Surgery is a prestigious field that requires a high degree of skill, dedication and hard work of its members. Not surprisingly, surgeonsâ compensation reflects this fact, as the average salary of a surgeon was $255,110 in 2018. This figure can vary slightly depending on where you live and the type of institution at which you work. Moreover, the path to becoming a surgeon is long and involves a substantial amount of schooling, which might result in student loan debt.
Average Salary of a Surgeon: The Basics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary of a surgeon was $255,110 per year in 2018. That comes out to an hourly wage of $122.65 per hour assuming a 40-hour work week â though the typical surgeon works longer hours than that. Even the lowest-paid 10% of surgeons earn $94,960 per year, so the chances are high that becoming a surgeon will result in a six-figure salary. The average salary of a surgeon is higher than the average salary of other doctors, with the exception of anesthesiologists, who earn roughly as much as surgeons.
The top-paying state for surgeons is Nebraska, with a mean annual salary of $287,890. Following Nebraska is Maine, New Jersey, Maryland and Kansas. Top-paying metro area for surgeons include Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN; Winchester, WV-VA; Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY; New Orleans-Metairie, LA; and Bowling Green, KY.
Where Surgeons Work
According to BLS data, most of the surgeons in the U.S. work in physiciansâ offices, where the mean annual wage for surgeons is $265,920. Second to physiciansâ offices for the highest concentration of surgeons are General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, where the mean annual wage for surgeons is $225,700. Colleges, universities and professional schools are next up. There, surgeons earn an annual mean wage of $175,410. A smaller number of surgeons are employed in outpatient Care Centers, where the mean annual wage for surgeons is $277,670. Last up are special hospitals. There, the mean annual wage for surgeons is $235,770.
Becoming a Surgeon
You may have heard that the cost of becoming a doctor, including the cost of medical school and other expenses, has soared. Aspiring surgeons must first get a bachelorâs degree from an accredited college, preferably in a scientific field like biology.
Then comes the Medical College Acceptance Test (MCAT) and applications to medical schools. The application process can get expensive quickly, as many schools require in-person interviews without reimbursing applicants for travel expenses.
If accepted, youâll then spend four years in medical school earning your M.D. Once youâve accomplished that, youâll almost certainly enter a residency program at a hospital. According to a 2018 survey by Medscape, the average medical resident earns a salary of $59,300, up $2,100 from the previous year. General surgery residents earned slightly less ($58,800), but more specialized residents like those practicing neurological surgery earned more ($61,800).
According to the American College of Surgeons, surgical residency programs last five years for general surgery. But some residency programs are longer than five years. For example, thoracic surgery and pediatric surgery both require residents to complete the five-year general surgery residency, plus two additional years of field-specific surgical residency.
Surgeons must also be licensed and certified. The fees for the licensing exam are the same regardless as specialty, but the application and exam fees for board certification vary by specialty. Maintenance of certification is also required. Itâs not a set-it-and-forget-it qualification. The American Board of Surgery requires continuing education, as well as an exam at 10-year intervals.
Surgeons earn some of the highest salaries in the country. However, the costs associated with becoming a surgeon are high, and student debt may eat into surgeonsâ high salaries for years. The costs of maintaining certification and professional insurance are significant ongoing costs associated with being a surgeon.
Tips for Forging a Career Path
Your salary dictates a lot of your financial life, such as how much you can afford to pay in rent and the slice of your paycheck that goes to taxes. However, there are some principles that apply no matter your income bracket, like the importance of an emergency fund and a well-funded retirement account.
Whether youâre earning a six-figure surgeonâs salary or living on a more modest income, itâs smart to work with a financial advisor to manage your money. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If youâre ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
These days, it can take a long time to pay off a car loan. On average, car loans come with terms lasting for more than five years. Paying down a car loan isnât that different from paying down a mortgage. In both cases, a large percentage of your initial payments go toward paying interest. If you donât understand why, you might need a crash course on a concept called amortization.
Find out now: How much house can I afford?
Car Loan Amortization: The Basics
Amortization is just a fancy way of saying that youâre in the process of paying back the money you borrowed from your lender. In order to do that, youâre required to make a payment every month by a certain due date. With each payment, your money is split between paying off interest and paying off your principal balance (or the amount that your lender agreed to lend you).
What youâll soon discover is that your car payments â at least in the beginning â cover quite a bit of interest. Thatâs how amortization works. Over time, your lender will use a greater share of your car payments to reduce your principal loan balance (and a smaller percentage to pay for interest) until youâve completely paid off the vehicle you purchased.
Not all loans amortize. For example, applying for a credit card is akin to applying for a loan. While your credit card statement will include a minimum payment amount, thereâs no date set in advance for when that credit card debt has to be paid off.
With amortizing loans â like car loans and home loans â youâre expected to make payments on a regular basis according to something called an amortization schedule. Your lender determines in advance when your loan must be paid off, whether thatâs in five years or 30 years.
The Interest on Your Car Loan
Now letâs talk about interest. Youâre not going to be able to borrow money to finance a car purchase without paying a fee (interest). But thereâs a key difference between simple interest and compound interest.
When it comes to taking out a loan, simple interest is the amount of money thatâs charged on top of your principal. Compound interest, however, accounts for the fee that accrues on top of your principal balance and on any unpaid interest.
Related Article: How to Make Your First Car Purchase Happen
As of April 2016, 60-month new car loans have rates that are just above 3%, on average. Rates for used cars with 36-month terms are closer to 4%.
The majority of car loans have simple interest rates. As a borrower, thatâs good news. If your interest doesnât compound, you wonât have to turn as much money over to your lender. And the sooner you pay off your car loan, the less interest youâll pay overall. You can also speed up the process of eliminating your debt by making extra car payments (if thatâs affordable) and refinancing to a shorter loan term.
Car Loan Amortization Schedules
An amortization schedule is a table that specifies just how much of each loan payment will cover the interest owed and how much will cover the principal balance. If you agreed to pay back the money you borrowed to buy a car in five years, your auto loan amortization schedule will include all 60 payments that youâll need to make. Beside each payment, youâll likely see the total amount of paid interest and whatâs left of your car loanâs principal balance.
While the ratio of whatâs applied towards interest versus the principal will change as your final payment deadline draws nearer, your car payments will probably stay the same from month to month. To view your amortization schedule, you can use an online calculator thatâll do the math for you. But if youâre feeling ambitious, you can easily make an auto loan amortization schedule by creating an Excel spreadsheet.
To determine the percentage of your initial car payment thatâll pay for your interest, just multiply the principal balance by the periodic interest rate (your annual interest rate divided by 12). Then youâll calculate whatâs going toward the principal by subtracting the interest amount from the total payment amount.
For example, if you have a $25,000 five-year car loan with an annual interest rate of 3%, your first payment might be $449. Out of that payment, youâll pay $62.50 in interest and reduce your principal balance by $386.50 ($449 â $62.50). Now you only have a remaining balance of $24,613.50 to pay off, and you can continue your calculations until you get to the point where you donât owe your lender anything.
Related Article: The Best Cities for Electric Cars
Auto loan amortization isnât nearly as complicated as it might sound. It requires car owners to make regular payments until their loans are paid off. Since lenders arenât required to hand out auto amortization schedules, it might be a good idea to ask for one or use a calculator before taking out a loan. That way, youâll know how your lender will break down your payments.
Update: Have more financial questions? SmartAsset can help. So many people reached out to us looking for tax and long-term financial planning help, we started our own matching service to help you find a financial advisor. The SmartAdvisor matching tool can help you find a person to work with to meet your needs. First youâll answer a series of questions about your situation and goals. Then the program will narrow down your options from thousands of advisors to three fiduciaries who suit your needs. You can then read their profiles to learn more about them, interview them on the phone or in person and choose who to work with in the future. This allows you to find a good fit while the program does much of the hard work for you.
Getting married for a second time following a divorce or the death of your first spouse can feel like a fresh start. But itâs important to consider how joining your life with someone elseâs may impact your financial plan, including how you manage your estate. What is fair in a second marriage and estate planning? It can be a difficult question to answer, especially when you or your new spouse are bringing children into the marriage or you plan to have children together at some point. Understanding some of the key financial issues surrounding a second marriage can help with reshaping your estate plan. So can consulting a financial advisor, especially one experienced in estate planning for second marriages.
Key Estate Planning Considerations for Second Marriages
Remarriage can bring up a number of important questions for estate planning. Both spouses should be aware of what the central issues are when updating individual estate plans or creating a new joint one.
Here are some of the most important questions to ask for estate planning in a second marriage:
What assets will be left to each of your children?
Do you plan to have additional children together and if so, what assets will be preserved for them?
Which assets will you each continue to hold individually?
Are there any assets that will be retitled in both of your names, such as a first home, vacation home or bank accounts?
Are either of you bringing any debts into the marriage or will you incur new debts after the marriage?
Do each of you have a will in place that needs to be updated?
Or will you establish a new joint will?
Besides a will, what other estate planning tools may be necessary, i.e. a trust, advance healthcare directive or power of attorney?
Will you continue working with your current financial advisors or choose a new advisor to help you manage your financial plan together?
Asking these kinds of questions can help you each get a sense of the otherâs perspective on estate planning. Ideally, you should be having these types of discussions before the marriage takes place to minimize potential conflicts later. This can also help you decide if a prenuptial agreement may be necessary to protect your individual financial interests. But if youâve already remarried, it may be a good idea to have this discussion sooner, rather than later.
At the same time, it can also help to complete an inventory of your assets and liabilities so you both know what youâre bringing into the marriage. This can help with managing the distribution side of your estate plan later as well as planning for how any debts may need to be handled should one of you pass away.
Estate Planning for Second Marriages With Children
Having kids can add a wrinkle to your estate planning efforts when youâre getting remarried. For example, you may wish to leave certain assets to your children while your new spouse may want your assets to be equally distributed among his or her children as well as yours. Or there may be questions over who would assume control over assets on behalf of minor children should one of you die.
When there are children in the picture, itâs important to consider any provisions youâve already made for them in a will or trust and how that might affect any assets your spouse stands to inherit. You may need to update your will or set up a separate marital trust, for example, to ensure that your spouse receives the share of your assets you wish them to have while still preserving your childrenâs inheritance. Provisions may also need to be made for any children you plan to have if youâre still relatively young when a second marriage occurs.
Itâs important to consider the age of your children when deciding what is fair in a second marriage and estate planning. If you have adult children, for example, it could make sense to gift some of their inheritance to them during your lifetime. But if you have minor children, you and your new spouse would need to decide who should be in charge of managing their inheritance on their behalf if one of you dies prematurely.
Check Beneficiary Designations
Assets that already have a named beneficiary may need to be updated if youâre remarrying. For example, if you named your previous spouse as beneficiary to your 401(k), individual retirement account or life insurance policy, youâd likely want to change the beneficiary to your new spouse or to a trust youâve set up so that your former spouse canât collect on those assets.
You should also consider other assets, such as bank accounts or real estate, should be titled. Adding your new spouse to your home as a joint tenant with right of survivorship may seem like the right move for keeping things simple in your estate plan. But doing so means that if something happens to you, your spouse will automatically assume full ownership of the home. They could then do with it as they wish, regardless of what you might have specified in a will or trust.
Look for Gaps in Your Estate Plan
When deciding what is fair in a second marriage and estate planning, consider where the gaps might exist that could leave your assets in jeopardy. Not having a will, for example, could be problematic if you pass away. Without a will, your stateâs inheritance laws would be applied â not your wishes. That means your assets may not go to your children or other heirs as youâd like them to.
A trust can also be a useful tool in estate planning for passing on assets to your spouse or children as well as managing estate and inheritance taxes. If either of you are bringing considerable assets into a second marriage or you want to minimize the potential for conflicts over asset distribution later, setting up one or more trusts could be a good idea. Talking to an estate planning attorney can help you decide whether a trust is necessary and if so, which type of trust to set up.
Also, consider whether you have sufficient life insurance coverage to provide for the surviving spouse and any children associated with the marriage. Both spouses in a second marriage may need to have life insurance coverage, particularly if one person is the primary breadwinner while the other is the primary caregiver for children. Checking your existing life insurance policies and talking to your insurance agent can help you determine whether what you have is enough or if more coverage is necessary.
Finally, think about what you may need in terms of end-of-life planning. Long-term care insurance, for instance, can help pay for nursing home costs so that your spouse or either of your children arenât left in the lurch financially. An advance healthcare directive and a power of attorney can ensure that your wishes are carried out in end-of-life situations where youâre unable to make financial or medical care decisions on your own behalf.
The Bottom Line
Deciding whatâs fair in a second marriage and estate planning can be tricky and itâs important to get the conversation started early. Understanding what the biggest challenges of estate planning in a second marriage are can help you work together to shape a plan that you can both be satisfied with. And if you have adult children, itâs important to keep them in the loop so they understand how a second marriage may impact their inheritance.
Tips for Estate Planning
Consider talking to a financial advisor about the implications of a second marriage and what it might mean for your portfolio. You and your spouse may choose to maintain your current advisors or find a new advisor to work with together. In either case, finding the right professional to work with doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs financial advisor matching tool can offer personalized recommendations for professional advisors in your local area, in just minutes. If youâre ready, get started now.
Trusts can be a useful estate planning tool for couples, including those who are getting married for a second time. A marital trust, for example, goes into effect when the first spouse dies. This can be helpful for passing assets on to a surviving spouse while minimizing estate taxes. You may want to create this type of trust, along with a second living trust set up specifically for your children, to manage assets more efficiently while also protecting them from creditors.
Since the onset of COVID-19, remote work has become the norm for many Americans, allowing them to continue to meet some of their expenses while saving where possible. In the late spring of 2020, about half of American workers were working from home, according to two surveys conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Many researchers believe that increased work flexibility and work-from-home opportunities may continue even after the pandemic is over. With that in mind, SmartAsset looked at the best cities to work from home in 2021.
To determine our rankings, we compared 100 of the largest U.S. cities across seven metrics. They span work-from-home flexibility prior to and during COVID-19, along with employment opportunities, poverty rates and housing affordability. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.
This is SmartAssetâs third annual study on the best cities to work from home. Our 2020 edition can be found here. Note: This yearâs methodology was adjusted to account for COVID-19 and its impact.
A strong showing from North Carolina. Three cities in North Carolina rank in our top 10: Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte, taking second, sixth and seventh place, respectively. In all three cities, the percentage of people working from home grew by more than 3% between 2014 and 2019, so that even prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 7% of all three citiesâ workforces worked remotely.
Mid-sized cities also rank well. With the exceptions of Charlotte, North Carolina and Austin, Texas, all other cities in our top 10 have populations between 240,000 and 500,000. These cities potentially offer residents larger homes and apartments better suited to working from home. In all eight cities, more than 80% of residences have two or more bedrooms and workforces of which more than 7% were remote in 2019.
1. Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, Arizona ranks in the top five cities for four of the seven metrics we considered. Census Bureau data shows that in 2019 about 17.9% of workers did work from home, a 6.7% increase from 2014. Additionally, Scottsdale has the fourth-highest estimated percentage of the workforce who can work from home â at about 37% â and third-lowest 2019 poverty rate â at 6.0%.
2. Raleigh, NC
Like Scottsdale, a high proportion of the workforce in Raleigh, North Carolina worked from home prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 10.5% of the workforce worked remotely in 2019 â the fourth-highest rate for this metric in our study. Raleigh also ranks in the top quartile of our study for four other metrics: It has the 21st-highest estimated percentage of the workforce that can work from home (31.79%), fourth-largest five-year change in workers working from home (4.3%), 18th-lowest October 2020 unemployment rate (5.3%) and 21st-lowest poverty rate (10.9%).
3. Plano, TX
North of Dallas, Plano, Texas ranks as the No. 3 city to work from home in 2021. It ranks in the top 10% of the study for three metrics: percentage of the workforce who did work from home in 2019 (9.6%), estimated percentage of the workforce who are able to work from home (35.44%) and 2019 poverty rate (7.5%). Additionally, Plano has the 14th-lowest October 2020 unemployment rate, at 5.2%.
4. Gilbert, AZ
Working from home often requires more space, whether thatâs a dedicated room or section of a room where one sets up shop. Gilbert, Arizona â one of our best cities to buy an affordable home â has the potential for just that, with a high percentage of residences that have two or more bedrooms. Census Bureau data shows that 96.3% of Gilbert apartments and homes have two or more bedrooms, the highest percentage for this metric in our study. Gilbert also ranks well in our study due to its high percentage of the workforce that worked from home in 2019 (9.5%) and relatively low poverty rate (4.6%).
5. St. Petersburg, FL
With particularly strong low unemployment numbers, St. Petersburg, Florida takes the No. 5 spot. As of October 2020, the greater Pinellas County unemployment rate was just 5.2%, which is 1.5 percentage points below the national average. Remote work has also grown more popular here over the years: The percentage of the workforce working from home grew by 4.6% in St. Petersburg from 2014 to 2019, the third-highest increase in the study.
6. Durham, NC
Durham, North Carolina ranks in the top third of cities across six of the seven metrics we considered, only falling behind for its high poverty rate (15.2%). Durham had the 10th-highest 2014-2019 increase in the study of the percentage of the workforce working from home â and as of 2019, more than 7% of the cityâs workforce worked remotely. Taking into account recent changes during COVID-19, we estimate that an additional roughly 25% of the workforce could have telework flexibility.
The October 2020 employment rate in Durham stood at 5.7%. Furthermore, housing costs make up less than 36% of earnings and 86.3% of residences have two or more bedrooms.
7. Charlotte, NC
Charlotte, North Carolina saw the second-largest 2014-2019 increase in the study of the percentage of its workforce working from home, at 4.8%, such that in 2019, 10.0% of workers were remote. Charlotte ranks 23rd-lowest out of all 100 cities for its relatively low poverty rate, at 11.2%.
8. Colorado Springs, CO
Though housing costs as a percentage of earnings are high in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the city ranks in the top quartile of cities for four metrics. It saw the seventh-largest 2014-2019 increase in percentage of workers reporting they worked remotely (3.6%), and it had the 13th-highest percentage of 2019 remote workers (8.5%). Moreover, the cityâs 2019 poverty rate is the 12th-lowest overall (9.3%), and it has the 17th-highest percentage of homes and apartments with two or more bedrooms (87.3%).
9. Austin, TX
Working from home was on the rise in Austin, Texas prior to COVID-19. The percentage of workers reporting they worked from home increased by 3.7% over five years, from 7.1% in 2014 to 10.8% in 2019. With that increase, Austin had the third-highest 2019 percentage of the workforce who worked from home across all 100 cities. Employment in Austin has remained strong during COVID-19 relative to other cities. As of October 2020, its unemployment rate was 5.2% â the 14th-lowest of 100 of the largest cities and 1.5 percentage points lower than the national average.
10. Fremont, CA
Fremont, California rounds out our list of the 10 best cities to work from home in 2021. Based on the occupational breakdown of workers, we found that upwards of 35% of Fremontâs workforce could work from home if necessary â a top-10 rate. Apartments and homes in Fremont also generally have the space for working from home. Census Bureau data shows that 87.7% of residences in Fremont have two or more bedrooms â the 13th-highest percentage in our study.
Data and Methodology
To find the best cities to work from home in 2021, we examined data for the 100 largest U.S. cities. We compared those cities across seven metrics:
Percentage of the workforce who worked from home in 2019. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
Estimated percentage of the workforce who can work from home. This metric was calculated using data from the Bureau of Labor Statisticsâ 2017-2018 Job Flexibilities and Work Schedules Survey and the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
Five-year change in percentage of the workers reporting they work from home. This is the difference between the percentage of the workforce who worked from home in 2014 and 2019. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2014 and 2019 1-year American Community Surveys.
October 2020 unemployment rate. Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is at the county level.
Poverty rate. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
Housing costs as a percentage of earnings. This is median annual housing costs divided by median earnings for workers 16 years and older. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
Percentage of residences with two or more bedrooms. This includes both owned and rented apartments and houses. Data comes from the Census Bureauâs 2019 1-year American Community Survey.
We ranked each city in every metric, giving a double weighting to one metric â the estimated percentage of the workforce who can work from home â and a full weighting to all other metrics. We then found each cityâs average ranking and used that average to determine a final score. The city with the best average ranking received a score of 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.
Deciding Where to Live?
Buy or rent? Even if you have the savings to buy a first home, be sure the switch makes sense. If you are coming to a city and plan to stay for the long haul, buying may be the better option for you. Additionally, a home may offer more space for people who do regularly work from home. However, if your stop in a new city will be a short one, renting may make the most sense. SmartAssetâs rent vs. buy calculator can help you see the cost differential between purchasing a home or apartment and renting.
Mortgage management. It is important when purchasing a home to know what youâll pay each month and for how long. To get a sense of what that might look like, check out SmartAssetâs free mortgage calculator.
Seek out trusted advice. No matter where you live, a financial advisor can help you get your financial life in order. Finding the right financial advisor doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If youâre ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Questions about our study? Contact us at email@example.com.
New financial advisors need something to help them stand out. Consequently, the AAMS does just that. Designed for newcomers to the financial advice business, the AAMS trains advisors to identify investment opportunities as well as help clients with other financial goals. It also gives more experienced advisors a fast and simple way to learn more about asset management and improve their credentials. Hereâs how it works.
An Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) can advise clients on college savings, taxes, and retirement savings. The course and tests for this certification are designed to ensure advisors can assist clients with their complete financial needs. It emphasizes evaluating the clientâs assets and making appropriate recommendations.
The AAMS certification is granted by the College for Financial Planning, a unit of the Kaplan Company. The college oversees a large number of financial certification programs, including the Certified Financial Planner designation, one of the most valued certifications in the field.
AAMS Certification Requirements
To receive an AAMS, students first have to complete a 10-module education program provided by the College for Financial Planning. Then they have to pass an examination. Finally, they must agree to abide by a code of ethics and promise to continue their education.
The courses are online and can be delivered in self-study or instructor-led formats. Courses are open-enrollment, therefore students can begin at any time without waiting for the next session. The 10 modules cover the following material:
1.:The Asset Management Process
2. Risk, Return & Investment Performance
3. Asset Allocation & Selection
4. Investment Strategies
5. Taxation of Investments
6. Investing for Retirement
7. Deferred Compensation and Other Benefit Plans
8. Insurance Products for Investment Clients
9. Estate Planning for Investment Clients
10. Fiduciary, Ethical, and Regulatory Issues for Advisors
The College of Financial Planning provides everything necessary to study for and complete the modules and take the test. Students have access to the study materials and tests through an online portal.
Streaming video lectures, audio files, and interactive quizzes also can be found through the collegeâs site. Meanwhile, students can access live classes online and contact professors with questions and issues.
The AAMS Test
To get the AAMS certification, students have to pass just one test. However, they have to make their first attempt at the test within six months of enrollment and pass it within a year.
The fee for the first attempt at taking the test is included in the course tuition. There are no prerequisites for signing up to take the AAMS course.
Time and Money Requirement
Tuition for the AAMS courses is $1,300. This includes the fee for the first attempt at passing the certification exam. It also includes all needed course materials. Each additional attempt costs $100.
Students employed with certain financial services firms may be able to get tuition discounts. The college may also provide scholarships.
The College for Financial Planning recommends students plan to spend 80 hours to 100 hours on the course. Since the course is self-study, this amount of time is flexible.
To maintain AAMS certification students have to commit to completing 16 continuing education credits every two years. Also, continuing education has to cover one or more of the topics covered in the AAMS coursework.
AAMS certificate holders also have to agree to follow a professional standard of conduct. As a result, they have to maintain integrity, objectivity, competency, confidentiality and professionalism in providing financial services.
AAMS Certificate Holder Jobs
AAMS certificates are generally earned by entry-level workers in the financial advice business. Consequently, AAMS holders are typically trainees. In some cases, they may provide support services to more experienced and highly credentialed advisors.
The AAMS designation does not confer any special powers or privileges. Instead, itâs an optional credential that students may obtain to advance their careers and enhance their knowledge of financial advice.
In addition to the AAMS, the College for Financial Planning offers an Accredited Wealth Manager Advisor (AWMA) certificate. This is a somewhat more advanced designation. As a result, it requires a course equivalent to three graduate level college credits and requires 90 hours to 135 hours to complete.
Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC) is sponsored by the Investment Company Institute along with the College of Financial Planning. It is similar to the AAMS certificate except it focuses on mutual fund assets.
Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) is a general personal finance advice certificate from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education. First, it requires 1,000 hours of financial counseling experience. Secondly, it demands three letters of reference. Finally, applicants must both complete coursework and pass an exam.
The AAMS designation is usually for newly minted financial advisors, but even experienced pros can use it to bulk up their credentials. The courses and tests associated with the AAMS teach advisors how to evaluate assets and make recommendations.
While this certification doesnât give an advisor any real powers, itâs a sign that they can identify investment opportunities specific to their clients. Above all else, it can be a great relief to a client who has a child going to college or a retirement house on their wish list. As a result of obtaining an AAMS, and advisor can point them toward the right investments for their goals.
If youâre looking to identify investment opportunities, consider using an AAMS as your advisor. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesnât have to be hard. SmartAssetâs free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If youâre ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
An AAMS can help you with college savings, taxes, and retirement savings if you know what your goals are. However, if you are unsure how much you want to invest, what your risk tolerance is, or how inflation and capital gains tax will affect your investment, SmartAssetâs investing guide can help you take the first steps.
If you’re applying for a credit card, you might stumble upon this term “accessible income.” In fact, that’s the only situation in which you will come across the term: on a credit card application. So, you need to know what it is.
Accessible income is not just income you earn from your regular job. Rather, it includes much more than that. It includes income from a wide variety of sources, like retirement savings accounts, social security payments, trust funds, just to name a few.
Accessible income can work in your favor because not only you can list income from your job, but also all types of other money you receive in a given year. This in turn will increase your chance of getting approved for the credit card, simply because you can list a higher income.
It also can get you approved for a higher credit limit, which in turn can help your credit score and allow you more spending freedom. In this article, I will explain what accessible income is and the types of income you need to include in your credit card application. Before you start applying for too many credit cards, consult with a financial advisor who can help you develop a plan.
What is accessible income?
Accessible income means all of the money that you have accessed to if you are 21 years old or older. According to the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, lenders are required to offer you credit if you are able to pay your bill. If you do not make enough money and do not receive enough income from other sources and cannot make payments, they can reject your application. That is why they ask for your accessible income.
If you are between the age of 18 and 20, your accessible income is limited to income for your job, scholarships, grants and money from your parents or other people.
However, if you are 21 and older, your accessible income involves way more than that. It includes income from the following sources:
Bank checking accounts
Income of a spouse
Grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid
Checks from child support and spousal maintenance
Allowances from your parents or grandparents
Social security payments or SSI Disability payments
To report that accessible income, just add them all up to arrive at a total and submit it. The credit card companies will not ask you to provide the specific source of each income
What does not count as accessible income
Loans including personal loans, mortgage, auto loans do not count as accessible income simply because they are borrowed money. So, do not list them when submitting your credit card application.
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Accessible income on the credit card application
Accessible income is only associated with credit card applications. In other words, you’re only asked that when you’re applying for credit cards. When applying for a credit card, you should take advantage of all sources of income and not just the income from your job.
So, you should make sure to gather all of the money you have accessed to that year. Not doing so means that you’re leaving other income that is just as important. As mentioned above, you should not include loans or any borrowed money.
When reporting your accessible income, be as accurate and truthful as possible. While some credit card companies may take your word for it, others may ask you to verify your income. In that case, you will need to provide hard proof like pay stubs, bank statements, statement from your investments accounts, etc…
Why providing accessible income important?
Your credit score is the most important factor credit card companies rely on to decide whether to offer you a credit card. However, your income is also important. The higher your income, the better.
A high income means that you’re able to cover debt that you may accumulate on your credit card. And the higher your chance is that they will approve you. The opposite is true. If you have a low income, some credit card companies may not approve you even if you have a good credit score. So, in order to increase your chance, you should take advantage of accessible income.
The bottom line
The only situation where you will find “accessible income” is on a credit card application. Accessible income is all income you have access to in any given year. That includes much more than your paychecks from your regular jobs.
But it also includes all types of money including checks from child support or alimony, allowances from your parents or grandparents, money in your retirement and investment accounts, etc. So, you should take advantage of it when applying for a credit card.
Speak with the Right Financial Advisor
You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAssetâs free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
The post What Is “Accessible Income” on a Credit Card Application? appeared first on GrowthRapidly.
Need a car loan soon? Whether you’re about to buy a car soon or just thinking about it, chances are you will likely finance it (unless, of course, you have the cash to buy it right away). So why not learn a few steps along the way to help you get a car loan. A little knowledge about the process can go a long way; so far as saving you thousands of dollars in the long run!
Ready to start comparing car loan already? Start now… it’s Free.
Step One: Review your credit file
You may need to get a free credit report and make sure you have a good credit score before applying for a car loan. The better your credit score, the higher your chance to get approved and save on interest.
Step Two: Compare interest rates
You should shop around, compare auto rates and fees before you apply for a car loan. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to apply for multiple loans at the same time, as this can affect your credit score.
So, look at multiple rates at one place so you can make the best decision. Also, remember you can choose a fixed rate or variable rate on a car loan.
Whichever you choose depends on what you’re comfortable with. Remember that a fixed rate will stay the same for all of the term of the loan. That means, your repayment will be predictable and you’ll be able to budget for a lot easier than with a variable rate.
Click here to compare car loan rates through LendingTree.
Step Three: Dealer Finance or Car loan?
You should always compare bank/independent loan to dealer finance.
Granted dealer financing may get you a auto loan with a very low rate, but that does not mean you get the best deal. Sometimes dealer financing can be more expensive in the long run. So you may want to compare rates from 2-3 lenders with a dealer finance rate to make sure you get the best rate possible.
Step Four: Get pre-approved
Before you commit to a car you should get pre-approved first. Plus, walking into the car dealership with a pre-approval letter in your hand, gives you greater negotiating power.
Step Five: Gather your documents and go car shopping
Once you decide on an auto loan that you’re happy with, it’s time to go car shopping! So gather your financial documents such as your pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and W2s.
Want to explore your car loan options? Visit LendingTree to compare the best car loan rates.
Related: How to save money for a car
Speak With The Right Financial Advisor
You can talk to aÂ financial advisorÂ who can review your finances and help you reach your goals. Find one who meets your needs withÂ SmartAssetâs free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals,Â get started now.
The post How To Get A Car Loan in 5 Easy Steps appeared first on GrowthRapidly.
For investors with short-term saving goals, short-term bonds can be appropriate investments for your money.
They are stable and they certainly provide a higher return than a money market fund.
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However, even with the best short term bond funds, there’s also a risk of losing a percent or two in principal value if interest rates rise.
There are many options available to you, but your best option is to invest in taxable short-term bond funds, U.S. Treasury short-term bond funds and federally tax-free bond funds.
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What are short-term bonds?
Short-term bonds, or any bonds for that matter, are debts instruments that companies and the government issue. They typically mature in 1 to 3 years.
When you buy a bond, you are essentially lending money to the issuing company or government agency.
They are obligated to pay back the full purchase price at a particular time, which is called the “maturity date.”
Short-term bonds are low risk investments and you can have access to your money fairly quickly.
As with all bond funds, one of the risk of short term bond funds is that when interest rates rise, the prices of the bonds in the fund decrease.
But short term bond funds have a reduced risk of default, because the bond funds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
Moreover, because the term is short, you will earn less money on it than on an immediate-term or long term bond fund.
Nonetheless, they are still competitive and produce higher returns than money market funds, Certificate of Deposits (CDs), and banks savings accounts. And short-term bonds are more stable in value than stocks.
At a minimum, don’t buy a short-term bond fund if you’re saving for retirement or if you want to hold your money longer.
If you’re looking to invest your money for the long term and are still looking for safety, consider investing in Vanguard index funds.
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Short-term bonds: why do you need to invest in them?
You should invest in short-bonds if you intend to use the money in a few years or so. However, don’t push your emergency cash into bonds. That is what a bank savings account is for.
Also, you should not put too much of your long term investment money into bonds, either. If you have a long term goal for your money, it’s best to invest in mutual funds such as Vanguard mutual funds, real estate, or your own business.
Here are some situations where you should invest in short term bonds.
You want to stabilize your investment portfolio. If you have other aggressive investments, you may need to balance it out with short term bond funds. The reason is because short term bonds are safer comparing to stocks.
Buying a house.
Retirement. If you’re thinking of retiring in a few years, short-term bonds are appropriate.
Purchasing a car.
You’re a conservative investor. Not all investors can stomach the risk of losing all of their money due to the market volatility. So instead of investing in stocks, which falls on the riskier end of the securities spectrum, you should invest in short term bond funds.
Best short-term bond funds to consider:
Most people prefer to buy bonds through a broker such as Vanguard or Fidelity.
If you’re looking for the best short-term bond funds to buy now, consider these options:
Vanguard Short-Term Treasury Index Fund Admiral Shares (VSBSX)
Vanguard Limited-Term Tax Exempt Fund Investor Shares (VMLTX)
The Fidelity Short Term Bond Fund (FSHBX)
Vanguard Short-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Investor Share (VWSTX)
Vanguard Short-Term Investment Grade fund (VFSTX)
T. Rowe Price Short-Term Bond Fund (PRWBX)
Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund (VBIRX)
Tax free short-term bonds
There are some short-term bond funds that are both state and federally tax free. But there are not too many out there.
However, the ones that are available are good investments. So, if you are in a low state bracket and in a high federal bracket, consider investing in these Vanguard bond funds.These are federally tax free bond funds:
Vanguard Limited-Term Tax Exempt Fund Investor Shares (VMLTX)
This Vanguard bond fund seeks to provide investors current income exempt from federal taxes. The fund invests in high-quality short-term municipal bonds.
This bond fund has a maturity of 2 years. So, if you are looking for a fund that provides modest income and is federal tax-exempt, the Vanguard Limited-Term Tax Exempt Fund is for you.
The fund has an expense ratio of 0.17% and a minimum investment of $3,000. This makes it one of the best short term bonds to buy.
Vanguard Short-Term Tax-Exempt Fund Investor Share (VWSTX)
Like the Vanguard Limited Short Term fund, this fund also provides investors with current income that is exempt from federal income taxes.
The majority of the fund invests in municipal bonds in the top three credit ratings categories. It also invests in medium grade quality bonds.
This fund too has an expense ratio of 0.17% and a minimum investment of $3,000, making it one of the best short term bond funds.
U.S Treasury Short-term Bond Funds: Vanguard Short-Term Treasury
If you’re interested in a bond fund that invests in U.S. Treasuries, then U.S.Treasury bond funds are a great choice for you. One of the best U.S.Treasury bond funds is the Vanguard Short-Term Treasury.
This bond fund seeks to track the performance of the Bloomberg Barclays US Treasury 1-3 Year Bond Index. The Vanguard Short-Term Treasury invests in fixed income securities with a maturity between 1 to 3 years.
This bond fund has an expense ratio of 0.07% and an initial minimum investment of $3,000. Currently, this short term bond fund has a 1-year yield of 4.51%, making it one of the best short term bond funds.
Of note, this fund is also available as an ETF, starting at the price of one share.
The Fidelity Short-Term Bond Fund (FSHBX)
The Fidelity Short Term Bond Fund is one of the best out there for those investors who want to preserve their capital. This fund was established in March of 1986 and seeks to provides investors with current income.
The fund managers invests in corporate bonds, U.S. Treasury bonds, and assets backed securities. Over the last 10 years, this bond fund has a yield of 1.98% and a 30-day yield of 1.98%. This Fidelity bond fund as an expense ratio of 0.45%. There is no minimum investment requirement.
Taxable short-term bond funds: Vanguard Short-Term Investment Grade fund (VFSTX)
If you are not in a high tax bracket, then you should consider investing in a taxable short term bond fund. One of the best out there is the Vanguard Short-Term Investment Grade fund.
This bond fund provides investors exposure to high and medium quality investment grade bonds, such as corporate bonds and US government bonds. This fund has an expense ratio of 0.20% and an initial minimum investment of $3,000, making it one of the best short term bond funds out there.
T. Rowe Price Short-Term Bond Fund (PRWBX)
The T. Rowe Price Short-Term Bond Fund invests in diversified portfolio of short term investment-grade corporate, government, asset and mortgage-backed securities. This bond fund also invests in some bank mortgages and foreign securities. This fund produce a higher return than a money market fund, but less return than a long-term bond fund. The T. Rowe Price Short-Term Bond Fund has a minimum investment requirement of $2500, making it one the most favorite short term bond funds out there.
Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund (VBIRX)
The Vanguard Short-Term bond is a good choice for the conservative investor. It offers a low cost, diversified exposure to U.S. investment-grade bonds. This has fund has a maturity date between 1 to 5 years. Moreover, the fund invests about 70% in US government bonds and 30% in corporate bonds. The bond fund as an expense ratio of 0.07% and a minimum investment requirement of $3,000.
How to Invest in Short-Term Bonds
If you’re considering in investing in these or any of Vanguard bond funds, you need to do your due diligence.
First, think about what you need the bond fund in the first place. Is it to diversify your investment portfolio?
Are you a conservative investor who need a minimize risk at all cost? Or, do you want to invest in a short term bond fund because you need the money to use in a few years for a vacation, buying a house, or planning for a wedding?
Once, you have come up with answers to this question, the next step is to do your research about the best bond fund available to you.
Use this list to start. If it’s not enough, do your own research.
Look into how much the initial minimum investment is to buy a bond fund. Most Vanguard short term bond funds require a $3,000 minimum deposit.
Some Fidelity bond funds, however, have a 0$ minimum deposit requirement.
Next compare expense rations, performance for different funds to see if they match your investment goals. But you have to remember that past performance is not an indication of future performance.
Your final step is to open an account to buy your bond funds. If you choose Vanguard, you can do so at their website.
How do you make money with short-term bonds?
You can make money with short-term bonds the same ways you make money with a mutual fund (i.e., dividends, capital gains, and appreciation). But most of your returns in a bond fund comes from dividends.
The bottom line
In brief, short-term bonds are great investment choices if you have short term saving goals. You may be interested in buying these bonds because you expect to tap into your investment within a few years or so. Or, you want a more conservative investment portfolio.
Short term bonds produce higher yields than money market funds.
The only problem is that the share prices can fluctuate. So, if you don’t mind market volatility, you may wish to consider short-term bonds.
Speak with the Right Financial Advisor
If you have questions beyond short-term bonds, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc).
Find one who meets your needs with SmartAssetâs free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
*TOP CIT BANK PROMOTIONS*
CIT Bank Money Market
CIT Bank Savings Builder
CIT Bank CDs
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The post 7 Best Short-Term Bonds Funds to Buy in 2020 appeared first on GrowthRapidly.
When purchasing or leasing a new car, you have several insurance coverage options. When selecting coverage, you will likely know if you want to have collision coverage or not, but will you know what gap insurance and whether to select that option? If you are driving your owned vehicle or a leased one, and it is totaled, your collision coverage insurance will cover your vehicleâs cash value. The coverage will help you to purchase a another car. However, what if you owe more on your car than itâs worth? That is where gap insurance comes in. Hereâs what you need to know about this type of coverage.
What is Gap Insurance?
Gap insurance protects you from not having enough money to pay off your car loan or lease if its value has depreciated, and you owe more on your car than it is worth. It is optional insurance coverage and is used in addition to collision or comprehensive coverage. It helps you pay off an auto loan if a car has been totaled or stolen, and you owe more than its worth. Gap insurance might also be known as loan or lease gap coverage, and it is only available if you are the first owner or leaseholder on a new vehicle.
Some lenders require individuals to have gap insurance. In addition to collision and comprehensive coverage, gap insurance helps prevent owners and leasers from owing money on a car that no longer exists and protects lenders from not getting paid by a person in financial distress.
How Gap Insurance Works
If you buy or lease a new car, you may owe more on the vehicle than it is worth because of depreciation. For example, letâs say you purchase a new car for $35,000. However, a year later, the car has depreciated and is only worth $25,000, and you owe $30,000 on it. Then, you total the car. Comprehensive insurance coverage would give you $25,000, but you would still owe $5,000 on the vehicle. Gap insurance would cover the $5,000 still owed.
Without gap insurance, you would have had to pay $5,000 out-of-pocket to settle the auto loan. With gap insurance, you did not have to pay anything out of pocket and were likely to purchase a new car with financing.
What Gap Insurance Covers
Gap insurance covers several things and is meant to complement collision or comprehensive insurance. Gap insurance covers:
Theft. If a car is stolen and unrecovered, gap insurance may cover theft.
Negative equity. If there is a gap between a carâs value and the amount a person owes, gap insurance will cover the difference if a car is totaled.
Gap insurance also covers leased cars. When you drive a new, leased car off the lot, it depreciates. Therefore, the amount you owe on the lease is always more than the car is worth. If you total a leased car, youâre responsible for the fair market value of the vehicle. If you lease, you can purchase gap coverage part way through your lease term, although many dealerships require both comprehensive and collision coverage and strongly recommend gap coverage.
What Gap Insurance Doesnât Cover
Gap insurance is designed to be complementary, which means that it does not cover everything. Gap insurance does not cover:
Repairs. If a car needs repairs, gap insurance will not cover them.
Carry-over balance. If a person had a balance on a previous car loan rolled into a new car loan, gap insurance would not cover the rolled-over portion.
Rental cars. If a totaled car is in the shop, gap insurance will not cover a rental carâs cost.
Extended warranties. If a person chose to add an extended warranty to an auto loan, gap insurance would not cover any extended warranty payments.
Deductibles. If someone leases a car, their insurance deductibles are not usually covered by gap insurance. Some policies have a deductible option, so it is wise to check with a provider before signing a gap insurance policy.
Reasons to Consider Gap Insurance
There are several situations you should consider gap insurance. The first is if you made less than a 20% down payment on a vehicle. If you make less than a 20% down payment, it is likely that you do not have cash reserves to cover them in case of an emergency and that they will be âupside downâ on the car payments.
Additionally, if an auto loan term is 60 months or longer, a person should consider gap insurance to ensure that he or she is not stuck with car payments if the vehicle is totaled.
Finally, if youâre leasing a car, you should consider gap insurance. Although many contracts require it, the vehicle costs more than itâs worth in almost every situation when you lease.
Is a Gap Insurance Worth It?
Gap insurance keeps the amount that a person owes after buying a car from increasing in case of an emergency. Therefore, if someone does not have debt on his car, thereâs no need for gap insurance. Additionally, if a person owes less on his car than it is worth, thereâs also no need for gap insurance. Finally, if a person does owe more on a vehicle than it is worth, he may still choose to put the money that would be spent on gap insurance every month toward the principal of his auto loan.
If a person owes more on his car than it is worth and would be financially debilitated by having to pay the remainder of his car payments if his vehicle was totaled or stolen, then gap insurance might be a saving grace.
If the extra cost of gap insurance strains your budget then consider ways to keep your vehicle insurance costs down without skipping gap insurance.
Gap insurance covers the amount that a person would still owe on a vehicle after it is stolen or totaled, and after comprehensive insurance pays out. It prevents people from continuing to owe on a car that no longer exists. While it doesnât make sense for everyone to purchase gap insurance, it is often smart for people who have expensive vehicles that are worth far more than a person owes. It is also something to consider when you are leasing a vehicle.
Tips for Reducing Insurance Costs
If you need a little additional help weighing your insurance options, you might want to consider working with an expert. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs can be simple. SmartAssetâs free tool will match you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If youâre ready to learn about local advisors to help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
You may want to consider all the insurance options available that are suitable for your unique situation. By doing so, you save money. A free comprehensive budget calculator can help you understand which option is best.
One of the most exciting parts of becoming an adult is moving out of your old place and starting your own life. However, as is the case with most major life events, moving out comes with a lot of added responsibility. Part of this duty is knowing and understanding your budget when shopping for the perfect apartment, condo, duplex, or rental house. So how much should you really spend on rent?
The 30 Percent Threshold
The first step in deciding how much you should spend on rent is calculating how much rent you can afford. This is done by finding your fixed income-to-rent ratio. Simply put, this is the percentage of your income that is budgeted towards rent.
As a general rule of thumb, allocating 30 percent of your net income towards rent is a good place to start. Government studies consider people who spend more than 30 percent on living expenses to be âcost-burdened,â and those who spend 50 percent or more to be âseverely cost-burdened.â
When calculating your income-to-rent ratio, keep in mind that you should be using your total household income. If you live with a roommate or partner, be sure to factor in their income as well to ensure youâre finding a rent range thatâs appropriate for your income level.
If youâre still unsure as to how much rent you can afford, consider an affordability calculator. Remember to consult a financial advisor before entering into a lease if youâre unsure if youâll be able to make rent.
Consider the 50/30/20 Rule
After youâve set a fixed income-to-rent ratio, consider the 50/20/30 rule to round out your budget. This rule suggests that 50 percent of your income goes to essentials, 20 percent goes to savings, and the remaining 30 percent goes to non-essential, personal expenses. In this case, rent falls under âessentials.â Also included in this category are any expenses that are absolutely necessary, such as utilities, food, and transportation.
Letâs consider a hypothetical situation in which you make $4,000 per month. Under the 50/20/30 rule with a fixed income-to-rent ratio of 30 percent, you have $2,000 (50 percent) per month to spend on essential living expenses. $1,200 (30 percent) goes to rent, leaving you with $800 per month for other necessary expenses such as utilities and food.
Remember to Budget for Additional Expenses
Now that youâve budgeted for rent and essential utilities, itâs time to make a plan for how youâre going to furnish your apartment. One of the biggest shocks of moving out on your own is how expensive filling a home can be. From kitchen utensils to lightbulbs and everything in between, it can be pricey to make your space perfect.
For the most part, furniture falls under the 30 percent of personal, non-essential expenses. Consider planning ahead before a move and saving for home goods so that you donât go into major debt when it comes time to move out.
Be on the Lookout for Savings
If your budget is slightly out of reach for your dream apartment, try to nix unnecessary costs to see if you can make it work. Look for ways to cut down on utilities, insurance, groceries, and rent.
Utilities: Water, heat, and electricity are all necessities, but your TV service isnât. Cut the cord on TV and mobile services that may not serve you and your budget anymore. Consider swapping out your light bulbs for eco-friendly and energy-efficient light bulbs to cut down your electric bill.
Insurance: Instead of paying monthly renters insurance rates, save a fraction of the cost by paying your yearly cost in full. If you have a roommate, ask to share a policy together at a premium rate.
Groceries: Swap your nights out for a homemade meal. You can save up to $832 a year with this simple habit change. When grocery shopping, add up costs as you shop to ensure your budget stays on track.
Rent: One of the best ways to save on rent is to split the bill. Consider getting roommates to save 50 percent or more on your monthly rent.
A lease is not something to be entered into lightly. Biting off more rent than you can chew can lead to unpaid rent, which can damage your credit score and make it harder to find an apartment or buy a home in the future. By implementing these best practices, youâll hopefully find a balance between finding a place you love and still having room in your budget for a little bit of fun.
Sources: US Census Bureau
The post How Much Should You Spend on Rent? appeared first on MintLife Blog.