6 Tips to Save for a Down Payment

Before transitioning from renter to home owner, consumers must typically save between 5 and 20 percent of the home’s value for the down payment. Prepare for one of the first steps in the home buying process – saving for a down payment with these tips:

• Develop a budget and timeline. Start by determining how much . . . → Read More: 6 Tips to Save for a Down Payment

Rent or Buy? 5 Questions to Ask First

Before pursuing a rental or homeownership opportunity, consider the following questions:
• How much money have you saved ?
Start with an evaluation of your financial health. Figure out how much money you have for a down payment or deposit on a rental. Down payments are typically 5 to 20 percent of the price of the home. Security deposits . . . → Read More: Rent or Buy? 5 Questions to Ask First

College Assignment #1: Create a Budget

Heading off to college represents a number of firsts. For many students, it’s the first time they are in direct control of their money.

Putting together a budget requires time and effort. Iowa State Bank offers the following steps to create a budget:
• Be a Spending Sleuth. Track every penny you spend for a month. Keep receipts . . . → Read More: College Assignment #1: Create a Budget

Tips to Create a Budget

America Saves Week, an annual event sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America, is Feb. 24 to March 1. In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever for families to develop a budget and stick to it. Rainy-day funds, savings for college or just making your rent payment can all be made easier . . . → Read More: Tips to Create a Budget

Ten Timely Tax Time Tips

The income tax filing season has begun, and important tax documents should be arriving in your mailbox. Although your return is not due until April 15, you can make tax time easier on yourself with an early start. Here are 10 tips to help ensure a smooth tax-filing process.

1. Create a system for organizing tax documents . . . → Read More: Ten Timely Tax Time Tips

Save Energy & Save Money

Now is the perfect time to assess your home’s energy efficiency. An energy-efficient home can keep your family comfortable, save you money and make your home more attractive to buyers when you sell. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments, you’ll likely decrease your average utility bill. Over time, those savings will automatically put . . . → Read More: Save Energy & Save Money

New Year’s Resolutions — For Your Wallet!

As you’re considering your New Year’s resolutions for 2014, don’t forget to think about your money. The New Year is a great time to assess your finances, gain control and stick to a new budget or saving plan. Taking control of your personal finances will allow you to save and prepare for unexpected expenses. Here are . . . → Read More: New Year’s Resolutions — For Your Wallet!

10 Timely Tax Time Tips

The income tax filing season has begun and important tax documents should be arriving in your mailbox. Although your return is not due until April 15, you can make tax time easier on yourself with an early start. Here are 10 tips to help ensure a smooth tax-filing process.

1. Create a system for organizing tax documents . . . → Read More: 10 Timely Tax Time Tips

Save an extra $1,000 this year

The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate how your finances and make a savings plan. If your bank account isn’t where you’d like it to be, read on to find out how save an extra $1,000 this year.

As of February 1, there are 334 days left in 2013. A little math . . . → Read More: Save an extra $1,000 this year

Tips for Happier Holiday Shopping

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, and whether you plan to make your purchases at a local retailer, at a shopping mall or online, taking a few precautions can save you time, money and stress down the road. Follow these tips from the Iowa Attorney General’s office to help you have a safe and happy holiday . . . → Read More: Tips for Happier Holiday Shopping