GreenPath Financial Wellness

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First-Time Homebuyer? Make Sure You Prepare for These 7 Hidden Costs

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Jul 10, 2020 10:36:44 AM

As real estate markets re-open across the country, current historically-low mortgage rates may make it seem like the perfect time to purchase your first home.

For many, owning a home is a big part of the American Dream. There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment in ownership. It can give you greater freedom and privacy, while also adding to your financial security.

However, purchasing a home is also a substantial responsibility and commitment—not to mention one of the largest (if not the largest) purchases you’ll make in your life.

One of the biggest mistakes first-time homeowners make is spending more than they can afford by overlooking the “true” cost of home ownership.

When budgeting for your first home, here are seven often overlooked costs that can have a big impact on your bottom line:

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Topics: mortgage, home ownership

How to Use Your Stimulus Check

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Apr 3, 2020 11:46:58 AM
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a financial impact on millions of Americans. Thankfully, some relief is on the way. 
 
Lawmakers recently passed a stimulus package to combat the economic impact of COVID-19. As part of the bill, people are expected to receive payments of up to $1,200 for each adult and $500 for every child.
 
If you are expecting a stimulus check, you may be unsure how to best use the money you receive. This will depend on your unique situation. But in general, here are five areas to prioritize:
 
#1: Start with the essentials
Prioritize your essentials (the stuff you can’t live without) first: things like medication,
food, utilities, and housing. Taking care of your immediate needs so you can stay
healthy is crucial!
 
Once you’ve taken care of yourself and your family’s immediate needs, you can
look at other areas to allocate the money.
 
#2: Emergency Savings
Consider putting at least part of the money toward emergency savings, whether it’s
an existing emergency fund or one you’re starting from scratch. Setting aside as
much as you can and knowing it’s available if you need it can provide you with peace
of mind.
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5 Things to Do if Your Income is Interrupted

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Mar 24, 2020 11:10:58 AM

As COVID-19 spreads in the U.S., people all over the country are beginning to feel its financial ripple effect. For the first time since the 1960s, people potentially exposed to the coronavirus are being asked to quarantine themselves. Businesses, schools, childcare centers and other institutions are taking steps such as closing offices or transitioning to remote work to protect the health and safety of their employees and communities.

For most of us, and especially for the 32 million workers who do not have paid sick time, the idea of missing work because of an illness or a shutdown is financially daunting. What do you do if you are suddenly and unexpectedly unable to work and you have no income? These five steps will help you stay as financially healthy as possible if you experience an interruption or loss of income.

5 Things to Do If Your Income Is Interrupted

#1 — Assess Your Budget and Prioritize Your Expenses

You will want to know as much as you can about your budget and expenses. If you don’t have a budget, you can start planning for your monthly expenses by using this worksheet.

Identify and total up all income sources and assets such as savings that may be able to get you through until you can resume working or replace your income. Review your living expenses and eliminate the things you can live without. Reduce expenses in the “essentials” category as much as you can.

You may be able to save money by doing things like planning your meals to save money at the grocery store, or reducing your electric bill by cutting energy usage

You may also be able to save money on your debt by finding options to lower interest rates or reduce monthly payments

If you are feeling stressed by debt, exploring options such as debt management plans or working with a credit counselor could help you reduce monthly payments and reduce the overall cost of your debt

If you are concerned about the financial impact of an income loss and you are currently working, get ahead as much as you can by building up your emergency savings.

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Topics: income

5 Tips for a Decade - Resolutions that Stick

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Jan 10, 2020 12:27:27 PM

The dawn of a new decade is a time for powerful new beginnings. Are you ready for
a powerful New Year’s resolution?

Eliminating debt, learning new spending habits, or building savings are choices that can change your life. They can affect your entire well-being– from stress levels, to physical and mental health. The new year and new decade is a great time to commit to your financial health.

1. Make a Road Map: Set a Goal (and Write It Down)
Goal setting gives you direction. You can decide on your destination and make a plan
to get there. This might seem small, but it’s not. Not only is goal setting found to be
linked to higher achievement and self-confidence, but writing down your goal can
also make you 42% more likely to succeed. 

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Topics: Saving, money, simplifiy life, finances, budget, money mistakes

4 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Money

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Mar 28, 2019 1:13:29 PM

Self-care goes beyond our physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs—it includes our financial needs, too.

Financial self-care means taking the time to focus on your finances and create healthier money habits that lead to greater financial health and overall wellbeing. It’s time to make a commitment to show yourself some love and give your financial wellness the attention it deserves. Get started with these four steps for achieving greater financial health and overall well-being:

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2019 Is Your Year to Get Out of Debt!

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Jan 14, 2019 3:53:52 PM

If credit card payments make up a big portion of your expenses, paying off debt might be one of the first ways you can save money. High-interest credit card debt is expensive to keep around. That’s probably why more than 30% of New Year’s resolutions are related to getting out of debt and saving money. Here are some tips on how you can make a successful resolution to get out of debt.

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3 Healthy Financial Habits to Start Now

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Sep 25, 2018 11:39:57 AM

Developing healthy financial habits can do wonders for helping us achieve our goals, and the earlier you start, the better! Here are three habits to start today:

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Stress and Spending

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Mar 6, 2018 11:12:52 AM

As we move deeper into 2018, the magic of the holiday may have worn off, and many of our New Year’s resolutions are becoming faded memories. With tax season upon us and the pace of our working lives becoming more and more accelerated, stress can start to take its toll on us emotionally.

HOW STRESS IMPACTS SPENDING

According to a joint study out of Rutgers and the University of Miami, stress causes people to use their resources to regain a sense of control. In many ways, stress is a response to a loss of control in a particular situation, and one way we cope with that is by spending.

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3 Ways to Create Healthy Financial Habits

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Feb 9, 2018 11:10:17 AM

It can be tough to stick to healthy financial habits, especially the ones that relate to long-term goals. The great news is that we can make some relatively small changes that “nudge” us along in the direction of financial wellness.

In behavioral economics, the study of how people make choices, small changes that alter our default behavior are called “default nudges.” Automation enables us to enforce our intentions and priorities, and creates a barrier for spending decisions that fall outside those priorities.

Here are three ways to automate your financial life:

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Tackling Student Loan Debt

Posted by GreenPath Financial Wellness on Jan 24, 2018 10:16:30 AM

Student loan debt is one of the most significant aspects of contemporary American financial life.  According to The Economist, total U.S. student loan debt surpassed $1.2 trillion in 2014, and over 7 million borrowers are in default. There are approximately 44 million people with student loans who have an average outstanding loan balance of $37,172.

Student loan debt now exceeds auto loans and credit cards as America’s largest personal debt burden.

Why the sudden increase in debt? It’s because the cost of education has gone up exponentially. According to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics, over the past three decades the cost of a college degree has increased by more than 1,000%. States have cut their education budgets for public universities, and this has shifted the cost burden onto students and borrowers. If student debt had stayed constant with inflation since 1992, graduates would not be facing the same student loan burdens today.

So if you or someone you love is struggling with student loan debt, the good news is you are not alone. Better yet, there are options to deal with it. Here are some proven strategies we’ve discovered for tackling student loan debt head on:

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