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Mar 24, 2017 Here at SmartAsset we crunch numbers and provide personal finance advice. We look at tons of financial products and hear about even more offers from financial companies. For this month we've compiled a list of offers from our partners that impressed even us. This includes credit cards, taxes and more. Check out these top 9 offers and see if they might benefit you. (Please note that we will get paid a referral fee if you purchase any of these products. Read our Editorial and Advertorial Disclosure below.)
Apr 14, 2017 Caring for an aging parent or friend can be expensive. But when you know that someone needs assistance, it's hard to avoid offering to help. While there's nothing wrong with providing a relative or confidant with financial support, you don't want to lose sight of your own financial goals. Here are five strategies that you can implement to keep senior care costs low.
Jan 06, 2017 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American spends roughly 26 minutes commuting by car from their homes to their workplaces. That means we're collectively spending billions of hours on unproductive and unfulfilling commutes. But it's not just time that we're spending on our commutes - we're spending money, too. The average cost of an American commute is $2,600, according to the Citi ThankYou Premier Commuter Index.
Jan 11, 2017 The holiday parties may be over but the financial hangover is just setting in. Holiday sales for 2016 were estimated to top $655 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. If you blew your holiday budget, don't panic. A January spending freeze may be just what you need to get back on track. If you've never done a spending freeze before, here's what to expect.
Dec 16, 2016 The start of a new year is a great time to update your financial goals and give your budget a second look. If you didn't save as much as you had hoped to in 2016 - or you've racked up holiday debt - making some financial resolutions can help you get back on track. As you're reviewing your spending habits and expenses, here are three money moves you might want to make.
Dec 12, 2016 Somewhat unsurprisingly, search traffic for "gym membership" peaks between January 3 and January 9, according to Google Trends. If you already belong to a gym you've probably noticed that things get pretty crowded every January. But if you want to save money this year, consider some of these free or inexpensive alternatives to a gym membership.
Dec 05, 2016 Most adults in the U.S. consider a cell phone to be one of life's essentials. We're so reliant on our phones that losing or accidentally damaging a cell phone would constitute a major crisis. And because cell phones can be expensive, many Americans couldn't afford to replace a cell phone right away. That's why phone insurance can seem like an appealing option. Here's what to know about phone insurance.
Dec 02, 2016 Even the most amicable of divorces generally involve some kind of expense. The average cost of a divorce varies greatly based on how complicated the case is and on the kind of divorce you seek. At the very least you'll have to pay court costs and filing fees for divorce paperwork. But if lawyers are involved, costs can balloon from a few hundred dollars to several thousand or even tens of thousands of dollars. The cost of getting a divorce can exceed the average cost of a wedding.
Nov 28, 2016 When the U.S. government shuts down, federal agencies lose access to the funding they need to perform different functions. This affects people across the country. National parks and museums close. Many folks with public sector jobs can't get paid and the economy takes a hit. While federal furloughs rarely happen, it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Here's what to do the next time you hear about a possible shutdown.
Nov 23, 2016 Black Friday is one of the most exciting (or terrifying) days of the holiday season, depending on how you look at it. Some people prepare for the day months in advance while others couldn't care less about it. Whether you plan to camp outside of a store on Thanksgiving night or make your way through the crowds on Friday afternoon, here are the six best things to buy on Black Friday.
Nov 21, 2016 Are you concerned about your security online? Worried that your email or other accounts could be hacked? If so, it's time to talk about two-factor authentication - if you're not using this method already. While two-factor authentication doesn't guarantee protection against a data breach, it provides a valuable line of defense.
Nov 17, 2016 Even if you've opted to go paperless on things like bank statements, you probably still receive important mail related to your finances. These could be medical bills, old tax returns or explanations of benefits from your insurance companies, for example. So how do you know which documents you should shred? Take a look at our guide.
Oct 28, 2016 The Pokémon Go craze got people of all ages excited about experiencing augmented reality. But the game isn't the only tool that allows people to explore the outdoors. Geocaching acts as a real-life GPS treasure hunt for folks who want to get in touch with their adventurous side. Read on as we explain how geocaching works, how you can get started and why it’s a popular pastime for some groups of people.
Oct 19, 2016 "Family Support Services" is the term the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services uses to describe state and local programs aimed at helping families succeed. These programs can focus on protecting vulnerable children, helping parents form networks of mutual support or enhancing the financial stability of families.
Oct 17, 2016 When you're too old to go trick-or-treating, you can still celebrate Halloween by throwing a party for your friends and family members. While hosting the event might not be difficult, sticking to a budget may be a challenge. If you don't have a lot of money to put toward a shindig, here are some tips that'll help you throw a fun and frugal Halloween party.
Oct 03, 2016 Most people across the country observe daylight saving time each spring by setting their clocks forward. In exchange for losing an hour of sleep, we get to enjoy an extra hour of sunlight. Americans have been doing this for decades but in many ways it's more harmful than helpful. Read on to learn about the origins of daylight saving time and its impact on our health, our economy and the cost of living.
Sep 29, 2016 You probably know that cybersecurity is important and we're guessing you've heard about hackers and identity theft. You may even be using a password manager and have a piece of masking tape covering the camera on your laptop. But do you know what ransomware is and what to do if it strikes? Check out our guide.
Sep 28, 2016 In 2005 the American consumer landscape looked pretty different than it does today. Some once-ubiquitous items like Motorola Razr cellphones and Livestrong bracelets have all but disappeared. Changes in taste over time are expected as trends go in and out of fashion, but data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that American consumers in 2015 made some significantly different spending decisions than they did in 2005.
Sep 20, 2016 If you're into fashion, you probably pay close attention to the fall Fashion Week events in New York City, Paris, London and Milan. Many people drool over the designs they see on the runway but not everyone can afford to incorporate them into their own personal wardrobe. Fortunately, there are some stylish items that don't cost a fortune. Check out some fall fashion trends that might fit into your budget.
Nov 30, 2016 Bill Gates’ net worth is an estimated $82.8 billion as of November 2016. Bill Gates currently tops the Forbes 400 as the richest person on earth. As the co-founder of Microsoft, he helped create the largest computer software company in the world. Although many of us know what he's accomplished, pinning down his exact net worth can be difficult because the market causes his fortune to fluctuate. Let's take a look at where Gates' finances stand.
Sep 12, 2016 Fall is on the horizon and the summer heat will soon be replaced by a chilly breeze. One factor that the fall season brings that we don't love is cold and flu season. Between busy schedules and upcoming holiday travel plans, it's easy to wind up feeling under the weather. Here are a few tips that can help you stay healthy throughout the season.
Sep 08, 2016 The average cost of a wedding is now well over $30,000. Coming up with enough cash to pay for the reception, the dress and the food can be difficult for brides and grooms. Wedding guests can also find themselves in a financial pinch, especially if they have to attend multiple ceremonies in a single year. If you're trying to figure out how much to spend on wedding gifts, read on for some advice and tips on how to save big on presents.
Aug 30, 2016 Donald Trump recently released a list of his economic advisors. Only four of them are economists. The other advisors are wealthy real estate moguls and financial and corporate executives. The original list only included men but Trump later decided to add eight women to his roster. Read on to learn more about the people he's planning to turn to for advice.
Aug 25, 2016 Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to spend a ton of money on food in order to live a healthier lifestyle. In fact, it's possible to make nutritious meals and save money on groceries at the same time. If you're trying to cut some of the high-calorie and high-sodium foods out of your diet, here are seven healthy food swaps you can make that won't break your budget.
Aug 23, 2016 Consumers are expected to spend $75.8 billion in 2016 while preparing for their kids to go back to grade school and college, according to the National Retail Federation. Even if you're prepared to spend a ton of money on new binders, clothes and laptops, doing so could prevent you from meeting your other financial goals. Here are seven tips to consider if you want to save money and get everything on your school supplies list.
Aug 22, 2016 COBRA continuation coverage lets you stay on your employer's group health insurance plan after leaving your job. COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. It's shorthand for the law change that required employers to extend temporary group health insurance to departing employees. Let us explain how it works.
Feb 08, 2017 Americans are notorious for leaving paid vacation days unused. Those who do take a vacation may be paying more for their flights than is strictly necessary. If you're ready for some advice on how get cheap flights, you're in the right place. You don't have to blow your budget on your next vacation.
Aug 11, 2016 Weddings can be expensive. And if you're not moving in with your partner until after the big day, you might need to stock your new home with linens, kitchen appliances and other necessities. But after you've paid for the reception, you may not have enough money in your budget for a shopping spree. That's why it's a smart idea to include items on your registry that you know you'll use a lot or that may be a bit beyond your budget. If you're already living with your partner, this could be a good time to upgrade to more durable wares. Instead of asking for things you'll never use, here are 10 practical gifts that you can ask your wedding guests to purchase.
Aug 03, 2016 Starbucks recently announced that in October the company plans to raise the base pay of the employees and store managers who work at its company-run U.S. stores by 5% or more. The exact amount of the raise will depend upon each store. Even though Starbucks is only raising the base pay of U.S. employees in company-run stores, this will still impact thousands of people. Starbucks has about 7,600 company-run stores in the United States.
Aug 03, 2016 Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the best days of your life. But once you say your vows and cut the cake, the dress you spent thousands of dollars on no longer serves a purpose. While you could keep your dress, you might be better off trading it in for cold, hard cash. Should I sell my wedding dress? If you're trying to answer that question, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Sep 30, 2016 If you've opted out of owning a car because you live in a city with public transportation services (or you just don't want a car), you might have used the Lyft or Uber apps. While the two companies perform a similar service, you might be surprised to find that there are some differences between them. Read on as we explore how Lyft and Uber stack up against each other.
Jul 26, 2016 Renting a chicken might be a good idea. After all, there are many benefits to having one around. For one thing, a chicken will give you access to free fertilizer. And as long as you don't rent a chicken in the winter (when chickens naturally don't lay eggs), you'll have fresh eggs readily available to use to make an omelet or baked goods. Check out three more reasons to rent a chicken.
Jul 27, 2016 The 2016 presidential election has been defined by complex economic ideas. Throughout his campaign, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders focused on economic reform. And analysts say that talking about nativist ideas helped Donald Trump gain the Republican nomination. Check out 10 economic terms that have been all over the news during this election season.
Jul 18, 2016 If you're in your 20s, your net worth might be the last thing on your mind. But it's never too early to start creating long-term wealth. Many twenty-somethings are financially challenged, but it's possible to maneuver around wealth-blocking obstacles if you know what they are. If you're trying to boost your net worth, here are five things that could keep you from achieving that goal.
Jul 15, 2016 Summer is here and with summer comes ice cream. But if you - or your family members and friends - are wolfing down pints of ice cream, the cost of buying all of those pints will eventually start to add up. Maybe you should think about getting your ice cream the old-fashioned way by making it yourself. Here are some factors to consider before buying your own ice cream maker.
Jul 14, 2016 Anyone who has been to a hair salon knows how annoying and costly getting a hair cut can be. Too often, your stylist will cut your hair too short or try to experiment with something that you aren't a fan of. And even if you do like your haircut, the money you spent on a trim probably could've been put to better use elsewhere in your budget. After all, why have someone cut your hair when you can do it yourself for free?
Jan 20, 2017 There are a variety of reasons why you might want to quit your gym membership. Maybe you set up your own home gym, maybe you're trying to save some money or maybe you managed to get the beach body you've always dreamed of and you've decided that the gym just isn't for you anymore. In any case, sometimes even if you decide to quit your gym, your gym will make it very difficult for you to quit. But don't worry, there's always a way to do it.
Jul 11, 2016 The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio are just a few weeks away and athletes from all over the world are gearing up and preparing to compete in their respective events. In honor of the Summer Games, we've got some tips on what you can do to shine when it comes to your personal finances. If you're ready to go for the gold, here's your personal training road map.
Apr 14, 2017 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is not well-known to many people. It's a relatively new government organization that's part of the Federal Reserve. The CFPB was created after the financial crisis of 2008 to protect consumers - hence the name. Before the CFPB was created, the responsibility to protect consumers was divvied up among several government agencies. But consumer protection is the CFPB's primary focus.
Jun 17, 2016 Maybe you're already a bitcoin user and you want to start mining bitcoin, or maybe you're totally new to the bitcoin world. Either way, we've got you covered with our guide to how to mine bitcoin. It's not a walk in the park, but it's a doable process if you have the time and resources.
Jun 17, 2016 Filling your home with the right appliances can make your life easier. So whether you're building your first home or you're remodeling a house you've lived in for years, it's important to choose quality appliances that'll last for a while. Check out our suggestions. We'll tell you what you might want to splurge on and what to do if you want to get the best bang for your buck.
Jun 16, 2016 Basic income has been in the news recently, both at home and internationally. However, many people still aren't sure what it is or how it would work. The concept of basic income is actually fairly simple. The idea is to give each individual enough money to live off of. In this scenario, basic income would be paid out equally to every individual, irrespective of financial background or employment status.
Jun 14, 2016 Everyone knows that New York City can be an expensive place to live, especially for singles. But it doesn't have to be an expensive place to date. While it's true that the City That Never Sleeps has a high cost of living, you'll find that there are plenty of fun and free things to do. Check out 10 free dates ideas for you and your significant other to try out while you're exploring the Big Apple.
Feb 02, 2017 A rainy day doesn't have to be a lazy day. If you're stuck inside your house, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your free time. For example, if it's been a while since you reviewed your budget, it might be a good idea to look over it. And if you haven't been saving enough money, you can figure out how to cut back on spending. Check out 13 ways to save or make money on a rainy day.
May 31, 2016 We all love to eat. But have you ever taken the time to think about how much of your income is going toward groceries? While there's nothing like sinking your teeth into a delicious dish, some of the money you're using to fill your stomach could be put into your emergency fund or your retirement accounts. If you're trying to trim your food budget, here's how to save money on groceries.
May 23, 2016 Theme parks are expensive. Entering a place like Disney World will cost you around $100 per person, plus tax. Once you're in the park, you'll likely pay a premium for snacks and drinks. But amusement park trips don't automatically have to cost you hundreds of dollars, particularly if you make an effort to find ways to save. Here are seven tips that can make your next trip more affordable.
Feb 07, 2017 Buying plane tickets can be hectic, particularly if you're on a tight budget. Booking a flight eight months in advance might not be possible. So you might have to go the distance to find a cheap ticket, and that might involve setting up multiple alerts or downloading apps that'll notify you when there's a can't-miss flight deal.
May 10, 2016 Electricity isn't something that most of us can do without. And depending on where you live, the price you pay to have working lights can be quite high. As you watch your electric bill become more and more expensive, you might be wondering how yours compares to everyone else's. We'll tell you how high the average electric bill is and explain how you can save money on a daily basis.
May 16, 2016 Summer is right around the corner and that means it's time to start mapping out everything you want to do while the weather is warm. Whether you're planning to host a Fourth of July cookout or you just want to invite friends over for drinks, you can do so without spending too much money. Check out seven summer cocktails that you can whip up without straying from your budget.
May 02, 2016 We all know it's important to save money. Saving for retirement and socking away cash for emergencies often involves making sacrifices. The money that you would have spent on a trip to Uruguay or on new shoes could instead go into your IRA or your savings account. Making responsible financial decisions can be difficult, of course, and if you're having trouble holding onto your coins, here's how to stop spending money recklessly.
Apr 26, 2016 Sometimes you just need to get away. But taking a break from your daily routine doesn't always come cheap. According to a recent report, the average summer vacation cost $1,005 per person in 2015. Taking a staycation can help you save, as long as you budget carefully. If you're planning to spend your summer at home, check out some ways to avoid overspending.
Apr 11, 2017 Millennials face an uphill battle when it comes to their finances. Crippling student loan debt, skyrocketing rental rates and dismal wages form a perfect storm of sorts that makes it hard for young adults to get ahead. There are some millennials, however, who have managed to build up some sizable wealth. According to a recent study, adults ages 18 to 33 represent 11% of high net worth households. So what's their secret? It all comes down to making the right money moves. If you want to take a page out of the rich millennials' playbook, here's what you need to know.
Apr 25, 2016 Your net worth is one indication of your financial well-being. It's the value of your assets after subtracting your liabilities. While you might know what your favorite celebrity is worth, you might not have a clue as to your own net worth. Increasing your net worth can be a good financial goal to strive toward. Need some assistance? Check out these seven ways to get started.
Apr 11, 2016 April is Financial Literacy Month, an event designed to get people thinking about how they're managing their money. If you're diligent about your finances, you're saving for retirement and you're paying all of your bills on time, you may think there's no room for improvement. But you might be surprised. If you've made any of the following money mistakes, it may be time for a financial refresher.
Apr 07, 2016 Whether you are having a baby, moving into a new place or preparing to start a new business, there may come a time when you and your significant other have to transition from living off two incomes to living off a single income. With the right strategy in place, anyone can survive this big lifestyle change. Learn how to begin making the shift with our tips below.
Mar 31, 2016 Gift cards can be great presents. If you don't know exactly what you want for your birthday, asking for a gift card lets you purchase whatever you need at a later date. Receiving a gift card can feel like getting access to free money, which is helpful when you're on a budget. Despite their many benefits, however, gift cards can be challenging. Some of them come with rules and restrictions. Before you head off to the mall, here are some tips that'll help you make the most of your gift cards.
Jan 13, 2017 These days, being a 20-something isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Today's recent college graduates face staggering amounts of student loan debt while struggling to gain a firm foothold in a competitive job market. And in the meantime, many of them are still in the process of learning how to manage their finances on their own for the very first time.
Mar 28, 2016 Setting realistic, achievable financial goals is one way to make sure you're getting the most out of every dollar. Some goals - like paying off your mortgage early - may be long-term goals, while something like trying to save $500 might be achievable in the short term. Reviewing your financial plan periodically can keep you on the right track. And you'll see whether the milestones you want to reach make sense. Check out a few signs that might indicate that it's time to set some new money goals.
Mar 22, 2016 Keeping your financial house in order isn't a Herculean task, but it does require some time and effort. If your schedule is so jam-packed that you can't spare a few minutes a week to review your budget, check your credit health or track your progress on saving or paying down debt, you could be letting money slip through your fingers without even realizing it. When you're crunched for time, here are three things you can do to keep your finances on the right track.
Mar 21, 2016 Traveling by plane can be expensive and lately it seems like there are extra baggage fees and charges for everything. Planes are crowded and there are longer waits at security. There is, however, one silver lining that remains: upgrades. Sometimes it's possible to get the first-class experience for the cost of a ticket in coach. Check out our travel advice and you can upgrade to more legroom and better service.
Mar 16, 2016 Google search traffic has been shown to be a useful tool for measuring the interests and concerns of the general public. For example, it has been used to predict both unemployment claims and retail sales. Recently it has also been used to forecast election results with greater accuracy than many electoral prognosticators. At a less scientific level, entering a query such as, “why am I so…” and scanning the suggested searches can give you an interesting, if sometimes troubling, window into the human psyche.
Feb 10, 2016 Whether you are a music or movie lover, awards season has something for everyone to enjoy. But chances are you don’t want to spend a fortune on your Grammy or Oscar viewing party. Using the tips below, you can host a budget-friendly bash for your friends and family members without sacrificing any of the awards show fun .
Feb 05, 2016 Does the idea of raising your own chickens appeal to you? It's not for everyone (apartment-dwellers, we're looking at you) but it can be a rewarding project. If you haven't taken the plunge yet, you may be wondering whether it's possible to save money or even make money by raising chickens. Here's what you should know about the economics of raising chickens.
Feb 04, 2016 Planning ahead and being aware of the kinds of bad habits you have can help you save more money every day. Some activities and expenses you may consider necessities could actually be eliminated to free up extra cash. Making these small adjustments in your budget might be exactly what you need to do to improve your financial situation and boost your savings.
Feb 02, 2016 Valentine's Day isn't necessarily the best time to be frugal. After all, you want your significant other to feel loved and appreciated. But making the holiday a special and memorable occasion can be expensive. And many folks find themselves still struggling to pay down their holiday debt by the time February arrives. If you want to keep costs low this year, try substituting some of the classic Valentine's Day treats for cheaper alternatives.
Jan 29, 2016 When it comes to their finances, millennials face some major challenges. They're under enormous pressure to save as much as possible for retirement while paying down oversized student loan bills. And they're entering a job market where wages have more or less flatlined. All of that adds up to some serious anxiety. Wondering what's bothering millennials the most? SmartAsset looks at some of their most common money concerns and how to beat them.
Feb 02, 2017 Everybody feels lazy from time to time but when it comes to your money, having a slacker attitude could cost you quite a bit. If you're somewhat of an underachiever where personal finance is concerned, taking a look at where your biggest money leaks are may motivate you to turn things around. Here are five ways you could be shrinking your bottom line without even realizing it.
Feb 02, 2017 According to the CDC's 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, 12% of American women of reproductive age (that's 7.3 million women), or their husbands or partners, had sought fertility treatment services in their lifetime. The fertility industry is growing and proved resilient even during the Great Recession. As the cost of fertility services rises, some are taking out loans to finance treatment. Let's take a closer look at the economics of fertility, the size of the fertility industry and the financial impact on the Americans who seek treatment.
Jan 08, 2016 Over 40% of U.S. households have access to a video streaming service, according to a 2015 Nielsen report. What's more, 13% of households have more than one streaming service membership. If you use Netflix, Hulu Plus or one of the other popular streaming services, you're not alone. Let's take a closer look at the rise of video streaming service and what their popularity means for the future.
Dec 31, 2015 Feeling stingy stinks, but getting behind on your personal finances for the sake of appearances isn’t worth it. You may feel that you get pressured into going over your budget in order to keep up with everyone else in your neighborhood or social circle. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to spend less and save more – without making too many sacrifices or looking cheap.
Dec 30, 2015 It isn’t often that personal finance advisors recommend spending money. But sometimes, it doesn't hurt. Pinching your pennies, reviewing your budget and managing your spending are all important, but focusing too much on your finances can leave you feeling down. Check out some reasons why splurging from time to time is okay if it brightens your spirit.
Jan 08, 2016 With the start of the new year, you're probably thinking about how you want to improve yourself. If getting in shape is a top priority, eating well and learning portion control can be two great first steps. But finding affordable gyms can be difficult. If you're trying to reach your fitness goals without going over budget, check out some ways to get started.
Dec 20, 2016 A new year is a clean slate of sorts and a fresh start for many aspects of your life, including your finances. Now's a good time to start mapping out your plan for the next 12 months. Breaking your financial to-do list up into quarters can make your goals seem a little less daunting. If you need some guidance, here are five financial moves to make within the first three months of 2016.
Dec 28, 2015 The beginning of the new year is the standard time to make resolutions. This might be the year that you plan to start your own business. Or it could be the year you take that vacation you keep putting off. If you're striving to get your finances on track, you might need some assistance. That's where we come in. Check out five tips that'll help you get your financial life in order.
Dec 25, 2015 New Year's Eve is a time to look back on the past year while celebrating what's coming in the next one. As great as it is to ring in the New Year with a bang, it's best to avoid busting your budget in the process. Whether you plan to have a simple and celebratory night at home or you hope to paint the town red, here are some ways to save on your New Year's festivities.
Dec 25, 2015 If you've ever walked down the pet aisle at a big supermarket you've gotten a sense of the scale of America's pet industry. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), total pet industry expenditures reached $60.59 billion in 2015. That's up from $58.04 billion in 2014. Let's take a closer look at the economics of the pet industry and how much the average American spends on the family pet.
Dec 25, 2015 Every year when January rolls around, stores across the country put their merchandise on sale. Even though it's cold and dark in much of the country, retailers want to make room for new spring stock. If holiday spending hasn't already busted your budget, you might be planning to hit the January sales. Here's what you need to know about how to shop smart.
Dec 17, 2015 Millions of Americans have unsteady streams of income. In general, people like to have roughly the same consumption level at all times. We don't particularly enjoy having $2,000 to spend one month and $1,000 to spend the next. But if your income is uneven, whether because you're a freelancer, an independent contractor or a shift worker, it can be hard to create this kind of smooth spending pattern. That's where consumption smoothing comes in.
Dec 16, 2015 You don't have to break the bank to enjoy yourself. Whether you like to go out to bars for drinks, see a rock concert or hit the local galleries and museums, you can make room for fun in your budget. Even if your finances are tight, you can think outside the box to take part in some of your favorite activities. Check out some easy ways to start saving on entertainment.
Dec 15, 2015 With the cold winter weather upon us, vacation planning is in full swing. Whether you're aiming for a Christmas holiday trip or a mid-winter escape, it can be easy to dream of getaways but hard to come up with enough cash to fund them. Check out some of our tips below that'll help you plan a memorable winter vacation without compromising your budget.
Dec 14, 2015 Bouncing back from a holiday shopping spree can take time. While you're working hard to get all of your financial ducks in a row, you don't have to stay cooped up in the house for the remainder of the season. There are plenty of ways to entertain yourself during the winter. We've got 13 fun activities that won't wreck your finances or derail your budget.
Dec 11, 2015 When you don't have time to find the perfect gifts for all your friends and relatives or make your own, you can buy them gift cards instead. Since most restaurants and retailers offer gift cards, it should be easy to find something to suit just about everyone on your holiday shopping list. While you're looking around for gift cards to purchase, it's a good idea to keep the following guidelines in mind.
Dec 10, 2015 You could marry the love of your life when the temperature rises above 70 degrees. Or you could plan to say your vows in the dead of winter. If you're a fan of sunshine and warm weather, you might think twice about getting hitched when there's snow on the ground. But there are several reasons why throwing a winter wedding could be better in terms of planning and budgeting.
Dec 09, 2015 There's a fine line between frugal and cheap. And when you're hosting a holiday party, it's important to tread that line carefully. You don't have to spend all of your cash on decorations and supplies. In fact, it's easy to throw a great office party or plan a New Year's Eve bash on a small budget. But if you make any of these mistakes, your thrifty event might seem tacky to your guests.
Feb 01, 2017 Since their debut during the Great Depression, layaway plans have allowed Americans to make large purchases without having to pay for them right away. While a layaway program can be a good alternative to using a credit card to buy holiday gifts, it can be risky as well. If you're torn between those two payment methods, it's a good idea to consider the pros and cons of layaway plans.
Dec 07, 2015 Creating a budget for the holidays is a smart move if you're worried about overspending. According to the National Retail Federation, the average shopper will spend about $800 over the holiday season. While gifts can eat up a sizable part of your budget, there are plenty of other costs that can burn a hole in your wallet. When you're mapping out your spending plan for the holidays, here are five expenses you won't want to overlook.
Dec 07, 2015 Christmas isn't all about the gifts hidden under the tree. For many of us, hanging stockings over the fireplace is an annual tradition. If you're guilty of filling stockings with lackluster gifts like pencils, candy and sticky notes, it's time to step up your game. Check out these seven great stocking stuffers that you can buy without taking on credit card debt.
Dec 03, 2015 White elephant! No, not an actual white elephant with tusks and a trunk – we’re talking about a white elephant gift exchange. It’s a holiday tradition for offices and extended families throughout the U.S., the perfect way to give gifts while having a little spirited fun and not spending too much money.
Dec 07, 2015 The idea is a simple one. Put on a really ugly sweater. Invite some friends over under the condition that they also wear truly hideous sweaters. Merriment ensues. Yet, despite that straightforward and apparently flawless set up, not every ugly sweater party turns out to be all that much fun. Here are a few tips to ensure that your ugly sweater party is a success.
Nov 30, 2015 Unless you win the lottery or inherit a sizable windfall, becoming wealthy isn't usually something that happens overnight. The sooner you get started on the path to building wealth the better. If you're in your 30s, there's really no time like the present. If you can make these smart financial moves now, you can reap the rewards for years to come.
Feb 01, 2017 If you got carried away with your holiday shopping in your eagerness to find great gifts for family and friends, you might have to suffer the consequences when January arrives and you look at your bank account balance. Recovering from a holiday shopping extravaganza isn't always easy. If you need some guidance, our tips can help you clean up any financial messes you might have made.
Nov 20, 2015 With 2015 winding down, there's no better time to take a look at your finances and review your goals for the year. Even though the new year is just weeks away, you've still got a chance to make a positive impact on your bottom line. Not sure where to start? Read on and find out what you'll need to add to your financial to-do list before 2016 rolls around.
Nov 17, 2015 Turkey is always a mainstay at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day. And while it's certainly delicious, serving the same food every single year can get old. For anyone who's ready to ditch the turkey, there are plenty of substitutes that you can cook instead to mix things up. Here are five other dishes you can make that'll have your in-laws coming back for seconds and thirds.
Nov 16, 2015 Thanksgiving is a holiday many Americans look forward to. Some people use the day to reflect on everything they're truly thankful for. Others use it as a chance to do some last-minute shopping or to cheer on a favorite football team alongside relatives. While honoring your family's traditions can be fun, it can also be expensive. If you're feeling budget-conscious, we've got five traditions you might want to rethink this year and how you can go about tweaking them.
Nov 16, 2015 When you're in your 20s, it might seem like you have plenty of time to save and invest. But time is more fleeting than you think. Building wealth when you're paying off student loan debt or starting a career isn't easy, but it'll be worth the effort later on. If you're ready to buckle down and increase your net worth, here are seven things to do before you turn 30.
Nov 06, 2015 If you spend a lot of time online (and who doesn't, these days?) you've probably heard of ad-blockers. Even if you don't use one yourself you know that they're out there and that they can make banner ads, pop-ups and ad breaks in videos disappear. Let's take an in-depth look at the ad-blocking industry and the effects of ad-blockers on digital publishing and apps.
Nov 06, 2015 Programs such as VA business loans and VA home loans help veterans prosper after serving in the Armed Forces. And each year, we pay tribute to these men and women on Veterans Day. In addition to parades, a variety of perks are out there for veterans on November 11. Find out which companies plan to honor military personnel with discounts and free goodies.
Nov 02, 2015 Research and recent articles have brought to light a phenomenon known as the pink tax. Evidence shows that certain products designed for women have higher prices than the same products marketed toward men in the U.S. and other countries. Annually, the pink tax costs women nearly $1,400 above what men pay for the same products. Unless you live in an area where this type of gender pricing is banned - like New York City, Miami-Dade County, Florida or California - you'll need to know what to do to sidestep extra fees.
Nov 02, 2015 Winter is coming. That's right, another season of snow, cold and darkness is on its way. If you can't get out of winter by flying south, get into winter by making the best of the season. One way to make winter work for you is by getting prepared for the worst. We've put together a list of the 10 items you need in your winter survival kit. Whether you opt for a pre-made kit or make your own, here's what you should have on hand this winter to be ready for whatever nature throws your way.
Oct 23, 2015 Every year, 5 to 20% of the population gets the flu. The virus usually takes hold during the fall and winter months and can peak between November and March. If you haven't already done so, you might need to get vaccinated soon to avoid getting sick. Being on a tight budget is not an excuse, especially since there are several places where you can get the vaccine for next to nothing.