Saving Money

How to Use Technology to Start Saving More

The numbers on who is saving money in America — or more commonly, who isn’t — may shock you. According to a survey by Bankrate, 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The survey unfortunately reports that 50% of Americans have less than a 3-month cushion in their savings account and 27% have no savings account …

15 Ways to Reduce Your Loans While You’re Still in College

Stories of college graduates struggling to deal with their student loans are enough to scare away any bright-eyed college hopeful. If you’re thinking about college or in school right now, there are plenty of steps you can take to help reduce the amount of student loan debt you’ll be saddled with after graduation. Here are 15 ways to reduce your …

Best Money Market Account for 2014

Money market accounts (MMAs) can be a great low-risk investment if you have a substantial chunk of cash. They offer better interest rates than personal savings accounts but are more liquid than certificates of deposit (CDs). Unfortunately, MMAs haven’t been immune to sinking interest rates. According to Bankrate, the average MMA interest rate has sunk …

Categories: Banking, Money, Saving Money

The Best Retirement Plans and 401k Rollovers are Online

I’m on a quest to find the best retirement plan to roll over my old 401(k). Since millions of other people are in this same boat, and don’t know where to turn for sound advice, I figured I would conduct the most thorough research I could — publicly — then put my money where my …

Saving Money in Your Startup

We get it. You’re starting a new businesses and you’re strapped for cash. There are a million questions going through your head. We empathize with bootstrapping entrepreneurs and small-business owners everywhere, and today we explore meaningful ways (that add up) where your business can save money in the early phases. That said, every small-business owner …

Emergency Funds on the Path to Financial Independence

One of the first things that’s recommended for people as they start on their journey toward financial recovery is to build an emergency fund. The reason is simple. An emergency fund is simply cash held in a savings account that you can tap when a life emergency happens – like an unexpected death in the …

Choosing a Budgeting System That’s Right for You

Over the last several years, I’ve had the opportunity to try out a number of different budgeting systems, both for personal use and because readers have asked me to try them out. All of these options have the same goal: get control over your money. Where they vary is in their execution. Some allow you …

Categories: Saving Money

Nine Strategies for Fixing Common Budget Problems

Budgets are an amazing tool for getting a clear picture of your financial situation and for planning for the future. They make it possible to see, in one overall place, the exact state of your monthly spending. You know where every dime is going. You know why every dime is going there. You can also …

Categories: Saving Money

The Dangers of Heroic Budgeting

There have been at least two periods in my life where I lived in an extremely cheap fashion. The first was during a period in college in which I lived in off-campus apartments with roommates. I lived off of ramen noodles and whatever was on sale at the grocery store (I lived on lots of …

Categories: Saving Money

A Deeper Look at Proportional Budgeting

To people who don’t actively budget, budgeting can seem like a complicated mess involving spreadsheet programs, notebooks, and other materials. To others, it can seem like a restrictive nightmare, keeping your different types of spending in a tight box and holding back your freedom of choice to an unpleasant degree. (I actually don’t find either …

Personal Finance 101: Comparing Saving and Investing

Just the other day, I was sitting at my favorite local library (if you happen to go there at the right time, you’ll probably find me sitting at a table with a notebook open in front of me with several personal finance, career, time management, and self-improvement books piled around me). I was browsing through …

How to Find the Best Free Checking Account in 2014

The Internet has equipped banks with the ability to offer a free checking account online to almost anyone who qualifies. Fortunately, the government mandates that a checking account can’t be marketed as “free” if the consumer could potentially be charged a maintenance or activity fee. So what does “free” actually entail? The term “free” is …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

How to Find the Best Savings Account in 2014

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 on any gains. According to CNN Money, the average savings account last year had only a …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

Best Prepaid Debit Cards of 2014

Finding the best prepaid debit card was once a task traditionally reserved for people who had trouble opening a bank account. Today, prepaid debit cards are becoming much more versatile. Many families and college students are regularly using them to manage their finances. If you have poor credit and can’t get a credit card, for …

Best Travel Credit Card for 2014

A great way to come up with some extra savings on airfare, hotels, and general travel is to find the best travel rewards credit card and cash in on lucrative points bonuses that many of these cards offer. As my wife and I were looking at our schedules and budgeting for a vacation, I thought …

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2014

Finding the best balance transfer credit card for your situation can be the key to transitioning your debt to a card that allows you to pay off your balance without penalty over time. If you have decent credit and something unexpected has led to a big credit card balance, you’re in the right place. The …

Best Online Stock Trading Brokers for 2014

I’ve had an online stock trading account since I was 13 years old and I’ve used at least a dozen of the best online stock trading platforms. I’ve gained a few “learning experiences” from managing my own account and working as a proprietary day trader in Chicago for several years. There are over 50 online …

Best Credit Cards for Students in 2014

The best credit cards for college students hold two major advantages over other sources of funding used to pay for college expenses: Student credit cards help students establish credit. Student credit cards teach valuable lessons on managing personal finances. What happens if you don’t establish any sort of credit at a young age? Well, imagine …

The 5 Best Free Tax Software for 2014

The first thing to know about free tax preparation software is that every legitimate online tax software offers a free version. If you’re new to tax software, check out my post on the best tax software to see what products rank the highest overall and to learn more about how the software works. Remember, you …

Categories: Saving Money, Taxes