Saving Money

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 …

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 …

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: …

Why You Probably Don’t Need Rental-Car Insurance

Your bags are packed, you’ve found a sitter for the dog, and you’ve suspended your newspaper subscription for a few days. That can only mean one thing: You’re going on a trip. This year, consumers will take 1.6 billion leisure trips across the United States, reports the U.S. Travel Association, a trade group. Nearly eight in …

How to Save Money When You’re Single

If you’re single and haven’t been told to buy a crock pot, consider yourself lucky. It’s probably a sign that you’re doing a fine job making ends meet and saving money for retirement. Buying a slow cooker is probably one of the more popular refrains when it comes to frugal living tips for singles. And with good …

15 Ways to Boost Your Financial Outlook in 2015

Taking control of your financial situation can be very rewarding, though “taking control” can mean different things to different people. For some, it means using a budget for the first time or living within certain parameters when it comes to spending. For others, it might mean sitting down with a financial advisor and creating a comprehensive …

Five Reasons Your Budget Isn’t Working

If you don’t use any kind of written budget, you have lots of company. According to a Gallup poll, only about a third of Americans prepared a detailed household budget in 2013. That’s not to say everyone succeeded. The fact is, using (and sticking to) a written budget can be a huge chore, especially at first. And …

Eight Times It Pays to Be a Quitter

As children, we’re taught only the strong survive. Quitters are weak and cheaters never win. Those who take shortcuts in life usually fall flat on their faces. But sometimes, it really does pay to walk away, or quit. That seemingly perfect opportunity can come back to haunt you. I’ve learned this painful lesson far too many …

The Secrets Behind Successful Budgeting

Budgeting is one of the trickier issues of personal finance. It can be very tricky to make a budget work for you. For starters, you don’t need a budget to be financially successful. I like to compare a budget to a power screwdriver. You can definitely get that screw into the wall without that power …

Small Business Money Traps to Avoid

First off, accept that you are going to make mistakes running your business. Calm down, we all do. And while it’s okay to lose a battle or two, just don’t lose the war. Remember, each time we make a mistake there is a valuable lesson to learn from it. Financial mistakes are often the result …

The Gradual Savings Strategy

When the time arrives to sign up for a retirement plan at work or open a Roth IRA, people are pulled in two different directions. On the one hand, it’s very obvious that in the long term, saving for retirement is far superior to not saving for retirement. Retirement planning offers the ability to retire …

How to Find Affordable Health Insurance in 2015

Whether you’re self-employed, unemployed, or covered under an employer’s health-care plan, finding affordable health insurance can be a frustrating, time-consuming process. Throw in controversy around the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and finding accurate, reliable information can be a nightmare. Sure, cheap health insurance exists, but qualifying can be tricky, and you’ll want to be sure …

Saving Money While You Travel, Part 3

In our past two posts, we’ve looked at ways to save money on flights and lodging. Now we’re going to talk about essential apps every traveler should have on his or her smartphone to save time, money, and headaches. I’m going to assume you have more than enough apps on your smartphone already, so the last …

Categories: Saving Money, Travel

How to Save for Your Child’s College Education

When families talk about college, the subject of money is never far behind. Seeing so many graduates overloaded with student loan debt, with 19% of borrowers owing more than $50,000 upon graduation, can be pretty scary for parents and students alike. As parents, you think the best thing you can do for your children is to encourage …

Saving Money While You Travel, Part 2

After sifting through the matrix of flight options, it always feels like a winning a hand in Texas Hold’em when I finally find the flight I’m looking for, click purchase, and shine the smile that says, “YES, I just saved a couple hundred bucks on airfare.” And while getting a bargain on a flight, eating a good meal at home before I leave, …

Categories: Saving Money, Travel

18 Ways to Slash Your Utility Consumption in Half

When you tear open your utility bill each month, are you annoyed with the outstanding balance listed on the statement? If so, you aren’t alone. I was having a chat with my hairstylist the other day and she expressed how disgruntled she was about having to fork over $300 or more per month on her utility …

Is This the Perfect Investment for Your Kid’s College Fund?

How’s this for a sweet investment: Anyone can buy it, with no fees or commissions. Its value has gone up by about 130% since 2000 — an 8.6% annualized gain. It’s tax advantaged, so those gains were tax-free. And in that time, investors had virtually no chance of losing their money at any point, even …

Saving Money While Traveling, Part 1

I’m writing this post from a coffee shop in Jerusalem, less than a week into a month-long trip to the Middle East. This trip is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, ever since my last visit here in back in 2004. There was always a hitch, though — too much work and not enough time, or too much time and not …

Categories: Saving Money, Travel

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