How To Save Smarter Without Working Harder

While it would be nice, we don't all have trust funds, a professional golf swing or the stage presence of Bruce Springsteen to bank our retirements on. It's not that the rich, talented and famous don't work, it's just that they don't have to work to retire. Most people must work to save, whether for retirement or another goal. Even if you don't want to work harder at your current job or take on... Continue reading
Discretionary spending

Household Budget Checklist: Determining Necessary Expenses

Discretionary Spending The items that you don’t really need fall into the category of discretionary spending. Sometimes, the line separating necessary and discretionary spending can become blurred. Is going to the movies a treat or absolutely required to maintain your mental health? You confront these questions when you put together your household budget. Start with the items that you cannot live... Continue reading

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck

In this economic climate, more of us are struggling to pay the bills, buy groceries and fill up our gas tanks. Paying off the mortgage, putting the kids through college without financial aid, and amassing $1 million for retirement seem out of the question now. Just having cash left over at the end of the month would be nice. Accumulating a nest egg—or even saving for a rainy day —gets put on the... Continue reading
Woman at the ATM learning budgeting

What Do You Learn From Budgeting?

Though the thought of actually making a budget might sound as appealing as having a ball and chain attached to your wallet, it can actually be quite a liberating experience. According to Erin Baehr, a certified financial planner practicing in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and Chester, New Jersey, "Many people think of budgets as something negative; something constraining or confining. But actually,... Continue reading

Finances 101: How to Buy Car Insurance for the First Time

Finances 101: How to Buy Car Insurance for the First Time You'll save money if you can get on your parents' insurance policy. Delving into the unknown is always a little scary, and when money is involved the stakes get even higher. But there's no reason to get sweaty palms and heart palpitations just because you're getting ready to buy your very first car insurance policy. As long as you stay... Continue reading

Save Money on Entertainment

If your recent "nights out" consist of a walk to your mailbox to pick up your latest Netflix movie or browsing the shelves at your local Walmart, it's time to get back in the saddle. Here are 12 fun ways to get more out of your entertainment dollar: 1. Wait until the last minute When it gets down to a couple of hours before the performance, a theater may start selling "rush" tickets at a... Continue reading
Wedding budget mistakes to avoid

Wedding Budget Mistakes to Avoid

Planning a wedding can be a whirlwind experience. Many couples who are planning this event for the first time can easily get caught up in the rapture of creating a fairytale event. Creating, evaluating and managing a wedding budget is the cornerstone to a successful big day. Even when couples have the best intentions of sticking to their budgets, there are times when things go off-track. Knowing... Continue reading
Golden Nest egg

Reach Your Financial Peak: How to Grow Your Savings Faster

Finding Lost Money "When I sit down with many of my clients to review their income and expenses, they're amazed at where their money actually goes," says Prior Lake, Minnesota, CPA Steven Mangan. “Once you know what you have, you’ll be amazed how much you can save.” Many people spend whatever money is available, without a firm plan to save any; others, despite their intentions to save,... Continue reading

Car Shopping? Budget Tips for Buying or Leasing a Car

Before you start shopping around for a car, either to lease or buy, you need to know your budget. And keep this in mind: "A car is transportation," notes Jim Blankenship, a certified financial planner practicing in New Berlin, Illinois. "It won't make you money, and it won't make you better looking or more popular. It's a practical purchase only if you're getting value for your money. The value... Continue reading
money tree

Frugality is a Career Tool

I have earned a lot of money in my life. But I have never had an extravagant life. I don’t own a house. I’ve never bought a new car. I didn’t buy a new piece of living room furniture until I was 40, and I do not own a single piece of real jewelry. What I have spent money on was always intended to help me with my career. That was so I know that I can always earn money doing something I love. I... Continue reading

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