4 Money Tips for New Homeowners

More than 60% of Americans own their homes, and while there are certain benefits to ownership, there’s also a downside: the cost.

You may have thought that coming up with a down payment was the greatest financial hurdle you’d face, but as you’ll soon come to learn, there are numerous expenses associated with owning a home. Here’s how to handle them. Read more

When Life Gets Rough, Be Grateful!

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There are always blessings in our lives that we miss seeing when our vision is clouded by bad luck or discouragement.

We’ve all heard the phrase that when life gives us lemons, we should make lemonade. We’ve also all heard the story of Job in the Bible, who, despite losing all his possessions, family, health, and support from friends, trusted in the Lord and found something to be grateful for—his testimony.

Often life does not go the way we planned and fate seems to be against us. But even when jobs, friends, or health fail us, there is always something in our lives that the Lord has blessed us with and that we can be grateful for. If like Job we can keep our sights on the Lord and step back to see the bigger picture, the rough time will pass and we will find it easier to see the abundance that the Lord has blesses us with. Though many of the ideas below are probably familiar, it never hurts to think about them more deeply and be reminded of our blessings.

Here are 10 things to be grateful for when everything seems to be going wrong. Read more

Back to School – Returning to the Routine

With the start of school just around the corner, children and parents likely are having many mixed emotions.

While the possibilities that lie ahead with new classrooms, new teachers and new friends are exciting, the transition from summer to school can be challenging for many children. The following tips can help:

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New Credit Bureau Ratings

When it comes to having good credit, you already know how important it is to pay your bills on time.  But how you pay your bills — not just whether you pay them — is becoming increasingly important.

In the past two to three years, all three major credit bureaus have added a treasure-trove of new data to their credit reports. Analysts are slicing and dicing “trended data” in hundreds of ways, but probably the biggest change is that lenders now know exactly how you pay your bills: whether you’re a high-risk “revolver” who carries a balance, or a low-risk “transactor” who pays your credit cards in full every month.

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The Emotions of Buying and Selling a House

Homes come with far more emotional weight than any other investment we make.

A home is a refuge from the world, a place to raise a family and, for some people, an investment they hope will bring them a good chunk of money down the road.

All too often, though, we don’t realize that how we feel about homes blinds us when it comes time to buy or sell. We let our emotions blind us to cold facts about the market or the realities of ownership. Or we prioritize one set of emotional needs over others that are just are strong but may not be evident at first. And ignoring them can lead us to make bad financial decisions that can affect us for decades to come.

Here’s a closer look at some psychological missteps that buyers and sellers often make as they wade into the housing market.

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