Get Real With Your Spending

Easy Budget Tricks for Controlling Your Spending

Get Real With Your Spending To control your spending your first must know how much you actually spend and what you are spending your money on. "Most people have no idea what they are spending on things like fast food and coffee for the month," notes Herigstad. She recommends that you collect all of the receipts for your spending for a full month and calculate your total spending and totals by... Continue reading

How to Plug the Holes

One good reason to endure the occasional drudgery of budgeting is that it alerts you to trouble while you still have time to do something about it. You're forced to find out why your expenditures are climbing and to take action. If the electric or gas bill is higher because the rates were raised, you'll have to revise your monthly forecasts for that budget item, and figure out whether other items... Continue reading
5 questions to ask yourself before starting a budget

5 Questions to Ask Before You Prepare a Budget

Sometimes, when people finally decide to take charge of their finances -- to stop winging it and prepare a budget -- they think of a budget as a restriction, depriving them of the nicer things in life. In reality, it can be liberating to chart a path to financial freedom. Before you start, you need to ask yourself at least five questions. What Are My Goals? How and what you budget depends on the... Continue reading

Finances 101: Opening Your First Checking Account

Finances 101: Opening Your First Checking Account Opening your first checking account, no matter how old you are, is a sign of financial independence. In fact, it's almost a necessity to function financially. Before you open your first account, make sure you shop around to find the account that offers the best benefits. There's no one perfect account for everyone, so knowing which features are... Continue reading

Save Money on Credit, Debt and Banking

Make sure you aren't paying more than you should—and that you're getting all the benefits you deserve—with these 11 tips: 1. Unload your burden Carrying a $1,000 balance at 18 percent blows $180 every year on interest. That's money you could put to better use elsewhere. Get in the habit of paying off your balance in full each month. If you've already racked up a large balance, do what you can to... Continue reading

How to Rebound from a Poor Credit Score

Fair Isaac Corporation provides consumers with FICO scores to gauge their creditworthiness. Scores range from 300 to 850; a "good" score, though not rigorously defined, falls in the mid-700 range. You can take steps to improve your score even if you had credit problems in the past. Take control of your spending Establish a budget and stick to it. This is the first step recommended by financial... Continue reading

Taking Inventory of Your Personal Finances: How Much of Your Paycheck Should You Budget for Bills

Taxes Whether you get paid an hourly wage or a monthly salary, at the end of the pay cycle, chances are that your paycheck is less than your earnings. Your employer is typically required by law to withhold a percentage of your paycheck for income taxes, Social Security and Medicare. You might have additional withholding for retirement contributions or health insurance. The federal tax system is... Continue reading

Finances 101: Tips on Opening a Savings Account

Finances 101: Tips on Opening a Savings Account Whether you're opening your first savings account or you've had them in the past, knowing what to look for can help you maximize its benefits -- and minimize or eliminate the costs. "Keeping separate checking and savings accounts not only makes it easier to track your success on the path to your financial goals," says Mary Beth Storjohann, a... Continue reading
picture-of-pennies

Find a Penny, Save a Million

This following is a guest post by Bob Bobala, personal finance guru and former Motley Fool editor-in-chief. In a sign of the times, educators in Florida are trying to collect 2.6 million pennies – one for each student in the state – to make a point about the plight of education on the steps of the Florida state Capitol. The plan has had some kinks, namely, the heft of 2.6 million pennies – about... Continue reading
Money saving tip: Turn off the lights

6 Easy Money-Saving Budget Tips Everyone Should Try

Tip #1: Mind the Lights Switch your incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps that are qualified by the Energy Star program. You'll save around $40 over the life of each bulb. Traditional incandescent lights are the least efficient type of household lighting, since 90 percent of the energy used is lost to heat, but if you're still using them you'll save energy, and money, by turning them... Continue reading

Pages