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Personal Finance

Apr 02, 2020 In response to the coronavirus, companies across the country are pursuing coronavirus relief efforts to help people and businesses most impacted by pandemic. Tech companies are donating millions to help small businesses, healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients. Meanwhile, companies outside the healthcare sector are producing hand sanitizer, masks and other products to curb the spread of the virus. Many are also establishing programs to help those who can’t come to work. In addition to benefitting from companies who are doing their part to help people stay safe and financially afloat, Americans can also work with a financial advisor to protect their investments during this time of uncertainty. Read More...

Dec 07, 2019 With a checking account, you get a debit card to spend your cash nearly anywhere you wish. But many people can't qualify for bank checking accounts, and in a world where card transactions are increasingly common, that's a problem. This is why prepaid debit cards like NetSpend are a billion-dollar business, with more card options appearing each year. We'll review some of the benefits NetSpend cards provide, as well as the fees and headaches. If you want to learn more about good spending habits and long-term goals, consulting with  a financial advisor may be a good next step. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 In the past two years, investors have taken an unusual interest in the Federal Reserve Bank. That's mostly due to a Fed policy known as 'quantitative tightening', or QT. Effectively, QT was the Fed's attempt to reduce its holdings after it bought huge amounts of debt during the 2008 Great Recession. While some details will interest only economists, QT  may have implications for financial markets and regular investors. It's useful to explore the backstory, but a f inancial advisor can be helpful if you're concerned about how Fed activity can impact your investments,. Read More...

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. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 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.  Read More...

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. Read More...

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 weddingRead More...

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. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 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.  Read More...

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.  Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 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. Read More...

May 10, 2019 Bill Gates’ net worth is an estimated $100.7 billion as of May 2019, according to the Forbes real-time rankings of the world's billionaires. That brings him to No.2 on the list, behind only Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. As the co-founder of Microsoft, Gates 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. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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.  Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

Sep 22, 2017 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? Read More...

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. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 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.  Read More...

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.  Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

May 03, 2018 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. Read More...

Jul 18, 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. Read More...

Jul 09, 2019 According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average monthly residential electric bill for Americans was $111.67 in 2017 - the latest year the organization has data for. However, several factors such as location and home size will affect the price of your electric bills. We’ll tell you all you need to know about the average cost of your electric bills. We’ll also explore some ways you can cut down on energy costs. We can also help you find a financial advisor to guide you through every aspect of your financial life. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

May 18, 2018 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

May 18, 2018 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.  Read More...

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. Read More...

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.  Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 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.  Read More...

May 18, 2018 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

May 18, 2018 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

May 18, 2018 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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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. Read More...

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.  Read More...

Nov 12, 2017 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. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 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. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 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. Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 Having another person move in gives you a lot to look forward to. Besides companionship, communal living can be a great way for you to boost your savings. Instead of spending most of your paycheck on bills and household expenses, you now have someone to split the burden with. Before your new roommate gets comfortable, there are a number of topics you'll need to discuss. Read More...

Jan 28, 2016 It might be difficult to meet some of your financial goals - like buying a new home or saving up for a wedding - without help from a personal loan or mortgage. But if lenders hesitate to approve you for financing because of your bad credit or high debt-to-credit ratio, it may be time to turn to the people who might be more willing to support you: your friends and family members. Read More...

Jul 19, 2019 If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ve probably been hearing that the Federal Reserve was contemplating increasing  interest rates. They finally did so for the first time in a year on December 14, 2016. Raising the federal funds rate could have a lasting impact on the economy and understanding how this policy change might affect you can help you effectively budget for the future. Read More...

Dec 04, 2017 Keeping an eye on your bottom line is a lot easier in the digital age and the Internet is filled with products to help you get a better grip on your money. While some of them come with a premium, there are plenty of others you can use that won't cost a single dime. In fact, there are some personal finance tools out there that you probably shouldn't be wasting money on at all. Read More...

Oct 26, 2020 A fresh crop of college grads are about to head into the workforce and snagging that first professional job is a major milestone. Getting your first paycheck is equally thrilling, but it pays to be smart about how you use it. The decisions you make with your money in your 20's can set the tone for your financial future, so it's important to get started on the right foot. Read More...

Sep 09, 2016 Fashion involves more than peaking into your closet every morning and throwing on the first set of clothes that you can find. In my opinion, clothing and accessories give me the opportunity to express my individuality on a daily basis. Even though I strive for my personal style to come off as both fun and unique, I still like to follow some of the new trends from time to time. But I'm on a limited budget. Read More...

Nov 17, 2016 Lots of people don’t like having garage sales. They consider them to be a lot of work for very little return. But for me, having a garage sale is almost always worth it when I tally up how much money I made for stuff I was going to get rid of anyway. Here are four of my secrets to hosting a successful garage sale. Hopefully they’ll help you earn some extra cash the next time you hold one. Read More...

Jan 20, 2017 We look up to celebrities for all sorts of things, from fashion advice to tips on which charities to support. But one thing we probably shouldn't look up to celebrities for is financial advice. While there are some celebrities who have their financial houses in order, the truth is that many of the "rich and famous” are definitely more famous than rich, despite bringing in several times what the average American family earns each year. But while we might not want to emulate them, we can definitely learn from them. Here are four celebrity money mistakes we can all learn from. Read More...

Jan 20, 2017 Identity theft scams are rampant and it seems a new phishing scam is discovered every day. The FBI tracks different phishing scams, from those targeting students to charitable organizations. The best way to protect yourself and your identity is to be aware of scams as they arise. Sometimes these come in the form of emails or even utility bills with the goal of getting access to your money. So to avoid your vacation or retirement savings from going to fund someone's else's financial goals, here are some new scams to watch out for. Read More...

Oct 09, 2020 For three seasons of the year, my favorite two words are farmers and market. From May through November, they're everywhere. In cities and towns of every size and description, farmers gather to sell everything from firm green tomatoes that are perfect for frying to heritage-breed, hormone-free pork belly. Farmers' markets have been around for a long time and are more popular than ever. Read More...

Apr 06, 2015 Communal living may sound like something that went out of favor when the 70's ended. In fact, it's a movement that's still going strong. If you're open to it, communal living could save you money - and do wonders for your social life. Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 What do movies, cars, tuxedos and private islands have in common? You can rent them by the day, week or longer. The rental business is not new. It's been around since the beginning of civilization; one primitive human might have borrowed a spear from a friend and given him a big hunk of woolly mammoth meat in exchange. Many people decide to rent their homes from others instead of buying them. Tools of all sorts are commonly rented items, particularly specialty tools that you use once every other year. But there are rentals that fall under the umbrella of unusual, like private islands, that have become more popular in recent decades. Read More...

Apr 01, 2015 Quitting your job is a big risk but it can be rewarding if you're moving on to a better opportunity, starting your own business or planning to stay home with the kids. Making sure you've battened down the financial hatches before you say adios to your employer is crucial, especially if you don't have the promise of another paycheck looming on the horizon. Tackling these five money tasks before you move on is a must. Read More...

Mar 17, 2015 “Buy one, get one free!” “10 for $10” Sales like these can be hard to resist, especially if you are someone who likes to save money like I do. For years, I would get sales fliers in the mail for my local grocery store and other retailers, and I’d immediately begin scouring through the ads to find the best deals. But over time, I’ve learned that I should actually be wary of sales if I truly want to save money and live frugally. Here are just a few reasons you should be wary of sales as well. Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 Loss aversion is the name for the human tendency to care more about losses than wins. In other words, the pain of losing outweighs the pleasure of winning. This can have a big impact on your financial goals. Here are three ways loss aversion can cost you money: Read More...

Jan 20, 2017 Juggling different bank accounts, tracking when your bills are due and keeping tabs on your savings goals can be time-consuming but it shouldn't take over your life. Automating certain aspects of your finances can relieve some of the pressure that goes along with trying to make sure you've crossed everything off your list. If you're ready to simplify the way you manage your money, here are four changes to make today. Read More...

Jan 12, 2017 Maybe you've been thinking of going vegan, but are concerned about the cost. One of the most frequent complaints about eating vegan, or trying a more plant-based diet in general, is that it is more expensive. For those who are just starting out, or slowly changing your diets, this may be true. However, those who have successfully overhauled their diets have learned it doesn't have to be expensive. Here are five tips for eating vegan on a budget. Read More...

Mar 06, 2015 In life, money isn’t everything. But having enough of it sure can make a difference. By finding ways to increase your income, you might be able to pay your bills more easily, pay off debt or save up for future financial goals like buying a house. Progress on all of your financial goals will be much faster if you can find a way to increase your income without increasing your expenses. Here are a few ways to do just that. Read More...

Mar 14, 2019 Patrice Washington says she is an accidental personal finance blogger. Regardless, it's a role she seems born to play, and one she's certainly making the most of! Patrice is now much more than a personal finance blogger, she is a personal finance educator, author and advocate. You can see, hear and read Patrice pretty much everywhere from the Steve Harvey TV and radio show to her own books on personal finance. We caught up with Patrice in New Orleans for this edition of SmartAsset Talks. Read More...

Mar 02, 2015 Even though the economy is on the up-swing, many people remain unemployed or under-employed. This can make paying even basic bills and living expenses very difficult. If you are in this situation or if you are looking for ways to reach your financial goals more quickly, you should consider starting a side hustle. Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 It turns out there's a correlation between how much you pay for your wedding and how likely you are to divorce. That's right, the more expensive the wedding, the higher the probability that the marriage will end in divorce. That should be the only excuse you need to have a frugal wedding. Read More...

Sep 15, 2016 Shopping in thrift stores has become my new favorite hobby. Although I grew up with my mother taking me to thrift stores as a kid, I didn't really start appreciating them (and shopping at them myself) until I had a child of my own. Now, I'm so hooked that I have a hard time justifying why I should look for certain items anywhere else. So if you're trying to save money and you haven't checked out your local thrift scene, here are five reasons why you should give it a try. Read More...

Nov 12, 2017 If you're looking for ways to take control of your financial life, the best way to start is by simplifying it. There are so many small ways you can create a more simple structure in your finances, and each small thing you do can add up to big changes. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 Your lawn may be lush, but it's likely costing you a lot of time, money and water. Whether you care for your lawn yourself or pay someone to handle it for you, that patch of grass represents a significant commitment. Ready to branch out? Try one of these four alternatives. Many people find that switching to a lawn alternative frees up time in their weekends and money in their budgets. Here are four of our favorite water-, time- and money-saving alternatives to the standard American yard. Read More...

Jan 20, 2017 In a perfect world, a marriage would be built on love, trust and mutual respect, and it would last a lifetime. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for those who find themselves facing divorce. While the emotional turmoil of a split can be extremely difficult, the hit to one's personal finances can be almost equally devastating. Bouncing back financially after a divorce can be hard and trying, but it is certainly possible. Here are five tips to get you back on track: Read More...

May 18, 2018 There are a couple ways to look at billionaires: as people to be envied or as people to be emulated. Before you rush off thinking, "I can't be like a billionaire when I'm not even a millionaire," take a moment to consider how some billionaires really live. The reality for many of them is that extravagance and opulence are not at all part of their equation for success or happiness. Here are some tips to get rich by living like a billionaire. Read More...

Feb 06, 2015 We talk a lot about budgets, but what happens when your income and expenses aren't consistent? That unpredictability makes budgeting trickier. An easy way around this problem? Monitoring your cash flow. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 With all the personal finance advice on TV and strewn across all corners of the Internet, it can be hard to know what's fact and what's fiction. So we're here to help. Below are 10 popular personal finance myths that people like to spread, as well as why you shouldn't buy into them. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Sandy Smith is cheap. And she's not afraid to tell people about it. Her motto is, "I embrace the cheap." She says being cheap means being concerned about saving money, getting the best bang for your buck and not spending what you don't have to. We caught up with Sandy at FinCon, a conference for personal finance bloggers, to talk about her personal finance blog as well as a new venture she's working on with other bloggers. Read More...

Jan 18, 2017 Early in the New Year is when our minds turn to two things: self-improvement and self-discipline. We want to learn new skills, get healthier and save more money. Well, with our top 5 skills to acquire in 2015, you can do all three. Read More...

Jan 28, 2016 A budget is a plan for your money. To that end, not having a budget is like planning for financial failure. Yet the act of creating a family budget is no guarantee that it will work. The best way to increase your chances of creating a household budget that you can live with and that will help you gain a measure of control over your personal finances is to understand the top five reasons household budgets fail. Here are some budgeting tips families can follow to avoid these mistakes. Read More...

Dec 21, 2017 Debt is easy to accrue yet difficult to get rid of. The problem for many people, millennials included, is that they barely get by from paycheck to paycheck and simply don't have the extra money to make more than minimum payments on what they owe. The solution may not be in your debt, though, but in your income. A part-time job that fits your schedule may be the fastest and simplest way to eliminate debt. Read More...

Dec 21, 2017 Socking away money into a 529 plan is a smart move for parents who want to help their kids with the cost of college so they don't end up overburdened by student loans. Compared to a Coverdell Education Savings Account, 529 plans offer a lot more flexibility in terms of how much you can save, who can use the money and what you can do with any excess that's left over once your student graduates. If you've been saving diligently for your child's education and you anticipate having a surplus, here are five ways to put it to good use. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 If getting a better grip on your finances tops your list of New Year's resolutions, then taking advantage of technology can make it much easier. Whether your focus is on budgeting better, keeping track of your expenses or paying down debt, there are hundreds of money management apps to choose from to help you achieve your goals. Sifting through them all to find the best ones is time-consuming, but SmartAsset has done the work for you to find the eight best finance apps that beat out the competition. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Being one man at a computer wasn't enough for Philip Taylor, known by most in the financial blogging world as PT. After starting his own website in 2007 to share his experience improving his own finances, PT soon realized there were many bloggers spread out across the country and the world talking about similar issues. To help foster  a community for these like-minded, finance-focused writers, he started a conference. We caught up with PT at the fourth annual FinCon event. He's our guest for this edition of SmartAsset Talks. Read More...

Apr 20, 2015 Feeling a little overspent? Why not try a spending diet? It could be just what you need to get your financial house in order. Read More...

Sep 08, 2021 Tiffany Aliche is The Budgetnista. She teaches financial empowerment through speaking engagements, workshops and her bestselling book. Her motto is "LIVE RICHER" and for this edition of SmartAsset Talks she explains what that means and how you can join 10,000 other women for her free 2015 LIVE RICHER Challenge. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 By 2020, spending on prescription drugs in America is expected to top $510 billion. That means more than $1,500 per year for each and every person. The reality is that prescription drug prices will continue to outpace inflation for the foreseeable future. And that means that any way you can save a few dollars helps. Read More...

Feb 14, 2020 Across the country, State Treasuries are holding billions of dollars in unclaimed property, assets like orphaned 401(k) accounts or payroll checks that never made it to their rightful owners. Every single state has an unclaimed property law that requires the treasury (or in some cases the controller or comptroller) to seek out the rightful owners of such property. As part of SmartAsset’s ongoing investigation into the numbers behind unclaimed property, we wanted to take a look at unclaimed property on a local level. Specifically, we found the U.S. Counties with the highest totals of unclaimed funds owed to residents. Read More...

Feb 14, 2020 There are people walking around right now who are owed  hundreds, thousands, or in some cases even  millions of dollars in unclaimed property. In fact you might be one of them. Let us explain... Read More...

Dec 21, 2017 Think back to the first job you ever had as an adult. We’ll bet you spent just about all that money soon after you got paid and imagined all the things you’d do with a higher income. What about now? Do you still long for a bigger paycheck even though you’re making more? It’s called lifestyle inflation: the tendency for our lifestyle to become more expensive as our income grows, leaving us perpetually dissatisfied. So how do you resist the siren call of a fancier lifestyle? Here are our top 5 tips: Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 Now that you've indulged in Thanksgiving excess and dipped your toe into holiday shopping, isn't it time you showed a charity some love? You may know that charitable donations are tax-deductible, but do you know the ins and outs of getting that deduction? Read on for our top tips. Read More...

Feb 13, 2020 When you're trying to score a break at tax time, maxing out your deductions can potentially lower your bill or result in a bigger tax return. Apart from the standard write-offs for things like mortgage interest or business travel, you may be able to claim more unusual expenses, including the cost of taking care of a pet. The IRS has certain rules about when pet expenses are tax-deductible, so if you've got some furry friends at home, here are a few scenarios where you might benefit. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 You hate it, I hate it, everybody hates it. Sometimes, though, asking for financial help is the only way out of a jam. With the holiday season coming up, chances are your relatives are asking you what you want as a gift. What if you gave a different answer this year and got some financial help instead of a new pair of socks? If you choose to go down this road, here are our top 5 tips for making the conversation as easy as possible: Read More...

Feb 11, 2020 When you're trying to pay down a pretty steep pile of debt, getting to the finish line is usually more of a marathon than a sprint. If you've been living on a tight budget so you can get those credit cards or student loans paid off more quickly, it can easily lead to burnout. When that happens, you run the risk of overspending to compensate for the sacrifices you've made, or worse, giving up altogether. Finding ways to keep your motivation up so you can stay focused on your end goal can help you counteract the symptoms. If you've reached the point where you can't stand the thought of putting another penny towards your debt, however, here are some things you can do to beat the mental block and keep going. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Farnoosh Torabi has been tackling the topic of money for more than a decade. The personal finance expert and  TV personality is a contributing editor at Money Magazine and frequent contributor on The Today Show. She's also a wife who makes more money than her husband.  In this edition of SmartAsset Talks, Farnoosh tells us why this unusual but increasingly common situation became the (very personal) focus of her latest bestselling book, When She Makes More. Read More...

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