woman in winter jacket - new years investing resolutions

How can you make better investment decisions in 2017? Decisions that increase your odds of success and get you closer to reaching your goals? Here are five investment resolutions that will put you on the right track. Resolution No. 1: Increase Contributions Nothing you do will have a bigger impact on your bottom line than increasing your contributions. And honestly, it’s not even close. It’s a lot sexier to debate which mutual funds to invest in, which retirement account is …

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Over the last year, we have taken family vacations to different cities in Mexico, Jamaica, and Florida. Add onto that, my husband and I traveled alone to Barbados, Grand Cayman, Italy, and Greece. Since I write about travel all over the web, our trips are always part work and part play. But that doesn’t mean it’s all free. While writing about travel means I get tax deductions for some of our expenses, I still need to pay for the bulk of our …

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As many of you know, I write a weekly column for US News and World Report, and you can find the archives of this column here. With that column, I’m tied to a pretty tight word count of between 800 and 900 words – they don’t want articles longer than that. Anyway, as I was writing my most recent column for them, I was trying to list a bunch of good last-minute gift ideas for under $20, and I found …

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No matter why you left college in the first place — to raise children, to care for aging parents, to work full-time, to figure out your goals — if you’ve decided that now’s the time to crack open the books again and head back to the classroom, you’re not alone. About 4 million of the approximately 15.5 million undergraduate students in America were 25 years or older in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And if you’re a part …

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I have a little note that I continuously update and save (using Evernote) that’s full of little tips and strategies that I learn about or think about and want to include in a post at some point. Eventually, I wind up with a big collection of them … and I realize that many of them really don’t fit into an organized article. Here are eight of those ideas, little strategies for shopping so that you’ll spend less money and wind …

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When it comes to navigating through life, there are certain financial traditions and transactions that are difficult to avoid – among them paying taxes annually, saving money for retirement, and setting aside money for a down payment, whether it be for a home, car, or any other major purchase. There inevitably comes a point when we have our sights set on a big-ticket item we’d like to finance with a loan, and closing the deal requires shelling out a substantial amount …

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“31 Days to Financial Independence” is an ongoing series that appears every Thursday on The Simple Dollar. You might want to start this series from the beginning! Last time, we finished off the “cost-cutting” portion of building your path to financial independence by examining how exactly to incorporate the many frugal tactics shared in this series into your life. Now it’s time to move onto the other half of the “spend less than you earn” coin: earning more money, and …

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Want a promotion in 2017? The company holiday party is your time to shine. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the annual office gathering. On the one hand: free hors d’oeuvres and booze. On the other hand: free embarrassment, when the free booze leads you to take a header on the dance floor and split your pants in front of the boss. Mandatory fun is always less, well, fun than the spontaneous kind. But if you play your cards …

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Many of America’s biggest retailers have generous price-matching policies to make consumers feel better about making a purchase without hesitation. If you buy an item at Home Depot, for example, and it goes on sale a week later, you can bring in your receipt and be refunded the difference. Many stores will also match competitors’ advertised prices. Since stores change their prices all the time and no one wants to overpay, price-matching makes people feel better about pulling the trigger on a purchase – particularly a big …

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Connie writes in: What are your thoughts on things like “coffee of the month” clubs or crates? Are they good gifts or do they just send junk? This started as a mailbag question and, as my answer grew and grew, I realized that this question deserved its own separate post. First of all, what is Connie asking about specifically? She wants to know about subscription services that send items in the mail on a regular basis – usually monthly – …

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