We all make mistakes. It’s true when it comes to managing money or managing relationships.

But avoiding investing mistakes early in life can give us a huge leg up in life. We are better off in the long run if we start early and invest often. Yet, many millennials aren’t moving forward with investing like they should be. Here are three investing mistakes many of us make but should avoid:

1. Prioritizing Student Loan Repayment Over Retirement Savings

You probably think you need to get rid of that student loan debt ASAP. And you’re right. You should work on getting rid of student loan debt. However, you don’t want to put your retirement at risk to do it.

If you have the chance to sock money away in a retirement account, especially if your employer offers a matching contribution, it makes sense to take advantage of the opportunity.

Your student loan interest is likely tax-deductible, so it’s not as expensive as you think. Yes, keep paying down those debts, but also consider putting some money toward retirement.
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I’m always looking for new ways to curb my spending, save money, earn freebies, and ultimately, live a more frugal lifestyle. Over the last few years, this has especially meant becoming more careful about my purchases. Looking back, I’m painfully aware of the money I’ve wasted:

  • Impulse purchases that weren’t accounted for in my budget
  • Multiples of items I barely use to begin with
  • “Great deals” that just weren’t what I wanted or needed, so they ended up in the donation pile

To avoid regretful purchases in the future, I’m more deliberate than ever about what, when, and why I buy things. Still, there’s plenty of opportunity for even better insights or angles that make this principle click a little better. Asking this question about potential purchases can do that:

How much does it cost… in my labor hours? [ continue reading… ]

We hear all the time that it’s important to pay attention to our credit and work to improve our scores.

Knowing exactly where you stand can be difficult, however, when you consider that you could have hundreds of credit scores. Where do you start?

How Does That Happen?

Well, a big reason is that there isn’t a standard way to calculate a credit score. Any credit scoring model uses information from your credit report. So, right there, you have as many credit scores as you do reports. There’s a different score for each credit reporting agency.
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If you’re a recent college graduate, newly married, or just haven’t had the income to save up for a 20% down payment on your first home, you might have been told to look into an FHA loan. If you’re also new to the world of real estate and mortgages, like me, you might be wondering what an FHA loan is and what makes it such an attractive option for many first-time home buyers.

What are FHA-Insured Loans?

FHA stands for the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency that’s been around since 1934. Although the term “FHA loan” is commonly used, the FHA doesn’t lend money — it’s just the world’s largest mortgage insurer. The FHA insures high-risk home loans provided by certain lenders.

To help you determine if an FHA loan is the best option for you, let’s look at some of the basic advantages and disadvantages it comes with.
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What would you tell the future you if you had a chance to say anything financially related? Would it be about the steps you are taking now to build a better financial future for yourself? Would you be embarrassed to admit that you aren’t doing enough? I was given the chance to make “a video to my future self” as part of attending the Capital One Banking Reimagined Tour recently, and going through the experience made me excited about saving money again.

This surprised me a little. You see, adding money into savings always gave me a kick because it meant I was getting a step closer to being financially free. I never saw spending less as a sacrifice, because it was clear in my mind that saving simply meant choosing to buy more freedom in the future. I didn’t realize this, but all those financially savvy moves slowly turned into a routine. The desire to spend slowly grew, while the fire to save slowly died. Without realizing it, saving money slowly became a chore.
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We often think about money management as something that happens separately from everything else in our lives, but nothing really exists in a vacuum. The truth is that our lifestyle habits can have a tremendous impact on the way we manage money. Live right and we will make the right choices. Live on the edge and our finances will suffer too. Here are three lifestyle habits that can make us worse at taking care of our financial resources:
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