long flat road

I’m going to let you in on a couple of dark secrets about financial improvement. First of all, it’s a slow road. Once you get past that initial burst of changing things around, automating your savings and some of your bills, selling off a bunch of stuff to eliminate a few debts quickly, and taking a few big frugal steps that are essentially the “low hanging fruit,” it feels like your progress slows down. Way down. The reason is that …

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“Eat your vegetables,” your mom told you. And she had a point. Federal researchers note that people who eat more natural foods are less likely to develop chronic diseases and more likely to enjoy good health. Eat enough vegetables, researchers say, and you’ll reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and certain types of cancers. And if you go the extra mile to eat vegetables with loads of fiber, you can reduce your risk of obesity and Type …

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We have three children. My wife is a teacher. I have a fairly flexible job that gives me freedom to work whatever hours I like provided that I get my tasks done. What does that add up to during the summer? It adds up to a lot of family time. Each spring, Sarah and I spend a lot of time brainstorming things that we’re going to do as a family during the summer. We come up with day-long activities, afternoon …

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During the latter days of my video game hobby, I used to love spending time after work playing video games on my Playstation 3 and computer games using Steam. These two platforms had one really cool feature in common, one that kept me playing many games far longer than I might have otherwise – achievement collecting. Achievements in video games and computer games are a simple concept to understand. Essentially, they’re specific goals within the game that aren’t necessarily tied …

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Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Tyler Cowen’s excellent book The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream. In it, Cowen makes the argument that in achieving the relative stability that America has enjoyed since the 1970s, we’ve become complacent and mostly just seek to preserve that sense of stability, but that the elements that have made America great have come from periods of instability – World War II, for instance, and the cultural upheavals of the …

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By John Ulzheimer and Chad Kusner Regardless of what you may have read or heard about the process called “credit repair,” it’s legal and consumers do seek the help of credit repair organizations with the goal of correcting and/or improving their credit reports and credit scores. The industry has a checkered past and room to improve their reputation, but legally compliant credit repair companies do exist and do help consumers correct or remove information from their credit reports. And while …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Inheritance question 2. Converting attic into extra bedroom 3. Tempted by individual stock investment 4. Staying motivated at work 5. Fidget “spinners” or other toys 6. How someone becomes rich 7. Dealing with divorce loneliness spending 8. Getting started with painting 9. Roth IRA or Roth 401(k)? 10. …

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Experts agree, it’s best to pay off your entire balance each month. But when that isn’t possible, balance transfer credit cards can help you get your debt under control. The strategy is simple: transfer your debt from a high-interest card to one with 0% introductory APR, and you’ll pay off what you owe sooner. The  is our favorite balance transfer card for several reasons. 1) It offers extra-long 0% intro APR to pay off what you owe interest-free. 2) It …

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The best part about adopting a frugal lifestyle is that you can always find new ways to save money. We have more options than ever when it comes to cutting the cord to cable or choosing a discount phone provider, for example. And there are always new strategies to try, from DIY to experimenting with new recipes, growing your own food, or sewing your own clothes. I’m willing to do plenty to save money – even if some sacrifice is …

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There are a few basic tenets to follow if you want to grow your wealth without compromising your integrity: Save more than you earn. Watch out for debt. Live simply. Don’t be greedy. Give back if you can. Remarkably, these foundations were being discussed by the ancient thinkers who wrote our most famous religious texts. The personal finance dictates laid down by the The New Testament (Christianity), The Torah (Judaism), and the Quran (Islam) are as applicable today as they …

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