Question: If I've got a little extra money that I'd like to use responsibly to pay off one of my debts, which is the better one to put it towards: Should I pay off my car loan early or my mortgage? Ahhh … the old “which of my debts do I pay down first” debate … We tend to carry a lot of them in our society. According to a 2017 report from GoBankingRates, the top three forms of debt for most people are their mortgage (65%), credit cards (50%), and auto loans (32%). Usually questions like this are a no-brainer. Simply look to your loans with the highest interest rate and pay those off first. That means tackling your high-interest debt like credit cards and student loans. But what about our auto loans and mortgages? When it … [Read more...] about Should I Pay Off My Car Loan Early or My Mortgage?
As if understanding all the basics of a mortgage like interest rates, amortization, escrow, and PMI weren’t complex enough, there comes one more product that really convolutes the entire process even further: points. Like all of the items mentioned above, knowing whether or not to purchase points can have significant long-term implications on how much money you may actually save or lose throughout the life of the mortgage. This post is going to explain how all that works and I’ll even give you a Microsoft Excel worksheet to try it out yourself. … [Read more...] about Which is Better – Points or No Points on Your Mortgage?
The end is near! The end of the year that is … And with that, December is a good time to get you finances in order and get ready to settle with the tax man. Here are some tips to get yourself ready for another year: Set Your Budget for Next Year: Remember, a budget is simple: • Money In – Money Out > 0 = Success. The best way to do this is to create a table with 12 columns; one for each month. Start by listing your income towards the top. Then list all your bills and expenses. This strategy is usually a little more effective than just doing one generic monthly budget because it captures expenses that don’t occur every month or are seasonal (like Christmas expenses). This also lets you see how you’re doing throughout the entire year … [Read more...] about Year-End Financial Checklist