Planning

Investing For A Child’s Future

As I read Make Your Kid A Millionaire this week, I found myself stunned at the huge amounts of money that the book assumes that you will give to your child. I can swallow a 529, but a Roth IRA for your child? Buying a home for them? These concepts seemed like utter fairy tales …

Categories: Parenting, Planning

Saving Money For A Rainy Day

I have a “rainy day” fund that I don’t include in any of my normal financial calculations. It just sits there, quietly accumulating small deposits and interest. In fact, I don’t even look at the account unless I am considering a major purchase or am coming across dire straits. How is this different from an …

Categories: Planning, Saving Money

25 Rules to Grow Rich By #13: Emergency Funds

The Simple Dollar is running a series in which we re-evaluate Money Magazine’s “25 Rules To Grow Rich By”. One “rule” will be re-evaluated each weekday until the series concludes; you can keep tabs on the action at the 25 Rules index. Rule #13: Keep three months’ worth of living expenses in a bank savings …

What I Learned From Daisuke Matsuzaka

For those of you who don’t follow baseball, Daisuke Matsuzaka is a Japanese-born pitcher who is so talented that the Boston Red Sox paid his Japanese team $51.1 million just for the rights to simply begin negotiating a contract with Mr. Matsuzaka. A few of you might be slack-jawed by this, but it is generally …

Facing My Financial Fears: Buying A Home

This week, The Simple Dollar is doing a five part series on financial topics that scare me just a bit. Researching and then writing about them will (hopefully) alleviate some of that fear Other fears include buying a car, estate planning, investment risk, and Roth IRAs. I saved my biggest fear for last. In the …

Categories: Housing, Planning

Facing My Financial Fears: Estate Planning

This week, The Simple Dollar is doing a five part series on financial topics that scare me just a bit. Researching and then writing about them will (hopefully) alleviate some of that fear Other fears include buying a car and Roth IRAs. Until recently, I’ve not thought about the need to plan for my passing …

Categories: Planning

Making A Simple Budget – A First Timer’s Guide

There are a lot of people in Generation Y that have never actually attempted to make a budget and have never experienced the usefulness of seeing all of your income and expenditures on a single page. Here’s a step-by-step guide to preparing a budget using only free tools. First thing, learn how to use a …

Credit Cards As Small Purchase Tools: Pros and Cons

Recently, I’ve begun using a credit card with a useful bonus program as my tool for making small, regular purchases. I did this after finally climbing out of a significant hole of credit card debt, reaching a zero balance on every one of my cards. When I began using the card for this purpose, I …

Categories: Credit Cards, Planning

Setting and Meeting Daily Personal Financial Goals

Ever since I was young, I have had a number of daily goals for myself. Most of them seem rather mundane: commit a random act of kindness, read for at least half an hour, brush my teeth and use Listerine twice, and so on. Most of them have a clear metric for success. However, since …

Defining My Long-Term Financial Goals … What Are Yours?

As a young man still more than a year away from the big 3-0, I have most of my adult productive years ahead of me. What are my goals during these years? Here, I intend to break them down by age. For the record, I will turn 30 in one year and eight months. At …

Categories: Planning

Rules For Handling Financial Issues With Extended Family

Recently, I’ve had several opportunities to seriously consider how money impacts the relationships within my family, and it’s made me develop a number of “rules” with which I interact with my family on a financial basis. The first situation occurred several months ago, when one of my siblings was suddenly unable to take care of …

Categories: Family, Planning

Two Banks Enter, One Bank Leaves: ING vs. HSBC in … Direct Thunderdome

Over the past few months, I signed up with both ING Direct and HSBC Direct in order to try out their online savings offerings. I had heard many positive reviews of the service at ING, but I was also stunned at the 5.05% APY interest rate being offered at HSBC. To make up my mind, …

52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks

I’m constantly astounded by the huge number of personal finance books that are out there, and it seems like every week I discover a new one or two. How on earth does a person dig through this huge pile of books, many of which offer variations on the same old advice, to find the real …

Preparing Your Financial Information For The Inevitable

As my net worth sneaks above the break-even point, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have accumulated a small number of steadily growing assets and my primary debt at this point is student loans. As I look forward to the future, I see a house purchase and another …

Saving For Large Purchases Without Killing Your Budget

My current computer is nearing the end of its natural life cycle. I have had it for several years and done a few minor upgrades to it, but the monitor (one of the first reasonably priced 15″ flat panels) has had several vertical lines appear in it in the last few months and the motherboard …

Setting Intermediate-Term Financial Goals

From my perspective, short term and long term financial goals are fairly easy to plan. I want to spend less in the next month (and save more while paying down loans), and I want to save for retirement; these are fairly straightforward goals. The challenge for me was to define a set of intermediate-term goals …

14 Ways Your Computer Can Put Money In Your Pocket

If you’re reading this, you likely have ready access to a computer with an internet connection. Most people are aware of a few ways that a personal computer can save them money, but there really are a plethora of simple, ethical ways that anyone can use a computer to make a few dollars. Here is …