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Five Things People With Good Credit Have in Common

Good credit can’t be bought or sold; it can only be cultivated over time. And with the right financial moves – and credit strategy – almost anyone can have good credit, plus all of the perks that come with it. Using the FICO scoring model, your credit score can fall anywhere between 300 and 850. …

Questions About Produce, Small Businesses, Market Timing, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Saving for infant daughter 2. Produce is expensive! 3. Starting a small business 4. Market timing 5. Homemade dishwashing detergent 6. Brands becoming awful 7. Actual …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Eight Personal Finance Truths for Your Annoying Facebook Friends

Like a lot of people, I use Facebook primarily as a tool to keep up with the comings and goings of distant friends all in one convenient place. I also use it to participate in a few closed special interest groups and community-oriented groups. One of the biggest frustrations that I find when using Facebook …

Categories: Getting Started

‘You Shouldn’t Go Through Life Worrying About Money. It’s Not Healthy.’

Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with an old friend about life, the universe, and everything. We talked about career choices, our recent and upcoming travels, our families, and many other topics. At one point, when the conversation briefly touched on money issues, I made an offhand comment about how my hope …

How a Proactive Bucket List Can Change Your Life

A few years ago, I wrote an article about “bucket lists” and shared my own. Rather than just reiterating my explanation of what a bucket list is and what my idea of a bucket list was at the time, I’ll just quote from the first part of that article: A while back, I watched part …

The Best 529 Plans in America

Saving for college is overwhelming for even the most meticulous financial planners, but the best 529 plans can help you reach your goals. Simply put, a 529 plan is a special account that lets you save up for your child’s college costs and other educational expenses. You act as custodian of the account, keeping complete control, …

The Rich Man, the Average Budget, and You

One of the biggest struggles I had during my teen and early adult years was feeling jealous of people who had extreme amounts of wealth. One particular memory that’s seared into my mind comes from when I was about 17 years old. I was visiting the factory where my father worked on an open house day …

Categories: Getting Started

Eight Things to Think About Before You Get Married

One of the most upsetting and painful arguments that my wife and I ever had came a few months before we got married. We had been dating for six years at that point and had been planning our marriage for more than a year. I was fairly apprehensive about getting married. I had been thinking …

Questions About 0% Loans, Home Brewing, Insecurity, Everyday Carry, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five-word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. 0% loan? Why not? 2. Wedding registry ideas 3. When to retire? 4. Using 401(k) for loan repayment 5. Everyday carry? 6. Reusable freezer containers 7. Insecurity …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Why Choose to Be a Prisoner to an Expensive Home?

When Elle Décor ran the essay, “I Made a Huge Sacrifice to Buy My Dream Home” by Sarah Scott a few weeks ago, they couldn’t have anticipated the firestorm that followed. Where many people sacrifice financially to buy a home, and especially their dream home, Scott’s apparent sacrifice ran much deeper – so deep, in …

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