It’s time again for my favorite feature here on Dyer News: a look at my top 10 personal finance articles of the month. With springtime around the corner and the housing market coming to life again, home buying and home ownership were popular topics this month, while credit was also an area of focus for many bloggers. Additionally, outside of those specific categories, writers offered their ideas for everything from having a “Frugal February” to setting investment “time capsules.”
As usual, this month’s list includes a couple Dyer News Top 10 mainstays as well as a few first-timers. Without further ado, below is my list of the top 10 personal finance articles published in February of 2018, along with their title, author, and the site they originally appeared on.
Did You Freeze Your Credit? Watch Out for These Pitfalls — Lisa Gerstner, Kiplinger
Following news that an Equifax breach has compromised the data of 145 million (now 147.4 million) customers, many consumers took the step of freezing their credit. As a result, creditors would not be able to pull their credit reports, hopefully foiling thieves looking to open fraudulent accounts. However, as Lisa notes, there are some inconveniences you may face due to your frozen credit that you should be aware of and prepared for.
3 Reasons Besides Your Credit Score You Could Be Denied for a Loan — Mike Brassfield, The Penny Hoarder
Often times when we think about getting approved for loans or lines of credit, we assume the final verdict comes down to your credit score. While it is a major factor, your credit score isn’t the only piece of data creditors will use when assessing your application. In his piece, Mike highlights three related but different aspects of your financial life that can affect your approval odds.
Why Your Credit Score May Not Be As Good As You Think It Is — Alicia Adamczyk, TwoCents
Speaking of your credit score, although we typically use the singular term “score” when talking about credit, the truth is that it should really be “credit scores,” plural. That’s because, thanks to there being multiple credit bureaus and several models with which to calculate your score, consumers can actually have dozens of scores that creditors might see. As Alicia points out, this can unfortunately mean that your credit isn’t as good as you thought.
Personal Finance Tips
5 Ways to Crush Frugal February — Damn Millennial
One of the best ways to get yourself living the frugal lifestyle is to challenge yourself and, in some cases, even make practicing good financial habits a game. Among the many challenges you can participate in, some have taken to celebrating “Frugal February” both because it’s the shortest month of the year and (presumably) because of the alliteration. Although February 2018 has now passed, Damn Millennial’s tips for achieving frugality can be applied all year round.
As Your Savings Grows, What Should You Do With Your Extra Cash? — Kyle Burbank, Money@30
Having a surplus of funds seems like a great problem to have, doesn’t it? While it’s certainly preferable to other options, having extra money can also offer its own set of challenges — namely determining how your cash can best be used to benefit you in the long term. To that point, Kyle shares a few ideas for putting your extra funds to work.
Bury Your Money: Put Your Money & Investments in “Time Capsules” — Jim Wang, WalletHacks
After a pretty nice run that lasted for months, this year has reintroduced some volatility to the stock market. These recent shakeups might have some investors — especially newer ones — a bit spooked and not knowing whether they should be staying the course or cutting their loses. To help ease your worries and help you invest wisely, Jim offers his idea of placing your funds in “time capsules” and “burying your money.”
House Buying and Homeownership
9 Warning Signs You Can’t Afford that New House — Tim Lemke, Wisebread
There are many great reasons to be a homeowner… but that doesn’t mean that everyone should be one. This is especially true if the house you have your eye on isn’t as affordable as you might think. Tim offers a list of several warning signs to look for that could indicate purchasing a house is a mistake.
Homeowners, Avoid Making These 4 Mistakes — Edwin C., Save the Bills
Even if you can afford the homes you’re looking at, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the one for you. From renovation costs to credit surprises, there’s plenty to think about before signing on the dotted line. That’s why Edwin takes a look at four common home buying mistakes and how you can avoid them
How the New Tax Law Affects Homeowners — Bill Bischoff, MarketWatch
Those who are already homeowners (or plan on becoming one soon) may be wondering how the recently-passed tax law will affect them. For example, one of the biggest changes that will impact homeowners is the increase to the standard deduction. In this piece, Bill takes a closer look what that and other changes will mean for homeowners.
Can I Pay My Mortgage With a Credit Card? Experts Weigh In — Stephanie Booth, Realtor
Have you ever thought about paying your mortgage with a credit card? Is it even possible? For some that question might come from a place of desperation while others might be trying to take advantage of their credit card rewards with such a trick. To answer whether you can indeed pay your mortgage with a credit card as well as whether you should, Stephanie spoke with some financial experts.
BONUS: Everything You Need to Know About Upgrading Your Home to Sell — Dyer News
Finally, as much as we’ve focused on the home buying process this month, it’s important to note that the selling process has just as many (if not more) things to consider. Among them is whether it may be worth making upgrades to your home in hopes of selling for a higher price. In this guide, I explore what projects pay off, how you can save money along the way, and much more.
Thanks for checking out my top 10 personal finance articles published last month and congratulations to all of the bloggers who made the list. To find more of these great articles on a daily basis, be sure to follow me on Twitter @jondyer9 and of course visit DyerNews.com.