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What To Do With Your Tax Refund

Getting a check in the mail or automatic deposit from the federal government after you submit your tax return is a great opportunity to whip your finances into shape. Don’t let that money burn a hole in your pocket. Use these tips to make the most of your tax refund.

Different Styles of Budgeting
There’s more than one way to make a budget. Use this guide to learn about the different ways you can manage your expenses as you work toward your financial goals. 

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Infographic: Different Styles of Budgeting

There’s more than one way to make a budget. Use this guide to learn about the different ways you can manage your expenses as you work toward your financial goals.

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Working from Home: What to Do with the Money You Save

Many companies have started letting their employees work remotely. You can attend meetings, take calls and answer emails without going to the office every day. Working from home helps to improve worker retention, work-life balance and can even reduce certain expenses. The average person saves around $4,000 a year by working remotely. So, what are some things you can do to put that extra money to work? Use this guide to make smart money management decisions and get the most of every penny you earn while working from home.

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Comparison Shopping: How to Find the Best Deals

As a consumer, you have choices on where to buy the things and services you need, from cars to home goods and everything in between. If you’re trying to save money, you might try comparing prices from more than one store or vendor. Finding the lowest price can help you save money, leaving you with extra cash to invest and pay down debt or work towards other financial goals. Comparison shopping is easier than ever with online tools and shopping. Use this guide to find the best deals online or in-store.

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Is a Free Checking Account Really Free?

You may be intrigued by all the free checking accounts you see advertised. No one likes to pay fees, especially when accessing your own money. Those fees can eat away at your budget. Therefore, free must be good, right? Yes, but free checking is not always completely free. You just need to know what to look for.

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Kids Checking Accounts: Things to Consider

If your child is responsible enough to manage their own money, you can set up a checking account that comes with its own debit card. Here’s what you need to know about opening a bank account for your child.

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Money Tips to Save More and Spend Less in the New Year

Around this time every year, countless people spend time pondering and planning goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. Whether your new year’s resolutions are big or small, improving your personal finances can probably help you reach them. A foundational piece to improving your finances is learning how to save more and spend less. Read this article to learn about some of our Community Education Team’s favorite money tips to try in the new year.

new years resolutions
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New Year’s Financial Resolutions

With the New Year rapidly approaching, many take this time to reexamine and reprioritize every aspect of their life, including their finances. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on everything you’re doing right and how you’d like to improve. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, vowing to change our behavior for the better. If you start meaningful financial habits, you will be one step closer to achieving financial health. If you’re looking to improve your finances, add these New Year’s financial resolutions to your list.

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Budgeting Plan: How to Stay on Track and Make Adjustments

Americans are more in debt than ever. The pandemic may be to blame for part of the increase, but studies have also shown that Americans are less financially literate than they used to be. If you’re struggling with debt, or you just want to live within your means, the first step is to create a budget.

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Introduction to Charitable Giving

Philanthropy and charitable giving, once thought to be reserved for the wealthy and the elite, has become a common theme across much of today’s society. Charitable organizations fill a vital niche in our communities. They serve the public and support initiatives that may not be covered by the public or private sector and help create thriving societies and economies. Charitable giving can be both personally and financially rewarding, which is why it’s important to know what your options are so your gift has the biggest impact.

financial goals
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How to Set Financial Goals

If you’re looking to make the most of your money, it’s time to set a financial goal. Everyone has dreams of a better tomorrow, and saving money is usually a big part of making your dreams come true. Setting a goal is like setting a budget. You should work towards saving as much money as you can every week/month until you reach your goal, whether it’s buying a new car, saving for retirement, or paying off your student loan debt. Setting a goal for your finances is the best way to turn your money into something of value. Learn how to take control of your money with these personal finance tips.

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Net Worth Calculation Made Easy

Your net worth all comes down to assets and debts. Everyone owns a few assets and you may have a few debts or liabilities as well. Calculating your net worth shows you how much you’re worth in terms of dollars and cents. It’s how much you own or have minus everything you still owe. Use this simple guide to learn how to calculate your net worth.

zero based budgeting
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What Is Zero-Based Budgeting?

If you’re looking to save money, you may be interested in what’s known as the zero-based budget (ZBB), or zero-sum budget. This means allocating all of your monthly income to various expenses, including basic needs like food and rent, as well as savings and paying off existing debt. Allocating 100% of your monthly income doesn’t mean spending all your money every month, nor does it mean you have to put it all in savings either. It just means you have a plan for every cent you make. Learn more about this method of budgeting and how it can help you improve your finances.

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How to Track Spending

Do you get to the end of every month with no cash left, struggling to pay the final few bills and frustrated because you can’t seem to stay on budget? Learning how to track spending can help you be more aware of where your money goes throughout the month and can help prevent you from having to scramble until the next paycheck.

money management
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Financial Tips for Young Adults

As a new consumer, you might not have much experience managing your money, but that’s okay. If you are looking to start good money habits now and make the most of your hard-earned money, use these money management tips to help you get started.

A mature smiling man in his mid 40's takes a picture with his smart phone of a check or paycheck for digital electronic depositing.
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What Is a Money Market Account?

Are you ready to put your money to work for you to earn interest, but still have it readily available to access? That’s the basic money market account definition. Money market accounts offer you the option to maintain liquidity, while you watch your money grow.

Happy mother and son practicing saving money by putting coins into a piggybank.
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How to Save Money

Do you work hard every week, only to see your paychecks slip away like sand between your fingers? Saving money can be difficult. The good news is that it’s never too late to start saving and you can take baby steps while you learn how to put money away. As your nest egg grows, you’ll be motivated to find more ways to boost it up and can add even more money saving tricks to your repertoire.

Young man with a beard at home, smiling while budgeting on his laptop.
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How to Budget: How to Make a Monthly Budget

Making the most of your money isn’t always easy these days. Chances are you’re getting hit with expenses from all sides, which can be stressful if you don’t have a lot of money to go around. Regardless of how much money you make or what you’re looking to do with it, it’s always a good idea to learn how to budget. This will help you better manage your finances, so you can prepare for the unexpected. 

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Compound Interest: Learn How to Calculate Compound Interest

It’s no secret that compound interest can be a huge asset when it comes to your finances. But it can also be a recipe for disaster if you’re having trouble making monthly payments on your mortgage, student loans, or credit card bills.

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College Savings Plans: What You Need to Know About 529 Withdrawal Rules

Whether you’re saving for your child to go to college or planning the next chapter of your career, you have several options to choose from when it comes to paying for school. The good news is that you’re thinking about your options ahead of time, which should help you make the most of your money as you prepare to further your education. 529 plans can be confusing but learning about these programs will help you save money over time as you finance your education, regardless of where you decide to go to school.

African Professional Chartered Accountant Woman Doing Tax
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Five Tips for Tax Season

Have you filed your tax return yet? If you're worried about preparing your taxes, use these tips to help get you ready for tax season.

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Do Youth Accounts Help Kids in College?

Read this article to learn how a youth account can help your kids succeed in college.

Family Savings. Cheerful Afro Mother Teaching Little Daughter How To Save Money Holding Piggybank Sitting On Sofa At Home
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A Parent’s Guide to Raising Money-Smart Kids

As a parent, you might struggle with when and what to teach your children about money management. Is five too early to earn an allowance? Should you share the family budget with your children? When should teens learn about credit? These are all important questions, and it’s often not easy to know the answers. Kids have different levels of interest in financial education. But research tells us that by the age of five most children understand money and what it can do. The information below offers more specific guidelines for different age groups. Again, these are just guidelines. What decisions you make about when and what to teach at home depend on your family situation, household budget and how comfortable you are in the role of teacher.

Close up of man holding pink piggybank while woman putting coin in it. Indian young couple saving money for their wedding. Close up of woman hand putting euro money in piggy bank to save for the purchase of an house.
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How-to Build Savings: Four Ways to Help Build Your Savings

Saving money can feel like a challenge. Even thinking about saving – when you’re trying to pay off existing debt – can be stressful. But, it doesn’t have to be. You can start to save more by using these strategies.

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Financial Principles: Four Important Money Principles

If you could only learn four things about money, what would they be? Read this article to learn about four essential money principles that can help you take control of your finances.

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Want to be happier, healthier and more productive? Try learning about money.

We’ve all heard sayings like you can’t buy happiness or money is the root of all evil. While people may have negative feelings around money due to bad experiences in the past, that doesn’t mean that money can’t be a positive part of a person’s future. Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it can help someone achieve their goals in other areas such as providing for their family, having more freedom around lifestyle choices and taking care of their health.

A graphic that shows the four money personalities described in the article.
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Managing Money Personalities: Four Money Personality Types

Money means different things to different people and can motivate people in unique ways. When thinking about how to manage your personal finances, remember that there is not a perfect, one-size fits all strategy. Adapt plans to your personality so that they are easy to follow through on and rewarding. While money is important, it is a tool meant to make your life better and shouldn’t rule your life. The first step to having a better relationship with money, is to first know yourself. Take this quiz to find out your money personality.

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Spare Change Calculator

Most people have a cup, jar or piggy bank full of change that you fill each day when you empty your pockets or clean out your purse. How much do you have? Count it up and take a look!

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Savings Goal Calculator

Whether you are trying to save for big screen television, a new car or for a down payment on a new home, time, money and rate of return will all be determinant factors of when you will meet your savings goal.

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Cash Flow Calculator: Househol Net Monthly Cash Flow Calculator

Getting your spending under control and in line with your income is an essential element to building a healthy financial future. Analyze your spending (including what you put on a credit card) each month to make sure you are not spending more than you are bringing in. Once you have got that under control, consider placing what 'extra' you have every month in savings. You will never know when you will need it and it is better to take money out of a savings account to pay for unanticipated expenses rather than adding it to a credit card balance.

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Debt Pay Off Calculator: Credit Card Repayment & Loan Payoff Calculator

Setting a goal for paying off a mortgage, auto loan, credit card or personal loan makes sound financial sense. Some loans, such as a mortgage or car loan have defined repayment periods. Others do not. To reach a debt repayment goal, you will need to know what you need to pay each month. You also might want to compare it to your current repayment schedule to see how helpful reaching that goal might be.

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Savings Impact Calculator

If you are already a saver, you might ask yourself the question "what if I save more"? Increasing your current savings rate by even 1% can yield significant results. Save even more, and the results are even better. The more you can save, and the longer you can save will open your savings up to the magic of compounding, or the ability to earn interest on your re-invested earned interest.

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Emergency Fund Calculator: How To Calculate Emergency Fund

It is always a good idea to have savings tucked away for a rainy day. Emergencies such as legal or medical bills or loss of a job can all force you into 'rainy day' mode. Planning can make these types of events easier to handle. Determine how big your rainy day savings need to be by factoring in emergency spending needs and essential spending needs if your source of income is interrupted. Once you know what you will need, put together a plan based on your current savings, monthly savings and the number of months you want to take to build your rainy day fund.

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Net Worth Calculator: What Is My Net Worth?

Determining how much money you are worth is like having a personal balance sheet. On the asset side are things you own: homes, cars, investments and personal property. On the liability side are your debts: what you owe on your home mortgage, outstanding loans, and credit card balances. Over time, you want to be reducing your liabilities by paying down debt and building your assets by saving and allowing your assets to work for you by earning interest or building value.

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Millionaire Calculator: How to Save a Million Dollars

Everybody wants to be a millionaire, but few have the savings discipline to get there. Your current savings, additional monthly savings and the rate of return you receive all go into saving to be a millionaire. However, it may not stop there. If you want to have a million dollars worth of purchasing power, you have to factor in inflation into your savings plan. That means that depending on the amount of time it takes you to save a million dollars you might have to have saved even more to have a million worth of purchasing power.

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Share Certificate Calculator: CD Comparison and Share Term Certificate Calculator

A certificate of deposit (or CD) is a savings instrument offered by a bank or credit union that has a fixed date of maturity and a fixed interest rate. A credit union might use the term Share Certificate, Term Certificate or just Certificate to refer to the same product. Most CDs require a minimum deposit amount and may offer rates contingent on the size of the deposit. Certificates of Deposit are insured by the FDIC for bank deposits, or by the NCUA for credit union deposits, up to $250,000 per individual depositor. As a CD depositor, you are committing to leave your funds in the CD for the term of the CD. As a result of that time commitment, rates offered on CDs are typically higher than traditional savings or money market accounts. Keep in mind that an early withdrawal of funds will likely come with a financial penalty.

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Compounding Interest Calculator

How interest is calculated can have a great impact on the interest earned by your account and how your savings grow. Compound interest arises when interest is added to the principal and when the interest that has also been added earns interest. You will see your account balance grow more quickly with accounts that pay interest more frequently. The "Annual Percentage Yield" or APY is the effective annual rate of return once the effect of compounding interest is factored in.

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529 Calculator: 529 College Savings Plan Calculator

Saving for a college education requires advanced planning and knowledge of what the cost of a college education will be when your student begins their college experience. You will first need to know how long it will be before your student sets foot on campus, what the cost of that education is today and how much the cost will increase between now and then. You will need to know how many years of college you will be paying for, which is dependent on the degree program being pursued. Once you have that information, you will be able to know how much you will need to save. Putting together a plan will depend on what you currently have saved, how much you can save each month and the rate of return you will receive on those savings.

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Budget Calculator: Spending Habit Calculator

How many times have you asked yourself "where does our money go?" The first step is to categorize your spending into each particular category. If you have got multiple monthly bills under a category, you can use the worksheets linked to the right of the input field to enter each separately. Once you see where you are spending your money, it becomes easier to look at reducing spending in particular categories.

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Save or Pay Off Calculator

Having savings is important, especially when the savings are part of an emergency fund or a hedge against a loss of income. However, when you also have debt, in the form of an outstanding credit card balance or loan, you might want to consider whether you are better off using the money you have in savings to pay down debt. Whether it makes sense or not is determined by the interest rate you are earning on your savings versus the interest rate you are being charged on your outstanding loan balance. The difference between earning interest and paying it should give you a good indication of where you can get the best return.

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Checkbook Calculator: Online Checkbook Balancer

Balancing a checkbook is easy. Start with the balance from your last checking account statement. Then subtract all checks that you have written that were not listed in this last statement, or any previous ones. Then add back all the deposits that you have made into your checking account. The result should be the amount you have in your checkbook as your current balance.