The Internet has brought an amazing array of merchandise into our lives and onto our doorsteps. However, being able to order a crate of hamburger-shaped cookies from Japan or a complete DVD box set of “Friends” episodes at 3 A.M. during a spell of insomnia isn’t always a good thing. Especially when you’re trying to eliminate debt and/or cut down on spending. [More]
Are you thinking of getting married? We hope you’ve been attentive to your piggy bank if you’re considering a celebration anything like the average wedding last year — one wedding website says brides and grooms (and their generous families, perhaps) shelled out an average of $28,427 on the big shebang in 2012. [More]
Some people are so obsessed with their work that they can never envision chucking everything to begin a life of leisure, while others have spent most of their work lives counting the days until they no longer have to clock in. If you opt to jump the gun and call it a career before you hit your golden years, you’re taking a calculated risk, hoping to make your savings stretch out longer rather than spending more time to build it up before you take the plunge.
Unless you’re a salaried employee or business owner who’s expected to work excessively for the good of the company, the more hours you work usually determines how much you’ll make. The prospect of working overtime or taking on a side job can be compelling, helping you save by having less time to go out and spend the money you’re piling up.
Some workout enthusiasts rationalize paying a lot of money for gym memberships by telling themselves that the financial commitment makes them work out more often to get their money’s worth. That’s just crazy talk. If you work at it, you can trim your monthly membership fees along with your waistline.
There are countless ways to wind up in the red, and many of them start with the best of intentions. Seemingly smart investments, luxury purchases you thought you could afford and once-in-a-lifetime vacation deals can all place you in the chokehold of compound interest.
Your phone is not only a lifeline, entertainment device and communication portal to everyone you know, but it’s also a siphon that sucks money out of you monthly. Phone companies are counting on you falling into complacency with paying for unneeded services.
Credit cards are tools that can make your life easier and give you more financial power, but they also provide a quick path to financial ruin. It’s important to use common sense when wielding the massive buying power that plastic provides, especially if you’ve just started using credit.
No matter how good a game parents talk to their kids, it’s their actions and inactions that leave the most impact. This is especially true regarding money. Parents can pass on poor financial habits to their kids just as definitively as they did their genes.
Money may not grow on trees, but it can take a lot of green to make a garden look good. Vegetation in and around your home may be an afterthought when it comes to insuring your home, but your policy should match the level of care, work and funds you put in to your greenery.
If you’ve lived on a tight budget for a while because you’ve been out of work or gone back to school, it’s a little bewildering to start drawing paychecks from a new job. You may feel rich, but your wealth will be determined by your budget rather than your income.
If you harbor a dream of your child graduating from college without being buried in student loan debt, you’re probably going to have to save up a heck of a lot of money for the cause. The earlier you start saving, the more you’ll be able to contribute. But it’s important that you get your kid in on the effort.
If you need to step away from your career for a while to stay at home with your kids or care for an elderly or incapacitated loved one, your automatic systems for saving for retirement will probably shut down. In order to make sure you don’t jeopardize your nest egg, you’ll need to make adjustments to account for your decreased savings power.
The way you act with money goes a long way toward defining your lifestyle. Recognizing your financial strengths, weaknesses and tendencies can help you to make smarter choices, identify blind spots and improve your sense of control over money matters.
Paying for a ski trip can seem like a blind run down a rough slope, with formidable costs hard to avoid as you careen down the mountain. Veterans of the slopes know how to cut down on costs so they can focus on enjoying their time in the snow.
If you leave the work force to become a freelancer/contractor, you’re blessed with the freedom of making your own hours and deciding to do only the work you deem to be worth doing. The downside is that your new boss — you — may be an unreasonable slave-driver or a rubber-spined pushover.
Life isn’t fair, and neither is death. When you sit down to plan out your demise, you’ll most likely find yourself picking and choosing among your descendants to give the better stuff to whom you deem to be the most worthy and competent.