Considering the massive student loan debt most college graduates face, there’s increasing debate about whether a traditional four-year degree is a worthwhile investment for young adults. Still, most (69.7% in 2016, to be exact) high school graduates still choose to enroll.

And college tuition and boarding aren’t the only expenses for students either, because finances come into play long before that first meeting with the financial aid department. Trying to meet or beat the universities’ standardized test thresholds and stay competitive for limited scholarship funds, many high school students (or more likely, their parents) fork out money for ACT or SAT test preparation programs as soon as their sophomore or junior year.

The tests themselves don’t cost that much – the basic SAT testing fee is $45, while the basic ACT is a little lower at $39.50. One-on-one test prep tutoring, on the other hand, can be a several-thousand-dollar investment. While group test prep programs tend to run on the lower end of that, elite programs that promise top test scores can cost up to $9,000! That’s more than the average tuition and fees for attending an in-state university for four years.
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When it comes to your finances, your credit score can be a big deal.

A good credit score can mean big savings (or costs) if you take out a loan. Good credit can also mean lower costs when you get car insurance in some states.

If you have good credit, you’ve worked hard to manage your finances and your loans in a way that shows you are responsible. You are proving that you are a solid risk.

But what happens if you slip up? How much could that ruin your score?

According to Equifax, the damage affects different people differently. One late payment will affect a person with a lower score, but it’ll have a much bigger impact on someone with a really high score.

That’s right: if you have great credit now, a mistake could mean a bigger hit to your credit score. Someone with mediocre credit won’t see the same impact as the result of a mistake.

Do you have an excellent credit history and want to keep it that way? Here are some things to avoid if you want to keep that credit score in the good to excellent range:
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When you live on the other side of the country from your extended family, it’s a special treat when they come to spend a few weeks with you for the first time. Not only do you get to spend quality time together, but you get to show them your neck of the woods and play the role of tour guide for a change. Hosting and introducing the family to your state or region may be fun, but it can also be really expensive — especially if you’re used to living frugally.

If you have out-of-town family visiting this summer, here are some practical ways to address the financial strain it might create without letting it stress you out or take away from enjoying the time you have with your guests.
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I felt like I was constantly going to wedding a few years ago. Every week from late June to early August, it seemed, a cousin or a sibling or a friend was tying the knot. The bills to celebrate all this happiness with your friends and family racked up pretty quickly too.

I’m hardly alone though. According to American Express, in 2016 Americans planned to attend an average of three weddings and spend $703 for each wedding. $703!

Do you want to keep the wedding season from breaking your bank? Here’s what you can do to keep your budget intact through the list of summer weddings:
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Debt is a source of financial concern and anxiety for many people – and, as a nation, we have a lot of it. In the U.S., the average household carries over $16,000 in credit card debt alone! Everyone wants to get out of debt, but it’s so much easier to have wishful thoughts about being debt free than to start doing something about it, right?

If you’re buried in debt, the first recommendation is to concentrate on not letting the hole get any bigger. Get your spending under control, close credit card accounts that are consistent pitfalls for you, and even go on a spending freeze, if need be.

But then there’s the debt you already have. There are numerous methods and strategies for digging out of debt, and each guru swears by their own system. I’m not here to give you a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather to point out that when it comes to digging out of debt, there are different “shovels” for different people. Here’s an overview of some of the most common debt repayment methods and how they cater to different personality types, motivation points, and even level of debt.
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Trying to figure out how to survive on a budget is one of most challenging things you can do.

And those in high cost of living areas can find it even more challenging, because how much everything costs can vary significant depending on where you live.

In fact, just moving from a state that levy an income tax to a state that doesn’t could save most people a couple thousand dollars. I know several people who have moved to Tennessee in recent years to save money on income taxes, and the savings are real.
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