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

Top 10 Personal Finance Tips for the Long-Term

Top 10 Personal Finance Tips for the Long-Term While complete financial independence is a difficult goal to reach, most people want to at least avoid spending their lives struggling to make ends meet. Planning can help you meet your money goals, but only if you put the plan into action. Assess Your Net Worth It's always a good idea to know your bottom line. Gather all of your financial statements... Continue reading

Top 7 Myths About Personal Finance Management

Top 7 Myths About Personal Finance Management Whether the market is humming along or dropping like a rock, you still have to make personal financial decisions about saving, investing, borrowing and your everyday living expenses. With all the misinformation, self-proclaimed financial gurus and myths in the marketplace, no one can blame you for being confused about how to manage your money. We'll... Continue reading

How to Categorize Your Transactions

  Categorizing your transactions lets you see where you’re spending your money. The good news is that Quicken does most of this work automatically for you! Quicken assigns categories to your transactions when it downloads them from your bank. For example, if you used your ATM card at Kroger, Quicken knows that Kroger is a grocery store and it automatically assigns the category Food & Dining:... Continue reading

Live Debt-Free

To hear the media tell it, Americans are basket cases when it comes to borrowing. The average credit card balance per person is nearly $4,000. College grads who leave school with student loans typically owe more than $19,000. Home foreclosure rates are soaring and threatening the economy as a whole. The truth is, most Americans manage their credit just fine. And for those who are sinking in red... Continue reading

Put Your Finances on Autopilot

When you lived at home, your biggest financial concern was probably how to spend your weekly allowance. Now that you're on your own, you've got a slew of new financial responsibilities. You have to pay for utilities and other household expenses, manage your credit cards, pay off debts such as your student loans and car loan. Plus, you know you should start saving for a rainy day and investing for... Continue reading

Debunking Common Budgeting Tips

Budgeting comes in many shapes, sizes and philosophies, each with the purpose of getting finances on track. From skipping that daily cup of coffee to stuffing cash under your mattress, the personal finance world is rife with ideas, tips, suggestions and pearls of wisdom, many guaranteeing success if you follow just a few simple steps. There's a wealth of good and bad advice out there, some of it... Continue reading

Creating a 5-Year Plan For Your Finances

  The Cheshire Cat famously told Alice that if she didn't care where she ended up, it didn't matter which way she headed. Think about this when you contemplate making a five-year financial plan. It's not at the top of on anyone's fun list, but the chances of achieving your goals increase when you figure out where you want to go and lay out a road map to get there. Here are some tips to get you... Continue reading
Investing in Gold and Silver

What to Know About Investing in Gold and Silver

Precious metals have always had a unique allure, and history shows they have swung into and out of favor with investors many times. Their price surges in times of political upheaval or economic downturn, then drops when things look rosy.  So should you take the golden plunge? Here are some tips about investing in precious metals.   Precious Metals as Insurance "See this paper money? In 100 years... Continue reading
Withdrawing from Education Savings Accounts

Rules for Withdrawing from Education Savings Accounts

If your child does it right, she won't have to pay any tax at all on money she withdraws from the Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) you set up for her – but she'll be hit with regular income tax and hefty penalties if she doesn't follow the guidelines. Here's what you need to know.   ESAs Are Tax-Advantaged College Savings Plans If you want to save for your child's education and she's... Continue reading