Saving Money

How to Create a Bare-Bones Budget

Whether you’re struggling to get your debt under control or simply want to build up an emergency fund or a down payment as quickly as possible, a bare-bones budget is a powerful tool to help get you there. It’s just what it sounds like: your essential expenses, and nothing else. A simple, stripped-down budget can be helpful for an aggressive …

13 Ways to Save Money and Protect the Planet at the Same Time

With Earth Day 2015 almost upon us, it’s a good time to think about how our actions impact the planet and, more importantly, what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environment. Because, let’s face it, this is our home. And right now, it’s the only place we’ve got. 13 Ways …

How to Live on Last Month’s Income

For a long while, I’ve been an advocate of You Need a Budget, which is a software package and philosophy that I use for budgeting. I’ve used it for years. The core idea behind You Need a Budget is represented in these four rules: Rule One: Give Every Dollar a Job Rule Two: Save for …

Categories: Saving Money

Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2015

My Favorite Rewards Credit Card for 2015 Chase Sapphire Preferred® 2015 marks a big year for changes to many of the best credit cards in the U.S. By October of this year, you will most likely be issued new cards containing a microchip. It seems that EMV technology, which boasts better security (a microchip instead …

Best Cash Back Credit Cards for 2015

In 2015, you won’t see significant changes from many of the best cash back credit cards, but there are a few improvements with rewards programs that will benefit cardholders. For example, some of the rotating category cash back credit cards have now added groceries as a quarterly item to earn rewards on. In the past, …

Best Travel Credit Card for 2015

Spring break is already upon us, and if you’re looking to plan an upcoming summer vacation, the best travel rewards credit cards can help you come up with some extra savings on airfare, hotels, and general travel. All of these top travel cards offer lucrative points bonuses and superb options to earn and use points …

Five Ways to Write Off Your Next Vacation

Planning a vacation and dreading all the costs? While there are many ways to spend less on vacation, there’s another route to try if you want to travel at a discount: Write off a portion of your trip on your taxes. The savings won’t be immediate, but you’ll appreciate them come tax time next year. The trick is, you’ll …

Categories: Saving Money, Taxes, Travel

Roth IRA vs 401k? You May Not Have to Choose

One of the most common retirement questions I get asked is: Roth IRA or 401(k)? Although both are good options worth considering, the answer isn’t always as straightforward as one might think. Also, it’s crucial for you to understand that you may not even need to pick one or the other. If you’re able to …

Buying a House? How to Save for a Down Payment

By Peter Miller Saving for a new home has just become easier. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say they will now buy mortgages with as little as 3% down, a big drop from the old 5% minimum. Even though conforming loans are now easier to get because down payment requirements have been reduced, there’s …

Categories: Housing, Loans, Saving Money

A Simple Trick to Get Organized With Your Money

What did you buy today? No, really. I want to know everything you bought. Sit and think about it. Did you buy a meal out, school supplies for your child, a bathing suit online, or, ahem, a new “control” key for your Macbook Pro after your 1-year-old ripped it off? Well, perhaps that last one …

Six Biggest Myths About 529 Plans

By Kathryn Flynn A college degree is worth more today than ever before. In fact, according to a study by Pew Research, young adults with a four-year degree earn around $17,500 more per year on average than those with only a high school diploma. So the question for most families is not “will our children …

Why Americans Aren’t Ready for an Emergency

Let’s talk about our saving skills for a minute, America. Because it seems that while we’re improving, we have yet to master the skill of setting aside appropriate amounts of money for a rainy day. Instead, we’re consumed with instant gratification and keeping up with the Joneses. We want the latest iPad, spring vacations every …

Categories: Banking, Money, Saving Money

Don’t Waste Your Tax Refund: Four Better Ways to Use It

According to the IRS, the average tax refund so far this year has reached a staggering $3,539. It’s still early, however. And as the tax agency notes, most of the big refunds are filed quickly since the people receiving them don’t want to wait for their payday. Still, last year’s refunds for tax year 2013 were averaging around …

Categories: Saving Money, Taxes

Best Credit Cards for Students in 2015

When used responsibly, the best credit cards for college students become valuable tools that can help accomplish two crucial financial tasks: They help teach money management, and they help students establish the credit they’ll soon need to rent an apartment, buy a car, or even get a rewards credit card. Unfortunately, college students and credit …

Best Tax Software for 2015: TaxACT vs TurboTax vs H&R Block

The countdown to April 15, 2015 is on and its time to get a head start looking at the best tax software options. Why? Because, according to IRS disclosures, it takes a person in the US an average of 13 hours to plan, prepare and file their federal taxes. For most of us, it can …

Three Simple Money Management Lessons for Teenagers

My most important goal for my children is that they grow up to be independent human beings. Although my twins are only a few weeks shy of being one year old, I fully plan to discuss money management tips with them from now (while they can’t talk back) until they’re teenagers and beyond. I had an unusually good …

How to Find the Best Savings Account in 2015

Looking for places to grow your money without much risk is difficult these days, but finding the best savings account might be a good place to start. Although your money will be safe there, the average American is hardly capitalizing getting rich on rates today. According to CNN Money, the average savings account last year had …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

Balancing Act: Pay Down Student Loans or Save More?

You’re finally there: You’ve graduated from college after many hard years, you’ve got a job in your field, and you’re actually able to balance your budget so you’re not only paying your bills, but you have a bit of extra money left over each month. Now the question is, what to do with that extra …

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards for 2015

The best balance transfer credit cards will save you money on your current credit card debt. If getting out of debt is a top priority in 2015, you’ll want to make the move to one of the cards below. How can you cure your credit card debt with another credit card? Well, the main reason …

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