Dollars & Sense, Page 8

How to Budget When You Have Seasonal Income

November 24th, 2016

Rewarding careers don’t always come with a steady paycheck. For people who work in agriculture, construction, tax preparation, entertainment, landscaping or other types of freelance and seasonal businesses, income may vary wildly depending on the time of year. This uneven cash flow makes budgeting especially challenging, but it’s by no means impossible.Here’s how to budget for long-term financial stability when your income changes with the seasons.

10 Terms Every Homebuyer Should Know

January 19th, 2016

Buying a home is a common undertaking for many Americans, but it’s also one of the most complicated — not to mention costly — purchases adults will ever make. It’s important to understand these 10 essential terms so you’re ready to make smart decisions with your money.

How to Tell You’re Ready to Buy a House

January 19th, 2016

Making the decision to become a homeowner is emotionally and financially complex. Here are some key things to ask yourself if you’re considering whether buying is right for you.

4 Reasons to Buy a Home Instead of Renting

January 19th, 2016

The financial benefits of buying a home compared with renting have yo-yoed over the years, especially of late. If you’re sitting on the fence, here are four circumstances in which it may be a better bet to buy.

The Benefits of a Mortgage Preapproval — and How to Get One

January 19th, 2016

Unless you were recently selected as the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft or released a hit album, you probably won’t pay for your new house in cash. Like millions of Americans, you’ll take out a mortgage.

When to Refinance a Mortgage

January 19th, 2016

Contrary to what you may think, signing up for a mortgage loan doesn’t mean you’re trapped in that rate or term. If rates change or events arise that prevent you from paying as you had planned, refinancing might be an effective way to change your monthly mortgage payment.

How to Save for a Down Payment

January 19th, 2016

The tallest hurdle to buying your first home will be saving for the down payment. To avoid having to purchase private mortgage insurance, you’ll likely need to put down at least 20% of the purchase price, which will probably mean tens of thousands of dollars.

4 Things to Do Before Buying a Home

January 19th, 2016

As exciting as it is to buy a home, the lead-up can be a dizzying experience, especially for first-time buyers. But don’t fret. Breaking down the process into smaller steps can help ease your anxieties. Here’s a look at the kinds of questions you’ll want to ask yourself, as well as a few other practical tips.

How to Plan and Finance Home Improvements

January 19th, 2016

Once the thrill of becoming a homeowner wears off, reality sets in. Your home is likely to be the biggest single investment you’ll make in your lifetime. If you want to preserve its value over time, that means doing regular maintenance.

Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud

January 19th, 2016

With nearly 38,000 complaints logged in 2015, credit card fraud ranks as the second most common form of identity theft, trailing only tax- or wage-related fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.