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Success Online Financial Education Newsletter

 

Money Management International Improving Lives Through Financial Education
SUCCESS NewsletterMarch 28 2013 newsletter
 
Rating your debt from best to worst 

Good debt vs bad debt

By Jesse Campbell, Copywriter

Have you ever done this?

Have you ever taken all of your recent bills and sorted them into two piles? One pile is your “good debt” pile and the other is for “bad debt” and to celebrate the difference your good debt gets to pick what you watch on TV that night, while your bad debt has to clean out the gutters and go to bed early?

Of course you haven’t. That’s terrifically crazy.

Your debt is just your debt, right? There’s no shading there. It’s just debt. It’s all bad. Right?

Not so much. You see, debt can be good, too. Not the John Wayne/Luke Skywalker kind of good, mind you. More like the brussel sprouts and jogging kind of good. Good for you. Not your favorite thing by any stretch, but the kind of good that helps you live a better life. And you want a better life, don’t you? Well, part of living a good life is making sure you have the right amount of good debt and bad debt.

So which debt is good and which debt is bad?
 

Read More


Last minute tax deductions you need to know 

Last minute tax deductions that could save you thousands

By Jessica Horton, Community Manager

April 15 is almost here.  If you haven't filed your tax return yet time is quickly running out.  The good news, however, is that we've got some important, easily overlooked tax deductions that could potentially save you thousands.

Take a second to check out our list of new deductions introduced just this year, as well as the most commonly forgotten deductions and see how much you end up saving this year!

Read more


Watch our videos! 

MMI videos on YouTube

Reading is great and all, but if you're ever in the mood for a bit of audio-visual awesomeness with your financial knowledge, check out our YouTube page!

Money saving tips, valuable information and fancy moving pictures?  Everybody wins!


Do you have thoughts about any of the topics included in this newsletter?  Last minute tax prep suggestions?  Spring cleaning advice to share?  We love to hear from you!

Be sure to stop by the MMI Forum and join in the discussion!

MMI Forum


Financial Education learn more

Sharpen Your Financial Skills with Online Courses

The goal of our highly trained professionals is to arm you with the knowledge necessary to take control of your financial situation. Our online seminars stress the development of skills that can assure long-term success. Take the first step toward financial wellness by enrolling in a Web seminar today!

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In-Person Workshops Are Also Available In The Following Areas:

Alaska | Arizona | California | Connecticut | Colorado | Idaho | Illinois | Louisiana | Maine | Massachusetts | Mississippi | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Texas - Fort Worth Area | Texas - Houston Area | Virginia | Greater Washington D.C. | Washington State

View upcoming financial education workshops

 


About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling, and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call
866.530.9869 or visit MoneyManagement.org.

 

Making the most of your home improvements

Because a home is still one of the biggest investments most people will make, it pays to spend a little money and time protecting its value. According to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report, home repairs and remodeling are still worth the investment. Big projects such as adding an additional room or outdoor deck will generally offer the best return. However, big home improvement projects come with big price tags, so it’s smart to weigh your options.

No matter the project size, the key is to have a plan and a budget. Create a detailed spending plan and don’t forget to budget for incidentals such as equipment rentals and delivery charges. For large projects, consider the cost of contractors and permits.

Taking good care of your home can help you avoid costly repairs down the road, so if nothing else consider small projects that help to maintain efficient functioning. For a big impact with little cost, consider the following home improvement projects:

Fix what’s broken. Basic repairs may not be as exciting as adding on a new room or installing a pool, but may be the most practical choice for your weekend do-it-yourself project. Visit your local home improvement store and take classes to learn how to repair a leaky faucet or toilet, replace electrical outlets, fix a squeaky door or floor board, as well as many other general home improvement projects.

Focus on first impressions. Fresh paint and a few flowers can be purchased for a minimal cost, but curb appeal can go a long way in creating a cozy finished look for your home. Keep gutters and shingles secure. Consider replacing windows with energy efficient material to save big on utility cost.

Consider the wet areas. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most common value-add remodeling projects. Both spaces offer an opportunity to either start really small with new faucets and lighting to really large expansion projects. Simple do-it-yourself improvement projects for these areas include adding new hardware to cabinets, retiling the floor or countertops, and freshening up the walls with new paint and wallpaper.

Update old appliances to more energy efficient models. The cost to use appliances can quickly outweigh the purchase price, so it pays to buy energy efficient models and save big on utility cost. Visit EnergyStar.gov to learn more about energy efficient appliances and available grant programs in your area.

Now if you have the funds and the inclination to go big, by all means, go big!  Just make sure you've got a good plan and you've done your research.  The return for certain investments is going to be different for each market.  Converting your attic into an additional bedroom doesn't add the same value everywhere.  Same for replacing your siding or adding a deck.

Do the research.  Understand your market and remember that there are never any guarantees when it comes to remodeling and its impact on your home's value.  Good luck! 


MMI Debt Management Plan Client Corner
Tips for Success

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Sign up for DepositDirect! It's secure, convenient and easy! Enroll online today!

Update your account balances online. When you receive your creditor statements, update your balances by visiting your MMI account .

If you would like more information about a Debt Management Plan, visit MoneyManagement.org.


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