Personal finance can get complicated very quickly. There are so many options, strategies, and situations that it’s easy to get lost. Fortunately, there are free resources online that can help you navigate treacherous waters. Here are some of them:
Bank or Credit Union
Sometimes, turning to your bank is the best choice. This option varies widely. Some national banks have extensive personal finance sites. It might have calculators which compute the time to pay off a credit card or what your mortgage payment will be.
If you have questions, you can always swing by the branch and talk to a representative as well. They will be able to custom tailor advice because they have easy access to your financial information.
Workplace and 401k Provider
Setting up your retirement savings can be complicated. The goal is so far away that many people do not take action. The details include not only how much to save but how to allocate your money. Your workplace and 401k provider might be able to help with that. Some workplaces will even offer classes. You should start saving for retirement as soon as possible, so your investments have time to grow.
The world of online brokers is very competitive. Some brokers are trying to stand out by offering a wealth of information. This includes everything from savings tips, to financial news to equity research reports.
Credit Counseling Agency
A bad credit score can hurt you in numerous ways. Not only does it mean high interest rates, but some employers look at scores when hiring. It can also affect your insurance rates. Having a good credit rating is imperative. Fortunately, many credit counseling agencies will offer free advice on their website. Some will allow you to email or set up a chat with them and get help with your finances. Try to work with non-profits rather than for-profit agencies.
If you’re low income, the nonprofit VITA will do your taxes for you. This can save you a small fortune in fees.
Foundation for Financial Planning
This charity offers pro-bono advice for the financially vulnerable. This includes wounded veterans, cancer patients, and domestic violence victims.
The world of personal finance is very complicated. Poorly managed finances will lead to a lot of stress. Fortunately, many free resources are available online.