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5 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Finances

Regardless of how much money you make, good financial habits can and will go a long way to securing your financial future.

Below I’ve listed 5  things that you can do, starting today, to improve your finances and save some money. These are things that many people miss with their finances, that can make a huge difference.

It’s easy to fall into bad habits when it comes to money. Being financially responsible takes a lot of hard work and discipline. I want to share these tips with you because they’ve all worked for me personally.

Stop relying on credit cards

When I first started my career, I faced thousands of dollars in credit card debt. I was not financially responsible, not in the least bit. As a teen, fresh out of high school, I didn’t think twice about getting credit cards (“free” money in my mind),

Retirement — How Much Should You Save for It?

There’s no question that saving money is incredibly important to personal finance. How much of your income you decide to save can have a huge impact on your financial health. It can and will affect every part of your financial big picture, from your retirement to a future home to your kids’ college tuition.

Since I graduated college and started my job at this software company, I’ve taken saving for retirement very seriously. My job offers a 401(k) with matching, as well as an HSA. Naturally, I took advantage of both, and started by contributing 7% of my pre-tax income to my 401(k). I kept it this way for the first year, then lowered my deduction to 3% (my company’s minimum contribution limit in order to get the match).

I also signed up for a Roth IRA through Vanguard, so that I could have some more pre-tax savings in retirement.

Understanding APY and APR, and How They Affect Your Money

Interest rates are an important part of choosing where to borrow money and where to invest money. To make good, solid choices, you need to understand what an annual percentage yield (APY) is, what an annual percentage rate (APR) is, and the difference between the two.

What is APY and APR?

APY and APR are similar in concept. APY is generally used in relation to saving money, and reflects the amount of money in interest that a financial institution will pay you for saving money with them. An APR typically is the reverse, or how much you pay in interest over a loan.

An APY takes annual compounded interest into account. An APR doesn’t. Because of the way each calculates interest, APRs are typically lower than APYs for a given interest rate.

So what’s the difference?

While that’s a simplistic definition,

Save Money in 8 Easy Ways

So you want to save some extra money each month. Who wouldn’t? Well fortunately for you, there are plenty of easy ways to save money, and help to build up your nest egg. Saving is only half of the equation, but we’ll cover budgeting in our section on budgeting. For now, we’ll focus on finding practical ways to put a little extra away each month, and then building upon it.

These are all ways that I’ve personally saved money, mainly on things that I didn’t know I was wasting money on.

1. Sign up for direct deposit from your job.

Probably the easiest way to save some money is by signing up for automatic direct deposit of your paycheck each month. You should try to allocate a portion of each check to automatically be deposited (or transferred) to a savings account,

How I Got Over 1,000 Pageviews in my 2nd Month of Blogging with Pinterest

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So I recently reached a milestone last month. For the first time in Money Hero’s 3-month existence, I’ve surpassed 1,000 pageviews! This is mostly thanks to me upping my Pinterest game this past month and a half.

If you didn’t know already, Pinterest is a search engine/social media site with over 150 million active monthly users. Which means that it’s a great source to drive traffic to your site. Ever since I started learning the ins and outs of Pinterest, my traffic has been steadily increasing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not yet in the hundreds of thousands or even tens of thousands of monthly visitors or page views, and I know that it’s a slow grind that will take time. But I’m more than prepared to do the work required to get there, and am excited to see my hours of work starting to pay off.

How I Save Money With An HSA

What is an HSA?

A Health Savings Account (HSA) lets you contribute a portion of your salary into a specialized savings account designated specifically for health care expenses. With the cost of medical care steadily on the rise, an HSA is a smart way to manage present and future medical expenses.

While it’s somewhat similar to having a 401(k) account, there is one major difference. With a health savings account, you never pay taxes on the money you withdraw from your account as long as that money is used to cover medical expenses.

That means you save money on taxes when you contribute to the account and when you withdraw from it.

Your HSA contributions do more than save taxes on both ends. Depending on the choices your financial institution offers, you might also earn interest on those dollars.

7 WordPress Plugins That Will Help You Monetize Your Blog

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Any blogger using WordPress knows the importance of having good WordPress plugins. There are hundreds of thousands of plugins out there, and it can be difficult to know which ones will improve and optimize your site.

Since I started Money Hero a few months ago, monetizing the site has always been a priority of mine. Not only do I love personal finance, and want to share what I know with my readers, but I am also aiming to one day replace my full-time job.

As with anything, there is no magic bullet or get-rich-quick scheme. Building a successful blog takes a lot of time, hard work, and patience.

If you’re in the same boat as me, and have a small blog that you’re hoping to grow and eventually monetize, then there are plenty of tools out there that can help to get you on the right track.