting. Instead of worrying about what I can’t control, I’ve shifted my focusRead More →

When you have poor or no health insurance, you might prioritize other issues over mental health care. This could mean ignoring undiagnosed issues or skipping treatment you know you need.  Even if you don’t suffer from mental health issues, you might neglect your need for support through a major life event when you see the cost of therapy. As with any physical ailment, not seeking mental health care could be detrimental to your health in the long term. 8 Ways to Find Free or Low-Cost Mental Health Services Instead of forgoing care or winding up in debt over medical bills, try these options to findRead More →

Remember when a smartphone was a totally new concept? Chances are, you do. After all, it was only about a decade ago that the very first iPhone was released. Of course, you wouldn’t know that from the way our devices have weasled their way into every single aspect of our lives. These days, some of the hottest technological advances are all about finding ways to offer fewer features, a la the Light Phone… or ditching our smartphones entirely in favor of a good ‘ol low-tech Nokia. So You Want to Be Smartphone-Free? Getting out of the smartphone game is usually parsed as a way toRead More →