Free Resources That Will Help You Live Up To Your Financial Potential
1. Investopedia: Understand All that Financial Jargon
2.Khan Academy: Economics and Financial Markets Made Easy
Are you looking to better understand the financial and economic news? Consider taking a free course on Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/economics-finance-domain). Courses run the gamut from basic macro-economic concepts to understanding accounting and financial statements.
3.Morningstar Investing Classroom: Prepare An Investment Policy Statement
One of my favorites of the 172 topics on Morningstar’s Investing Classroom (http://www.morningstar.com/cover/Classroom.html) is Creating an Investment Policy Statement (IPS). Think of an IPS as a “constitution” for your portfolio because it documents your financial goals, how your assets will be invested to meet those goals, and when your investments should change.
4.Mint YouTube Channel: Learn To Manage Your Personal Finances Like A Business
Hands down, Mint (https://www.mint.com/) is the superstar of budgeting apps. You can track your spending, integrate your accounts, and manage your budget all in one place. It’s free, and it works. The thing is, Mint takes some work on the front end to customize your experience. Before you get started, check out Mint’s YouTube channel playlist on how Mint works, including how to create and stick to a budget and how to set up bank and budget alerts.
5.NOLO Legal Topics: Know The Legal Basis
Are you considering setting up an LLC or a living trust? Or perhaps you are facing an issue with a creditor or mortgage lender? NOLO, the legal publisher, has thousands of legal articles written in an easy-to-understand style. Great places to start include What is Estate Planning or Renters’ and Tenants’ Rights. There’s no subscription necessary.
6.Credit Karma: Manage Your Credit Score
You’ve probably seen commercials for Credit Karma (https://www.creditkarma.com/), which partners with TransUnion and Equifax to provide free credit scores to its over 80 million members. On it, you can see your score at both bureaus, and see what factors contribute to it in a visually clear way, such as repayment history, credit utilization, and credit age. Signing up is free. Keep in mind that you will be able to see credit offers for which you might be eligible, but it’s pretty low-key. Credit Sesame is an alternative.
7.StudentLoans.Gov: Choose The Best Loan Repayment Program
Not sure which student loan repayment option you should consider? The Federal Student Aid Office offers tools and resources (https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans) to figure it out. Explore different repayment programs, such as loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment. Use the repayment estimator tool to see what you’ll pay based on your actual loans. If you don’t know who your loan servicer is, you can log in and find out.
8.Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Become A Smart Borrower
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/) is the place to start before you borrow money for anything, including buying a car, purchasing a home, or taking a consumer loan. Click “Consumer Tools” on the menu for links to specific topics. The guide on Buying a House is particularly useful for first-time homebuyers. New caregivers can read the guide on Managing Someone Else’s Money.
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