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Protect Yourself From COVID-19 Fraud

As COVID-19 continues to impact the U.S., there has also been an alarming increase in fraudulent activity related to the pandemic. As of June 2020, the FTC reported receiving more than 103,000 fraud complaints due to COVID-19, totaling $68.11 million in total fraud loss. To help you safeguard your money, we’ve highlighted five scams and how to avoid them:  Scam #1: Expedited Stimulus Checks The IRS began distributing economic impact stimulus checks on April 13 through direct deposit, on April 24 by mail, and they will continue distribution through September… Read More >

Aug. 13 2020 | Posted in Fraud & Security, Safety & Security

You Need a Vacation – Take One

When was the last time you disconnected from your office – no phone calls, no emails, nothing? Consider this example: You’re on vacation, sitting on a beach chair, enjoying the sun. You have your phone with you to enjoy some music, and you decide to check your email. You see an email from your office, and you open it. Someone emailed you with a question, so you respond. Then you respond to another email and start thinking, “I can just do a few things while I’m sitting here.” Before you… Read More >

Jun. 22 2020 | Posted in Personal

Four Ways to Build Wealth Using a Budget

Budgets are one of the best ways to manage your money. Yet, many don’t like to take the time to put a budget together. And once they create one, they find it challenging to stay within it. But did you know that creating and maintaining a reasonable budget can help you build wealth? Here are four ways to build your wealth using a budget: #1: Create Realistic Goals That Focus on Your Desired Future. Before you begin to build your budget, you must define how your future looks. For example,… Read More >

Fraud Alert: What You Need to Know

Criminals Take Advantage of Every Situation and Our Health Crisis is No Exception. Recently, the cybercriminal group, FIN7, known for targeting US businesses through phishing emails, deployed an additional tactic of mailing USB devices via the United States Postal Service (USPS). The mailed packages sometimes include items like teddy bears or gift cards to employees of target companies working in the Human Resources (HR), Information Technology (IT), or Executive Management (EM) roles. The enclosed USB device is a commercially available tool known as a “BadUSB” or “Bad Beetle USB” device…. Read More >

Three Smart Ways to Use Your Home’s Equity

Your home’s equity can be a powerful tool. Here are some ways to leverage it. While home prices are high, you may have more equity in your home than you think. And using the equity in your home can be a powerful financial tool if used correctly. Let’s look at two common ways to tap into the equity in your home: Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). With this type of loan, you borrow against the available equity in your home, using your house as collateral for a line of… Read More >

Mar. 10 2020 | Posted in Personal

Seven Smart Ways to Use Your Tax Refund

  You’ve just received your tax refund, and you’re not quite sure how to put it to use. Resist the urge to splurge and consider investing your money into something that can help you in the long run.   Here are seven smart ways to make your tax refund work for you:   Pay off existing debt. If you have a credit card or other unsecured debt, use your tax refund to pay it off — or at least pay it down as much as you can. Doing so will… Read More >

Find Your Perfect Life-Work Balance

As a business owner, finding the balance between your work life and personal life can be challenging. And if you work from home, you may find the line between work and home gets blurry way more often. Believe it or not, though, you can find a balance in your life, but it may take some work. Define what your “balanced life” looks like. To find your perfect work-life balance, start by answering these questions: What must come first every day no matter what? What barriers may keep you from having balance?… Read More >

Feb. 11 2020 | Posted in Business, Personal

Online Safety Tips for the Holidays

While all may be jolly and bright during the holidays, some criminals find it to be the perfect time to scam innocent victims. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provided the following tips to protect you and your business from holiday scams and malicious cyber campaigns. When using email –  Don’t open emails or ecards from people you don’t know. Don’t open attachments or click on links from unsolicited emails.  Don’t provide personal or financial information via email – legitimate business won’t solicit sensitive information in this way.  … Read More >

Dec. 16 2019 | Posted in Personal, Safety & Security

Where do recessions come from?

Recession. Even the word can be scary to some people. But what if the mystery was taken out of how recessions happen? The causes of a recession are easy to identify and are anything but random. The Credit Cycle Scenario: A person makes $100,000 a year and needs a loan. They approach a bank that loans them $10,000. That money then goes into the economy and becomes someone else’s $110,000 income. Then, the person who makes $110,000 a year and needs a loan. They approach a bank that loans them… Read More >

Nov. 20 2019 | Posted in Business, Personal

7 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

Would you like to improve your credit score but don’t know where to begin? We’ve got seven tips to get you started.  Know Your Score  The first step to improving your credit score is to know your credit score. Did you know that you can get a free copy of your credit report every year? Just go to Annual Credit Report and request your report. Once you have your report, read it carefully and make sure everything is correct.  Rent and Build Credit  VantageScore’s scoring model now weighs rent and utility… Read More >

Oct. 9 2019 | Posted in Building & Managing Credit