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10 Strategies for Handling the Stress of a Financial Crisis

When that moment comes when you realize that you need to make major changes in your life, it’s incredibly stressful. Often, it’s the culmination of a lot of minor stresses building up to one big breaking point, and then suddenly everything rushes through, creating a tidal wave of worry and fear and stress. I know. …

Categories: Getting Started

The State of American Credit Card Debt in 2015

Americans continue to dig a deeper hole when it comes to credit card debt. According to the Federal Reserve and other government statistics, our penchant for indebtedness means that the average household now owes $7,281 in credit card debt alone. But here’s the thing – that average includes even those who carry no debt at …

20 Ways to Make a Great Birthday for Your Child When Money Is Tight

One of the most difficult experiences when you’re a parent is not having enough money to make your children’s special days feel very special at all. For most parents, their child is a key part of their life and it’s not the child’s fault when you don’t have the resources to make their birthday special. …

How Betterment Won My Retirement Account

Earlier this year, I began writing a series chronicling my decision to roll over my old 401(k) into a new IRA with an automated investment advisor such as Personal Capital, Betterment, or Wealthfront. Since my old account was worth more than $85,000 at the time, this decision wasn’t one I took lightly. In fact, I spent …

Questions About Firewood, Costco, Picnics, Homebrewing, 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. Lost without urgency 2. Spending money isn’t bad 3. Non-sandwich picnic ideas 4. Why retire early? 5. Replacing paper towels 6. Sam’s Club or Costco 7. Mother …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

The Cost of Raising a Child (and the Baby Checklist You Really Need)

If you just assumed that having children must be an expensive proposition, last year’s “Cost of Raising a Child” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed all doubt. The cost for a middle-class family to raise a child to the age of 18 comes in at around $245,340, according to the report — and that doesn’t …

Categories: Family, Insurance

Five Cheap Vacations to Take This Summer

Summer’s here, and you deserve a vacation. The problem is, can you afford one? We’re here to help. There are a number of ways to get a discount on where you want to go — from cashing in credit card travel rewards, to making the most of online booking sites. But sometimes just picking a …

Categories: Family, Travel

The Decision Spiral

Most of us are pretty familiar with the concept of a downward spiral of decisions. When we make a bad choice, it puts us in a slightly weaker spot, where our options aren’t as good as they once were. Here’s a good example: you choose to spend $100 on an expensive meal for yourself and …

Categories: Getting Started

Finding Happiness for Free

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast episode – I’m truly sorry, I don’t know which episode or even which podcast it was, as it was one of many I was sampling that day and I’m having difficulty tracking it down – where the podcast guest made a suggestion that stuck in the …

Will Mortgage Rates Go Up if the Fed Raises Interest Rates?

By Peter Miller There’s a widespread view that if the Fed ultimately raises interest levels then mortgage rates will also rise. Financial history shows that’s not the case — and it can be argued that mortgage rates might actually fall. Let’s start with the first idea. All over the Internet it’s been suggested that borrowers …

Categories: Housing, Loans, Real Estate

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