blog, John J. Bowman Jr Accountant, John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

Improving a FICO Score in Four Steps

A high FICO score can unlock many doors for consumers, including the doors to low mortgage interest rates, attractive credit card offers, and zero-interest car loans. A low FICO score, however, keeps many of those entrances locked and creates a far more expensive borrowing experience. To improve a credit score and gain access to all the benefits afforded, borrowers can try these steps.

Paying bills before the due date

Over one-third of a FICO score is determined by a borrower’s compliance (or lack thereof) with payment due dates. Thus, when a creditor pays a bill late, it is reported to the credit bureaus and can have a devastating impact on a credit score. Paying bills early and maintaining automatic bill pay through a bank can help ensure consistent, timely payments and remove the risk of garnering a low score due to late payments.

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blog, John J. Bowman Jr Accountant, John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

The Differences Between CFAs and CPAs

CFAs and CPAs may sound like the same thing, but their responsibilities differ. For people who are not familiar with the financial and investment industries, the differences between the two may not be that clear. While CFAs and CPAs are both financial professionals, these individuals travel along different educational and professional paths.

What is a CFA?

A CFA, or chartered financial analyst, analyzes financial reports. Such reports include financial statements revolving around wealth planning and mutual and hedge funds.

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blog, John J. Bowman Jr Accountant, John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

Debunking Personal Finance Myths

Personal finance is one of the most fundamental topics and aspects of our individual lives. Much has been said regarding how to practice good personal finance practices. Unfortunately, some of the information available out there is rooted in misconception. Here is an overview of some of the commonly perpetuated myths about personal finance.

“To make an investment, you need to be rich”

This misconception is based on the fact that most investments today are capital-intensive. One does not, however, have to be rich to successfully establish a business, as there are numerous options to source for startup capital. In addition, one can start a successful business with minimal savings and gradually advance the investment portfolio.

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Choosing Between a 401(k) and Roth IRA

When it comes to retirement savings, two of the more popular vehicles are the 401(k) and the Roth IRA. Both are tax-advantaged retirement accounts, but there are significant differences. Depending upon your specific situation, you may find that one fits your needs better than the other.

What are the savings limits?

For workers who haven’t yet reached age 50, it’s possible to save as much as $19,000 in a 401(k) as of 2019. Those who have passed 50 can save an additional $6,000 as a catch-up contribution. Depending upon their age, those who want to save in a Roth IRA can save $6,000 or $7,000 per year. Both are great savings vehicles, but those who are looking to max out their savings would most benefit from using a 401(k).

Read the full blog at JBowmanAccountant.org.

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blog, John J. Bowman Jr Accountant, John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

Budget-Friendly Features of Autumn Travel

While it may not feel like it in some parts of the country, the summer season has officially come to an end. This means that the comfortable temperatures and beautiful colors of autumn will be here in no time. One of the best ways to celebrate the turning of the seasons is by going on a nice vacation. These are the three ways you will save money when traveling in autumn.

Reduced Travel Cost

The most expensive part of going on vacation is the cost of getting to and staying at the destination. You will be able to greatly save on these costs by traveling in autumn. Since families are unable to travel with the kids back in school, airlines and hotels are forced to reduce their rates to entice travelers. Many people believe winter is the off-season for traveling, but airline tickets are actually cheapest in the month of October. Travel costs start to go up in the winter because of poor weather conditions and the holiday season.

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John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

The Importance of Personal Finance In Your 20s (Part 3)

We are back with two more important tips on the importance of personal finance in your 20s and what you can do to prepare for the future. In case you missed it, check out Part 1 and Part 2. 5) Start an emergency fund Starting an emergency fund is an important step as you begin […]

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John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

The Importance of Personal Finance In Your 20s (Part 2)

We began the list of of important personal finance tips to follow last week and will now continue the conversation. While it may not seem important, taking the necessary steps now will be extremely beneficial to you down the road. This list will help you get your personal finances in order and help you plan for financial success.

3) Eliminate credit card debt

Credit card debt comes with an extremely high interest rate, with the average rate around 13%, which means that these purchases that you have not paid off can end up getting extremely expensive, really fast. Eliminating credit card debt will help your finances by increasing the amount of money you are keeping in your pocket and improve your credit score. When you pay off your credit card bill with an interest rate of 13%, you are essentially paying yourself 14% guaranteed and tax free. That is an incredible investment that you can make with returns you will realize right away.

4) Start tracking your credit score

When you come to the point in your life when you begin making large purchases, such as a car or home, you will more than likely need to take out a loan to finance the purchase. Your credit score is what the banks will use to essentially determine how risky of an investment you are when they loan you the money. The worse your credit score is the more you will pay in interest payments. That is why it is very important to begin tracking your credit score and working to improve this score. By actively checking your credit score you will ensure that nobody has stolen your identity and taken out a loan in your name. You can learn more about credit scores and reports here.

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The Importance of Personal Finance In Your 20s (Part 1)

Organizing your personal finances during your 20s may seem unimportant and not worthy of your time now, but years from now you will look back and realize how important it truly is. Like many people in their twenties, you may be just out of college with have debt, making little money at your first job […]

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John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

It’s Time to Save Your Money.

Far too often, we hear people talk about how much they want to save money, but how they’ll get around to it next time. The problem is, next time is always now, and if you have a job it is never too late to make some adjustments to your budget. The team over at the […]

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John J. Bowman Jr. Accountant, personal finance

Accounting Firms Needs to Embrace Social Media

Accounting is one of the oldest skills necessary to success in the world. Throughout history, people have always sought out accounting professionals to make sure that their finances were correct. Governments relied on accountants and auditors to make sure that taxes were being smoothly and money was going where it needed to be just as […]

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