Most people ask, "How much does college cost?"—that’s the first mistake. It’s not to say this question isn’t answerable, but grouping college into one huge expense can be a little deceiving.
Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about all of the amazing lifestyle changes that await you just beyond your next pay raise? Have you ever fantasized about how to spend a work bonus, only to have the money instantly disappear into your monthly spending? If this sounds familiar, you might be prone to lifestyle creep.
Consumer debt is an extremely contradictory part of our personal finances: it’s at once common and incredibly personal. According to numerous sources, the majority of US adults owe money in some way, shape or form—and yet what this consumer debt represents can vary drastically from person to person. To some, a debt might signify a major accomplishment or progress toward a large goal. To others, it might be a constant reminder of a time of crisis or hardship. The decisions that lead us to consumer debt can be thoughtful and deliberate, or rushed and misguided. It is perhaps these differences that make it challenging to talk openly about debt for fear of judgment.
Living on your own for the first time can be empowering. It means having independence and all the things that come with it. Some of those things—like not having to share a bathroom—are wonderful. Others—like killing spiders yourself—are not so fun. And leading the pack in the not-so-fun category: bills.
Checks hold an odd place in our personal finances. In many ways, checks seem like relics from a previous era. We maybe write one or two checks a month (usually for rent or similar bill-paying situations where electronic payment simply isn’t an option). This is vastly different from only a few decades ago, when checks represented more than 85% of all non-cash retail payments. (Can you imagine whipping out a checkbook in line at the grocery store? Times have certainly changed!)
An emergency fund is an essential part of your personal finances. Its importance is stressed in almost every personal finance book and budgeting blog, and yet 26% of Americans currently have no emergency fund in place. Of those who do have an emergency fund, up to two-thirds do not have the often-recommended six months’ worth of expenses saved up.
Retail sales during the November - December 2020 holiday season grew at an unexpected high rate of 8.3%. Sales are expected to grow again in 2021.
One of the most effective tools for preventing a large-scale financial disaster is an emergency fund, an amount of money that is set aside to cover unexpected expenses, or to keep you afloat if no regular income is coming in.
Spending money during the holiday season can be a rush of adrenaline when imagining how much your loved one will enjoy the gift you just bought for them. But sadly, that feeling goes away in January, when you might question if you should have purchased that gift or spent that much. Kohler Credit Union is here to offer a few tips to avoid any spending regret you might have after the joy of the holidays wears off:
Navigating a new auto loan can be confusing, let alone considering options to refinance. Do you have questions about refinancing an auto loan? We want to help! Our Consumer Relationship Manager, Josh MacDonald, breaks down common FAQs on refinancing: