top of page

This is where your path to financial freedom begins...

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

154 items found

Blog Posts (139)

  • A Beginner's Guide to Savings Bonds

    Saving for your goals, big or small, is crucial for financial stability. But with so many options available, choosing the right savings vehicle can be overwhelming. Enter savings bonds, a simple yet powerful tool backed by the U.S. government, offering guaranteed growth and tax benefits. Savings bonds might not be the flashiest financial tool, but their simplicity and safety make them an excellent option for beginners and experienced investors alike. A Beginner's Guide to Understanding Savings Bonds What are Savings Bonds? How do you buy Savings Bonds? How will Savings Bonds help me in the future? Additional options are available for purchasing Savings Bonds. When can I cash out my Savings Bond? What are the advantages of Savings Bonds? Here's a beginner's guide to understanding and utilizing savings bonds: 1. What are Savings Bonds? Think of savings bonds as loans you make to the government. You purchase them at a discount (e.g., $25 for a $25 bond), and they earn interest over time, eventually reaching their full face value. Two main types exist: Series EE: Earn a fixed interest rate, currently 0.5%, guaranteed for at least 20 years. They double in value after 20 years if held that long. Great for long-term goals like retirement. Series I: Earn interest tied to inflation, protecting your purchasing power. Rates adjust every six months, currently yielding 3.54% (as of November 2023). It is ideal for shorter-term needs or hedging against inflation. Earn a variable rate based on inflation, protecting your purchasing power. 2. Buying Savings Bonds for Yourself So, how do you get your hands on these government-backed savings tools? Here are the different ways: Where: Purchase them electronically through TreasuryDirect, the official U.S. government website. You can buy them at some financial institutions and through your tax refund (details below). Minimum purchase: $25 Maximum purchase: $10,000 per year per bond type (individual) Benefits: Safe investment, guaranteed interest, tax-advantaged (for Series EE under certain conditions) 3. Saving for Your Child's Education with Savings Bonds: Savings bonds are fantastic gifts for children's education! You can purchase them in their name, and the interest earned helps fund their future studies. So, whether you're saving for your future or your child's education, savings bonds offer flexibility: For Yourself: Use them for retirement planning, a down payment on a house, or any long-term goal. As a Gift: Purchase bonds in your child's name as gifts. They'll gain ownership when they reach 18. Tax benefits: Consider Series EE bonds purchased before your child turns 18. The interest earned may be exempt from federal income tax if used for qualified education expenses. Motivation: Help your child understand saving and investing with a tangible bond they can track. 4. Buying Savings Bonds with Your Tax Refund Gone are the days of paper certificates. Here's another way you can buy savings bonds today: Direct allocation: When filing your tax return (Form 1040), allocate part of your refund to purchase Series EE bonds electronically. Convenience: It's an easy way to automatically save a portion of your refund. Limits: The maximum allocation is $5,000 per year. 5. Maturity Periods: Knowing When to Cash Out Each bond has a maturity date – the point where it reaches its full value. Series EE: Bonds mature after 30 years, but you can cash them after one year. Early cashing incurs a penalty of 3 months' interest. Series I: Bonds earn interest for 30 years, but you can cash them anytime without penalty. Bonus Tip: Keep an eye on interest rate changes for Series I bonds. If rates drop significantly, consider holding off on cashing out to maximize your earnings. 6. The Advantages of Savings Bonds Remember: Savings bonds are not high-growth investments, but they offer several advantages: Safety: Backed by the U.S. government, minimizing risk. Accessibility: Affordable minimum purchase and convenient online buying. Tax benefits: Potential federal tax exemption for Series EE under specific conditions. The Takeaway Savings bonds offer a safe, accessible way to grow money while supporting the government. With minimal risk and various purchase options, they're perfect for beginners and can be tailored to different financial goals. So, consider adding a touch of financial security and patriotism to your portfolio with a savings bond today! Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Please consult a financial professional for personalized guidance.

  • Tips To Teach Your Children About Finances

    Teaching your children about family finances will benefit them presently and in the future. Understanding finances can enable children to develop a positive money mindset and habits as they mature. Explaining the family budget, letting them know about your financial goals, and asking them if they have any questions lets children know that it's okay to talk about money openly. The Family Budget Opening your monthly budget tracker and showing your children your income and expenses may seem daunting. However, once your monthly budget is complete, a sense of relief can open up communication lines. Your child may see the income first and be surprised at the amount of money you show them but don't stop there. Review the monthly expenses with your child; they will see a decrease in available funds. This can be a wake-up call to your child and educate them that there is a cost to everything. It may also uncover some unanswered questions that lingered in their mind. See my feature in Conversations To Have Once Your Teen Starts Earning Money. Prepare Your Children for Generational Wealth Goal Review You may have additional funds available now that the budget has been reviewed. It may be helpful to discuss your financial goals with your child so that they understand that this is not "leftover money." This can also be a method of instilling goal-setting into your child's life. Setting goals around money sets a sense of purpose for saving and earning money. Saving to save may not have the same value as saving for a purpose. Ask Questions Creating a dialogue around money lets your children know that discussing money is okay and encourages meaningful family conversations. You can ask your child if they have any money-related questions to continue the conversation. If you don't have the answer to their questions, you can let them know that. It can be a learning moment for everyone and enable you to improve how you manage your family's finances. Teaching your children today can set the foundation for their financial decisions throughout their lifetime. See Warren Buffet's 6 tricks to teach kids about money. Explore Financial Literacy Through Books Reading books about money can be an excellent way to introduce financial literacy to children. It can help them understand the value of saving, the importance of budgeting, and the consequences of overspending. Books can also provide a fun and engaging way to explore financial concepts that might seem daunting or boring otherwise. By reading about characters who make smart financial decisions, children can learn to make better choices in their own lives. Check out these three books to begin the journey today!

  • 5-Day Family Spring Break Trip in North Carolina: A Guide to Avoiding Crowds

    Looking for a family getaway that's both tranquil, exhilarating, and affordable? Look no further than North Carolina in March! With gorgeous weather, vibrant wildflowers, and fewer crowds, it's the perfect time to explore all this beautiful state offers. It's essential to plan early, so you can get the best rates for hotels and tours. Here's a laid-back itinerary to help you make the most of your trip. Five-Day Itinerary for Visiting North Carolina for Spring Break Day 1: Asheville & Biltmore Estate Day 2: Blue Ridge Parkway & Grandfather Mountain Day 3: Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Day 4: Corolla & Jockey's Ridge State Park Day 5: Relax & Return Home Day 1: Asheville & Biltmore Estate Morning: Start your day in Asheville, a vibrant city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Enjoy a delicious breakfast at Early Bird Biscuit, a local favorite known for its fluffy biscuits and homemade jams. Afternoon: Immerse yourselves in the grandeur of Biltmore Estate, America's largest home. Explore the opulent interiors, stroll through the expansive gardens, and learn about the Vanderbilt family's fascinating history. Evening: Catch a live performance at The Orange Peel, a renowned music venue showcasing diverse genres. Savor a casual dinner at Tupelo Honey, offering Southern comfort food with a modern twist. Day 2: Blue Ridge Parkway & Grandfather Mountain Morning: Embark on a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile route offering breathtaking mountain vistas. Stop at overlooks like Water Rock Knob and Hickory Knob for panoramic views. Afternoon: Visit Grandfather Mountain, a nature lover's paradise. Hike to the mountain's top for stunning views, spot wildlife like elk and bears, and cross the iconic swinging bridge. Evening: Head to Linville Falls, the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi. Enjoy a peaceful picnic dinner near the falls before settling in for the night at a cozy cabin rental in the Linville Gorge area. See my feature in HavenLive How parents are approaching Spring Break ideas during Covid Day 3: Outer Banks & Cape Hatteras Morning: Drive east to the Outer Banks, a string of barrier islands known for pristine beaches and charming coastal towns. Stop at Hatteras Island and visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, a historic landmark offering panoramic ocean views. Afternoon: Spend the afternoon playing on the beach, building sandcastles, and collecting seashells. Take a surfing lesson or rent kayaks for a paddle through the serene sound. Evening: Enjoy fresh seafood at a local restaurant like Cape Hatteras Seafood Company or The Sandbar. Day 4: Corolla & Jockey's Ridge State Park Morning: Head north to Corolla, known for its wild Spanish horses. Take a guided tour through the Corolla Wild Horse Fund sanctuary to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Afternoon: Visit Jockey's Ridge State Park, home to the largest sand dunes on the East Coast. Climb to the top of the dunes for stunning ocean views, or learn to sandboard down the slopes. Evening: Enjoy a bonfire on the beach and roast marshmallows under the stars. Day 5: Relax & Return Home Morning: Savor a leisurely breakfast at a waterfront restaurant and soak up the final views of the ocean. Afternoon: Return home, reminiscing about your fun-filled family adventure in North Carolina. See my feature in HavenLife How parents are planning Spring Break this year Tips for Avoiding Crowds: March is still considered shoulder season in North Carolina, so crowds will be smaller than peak summer months. Weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends. Consider staying in smaller towns or villages outside of major tourist destinations. Book your accommodations and activities in advance, especially if you're traveling during spring break. Get up early to beat the crowds at popular attractions. This itinerary is just a suggestion, and you can tailor it to your family's interests and preferences. Remember to relax, have fun, and create lasting memories on your spring break getaway to North Carolina!

View All

Other Pages (13)

  • Financial Videos | Informed Finance

    Video Resources The Informed Finance Blog addresses a variety of topics surrounding wealth management and money saving strategies, and we believe it’s important to provide up-to-date resources for our users. Check this section often to stay in the know with video updates of the latest trends. Subscribe on YouTube for more helpful advice. Play Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied How to Teach Kids About Money Play Video Play Video 00:27 Why Keeping Track of Your Spending is Important Each one teach one. Parents make mistakes too, and forgetting to submit a bill payment can easily happen. However, setting up automatic payments and checking your bills at least monthly can ensure that you keep your payments on track. Having conversations with your children about life lessons is important. Every nugget of advice you give them will make them more productive citizens and give them the ability to function successfully when they leave the nest. What better way to see your teaching in action than your children modeling the behaviors and practices you taught them! Website ➡️ BLOG➡️ Instagram ➡️ #HarrisCashCoach #teenagerslifehack #senior2023 #financiallyliterate #payingoffdebt #payingbills #generationalknowledge Play Video Play Video 01:47 Deleted video The "Mommy Can You Teach Me?" series on Amazon is a collection of children's books designed to make learning about money fun and engaging for young readers (ages 3-8). Check them out on Amazon! Mommy, Can You Teach Me About Money? (Book 1): Explores basic money concepts like earning, spending, saving, and budgeting. Mommy, Can You Teach Me How to Save? (Book 2): Focuses on the importance of saving money and building good financial habits. Mommy, Can You Teach Me How to Budgett? (Book 3): Introduces budgeting skills and the importance of setting goals Mommy, Can You Teach Me About Investing? (Book 4): This book is coming soon and teaches children about low, moderate, and high-risk investing. #kidsandmoney #financial literacy #childrensbooks #savingmoney #financialeducation Play Video Play Video 00:26 Deleted video Mom, Can You Teach Me How to Invest? is now available on Kindle and via Paperback! This book is designed to inspire teenagers to uncover their true motivations for investing through relatable analogies and interactive reflection questions. Join Destiny and Trey on yet another exciting journey into the world of investing that is both interesting and engaging. Get your copy today: Author Page: ➡️ Website ➡️ #kindleebook #kindleunlimited #childrensbooks

  • Informed Finance Blog - Personal Finance

    Your Path to Financial Freedom and Success Welcome to The Informed Finance Blog, your one-stop shop for all things financial. Here you can take control of your money and achieve your financial goals. Whether you're just starting out or seasoned in managing your finances, there's something for you. Annette Harris Jan 4 Tips To Teach Your Children About Finances Generational wealth is a common theme today. Reviewing the family budget with your family can eliminate the shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves cur Annette Harris Dec 19, 2023 5-Day Family Spring Break Trip in North Carolina: A Guide to Avoiding Crowds Looking for a spring break vacation that's affordable? Look no further than Asheville, North Carolina, in March and avoid the crowds. Annette Harris Dec 7, 2023 13 Financial Planning Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking for financial planning advice? You're in the right place. 1. Understand Opportunity Cost 2. Budget Adve rtiser Disclosure Popular Posts Books Written by Annette Harris Annette Harris 6 Effective Approaches to Handling Debt After a Divorce 44 Annette Harris 6 Strategies for Handling Personal Finances During and After a Divorce 131 Annette Harris Creating a Judgement-Free Zone When Communicating About Financial Matters as a Couple 120 Annette Harris 9 Tips for Balancing Individual and Shared Financial Goals in Romantic Partnerships 48 Career Tips Annette Harris 5 Profitable Careers of the Future in the Age of AI Evolution Annette Harris Work Smarter, Not Harder: Surprisingly Easy Jobs in Finance You Need to Know About Annette Harris 9 Ways Employers Can Celebrate Juneteenth Annette Harris How to Start Your Business and Create a Branding Strategy Looking for something else? Start here. Retirement Entrepreneurship Homeownership College Taxes Military Adve rtiser Disclosure Recent Posts Tips To Teach Your Children About Finances 5-Day Family Spring Break Trip in North Carolina: A Guide to Avoiding Crowds 13 Financial Planning Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs The Illusion of Convenience: The Disastrous Impact of Dollar Stores in Food Deserts 10 Unique Methods to Control Spending: Successes Explained Breaking the Cycle: Tips on Ending Financial Support for Your Adult Children Read More Featured In:

  • Write With Us | Informed Finance

    Acerca de Write With Us Guidelines to Get You Started Are you a Personal Finance expert with the experience and knowledge to back up your writing? Can you deliver easy-to-understand advice that is extremely useful? I'm looking for you! ​ Pitch your post ideas about: ​ Budgeting: How can beginners get started with a budget? What steps should they take to succeed financially? Side hustle ideas: How can someone make extra money legitimately? How do they get started, and what's needed to start a side hustle? Paying for college: What are a few different ways that parents or teens can prepare for college tuition and expenses? What resources are available? Budgeting for travel: Traveling is fun, but how can you travel cheaply and plan in advance? Teaching kids about money: What steps should be taken to raise financially literate children? How do you make it fun? How do you incorporate learning about money into your daily routine? Retirement: Planning for retirement, saving for retirement, the different types of retirement plans available, or returning back to work after retirement. What tips do you have for retiring early? Investing: How can a beginner begin learning more about investing? What apps, books, and resources are available to help them learn more? Debt: How do you get out of debt, stay out of debt, or reduce your debt levels? Are you debt-free? Tell your story. Credit: How do you use credit responsibly and to your advantage? How do you find a credit card with reward points or a good interest rate? What steps can someone take to improve their credit score? Entrepreneurship: What steps can someone take to start a successful and profitable business? Military: Are you a military veteran? I'm always looking for stories on how military veterans can survive financially after transitioning out of military service. How can they plan their career transition? How do they start to understand benefits available to them with employers or through Veteran's Affairs? What state aid is available? ​ How do I apply? ​ Subscribe to this blog by logging in and reading it so that you have a better understanding of what it's about. Provide a sample headline and outline for your proposed post. For example, if you plan on writing about effective credit management techniques, please list briefly what some of those techniques would be. If your outline is accepted and has not been previously published, you may submit it for publication. I will never publish it on my own accord. Email me your outline at . Your post must identify your audience, be original, thought-provoking, free from plagiarism, and well-researched. It should spark action from your target audience. When your post is published, engage on social media so that your post can be read and shared by our audiences. I do not accept paid ads, links, or sponsored posts. If your post has multiple links throughout, it will be rejected for publication. I'm looking for clever, helpful, and insightful writing. I hope to hear from you soon! ​ *I do not offer compensation. Blog Authors Annette Harris Lisa Dupras Andrea Rotondo Annette Harris 1/5 Featured In:

View All
bottom of page