I’ve always heard it’s best to pay off your credit card in full each month, but this certainly not the universally accepted opinion. Some people actually think carrying a balance on their card is the best way to build credit. What about you though – is it good or bad for your credit score if you carry a credit card balance?

The argument for paying off your credit card in full each month is straightforward:

  • It demonstrates your ability to handle credit responsibly by only borrowing what your budget can afford. This can boost your credit score.
  • You’ll save money on interest (although the amount of interest you pay doesn’t necessarily impact your credit score).

But there is also an argument for carrying a balance:

  • If you make the minimum payment on time, carrying a balance doesn’t count against you.
  • Paying off debt regularly builds your credit.

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We talk about avoiding financial infidelity all the time, but how well do we actually share financial information?

The indication is that most of us aren’t very good at it.

According to a survey reported by CNBC, close to 40% of baby boomers have spent more than $500 without letting their significant others know. On top of that, the survey estimates that there might be as many as 12 million Americans hiding accounts and credit cards from their partners. That’s right. 12 million people!

It’s Fairly Easy to Hide Money from a Significant Other

You might think that it would be hard to hide money from a significant other, but the reality is that hiding an account is actually pretty easy to do.

After all, your credit is separate from your partner’s even if you are married, and it’s not that hard for a partner to open a credit card without you knowing. It’s even possible for him or her to open a bank account in his or her own name without you ever knowing about it.
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Everyone makes home improvements for different reasons, but most of the time they’re either a necessity (maybe a roof repair), something for personal enjoyment, or intended to increase a home’s market value. In fact, about 53% of adults in the U.S. have completed a home improvement project within the last year. Whether you’re getting ready to move or just sprucing things up a bit, it’s wise to be mindful of how the improvements you’re making will affect your home’s value when it comes time to sell or refinance your mortgage.

Based on what real estate experts say, the three top home improvement categories that deliver the biggest bang for your home renovating buck fall into three categories: practical appeal, curb appeal, and modern appeal. Let’s take a look at each:
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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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