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Health Savings Accounts

Blog November 5, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

While an HSA resembles a flexible spending account (FSA), which your employer may offer as part of your benefits package, there are some major differences as well. For example, the money in your HSA can be rolled over from year to year, which isn't the case with an FSA. If you change jobs, you can…

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Repaying Student Loans

Blog November 1, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Amazing Grace The government does you one favor. You don't get your first bill along with your diploma. You've got a six-month grace period on Stafford loans and nine months with Perkins loans from the date you graduate or are no longer enrolled at least half-time until your first loan payment is…

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Debit Cards: A College Student's Best Bet

Blog October 25, 2021 by Rechelle Ringer

Debit Card Benefits For ease of use, debit cards can’t be beat. You don’t have to worry about keeping cash in your wallet, and there’s always a record of how much you spent, and where, on your bank statement. They’re accepted almost everywhere, in large part because most cards are part of either th…

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College Budget Breakdown

Blog October 18, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Breaking down college expenses is the first step in creating an accurate and successful budget. Each collegiate expense can be put into the category of either fixed or variable. After some practice, it’s easy enough to spot the difference: Fixed Expenses are recurring costs that can rarely be chang…

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Filling Out the FAFSA

Blog October 11, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Get Your Documents Together The FAFSA application requires you to prove your family’s financial situation, so make sure you have all of the documents you need before you start the application. That way, you won’t have to stop, start, and track down last year’s tax returns. Here’s what you should ha…

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The Cost of College Life

Blog October 4, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Starting Out Typical start-up costs include a lot of different things, but a good place to start is school supplies—consider the following: Laptop or tabletTextbooksClass, lab, and studio feesGeneral school supplies like notebooks and pencils. Consider these purchases if you're moving into a dorm…

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Working with a Landlord

Blog September 27, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Home Improvement If you have the urge to make some improvements to your place, read the fine print of your lease before you jump into repainting the bedroom or tiling the bathroom. Many leases have clauses that prohibit you from making any alterations to the property, and disobeying this provision…

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Renter's Insurance

Blog September 20, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Things Do Go Wrong Why do you need insurance if you rent? A landlord's insurance policy covers the building. If a leaky roof floods your living room, you won't have to pay for repairs to the ceiling, floor, or walls. But you'll probably be stuck with the bill for cleaning or replacing any furniture…

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Finding a Place to Rent

Blog September 13, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Housing Budget Before you start looking at places to rent, it helps to get a sense of how much you'll need to pay. The real estate section of a local paper or websites like are good places to find the going rental rates. Try entering "available apartments" for a particular geographic…

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Renting Rulebook

Blog September 6, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Rule #1 Find the right place Consider the location, space, and amenities. Some questions you could ask include: Is the location convenient for work, school, etc.?Is it in a busy or noisy area?Does it have enough room for your needs?Would you prefer somewhere with additional amenities like a gym or…

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