Fiscally FabulousTM Blog

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. Investing in rental properties can be a good way to introduce diversification to your portfolio of assets over the long-term. But, investing in real estate isn't easy- especially for first-time investors. Your chances of getting a decent return will be significantly affected by how you approach your investments and how willing you are to properly research the income potential of a property. To get you started in the right direction, here are 5 rules that guide the most successful real estate investors today and help them to avoid some of the pitfalls that trip

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. A rent-to-own arrangement can make home ownership a step closer even if you do not currently have the money to buy a home. But, you need to be aware of the pitfalls. How It Works Under a rent-to-own arrangement, you rent a home at a slightly higher than average rate with an agreed upon potential purchase date and purchase price for the property that can be several months to several years away. You can purchase the property at any point during that time. Usually upon purchase, the seller will credit part of your rent

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. Many student borrowers are not sure about how their educational loans will ultimately affect their credit score. Are these loans just like any other, or is their impact somehow different? The answer is, it's a little bit of both. On one hand, the effect of your student loans is very similar to any other institutional loan. Pay on time, and your credit score goes up. Don't pay on time, and your credit profile will suffer. On the other hand, federal student loans in particular come with their own set of rules, and they thus

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. In order to combat the rising tide of student debt, the government has tried to make repayment of student loans easier for mid to low income borrowers. Its series of income-driven repayment plans, such as the popular Pay As You Earn program (PAYE), cap your federal student loan payments at a percentage of your discretionary income- a percentage that can range from 15%, all the way down to 0%. Plus, income-driven repayment options offer the hope of a debt free future: if you are unable to fully pay off the balance of your federal

  • By Dr. Teresa R. Martin, Esq. According to recent College Board data, the average budget for an in-state public college is about $24,061 a year. For a private institution, that average jumps up to $47,831! While the price of college may seem overwhelming, the government provides several programs to make it more doable for parents who want to help off-set the costs of their children's college degree. One such program is the 529 College Savings Plan. Named after the section in the IRS Code that deals with it, the 529 plan is a type of investment account that allows you

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