Personal finance simplified.

MONEY MONDAY

Tune into Go 96.3 FM every Monday morning during the 7 o'clock hour as Firefly talks personal finance with Ben & Dana. Check back each week for new segments and resources on the topic.

 
June 10, 2019
Learn about the importance of credit scores.
Credit scores are important for much more than just loan rates. Your score can make an impact on many of life's stages including your career and where you buy your first house. Learn more about how credit bureaus calculate your score and ways you can work to improve it.
June 3, 2019
Avoid an empty bank account every month.
Do you keep finding yourself running out of money every month? It may be time to re-evaluate your spending habits and become more aware of what is draining your monthly budget. A good place to start? Track all of your purchases to help find ways to cut back.
May 20, 2019
Move money from one place to another.
Just because you open an account or loan at one financial institution, does't mean you have to stay there if other opportunities arise. If you're unhappy with your current financial, moving money to a new place can be easy. You can also move credit cards, car loans and mortgages by refinancing. Learn how.
May 13, 2019
Stay on top of your student loans.
Student loans have become one of the largest forms of non-mortgage debt in the country.  Now that you're out in the 'real world', don't let your student loans kill your monthly budget, but instead learn how to manage them by finding the right repayment plan for you and asking for help from a financial expert.
May 6, 2019
Give a personal finance app a try.
Your phone is your command center. From grocery shopping to ride pick-up and money management, you can basically do everything from your phone. Learn more about the different money apps and how they can help you keep track of a budget and even invest.  
April 29, 2019
Re-evaluate your car payment.
How much is too much for a car payment? Based on your income, it is important to determine how much you should be paying for your car each month. If you find that you are overpaying, it might be beneficial to look into other options including refinancing or even selling.
April 22, 2019
What if I can't pay my bills on time?
Managing your money can be difficult at times. No month looks the same and sometimes it can be hard to pay those monthly bills on time. So what do you do? Prioritize what bills are more important, call the company you owe to ask for an extension and re-evaluate your budget for next month.
April 15, 2019
Plan ahead for emergencies.
Emergencies happen, it's a part of life that we often can't avoid. Whether it's an unexpected trip to the emergency room or repairs to your vehicle. We can, however, create an emergency savings account to help ease the pain. Learn about how much you should save, where you should save it and more!
April 8, 2019
Research the right credit card for you.
You're in the market for a new credit card and you find your inbox flooded with all of these different offers - Great! But which one is the best for you? Resist the pull of the flashy offers and do your research to prioritize what you want most out of a card.
April 1, 2019
Take action against identity theft.
We hear stories every day about people falling victim to identity theft. You may think it will never happen to you, but scammers are becoming harder and harder to identify.  What do you do if you become a victim of identity theft? Take action with these helpful tips.
March 25, 2019
Save your budget from monthly subscriptions.
Gym memberships, TV networks, and music subscriptions - in today's world, it's so convenient to sign up for monthly subscriptions to the things you enjoy and have one less thing to worry about when it's time to pay bills each month. But these monthly subscriptions are also an easy way to lose track of how much money is being spent each month.
March 18, 2019
Learn more about a credit union membership.
Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans and provide a wide array of other financial services. But as member-owned and cooperative institutions, credit unions provide a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates.
March 11, 2019
Should I buy or lease my next car?
Despite what many car salespeople may tell you, buying a car, instead of leasing, is almost always the better option, but before you make your decision, be sure to consider the following: What will my monthly payments look like if I lease vs. buy? Are there any additional fees for leasing a vehicle? How long will I keep this car?
March 4, 2019
Find motivation to save more.
Finding the motivation to save can be difficult. We all have our spending habits and breaking that mold is not always easy. Some helpful tips to saving more money can be creating a savings board, highlighting the items that you're saving for and gaining motivation as you get closer to your goal. Plus, remember to check for online discounts before shopping at various retailers.
February 25, 2019
Consider this when starting a new job.
There is likely a lot on your mind when starting a new job. From meeting new coworkers to learning the ins and outs of your new position. As you make your transition, don't forget to consider important decisions regarding your retirement account, insurance coverage and payment allocations.
February 18, 2019
When is it time for a new car?
Have you ever felt jealous of someone's brand new car in the employee parking lot, when you've had the same set of wheels since high school? A new car sure looks pretty, but don't forget to weigh the financial pros and cons when you consider buying new, including gas mileage and how much your new car may depreciate. 
February 11, 2019
Best way to pay for vacation.
There are pros and cons when considering paying for your next vacation with a credit card or not. If you are responsible in paying off your card balance before accruing large interest charges, then paying with a credit card is a great idea that can provide greater security and even save money for your next vacation.
February 4, 2019
Date without breaking the bank.
Dating can be expensive! The good news is that whether you're married, engaged or single and looking, you dont need to go on extravagant dates to have a good time. In fact, some of the best date ideas are free. Find new ways to date without breaking the bank.
January 28, 2019
Start building savings habits.
Saving is a great way to make progress towards your financial goals, while eliminating the anxiety and frustration of debt. To save more consistently, automate you savings so a portion of your paycheck goes right into an account that you don't pull from everyday and find discounts when you can with coupons and seasonal sales.
January 21, 2019
Save yourself from bad debt.
Debt can be complicated. The good kind can open the door to education, transportation, housing and help us achieve our financial dreams. The bad kind can contribute to stress, hurt relationships and decrease work productivity. Save yourself from bad debt by creating a list of what you owe, finding an effective repayment strategy and getting help when you need it. 
January 14, 2019
Winterize your budget.
As the Minnesota temps decrease, work to increase your budget with some helpful tips. Make sure your home is energy efficient by checking windows for air leaks and changing your furnace filter to cut back on your monthly utility bill, don't overspend on winter attire and keep an eye out for seasonal sales and lastly, start savings now for your spring vacation.
January 7, 2019
Keep track of your resolutions.
For most people, the New Year means new resolutions. Have you made yours yet? Whether they are health related or financially focused, it is important to keep track of your progress all year long. Keep your financial resolutions top of mind by tracking your spending, looking over your credit report, and re-evaluating your retirement account.
December 17, 2018
Reset after holiday overspending.
During the season of giving, we may be giving a little too much, and we often feel the impact it has on our finances. We understand that this is a special time of year, but don't let the holiday overspending become a habit. Plan for your purchases, stick to a specific budget, and even find areas where you can cut back on, so you're heading into the New Year with confidence.
December 10, 2018
Manage the month-to-month.
With all the extra spending during the holiday season, it may be more difficult to pay your bills on time. What do you do? Prioritize your payments to determine which are most important and which services can be cut. Plus, be sure to communicate your late payment to your lender directly, you may be surprised by their willingness to work through this with you.
December 3, 2018
Prepare for the unexpected.
The snowy months are here and unfortunately that means the chances of an accident are even greater. In the event that you experience a totaled car or an injury slipping on an icy sidewalk, it is important to have an emergency fund set aside to help ease the pain and gain peace of mind knowing those unexpected bills will be covered.
November 26, 2018
Benefit from a financial advisor.
You don't have to be a millionaire to sit down with a financial advisor. If you're getting ready to plan a wedding or even start a new job, you may find it beneficial to meet with someone who can guide you to make sound financial decisions, no matter what your goals are. Learn more about financial advisors.  
November 19, 2018
Invest in your future.
From 401(k)s to IRAs, you know that investing your money is a good idea and it can set you up for the future, but knowing where to start can be a little intimidating. Your money is important and you want to do everything you can to protect it. Get the right advice by going to the right people. Stop in and meet with a Firefly financial expert today.
November 12, 2018
Keep track of your score.
Knowing your credit score matters. This 3-digit number impacts a variety of important aspects in your life like car insurance coverage, mortgage loan approvals and even appealing to potential employers. Take advantage of free resources to check your score, without impacting it, on a regular basis and plan on how it can improve.
November 5, 2018
Turn your passion into profit.
Are you ready to chase your dreams and become your own boss? Like many entrepreneurs, there comes a time when you are finally ready to turn your hobbies into a business and your passions into profits. Creating a successful business takes a certain level of skills and support from outside resources.
October 29, 2018
Stay covered with auto insurance.
Having insurance on your vehicle is important and often times required. With so many coverage options available to you, it can be hard to narrow in on the right one. Options may vary depending on where you live, what you drive, and how often. Shop around to get the best coverage for your vehicle and your budget, and know that coverage can change down the road.
October 22, 2018
Prioritize payments & crush your debt.
Having debt to pay off is commonplace these days with auto loans, mortgages and even credit card payments. Plan for a repayment strategy that works best for you. Whether it is paying off the higher interest payment first or tackling your smallest debt payment first - get aggressive and find a way to be consistent every month, so you can crush your debts, and your goals.
October 8, 2018
Set yourself up for retirement.
When it comes to retirement - the earlier you start saving, the better prepared you will be. Getting yourself on the right path to retirement is important at any age, no matter if the time comes within 4 years or 40. Take advantage of the many helpful resources along the way like maximizing your employer's match program or meeting with an advisor to help you set goals.
October 1, 2018
Start saving for your first home.
Are you ready to stop renting and start saving for a home to own? Saving for your first down payment takes a lot of time and planning, but owning a home can open the door to many opportunities. Before you start looking for houses, sit down with a mortgage officer to evaluate your options. Once you have a budget in mind, create a savings strategy that works for you and stick with it.
September 24, 2018
Leverage the equity in your home.
Owning a home is one of your biggest assets and it can open the door to many opportunities. If you're looking to make home improvements or need extra funds for an unexpected emergency, tap into the equity in your home and gain peace of mind knowing you have that financial cushion when you need it.
September 17, 2018
Set boundaries with joint accounts.
Combining an account can be an easy process, but there are many things to consider before opening your funds up to another person. Although you may find benefits in combining accounts, be sure to take the time to figure out boundaries to help save yourself - and your relationship - in the future.
September 10, 2018
Reimagine your spending habits.
From outdoor concerts and wedding weekends to sitting outside at your favorite restaurants, the summer months have definitely kept you - and your finances - busy. Now may be the right time to reimagine your spending habits and find areas where you can cut back on costs to help get your financial health back on track.
August 27, 2018
Achieve your dreams by making smart financial moves.
We all have achievements we'd like to realize in our lives - maybe starting a family, buying a home, traveling, or retiring early - but reaching those goals likely takes financial effort now. The smallest of steps can make a big difference so explore your options and the best approach now to help you start down the path to seeing those dreams come true.
August 20, 2018
Saving for (really) rainy days.
Life happens, and little financial support can go a long way in an emergency - loss of a job, major home or vehicle repair, or a medical situation. Start building an emergency fund to support any unfortunate events in life and help you sleep a little easier at night. 
August 13, 2018
Keeping your identity safe.
Getting your identity stolen can be a scary situation with real financial impact. And with the technology world getting more and more advanced, new approaches to data theft seem to pop up every day. Take the time to learn what to look for and how to keep yourself safe with these resources.
August 6, 2018
Budgeting for financial success.
Building and managing a budget doesn't have to be about creating spreadsheets. It should be an exciting opportunity to steer your finances in the right direction to achieve your dreams. Using smart savings strategies and tools to help you keep spending and debt in check can help you get there - all while leaving the anxiety behind.
July 30, 2018
Do your homework before you borrow.
There are many lenders and options to consider when looking for a loan. Be sure to explore your options before you commit to a lending relationship - making the best choice could save you money and hassle in the long run. Take a listen to learn more.
July 23, 2018
Getting to know more about loans.
Taking out a loan can help you achieve a variety of dreams and financial goals - the independence and dependability of a vehicle, owning your own home, or even expanding your family. Explore more about the responsibility and cost associated with loans.
July 16, 2018
Separating credit card fact from fiction.
Credit cards can be a beneficial personal finance tool to have in your pocket but it can be difficult to know what's true and what's not when it comes to best managing that credit. Take a listen or check out the resources below to learn more.
July 9, 2018
How is a credit union different than a bank?
This week we talked about how credit unions compare to banks - how you can join, the advantages of being a member, and how to find which may be best for you. Take a listen or check out the resources below to learn more.

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MOVING ACCOUNTS TO FIREFLY MAY ADD VALUE TO YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE.

Compared to banks, Firefly members save an average of $403 each year through better rates and fewer fees on our accounts, loans, and credit cards. That's more cash in your pocket all year long.

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