Family Finances

Discover financially smart ways to raise a family, deal with relatives and money, family businesses, and more. Know the difference between household income and personal income and how to manage both.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I get the best price on seasonal items?

    If you can resist the siren call of just-arrived-in-the-store fashions, prices tend to get marked down about six weeks into the season. Waiting just a little more than a month can mean a better price than buying immediately. One of the downsides is that some popular items might sell out over that six-week period. If you're purchasing from a chain store, you can always ask a sales associate to phone other locations to see if your item is in stock elsewhere. Another great perk of waiting to buy is that it helps to curtail impulse spending.

  • How can a military family save for retirement when one spouse is unable to work?

    Saving for the future can be challenging for spouses who can't work or are underemployed. Couples may want to establish a spousal individual retirement account (IRA). This tax-advantaged IRA allows the working service member to contribute up to $6,000 in 2022 to a traditional or Roth IRA in their spouse's name. The IRS allows taxpayers to set aside an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution each year if they're 50 or older.

  • How do banks make money?

    Banks may engage in any number of activities that generate revenue. However, the primary way that most banks make money is by lending it to customers and charging interest in return. By receiving a higher rate of interest than they pay on deposits, they’re able to make a profit.

  • What taxes do I need to pay for a nanny?

    If you hire someone to take care of your children in your home and pay them more than $2,400 in 2022, you’ll need to file Schedule H—household employment taxes. Not doing so can result in a large fine. Fortunately, a number of payroll services that specialize in this form of payroll can make it easier to comply. You’ll want to review the offerings to see if they offer email support, a free trial, direct deposit, mobile apps for both employer and employee, help with preparing end-of-year W2 forms, among other features.

  • How important is maintenance on a first home?

    Very. Making repairs is one of the new expenses that accompany homeownership. Suddenly, there's no landlord to call if your roof leaks or your drains clog. On the bright side, you won’t get a sudden rent increase on a random Friday afternoon. Don’t neglect any issue that could worsen over time—delay can turn a relatively small problem into a larger, costlier one. Consider protecting  yourself against potential maintenance issues by having a potential home inspected before buying it.

  • How can I protect my family’s business against claims by creditors?

    You might consider forming a family LLC, a type of closed corporation that is widely used in estate planning as well as for business purposes. For instance, it can be used to divide income among generations. A family LLC can help you control and protect assets during your lifetime, keep assets in the family, and reduce taxes owed by you or family members during your lifetime or after your death. Each member's financial contribution limits their debt liability for the LLC.

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