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AJ Smith

Contributor |  In Personal Finance, Mortgages

AJ Smith is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online content. She currently serves as the managing editor for SmartAsset. AJ has a passion for meeting new people, sharing stories and helping others. She has degrees from Princeton University and Mississippi State University. AJ and her husband also write and illustrate educational children’s books.

How to Make Improvements That Add Value to Your Home

Mortgages

How to Make Improvements That Add Value to Your Home

How to Make Improvements That Add Value to Your Home

Homeowners can sometimes talk themselves into spending money on their house by assuring themselves it will add value at resale time. However, it turns out that there are many improvements that do not add the value you may be banking on. To ensure you stick to projects that successfully increase your home’s value, check out the details… Read More

What Can I Do With Unused College Savings?

Students

What Can I Do With Unused College Savings?

What Can I Do With Unused College Savings?

Secondary education in America is expensive — there is no doubt about it. But there are some programs in place to help parents or guardians save for college. A 529 plan, the tax-advantaged investment vehicle operated by a state or educational institution, can be a great way to fund higher education expenses. It offers a lot… Read More

What Do My HOA Fees Cover?

Personal Finance

What Do My HOA Fees Cover?

What Do My HOA Fees Cover?

If you are in the market to buy a house, you may find yourself in developments touting some serious services — but not without a charge. Condominiums, townhouses and other properties in certain planned developments can come with a homeowners association, or HOA. To live there, you must pay the HOA fees either monthly or annually…. Read More

Where Should You Keep Your Emergency Fund?

Personal Finance

Where Should You Keep Your Emergency Fund?

Where Should You Keep Your Emergency Fund?

We have all heard and (hopefully) heeded the advice to keep between three and six months’ worth of expenses aside as an emergency fund. Even if you feel like you have a handle on budgeting for your day-to-day expenses, what happens when the unpredictable hits with the potential to set your finances back? This stash… Read More

Will the Government Tax My Social Security Benefits?

Personal Finance

Will the Government Tax My Social Security Benefits?

Will the Government Tax My Social Security Benefits?

Saving for retirement is a crucial part of preparing for your financial future — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for Social Security benefits. You can calculate what your Social Security income will be to help provide an estimate of your benefits and what other savings you will need to lead the lifestyle you want in retirement…. Read More

The New Grad’s Guide to Student Loan Debt

Managing Debt

The New Grad’s Guide to Student Loan Debt

The New Grad’s Guide to Student Loan Debt

Finishing college is surely cause to celebrate — but it is also time for some hard realities to hit. Once you send in your last college assignment and get the perfect champagne-popping picture, your mind may start wandering to the future. No matter your post-grad plans, you will likely have to start working on paying back… Read More

How to Create a Comprehensive Budget

Personal Finance

How to Create a Comprehensive Budget

How to Create a Comprehensive Budget

You may think you have a grasp on your financial health, and maybe you do. But when it comes to budgets, it’s a good idea to review and revamp regularly. It takes some responsibility and hard work, but creating a budget that accounts for all you spending and saving habits can really pay off. So… Read More

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