We’ve pulled 3 attention-grabbing headlines from the world of personal finance for this week’s “What’s Impacting Your Wallet.” Here’s what you need to know now:

  • This time of year, students are graduating from college and shifting their focus from school work and friends to finding a job and taking on adult responsibilities. Credit bureau Experian says 40 million Americans have at least one student loan, which they will need to start paying off six to nine months after graduation. U.S. News and World Report advises that new grads should avoid 7 student loan slipups before it’s too late. These slipups include not knowing how much you owe, failing to keep your address current, missing payments, stretching out the repayment term, skipping a student loan tax deduction, and more. Though graduating college can be an exciting and busy time, taking charge of school loans can help your finances down the road.
  • If you’re thinking of having a baby soon, you’ve got to know if your finances are ready for it. In this article in Yahoo Finance, author Catherine Alford says that raising a child can cost over $200,000, so there are questions you must ask yourself before taking that step. First, you have to assess the money you have and decide what you need to do to get on track with a budget. Then, you should set up a monthly emergency fund, research child care costs, and decide how much you can contribute to a retirement fund. Once you follow these steps, you’ll feel more prepared to bring a little one into the world.
  • Even though doing taxes is a headache, one upside is getting a tax refund in the spring. Before you take the check and waste it on something you don’t need, it’s time to rethink your finances. In this article, Kiplinger lists out the most common ways people waste their refund and suggests money-smart alternatives instead. Some tips include paying off debt instead of using it on a car or boat, opening an interest-bearing savings account and starting an emergency fund, opting to put it to your retirement account instead of gambling, and more.

2014 Tax Calendar

 

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