Millennial Money Tips

Why The Equifax Hack Should Get Your Attention

Between all the news of Hurricane Harvey and Irma, a serious credit breach has happened at Equifax – one of the three main credit bureaus. While this breach may or may not affect your credit the reality is that hacks and breaches are becoming a very real part of our everyday lives…and you need to be prepared.

What you need to know to secure your credit both now and in the future.

On This Podcast Episode:

I’m sharing what you need to know about the Equifax breach and how you can figure out if your credit has been compromised. I’m also chatting with Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com‘s senior industry analyst, about what you need to know to stay prepared for the future.

Links Mentioned:

Thanks for Tuning In:

Thanks for tuning in to listen to this episode of Millennial Money. If you have any comments or questions about today’s episode, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media.

Also, please leave an honest review for Millennial Money on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and much appreciated! You’re awesome!

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Disclosure:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) and financial strategies may be appropriate for you, consult your financial adviser prior to investing. There is no assurance that the techniques and strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive.

 

Storm Proof Your Finances

We’ve had Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma – two category 4 storms to hit the United States in a very short time period. While you might not live in an area prone to disastrous hurricanes you still need to be prepared for natural disasters. Take time now to storm proof your finances.

With natural disasters on the rise it's best to take some time now to storm proof your finances.

On This Podcast Episode:

  • Find out what documents you need to protect in a natural disaster
  • What’s the best way to store all your valuable documents
  • How to prepare yourself for an insurance claim
  • While a cash Emergency Fund could save you in a disaster

Mentioned In This Podcast:

  • Vital Records: Driver’s licenses, birth certificates, adoption papers, Social Security cards, passports, citizenship papers (such as a “green card” or naturalization documents), marriage license, divorce decrees, child custody papers, current military ID, military discharge, medical and vaccination records for pets along with current photos and ID chip numbers in case you are separated.
  • Insurance Policies: Homeowners, renters, flood, earthquake, auto, life, health, disability, long-term care; have at least the policy number and insurance company contact information for each type of coverage.
  • Property Records: Real estate deeds of trust and mortgage documents (at least the two-page settlement statement provided by the title company showing the actual cost of the house and purchase expenses); rental agreement or lease; auto/boat/RV registration and titles; video, photos or a list of household inventory.
  • Medical Information: Immunization and other medical records, prescription information (drug name and dosage), health insurance identification cards, physician names and phone numbers, powers-of-attorney for health care, and living wills.
  • Estate planning documents: Wills, trusts, funeral instructions, powers-of-attorney, attorney names and phone numbers.
  • Financial records: First two pages of your previous year’s federal and state tax returns, stock and bond certificates, investment records, brokerage and retirement account information, credit card, checking and savings account numbers, contact information for credit unions, banks, financial institutions, credit card companies and financial advisers.
  • Other: Personal address book, a letter with instructions for family or friends (for use in a situation where you’re not present), backups of important computer files, a list of usernames and passwords for online accounts, a key to your safe deposit box, a recent photograph, fingerprints and dental records for each member of the household (some police stations and nonprofits fingerprint children free); account and contact information for utilities and other services (you may have to provide a new billing address or cancel certain services), a list of important documents and where originals and copies are located.
  • Regularly backup electronic documents: Backup electronic files related to your business to an external drive or online at intervals you deem important, daily, weekly quarterly, or annually. Important documents or files vary on each individual business, but common files to protect could include those related to inventory, customer contact lists, payroll records, tax information and billing statements.
  • Protect onsite documents: Invest in fire-, water- and impact-resistant file cabinets for the office. As part of your emergency preparedness plan, implement a policy that states employees must store their files in the cabinets instead of their inside their desks or on shelves.

Thanks for Tuning In:

Thanks for tuning in to listen to this episode of Millennial Money. If you have any comments or questions about today’s episode, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media.

Also, please leave an honest review for Millennial Money on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and much appreciated! You’re awesome!

Want More:

Disclosure:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) and financial strategies may be appropriate for you, consult your financial adviser prior to investing. There is no assurance that the techniques and strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive

 

Got Laid Off? What You Need to Know About Your Money Situation

Getting laid off is not a fun process, but it can be a chance to make some smart money moves. Find out what you need to know when you get laid off.Chances are you either have gotten laid off or will sometime in your career. These days, it seems like there aren’t too many jobs and companies that are immune to layoffs, and it always feels like they happen at the worst time possible.

I know, I’ve been there myself. I know the sheer terror you feel when you’re facing being laid off and not sure what the future holds. If I can breathe a sigh of relief into you at all…just know it really is going to be ok.

Getting laid off can bring a welcome change though if we’re going to spin a positive here. It can be a chance to launch a new career direction or to start a business idea that you’ve been sitting on.

Regardless, there are some money decisions you need to think about when you’re laid off.

On This Podcast Episode:

  • What do you need to know about your health insurance plan
  • What about all the other perks like life insurance and disability insurance?
  • Time to think about your 401(k) options as well and tally up those matching funds
  • Why getting laid off might be opportunity you need to change your career path – just be smart with your severance

Links Mentioned:

Thanks for Tuning In:

Thanks for tuning in to listen to this episode of Millennial Money. If you have any comments or questions about today’s episode, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media.

Also, please leave an honest review for Millennial Money on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and much appreciated! You’re awesome!

Disclosure:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) and financial strategies may be appropriate for you, consult your financial adviser prior to investing. There is no assurance that the techniques and strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes.

7 Steps to Take Before You Buy a New Car

Find out the smart money moves you should make before you go out and buy a new car.

Buying a new car is both an exciting experience and a daunting one all at the same time. While we love the new car smell that seems to linger forever, we hate the process of haggling with the car salesperson.

Before you buy the new car is actually the most important time to make some smart money moves. When you’re already at the dealership and in love with the car – well, all reason goes out the door.

So, what are the important steps you can take to make sure your new car fits in with your budget and your lifestyle?

On This Podcast Episode:

I’m dishing my 7 steps that you should take before you head out and buy a new car. One of my favorites is the act of paying yourself the payment before you actually have to make the payment. Say what?

Find out all the tips and why they can help supercharge your car buying experience. Plus, check out my friends at AutoGravity who have a brand new app that lets you choose a car, apply for financing and select a deal all from the palm of your hands. It’s genius.

Links Mentioned:

Thanks for Tuning In:

Thanks for tuning in to listen to this episode of Millennial Money. If you have any comments or questions about today’s episode, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media.

Also, please leave an honest review for Millennial Money on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and much appreciated! You’re awesome!

Disclosure:

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) and financial strategies may be appropriate for you, consult your financial adviser prior to investing. There is no assurance that the techniques and strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes.

This post might contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure statement.

 

Easy Ways to Manage Unexpected Car Costs

Do those unexpected car costs have your bank account crying for mercy? I've got some great tips to help you manage all those expenses, and a killer way to buy a new car without stressing yourself out.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Let’s be honest, unexpected car costs can add up quickly, leaving your budget and bank account in shambles. Whether it’s new tires, costly brakes, or some sort of crazy engine malfunction, those unexpected costs can really add up.

AutoGravity, a cool new company that helps you choose your car and get financing in minutes all from the palm of your hand, asked four of us money experts to share our tips on how to manage all these unexpected car expenses.

How to Mange Those Unexpected Costs

When we’re talking about any unexpected expense in your budget it’s super important to go back to basics with your bank account and spend some time “Knowing Your Numbers.” This is one of the smartest money moves you can make for your money.

Knowing Your Numbers is the process of rolling up your sleeves and diving into your expenses each and every month. Why do this you ask?

Well, simply, once you know your numbers you have greater control over your spending. You can make choices with your finances in a way that will lead to success.

If you have better control over your expenses – and let me say, that doesn’t mean you have to give up stuff that you like to do, just do it smarter – you are more prepared when your need four new tires or a serious brake job costing thousands.

Do It Smarter

Let’s say you’re jonesing for a new car but you seriously hate the car buying experience. (I’m right there with you. I mean, I love to haggle, but I’m downright exhausted when the process is over with.) One way to do it smarter is to get all your ducks in a row BEFORE you head out shopping.

That’s why I love AutoGravity.

The app allows me to shop for a car while I’m in the comfort of my own home, find a dealership, apply for financing and select an offer without even having to work up a sweat. The best part is that I have time to think about how I’m spending my money without all the pressure of sitting in front of a pushy sales person.

You’ve still got to do your homework first, even before you head over to the AutoGravity app. That’s where Knowing Your Numbers comes into play.

What you want to figure out:

  • What monthly payment can you REALLY afford without taking away from your current spending/savings goals (check out AutoGravity’s car calculator)
  • What type of car will work for your lifestyle
  • How long do you plan on having the car
  • What kind of warranty is included in the price of the car (really important for budgeting for those unexpected expenses)
  • Can you get any trade-in value on your car
  • And, because I can’t say it enough, can you comfortably afford this payment

Do Everything Smarter

When it comes to car buying, doing your homework and being smart about your purchase by using an app like AutoGravity is a great way to make a smart money move. There are so many other money decisions where you can also use this thinking as well.

If you took a few minutes I bet you could find at least five other things in your everyday spending that you could do smarter. Maybe it’s your gym membership, or your coffee runs, or where you stop for gas, or maybe it’s even how you break up your paycheck every month.

I don’t know about you, but I find it super difficult to save money each month unless I automate my savings. The automation forces me out of a decision each month and just magically does the saving for me. I love this approach (and you don’t have to automate everything) but it can really help you achieve your money goals quickly.

The Savings Challenge

If you’re saving for a new car (or any other money goal) I’m going to challenge you to look in your bank account and find at least three ways you can do your spending and savings in a smarter way. While it might not seem like a lot to save $10 here and $20 there, those savings can start to add up over time.

I’m often asked, “Why do I need to save money anyway?” You might laugh, but it makes sense. Hey, saving money isn’t for me, or for anyone else. Saving money and being smart with your money is all about you.

Set your savings goal.

Go out and find a car that works for your life and your bank account.

Head over to the AutoGravity app and get yourself some funding.

Celebrate making another smart money move.

Rinse and repeat.

 

 

Don’t Treat Your 401k Like a Piggybank

It might look tempting to borrow money for your 401k, but here are a few reasons why you might want to think twice. It might look like a good option to you – take some money out of your 401k to pay off debt or to take that vacation you’ve been dreaming of. However, there are many factors to consider when you’re thinking about using your 401k as a piggy bank.

The beauty of saving money in a 401k is that you have a tax-advantaged account (meaning, you are likely to not pay any tax on your contributions if you keep the money in your account until 591/2) and over time, your money will be compounding. If your employer is matching any of your contributions, it becomes easier to build up your 401k balance.

If you’re thinking about taking a loan from your 410k, there are some factors that you need to consider first like the interest rate you will be paying, how long you plan to stay at your job and whether they payments will fit nicely in your current budget.

On This Podcast Episode:

  • Listen to the reasons why your 401k shouldn’t be used as a piggy bank
  • Learn about the information you need to know before you take a loan
  • How to create a plan to pay off your 401k loan
  • Why you might want to look elsewhere for cash

Links Mentioned:

Thanks for Tuning In:

Thanks for tuning in to listen to this episode of Millennial Money. If you have any comments or questions about today’s episode, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media.

Also, please leave an honest review for Millennial Money on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and much appreciated! You’re awesome!

What Is Your Financial Wellness Score – Meghan Murphy, Fidelity Investments

Do you know how financially well you are? Being smart with your money is about more than just dollars and cents.What is your financial wellness score? We all know how important it is to eat right and exercise daily if we want to stay in shape, however, do you know what it takes to be financially well?

My guess is you don’t spend a ton of time thinking about this concept. Making smart money moves is not just about checking off to-do items on a giant list of things. It’s about the whole picture – where you’re at right now, where you want to go, what your thoughts are on risk tolerance and investing, how much you’re saving, what kind of debt you have, and how you think, act and feel about your money.

I had a chance to chat with Meghan Murphy, Director of Thought Leadership at Fidelity Investments. Meghan spends her days doing extensive research to uncover trends in financial wellness. She’s also helped develop some cool tools that can help you discover your financial wellness score and a great calculator to help you pay off your student loans more efficiently.

On This Podcast Episode:

  • Learn why Meghan spends her days working on financial wellness
  • Discover why being financially well can benefit you
  • Hear about the tools Fidelity is developing to help you become more financially well

Links Mentioned:

Thanks for Tuning In:

Thanks for tuning in to listen to this episode of Millennial Money. If you have any comments or questions about today’s episode, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media.

Also, please leave an honest review for Millennial Money on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and much appreciated! You’re awesome!

Tap Into Untapped Dollars

You could be missing out on an easy way to save money and make a profit if you work at a public company that offers an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. Find out what you need to know.If you work for a public company, it’s quite possible that you’re missing out on one of the easiest and best ways to save money. This little powerful savings vehicle is called an Employee Stock Purchase Plan and it literally allows you to tap into untapped dollars.

With an ESPP, you can purchase company stock at a discount with money that is funded through payroll, and then turn around and sell your shares of stock for hopefully a profit. Use that extra money to rock all those money goals that you have.

According to Fidelity research, only 29% of people contribute to an ESPP when it’s available at your company. Chances are you could missing out on untapped dollars if you’re not participating.

On This Podcast Episode:

  • Get the down low on what an Employee Stock Purchase Plan is
  • Understand the two most important pieces of information you need to know
  • How you can use the ESPP to fund your money goals
  • Why an ESPP is as good as liquid savings

Links Mentioned:

Thanks for Tuning In:

Thanks for tuning in to listen to this episode of Millennial Money. If you have any comments or questions about today’s episode, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media.

Also, please leave an honest review for Millennial Money on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and much appreciated! You’re awesome!

Don’t Touch Your Cheap Debt

Stop paying off your cheap debt so fast and consider whether some debt is smart debt.Don’t touch that cheap debt. Did you know that not all debt is created equal? There is such a thing as smart debt believe it or not.

It’s very popular these days to get fixated on paying off all of your debt in record speed, but I’m going to argue that isn’t always the smartest financial decision you can make with your debt. Cheap debt is one of the best kinds of debt you can have.

I know, debt makes you feel queasy and like you want to vomit. Me too, however, I understand that smart debt means that you’re using your money in the best way possible so you can actually grow your money while you’re paying off your debt. It’s like having your cake and eating it too.

On This Podcast Episode:

  • I’m going to explain why some debt is smart debt
  • Look at 3 different scenarios where paying off debt has an impact on your future
  • What exactly is cheap debt (hint, it’s debt under 7%)
  • How you can use this new way of thinking to increase your overall net worth

Thanks for Tuning In:

Thanks for tuning in to listen to this episode of Millennial Money. If you have any comments or questions about today’s episode, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media.

Also, please leave an honest review for Millennial Money on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and much appreciated! You’re awesome!

A Credit Card Secret to Radically Reduce Your Debt

There is a secret to reducing credit card debt that most don't talk about often. Found out what you need to know to chop your debt down.It’s almost impossible to avoid credit card debt. Even if you’re always within your budget, have a healthy savings account, and live by debit and cash, there will certainly come a time when you’re going to want to spend some cash that isn’t in your account. Enter credit card debt. It happens to the best of us.

I’ve always tried, to be honest on the podcast that credit card debt comes and goes. I get really frustrated at all the posts about people who are killing themselves to live debt free. Yes, it’s a great goal. Yes, it makes you feel really good and is financially smart. However, the reality is that life happens and sometimes you go into debt.

What’s the best strategy if you’re currently in debt to get it paid off?

It’s a secret that you don’t hear about often – using 0% balance transfer offers to radically reduce your debt. Here are a few of my favorites.

On This Podcast Episode:

  • We’ll dish about why being in debt isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you
  • How to use this secret to radically reduce your debt
  • Why you need a strategy with your debt
  • What steps you should take to have a healthy dose of debt

Thanks for Tuning In:

Thanks for tuning in to listen to this episode of Millennial Money. If you have any comments or questions about today’s episode, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media.

Also, please leave an honest review for Millennial Money on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and much appreciated! You’re awesome!

 

 

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