Archive of Personal Finance Articles – Arla Wallace
  • Red Flags When Buying a Home
    Before buying a home, inspect for foundation, electrical, and roof issues. Addressing these red flags is crucial for informed decisions.... more
  • Good Debt vs. Bad Debt
    Limit debt to necessary transactions, such as a student loan for higher education or a home mortgage, so you can build good credit and a strong financial future.... more
  • Debit or Credit Card: What’s Best for Kids?
    Teaching your children about money management at home, including the ins and outs of bank accounts, and debit and credit cards, will help them learn financial responsibility.... more
  • Living on a Limited Income
    Living within your budget will not only bring you financial peace but also enable you to prepare for unexpected emergencies.... more
  • Making A Charitable Contribution Of Shares Of Stock
    Your deduction is equal to the fair market value when you make the contribution.... more
  • Value Of Your Mutual Fund Shares
    You must report any distributions you received from the fund, including amounts you reinvested in additional shares.... more
  • How to Protect Against Title Theft
    Beware of con artists who use stolen identity documents to gain title to your home, or your vacation or investment property.... more
  • Do Not Make These Financial Mistakes After You Reach Age 50
    It is never too late to correct past mistakes to ensure financial security as you age, so reduce debt, put away funds for an emergency, and strive to increase retirement savings.... more
  • Recession Proof Your Savings
    Preparing for a recession involves careful review of current spending and savings habits as well as financial planning to help you survive future uncertainties.... more
  • Improving Work-Life Balance
    In order to achieve a better work-life balance, you need to focus on finding a routine, managing your finances, and finding time for family.... more
  • Planning for Retirement
    Planning for retirement involves establishing a plan that is right for you, and taking into consideration the time you will have to invest and to spend.... more
  • Five Ways to Get Money in an Emergency
    When you need to get money in a hurry, you should consider credit cards, personal lines of credit, and loans from your bank, your retirement plan, or from family or friends.... more
  • Buying a House You Can Afford
    Purchasing a home is a major decision, and requires research into how much down payment you can afford, whether you must pay PMI, and finding the right mortgage loan.... more
  • Running a Household and Owning a Business
    To successfully run your own business while simultaneously taking care of family, you need to set boundaries, such as limiting your workday and creating a dedicated work space.... more
  • Mortgage Payments are Made Up of Interest and Principal Repayment.
    Mortgage payments are made up of interest and principal repayment.... more
  • What is a Living Trust?
    What is a Living Trust?... more
  • How Long Do You Need to Keep Tax Records?
    How long do you need to keep tax records?... more
  • Which $100,000 Mortgage Will Have the Highest Monthly Payments?
    Which $100,000 mortgage will have the highest monthly payments?... more
  • Children Pay Lower Income Tax Rates Than Adults
    Children pay lower income tax rates than adults... more
  • Becoming an Entrepreneur
    In addition to attending to personal finances and protecting assets, entrepreneurs need to take care of their families, become life-long learners, and practice true philanthropy.... more
  • Managing Personal Finances
    Take control of your personal finances by keeping track of bills and payments, analyzing your spending habits, and setting financial goals.... more
  • Self-Care Versus Health Care
    Taking care of yourself can result in lower health-care costs, reduced financial stress, and overall physical and emotional well-being.... more
  • Planning Ahead for Changes in Retirement
    When planning for retirement, it is important to not only establish a financial plan but also to plan how you can be fulfilled and enjoy your retirement years.... more
  • Separating Business and Personal Finances
    Separate bank accounts, tax identification numbers, and credit cards are some of the ways you can distinguish your personal and business expenses, making it easier at tax time.... more
  • Building an Emergency Fund
    In addition to saving for retirement or life goals like a home purchase, it is important to save for emergencies and avoid getting into additional debt.... more
  • Funding Your Small Business
    Whether you are considering bootstrapping, crowdfunding, or a traditional bank or SBA loan, make sure you explore all of the options for funding your small business.... more
  • Financial Planning
    Understanding your net worth, setting goals, and protecting your assets are all important components of financial planning and taking charge of your personal financial situation.... more
  • How to Keep Good Credit
    Building and keeping good credit requires patience, in addition to developing good financial habits, timely payment of bills, and awareness of your credit utilization ratio.... more
  • Financial Stress
    Avoid financial stress by educating yourself, budgeting, paying bills on time, reviewing your credit report, and taking advantage of tools to increase your financial literacy.... more
  • Job Security and Stress
    Strengthening your financial stability can help you increase your job stability, cope with anxiety, and reduce your stress levels.... more
  • Too Much Debt and Not Enough Money
    Too much debt can affect not only your credit and your interest rates, but can also impact your home life and your work performance.... more
  • Funding Your Child’s College Education
    Before it’s time to pay for your child’s college education, consider Section 529 tax-advantaged plans as a smart way to save.... more
  • Keeping Up with the Cost of Living
    Look for ways to keep up with higher costs of living, including asking for cost-of-living pay increases, downsizing or relocating, and budgeting daily expenses.... more
  • Inflation and Retirement
    With the current high inflation, it is important to review your retirement strategy, investments, and social security options.... more
  • Rising Gasoline Prices
    Supply and demand, environmental regulations, world conflicts, and various federal, state, and local taxes, are all contributing to the current high gasoline price situation.... more
  • Estimating Your Retirement Needs
    Retirees need to consider rising healthcare costs, relocation and living expenses, and the amount of income that will be needed when taking into account the costs of retirement.... more
  • Commingling Your Finances – A Newlywed’s Guide
    Discussing with your partner all of your financial options, such as whether or not you will commingle funds, is essential to building trust in a marriage.... more
  • What You Need to Teach Your Children about Money
    In addition to avoiding debt, increasing savings, and reducing stress, you can also teach your children to give back as well.... more
  • Selecting Home Budgeting Software and Apps
    You can find Inexpensive programs, automatic data importation, and security features when shopping for budgeting software and apps to manage your financial well-being.... more
  • Changes to Federal Student Loan Debt
    A short extension of the pause in student loan payments has been announced, as well as a new student loan forgiveness plan.... more
  • Federal Tax Law Changes for 2022
    Many tax law changes that were enacted during the pandemic to assist small businesses have expired, so make sure your business is in compliance with the revised provisions.... more
  • Tax Ramifications of Downsizing Your Home in Retirement
    Learn how capital gains taxes, gift taxes, or qualified trusts can impact your decision to downsize your home in retirement.... more
  • Medicare and Private Health Insurance When You Retire
    Make sure you understand all of the health insurance options available to you at retirement, including Medicare and private medical insurance coverage.... more
  • Long-Term Care Insurance
    It is important to explore the costs and benefits of long-term care insurance so that you and your loved ones are prepared when services become needed.... more
  • Paying Off Debt
    Educating yourself, creating a plan, and getting help are all necessary components to changing your habits and becoming debt-free in the long run.... more
  • Credit Card Scams
    The increasing proliferation of credit card scams, together with the sophistication of scammers, require constant vigilance by consumers to protect their account information.... more
  • Dealing with Inflation
    Read why this is a good time to take stock of your discretionary spending and your investment strategy, in view of the current high inflation and supply chain shortages.... more
  • Financing College
    With costs increasing every year, paying for a college education requires a careful review of all of the options available, including 529 plans, scholarships, and loans.... more
  • How to Make a Household Budget Work
    Whether you use a paper spreadsheet or a software program, take the time to input the necessary information and get started on preparing a budget for your financial well-being.... more
  • Planning for Retirement: Downsizing
    Life stages have both beginnings and endings. And retirement is no exception. Whatever your plans for retirement are, they should include downsizing.... more
  • Individual Investment Portfolios:  Weathering Market Corrections
    With market fluctuations common, learn how to build your portfolio to weather the risks, how you should diversify, and what to do when a market correction occurs.... more
  • Retirement Savings Plans: Loans and Hardship Withdrawals
    If you are experiencing financial difficulties, a loan or hardship withdrawal from your employer-sponsored retirement plan may be the solution.... more
  • Long-term Care Insurance: Pros and Cons
    If you are researching long-term care insurance, make sure you consider the pros and cons, including benefits, costs, and your personal resources and medical history.... more
  • End of Year Tax Planning
    With 2021 ended, now is the time to review changes in the tax laws, such as charitable deductions and retirement contributions, so as to be ready for the April 15 filing deadline.... more
  • Retirement Savings: Changes to Required Minimum Distribution Rules
    Recent legislation has made important changes to the timing, amount, and age at which required minimum distributions must be made from retirement accounts.... more
  • Is Now the Right Time to Refinance Your Mortgage?
    Another strategy available to consumers to lower personal debt was through refinancing a mortgage, where rates were at historically low levels.... more
  • U.S. Savings Bonds
    Question about U.S. Savings Bonds interest.... more
  • College Costs Increase
    Question about average college cost increase.... more
  • Rule of 72
    What is the rule of 72 about?... more
  • Benefits of a Good Credit History
    Question about what are benefits of a good credit history.... more
  • What credit identity thieves need most?
    What credit identity thieves need most to steal your credit?... more
  • Federal Reserve's Interest Rate Policy
    The importance of Federal Reserve Interest rate policy.... more
  • Certificate of Deposit Maturity Level
    Questions about certificate of deposit maturity level.... more
  • Automatic Savings Plan
    Question about benefit of automatic saving plan.... more
  • Direct Deposit Benefits
    Question related to direct deposit.... more
  • Inflation Risk
    Question about inflation risk.... more
  • Balance Transfer to New Credit Card
    Question about transferring outstanding balances to a new credit card.... more
  • The Inflation Rate For the Past 10 Years has Averaged?
    Question about inflation rate.... more

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