Saving Money

Can Cash-Back Rewards Beat Your Savings Account?

Are you tired of earning less than 1% on your savings? You’re not alone. With interest rates hovering near record lows for the past few years, the average savings account in the U.S. is currently bringing in around 0.17% APY, according to GoBankingRate data. In other words, most people are earning next to nothing on their liquid savings. And you …

Best Online Stock Trading Brokers for 2015

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 …

How to Find the Best Free Checking Account in 2015

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

More Than One Kid? How to Save for College

A reader named Autumn asks a good question: “Hi, I need some advice… My sweet newborn was given a little over $1,000 from our family for his higher education. I thought about putting it into a 529 plan, but I don’t want this money to be only in his name since we plan to have …

Getting Rich on a Small Salary

Once every month or two, I’ll come across a story like this one that describes how someone on a small salary managed to slowly amass an impressive wealth. This particular story describes how a janitor managed to accumulate $8 million. From the article: Ronald Read, a Vermont gas station attendant who worked in retail later …

Dealing With an Unexpected Financial Blow

It was the most bizarre sound I’ve ever heard. I was driving down the interstate with both of my babies strapped into their car seats. Jingle. Jangle. Metal-on-metal. Jingle again. There were so many sounds coming from my car that shouldn’t have been there. Luckily, by some miracle, I jangled all the way to the …

60 Simple Rules of Personal Finance

A while back, I was asked to give an hourlong presentation where I talked about my key principles of personal finance. I chose to give a presentation where each slide was available for about a minute with one simple rule on each slide, giving me a minute to discuss that rule. Thus, I ended up …

Six Big Financial Differences Between a Normal Job and Self-Employment

In 2008, I took the leap from a traditional white collar job into self-employment, mostly on the back of a small side gig I had built for myself that was mostly based around The Simple Dollar. It was a scary change, as I walked away from the stable salary and relative security of my previous …

Proposed Changes to 529 Plans Would Dampen Their Appeal

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama proposed changes to 529 college plans that may force the 7 million families using them to rethink their college financial game plan. Currently, you can make contributions to a 529 plan, invest those funds, and eventually withdraw the earnings tax-free as long as the money is used for …

Why Your Budget Needs a Buffer

When my husband and I discovered zero-sum budgeting several years ago, we knew we were onto something. Because of the way zero-sum budgeting works, it required us to account for every dollar we made on paper – to give each dollar a job. For us, that meant scrutinizing every cent of our spending and figuring …

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 …

Guide to Self-Directed IRAs

The history of retirement plans in the United States is neither as old nor as extensive as most people think. The first private pension fund was introduced by the American Express Co. in 1875 as a means of improving employee retention. By 1900, there were only 13 private pension funds in the entire country, and …

The Best Airline Credit Cards of 2015

This year, I decided to take a fresh approach to the best airline credit cards. With rising fares and falling oil, no one knows the future for air travel prices, but these cards will still offer you great sign-up bonuses and the ability to earn air miles in your frequent flier program to put towards …

Best Travel Credit Card for 2015

If you’re looking to travel in 2015, a great way to come up with some extra savings on airfare, hotels, and general travel is to find the best travel rewards credit cards and cash in on lucrative points bonuses that many of these cards offer. Last year, I decided that the best travel rewards credit …

10 Financial Mistakes Too Many Parents Make

Every loving parent has hopes and dreams for their children, whether it’s about college, falling in love and starting a family, or finding their passion in life. But most of all, most parents want the same thing – for their children to grow up and live happy, productive lives. But having kids requires more than just dreaming …

Your Game Plan for Escaping the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle

Right off the bat, I want to say that I understand that this article won’t appeal to all of my readers. Many of you have escaped this cycle and are rolling along toward financial independence. However, I’m willing to bet that many of you have friends or family that are stuck in this cycle and …

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, …

Five Money Mistakes We’ve All Made

It can be hard to admit you’ve made some financial mistakes, especially when those mistakes had embarrassing and expensive consequences. Using myself as an example: Exhibit A: When I was 21, I financed a $25,000 Mitsubishi Galant with no money down. Even worse, I only made around $8 an hour at the time. Exhibit B: …

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 …

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