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Finance Tips for Women - Credits Unions, Debt, Credit Cards, Mutual Funds and more!

Credit Unions

Credit Unions are non-profit cooperative financial institutions that are owned and controlled by its members. Credit Unions usually give you higher interest rates on savings accounts than banks do and lower rates on loans. To become member of a Credit Union you have to belong to group that a particular Credit Union serves, such as your employer, church, city, etc. The site ' America's Credit Unions: Where people are worth more than money' has information about how to find a credit union you can join.

Debt

Stay out of debt as much as possible! That may be easier said than done, but other than home and car loans (which are hard to avoid), staying out of debt is one of the best things you can do for your financial health. If you can't afford it now - don't buy it! The interest you pay on money you owe adds up to a lot over time.

Credit Cards

Again - if you can't afford it now - don't buy it! Interest on credit cards is really high so pay off your card each month if at all possible. Consider a card that pays cash back bonuses too, like Discover Card.

Vanguard Mutual Funds

Once you have some money safely saved in a savings account, you may want to consider investing in stocks or bonds. Look for mutual fund companies with low expense ratios, like Vanguard. Index funds are a great place to start because they consist of stocks of a large number of different companies so you will be more diversified.

401(k)'s and IRA's

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan - use it! Especially if they match some or part of your contributions. If you don't have access to a 401(k) plan you can always save money for retirement with a IRA. Money you put into 401(k)'s and IRA's is not taxed until you retire, so your money builds up faster.

Read

Read everything you can find about saving and investing money - magazines, books, etc. But stay away from 'Get rich quick' type of schemes. Very few things in life come quickly or easily.






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