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Personal Finance

Sep 09, 2016 Living on a budget can be tough, especially if you’ve had to make cuts to your spending in the past to make sure you're living within your means. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn't ever splurge on luxuries and other things you want. The key to splurging is to figure out how to do it without disrupting any progress you've made toward reaching your long-term financial goals.  Read More...

Nov 18, 2016 When it comes to reaching financial goals like saving enough money for retirement or getting out of credit card debt, there are basically two ways you can go about it. You can start cutting down on spending so you have more money to put toward your goals each month. Or you can try to earn some more cash. Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 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...

Apr 06, 2016 We all overspend now and then. It's part of being human. It's about being susceptible to internal forces (like our emotions) and outside influences (like marketing). Splurging can be used as a reward for reaching the goals we’ve set for ourselves. But spending too much too often can wreck your finances when you're racking up on credit card debt and struggling to keep up with payments on student loans and other obligations. 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...

Apr 30, 2015 When you have a child or another dependent who has a disability, providing them with necessary care can be extremely taxing both emotionally and financially. In December 2014, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act was signed into law with the goal of relieving some of the financial burdens that families of disabled beneficiaries face. Read More...

Apr 27, 2015 Minimalism has been a popular movement within the past few years. More and more people are adopting the simplistic lifestyle to escape consumerism. But minimalism doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone. I prefer to think of it as using, owning and doing the things you actually love and enjoy rather than being caught up in the everyday rat race of buying more stuff and continually upgrading your lifestyle, vehicle and home. 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...

Jan 13, 2017 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 21, 2015 One of the easiest ways to make more financial progress in less time is to lower your variable spending each month. Variable spending is the portion of your budget that varies from month to month and can be controlled at least somewhat by your habits. We all have fixed expenses, like our rent or mortgage. But there are usually the expenses that fluctuate per month and sometimes get out of control - like shopping and going out to eat - that keep us from sticking to our budgetsRead More...

Jan 20, 2017 My family is super competitive. All four of my immediate family members -- my mom, my dad, my brother and I -- all want to win and we aren’t exactly happy when we lose. In fact, family game nights have been known to result in someone getting punched in the face - ok, it was just that one time. 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...

Jan 20, 2017 The choice between paying down debt and saving that money, for say retirement, is a matter of numbers. If we are thinking of credit card debt, in particular, the numbers seem quite clear. The average interest rate people pay on credit cards is about 15 percent while the interest paid to consumers on money sitting in savings accounts is mostly less than 1 percent. Read More...

Apr 01, 2015 If you're torn between whether to rent or buy a home, consider that renting offers a lot of perks and fewer hassles. But one of the not-so-pleasant parts is handing over that big security deposit upfront. Ideally you'd be able to get all of that money back once you move out, but it doesn't always work out that way. Causing damage to the property or violating the terms of your lease could result in your landlord keeping your cash. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you get your deposit back. Read More...

Aug 22, 2017 If you're a saver by nature, socking away extra money may not be much of a challenge. But if you like to spend, saving is tough. Getting a savings app to do the hard work for you can help you grow your cushion faster, but how do you know which one is best? SmartAsset has a quick rundown of three apps that can get you on the fast track to saving for retirement, a future trip or another goal. 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...

Jan 20, 2017 I've never been a big fan of prices that end in $.99 or $.95 because they seem so completely dishonest. I am a big fan, however, of prices that end in $.00 and begin with a zero, better known as FREE. Free stuff is my favorite and surprisingly there are quite a few things available at no cost to you, from credit scores and coffee to birthday treats and sweets. 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...

Nov 06, 2017 It’s funny how, as a marketing professional, I hear, “There’s nothing to do here” all the time. Or, “I don’t want to spend a lot of money, so I don’t have anywhere to go.” I have to admit I’m a little biased with the writing of this post: I do work for city government so I know that we offer a lot of free or inexpensive activities and venues for our community. And we’re not alone. 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...

Sep 22, 2016 You may have seen posters or ads telling you that every household needs an emergency plan, but have you followed through? If what's holding you back from disaster preparedness is your fear of the expense, read on for some money-saving tips. After all, if you're willing to plan far in the future for your  retirement, you should be willing to plan for something that could happen this year. 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...

Feb 25, 2015 We don't like talking about money. And discussing finances with our elderly parents? That's especially uncomfortable. But there might come a time when your aging parents need help to manage their finances. Even parents who've been financially responsible their entire lives might begin to forget credit-card payments as they age. They might fall for financial scams or spend too much money on sweepstakes and charity organizations. Read More...

Nov 12, 2017 A vacation is supposed to be fun! It's meant to be a time when you escape into a world where you can focus on relaxing or exploring. Unfortunately, sometimes thieves and scammers try to take advantage of this vulnerable time. Here are the top 5 ways to not get taken when you're taking a trip. 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...

Feb 17, 2015 Starting a new relationship can be a fun and exciting time. Whether you have just decided to see your partner exclusively, recently made the decision to move into together or even gotten recently engaged or married, one topic that will come up over and over is money. Believe it or not money and personal finances can help make or break your relationship. 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...

Feb 04, 2015 Enough time has passed between the enthusiasm that came from your  New Year's resolutions to shape up, and the reality of heading off in the cold to work up a good sweat. The fact of the matter is, for most of us, going to the gym ( if our gym isn't at home) requires some serious motivation. Unfortunately, the best motivation is results, which can take months to see or measure. That means hitting the ground running, starting with choosing the right gym and developing a plan that you can realistically live with in the long term. Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 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 30, 2015 There are all sorts of reasons to avoid working out: who has the time, gyms are expensive, I can’t get motivated. For these reasons as well as countless others, many people turn to home gyms. The problem at this point, though, becomes cost. Well, what if you could set up a home gym for less than $100? Keep reading to find out how. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Vernon Ross wants you to crush it. No, really, he hopes you succeed at meeting your goals. Vernon wants to help you spread your message (whatever it may be) to more people. He started a blog to share ways to do just that. But when he realized he wanted to reach more people with his own message he turned to another format. Now Vernon provides advice through his podcast, The Social Strategy Podcast. Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 Most of us budget from paycheck to paycheck or month to month. Whether by necessity or habit, we often don't think too far into the financial future. There's a case to be made, though, for considering the year as a whole and budgeting accordingly. Let us explain. 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...

Jan 21, 2015 Winter is here, and along with dropping temperatures, we also have snowstorms and reduced daylight hours to look forward to over the next few months. While we tend to think of the summer as ideal for getaways, winter vacations offer the perfect opportunity for you or your family to take a break from the cold weather and beat the wintertime blues. There are also plenty of vacation spots that offer discounts and reduced prices during the colder months, which means a winter vacation can also be economical for you and your family. So here are the top five locations to vacation this winter Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Who doesn't love the thrill of getting a great deal? Who can resist the rush that only comes from getting twice as much for half the price? I know I can't! I'm cheap and I'm proud of it. How cheap am I? I'm so cheap that I have to remind myself that being too cheap can be costly! The following is a list of eight ways that being cheap can cost you big. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Shannyn Allan didn't want to give up on a beautiful life just because she was broke. As a grad student living in an expensive city, Shannyn started a personal finance blog to show you could live (and live well) on only a little... as long as you got crafty. Her motto - fit, fashionable and fabulous. But still frugal. 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 13, 2018 I can't imagine how many words have been written about household and personal budgets. I, too, preached the gospel of the budget to anyone who would listen. That is, until recently when I was stopped dead in my tracks by a young woman who said to me, "I make the best budgets in the world, but they never work because I just ignore them once they're done." Before I could question her about her budgets, she lit a cigarette, took a deep drag and said, "Bad habits are hard to break." While she was clearly talking about smoking, it dawned on me that her budget was not the problem;  she was the problem. 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...

May 18, 2018 You may be a person who has everything you need, and you tell your friends and family not to get you anything but they always do. You open that shiny package under the tree and it’s something you have no idea what you're going to do with. It’s the thought that counts, sure, but you don't want this gift to go to waste. So don’t just throw it in your closet or the garbage, never to be seen again. After all, one person's unwanted gift is another person's treasure! If you aren't sure what to do with a gift that you can’t use, we have some suggestions to help you out. 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...

Aug 15, 2017 We all know from news reports and studies that finances are the principal reason couples divorce. The stress of mishandling finances can drive even the most loving couples apart. For this reason, it's important to stay on top of your spending and money habits, not only as an individual, but as a couple. Remember: once you decide to make a life commitment to your partner, your financial burdens becomes theirs, and vice versa. One of the best ways to ensure long-term success as a couple, therefore, is to manage your finances responsibly. Here are four tips couples—married or not—can use to work towards becoming fiscally responsible. Read More...

Jan 10, 2017 If one of your New Year's resolutions is to get a better grip on your finances, then cutting out some of the financial clutter can go a long way. While you do need to have an organized system for paying bills and keeping track of expenses, it doesn't have to be overly complicated. In fact, trying to stay on top of too many things at once practically guarantees that something will fall through the cracks. Instead of starting 2015 out in a money panic, you can simplify things by making these four no-fuss moves. Read More...

Dec 30, 2014 If you're a regular on personal finance sites, you may be under the impression that spending is never OK. At SmartAsset, though, we realize that too much frugality and not enough reward can lead to burnout. We're big believers in guilt-free spending when it makes sense. Read on to learn just when that might be.  Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 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...

Dec 18, 2014 Many fun-loving young adults think they are indestructible, and as a result, they fail to plan for the future. In between college and starting out on my own, I luckily managed to save some money, and I even started investing in my retirement at the ripe old age of 25. The problem, however, came when I started to think of it as a rainy day fund, pulling it out for everything from a new car to a vacation. My goal now is to help my children do better than I did. On that note, here are some ways millennials can prepare for the future without sacrificing too much… 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...

Jan 02, 2015 If you're ready to say out with the old and in with the new in 2015, one of the things you may want to think about revamping is the way you manage your money. The new year is the perfect time to make a fresh start and do away with all those bad spending choices that have kept you from reaching your savings goals. If socking away more cash is a top priority once January rolls around, then check out these seven ways to cut out expenses that are bloating your budget. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 In Louisiana, if the holder of valuable property like a stock dividend or a life insurance payment is unable to locate the owner, the property must be turned over to the state treasurer, usually after a period of three to five years. As of November 2014, the total value of unclaimed property held by the Louisiana Treasurer’s office was over $413 million, or about $89.82 per person. That’s enough unclaimed money to buy over 30 gallons of gas at an average Louisiana fueling station. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 According to Iowa Code 556, property in the State of Iowa is considered unclaimed if the holder is unable to locate or contact the owner after a period of inactivity, usually at least three years. As of this writing, the total value of unclaimed property held by the Treasurer’s office was $162 million. Given that the population of Iowa is 3.09 million, there is an average of about $50 worth of unclaimed money per person in the Hawkeye state. Read More...

Dec 10, 2014 Travel, gifts, special meals, decorations, party outfits...It can feel like the holiday season was designed to make you break your budget. It doesn't have to be this way, though. Let us explain. Read More...

Dec 10, 2014 In the state of Illinois, property is turned over to the State Treasurer as “unclaimed” if the holder is unable to locate or contact the owner after a period of inactivity, usually five or more years. As of this writing, the total value of unclaimed property held by the Treasurer’s office was $1.8 billion dollars. There are 5.8 million names in the state’s unclaimed property database, which means that on average, each unclaimed property account is holding $310.38. Using data from the State Treasurer’s office and the U.S. Census Bureau, SmartAsset found the Illinois counties with the highest average claim, and with the most claims per capita. Read More...

Dec 16, 2014 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… Read More...

Dec 09, 2014 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...

Dec 01, 2014 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 refund. 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...

Nov 07, 2017 It’s that time of year again—the holidays are coming! And now is the perfect time to start thinking about what you're going to get your loved ones. While holiday shopping is often thought of as a financial burden, if done smartly and with proper thought, you can actually help improve your loved one’s financial life. There are plenty of financially-focused gifts you can give that can help a loved one save for a home, pay down debt, save for their education and much more. Here are five ideas worth checking out. Read More...

Dec 16, 2016 It's no surprise that fake news stories and internet rumors can lead to misinformation. But if you base financial decisions, like where to donate money, on this bad information, they can affect your money. These days you are likely to see fake facts in your social media feed. When the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was making the rounds on Facebook, there were tons of posts about donation totals, the effect of the campaign on other charities, etc.  Here are some tips for making sure the news you are reading online isn't full of fake facts. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Jason Steele flies for free. With his wife. And two kids. Internationally. Before your jealousy turns to anger, I should probably mention that he's willing to share his secrets. In fact, the travel rewards expert spoke with us for this edition of SmartAsset Talks. 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...

Nov 07, 2017 As the end of the year approaches and the days become shorter, we seemingly grow deeper in debt. Retailers, both online and physical, count on us to become overwhelmed with holiday spirit and spend, spend, spend. When, though, did not overspending and not wanting to go into debt become tantamount to not having any holiday spirit? To that end, when did being fiscally savvy become synonymous with not caring? The truth is, you can spend wisely and save money while still being caring and getting into the festivities. Here are four ways how: Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Jeff Rose is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and well known personal finance blogger. He calls himself a numbers geek but his cool, confident nature makes him sound more like a financially fit friend who is willing to let you pick his brain. So we did just that! Jeff is a best-selling author, CEO of his own wealth management firm and our guest for this edition of SmartAsset Talks. Read More...

Jan 08, 2015 While there are many households comprised of two working parents, there are still many that have one who stays at home. Times are changing, and more and more fathers are choosing to be home while their wives or partners work to support the family. Despite this progress, it's important to understand the major changes that occur in one’s life after parenthood, especially when it comes to finances. If you're considering becoming a stay-at-home parent, here are some tips on how to prepare your family’s finances so you can ease the strain of dropping down to just one income. Read More...

Nov 17, 2014 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...

Apr 13, 2018 Most articles you read about getting out of debt, controlling spending or saving for the future advise that you start with a budget. They may not all use the actual word, but the sentiment is clear: you'll be lost without a plan. This is right, though there is a popular misconception about budgets that they are exclusively forward-looking. It is true that budgets act as road maps to your financial future, but you can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. In other words, the most effective way to plan for your future starts with understanding your past. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Matt Becker helps new parents navigate their new financial responsibilities. The financial planner is also a dad of two young boys so he has personal experience dealing with the money anxieties that come with growing your family. Matt offers some tips in this edition of our video series, SmartAsset Talks. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Social media is many things to many people. To some, it's a bottomless pit of vapid gossip; to others, it's a useful way to stay in touch with loved ones. One thing is for sure: long before the Internet was even a twinkle in anyone's eye--in fact decades before even the earliest online pioneers were born--the author C.W. Leadbeater provided some prescient analysis of social media when he wrote , "You are what you share." Read More...

Nov 17, 2016 Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays not only for the incredible food, but also because it's one of the few times when all my extended family is in the same room at once. While Thanksgiving is a great time of the year, though, it can also be stressful for those hosting dinner. One of those stresses is often the cost associated with preparing the big meal. Luckily, there are ways to save money and ensure you don’t break the budget on this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. Here are five of the biggest: Read More...

Oct 31, 2014 There's an old adage that you can pick your friends, but not your family. And when it comes to your financial health, it pays to choose wisely. Whether you realize it or not, the people you surround yourself with may be subtly shaping the decisions you make with your money, and in some cases, the outcome is less than positive. Knowing who the worst offenders are puts you in a better position to shield your finances from their bad influence. Read More...

Nov 03, 2014 Halloween is right around the corner, but the ghosts and ghouls aren't the only things going bump in the night. Old debts can come back to haunt you when you least expect, and you can run into some serious problems if you're not sure how to deal with them. When you've got a collection agency howling at your door over an unpaid debt, here's what you need to know in order to banish it for good. Read More...

Oct 30, 2014 'Tis the bewitching season, and it seems there are plenty of ghosts and goblins out there for those just starting out on their own. Perhaps you're a millennial who just finished college, or you've finally found a job that lets you live on your own. Either way, making one's own way can be daunting. So we offer a few words of warning, and you'd do well to heed them, as they could help stop you from derailing your new independent life. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The joys of parenthood are unparalleled. Bringing a child or children into this world and nurturing them into caring, intelligent and resourceful adults is often hailed as one of life’s greatest accomplishments. While the love a parent feels for their child is unmatched, the cost of raising a child can be burdensome. We often hear that children are expensive, but rarely do we stop to think of what makes raising a child so costly. Yet there are a number of surprising costs when it comes to childrearing that many parents do not even think of until they have to pay for them. Here are five of the most surprising: Read More...

Nov 12, 2017 Holiday travel is as American as eating too much apple pie and turkey and stuffing and, well, you get the picture. It's a tradition! But as much fun as traditions are and as much as you love them, they can bust your budget. So to help out, we've composed a list of 10 ways to save money on travel - whether it's over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house, or filling up on Southern sunshine before hibernating for the winter. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Josh Elledge of SavingsAngel doesn't believe in sacrificing everything in order to save money. In fact, he believes you can live abundantly and still meet your financial goals. Not many financial experts are encouraging people to continue buying their favorite coffee drinks. Josh does... if that's what you love. He explains his philosophy in this edition of SmartAsset Talks. Read More...

Oct 24, 2014 There is no rest for the wicked. This saying couldn't be more true than when it comes to scammers and, unfortunately, they are out in full force. While for years they have been casting a wide net on a whole host of targets, they seem to have set their sights recently on a new one: millennials. This is a group new to the workforce or just starting out in adult life. There are tons of different scams out there, but here are the big three that millennials should be on the lookout for. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Most everyone loves bargain hunting. It doesn't matter where you are on the economic ladder, a bargain is a bargain. Don't take my word for it, though; just ask the number three person on the Forbes list of wealthiest people, Warren Buffet. He made and continues to make billions of dollars based on the fundamental premise of bargain hunting. Let's face it: finding a bargain at the end of a successful hunt is a one-of-a-kind thrill that can easily grow into an addiction. Read More...

Oct 22, 2014 Last month, Apple announced the roll-out of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, but what's perhaps most noteworthy is the company's new mobile payment system, Apple Pay. Designed to work in conjunction with the new iPhone, Apple Pay is being heralded as a game-changer in the mobile payment industry. For consumers, it represents a fundamental change in how purchases are made. There are some potential cons to go along with all the benefits, though. If you're eagerly awaiting the system's release, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Oct 17, 2014 Where you're at in life defines how you manage your finances, and by the time your forties roll around, you probably have a pretty good grasp of what works and what doesn't. Your priorities have likely changed since you were in your twenties or thirties, and hopefully by this point basics like budgeting and saving are old hat. Having a plan can help you to smooth out potential bumps in the road, and if you're still not quite sure where you should be, take a look at our financial must-do list for forty-somethings. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 J. Money is the rebel of personal finance. Some people even call him the rock star. Whatever label you choose, he's certainly not your average finance nerd. The full-time blogger dons a mohawk instead of a suit and tie and his view on the (sometimes dry) topic of finances is refreshingly optimistic. The man behind the Budgets are Sexy and Rockstar Finance brands sat down with us for our latest SmartAsset Talks video. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The numbers are startling: a whopping 36 percent of young adults from the ages of 18 to 31 in the United States moved back home to live with their parents in 2012, according to a study by the Pew Research Center. That figure marked the highest percentage of young adults living with their parents in at least 40 years. It means that 21.6 million 18- to 31-year-olds were living in their parents' homes in 2012. That's an all-time record. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Business success is a matter of developing a sound plan and sticking to it. Included in that are things like understanding your market, identifying your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and blah, blah, blah. So goes the business school spiel: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In the real world, business success depends on one thing: spending less than you take in. And that means mastering the art of being a cheap-preneur. Read More...

Oct 17, 2016 It’s that time of year again, Halloween, when ghosts and goblins begin to make their appearance in front yards and on porches. The holiday is one of the first opportunities to get into the holiday decorating spirit, and while there are tons of Halloween-themed decorations that can be bought, many can also be made at home--and for practically half the cost. Additionally, it can be fun to get the kids involved in helping to make the decorations and setting them up around the house or yard. Not only can do-it-yourself Halloween decorations help save money, but they can also be a great way to do some family bonding. Here are five easy and inexpensive DIY Halloween decorations. Read More...

Oct 13, 2014 There has been much talk and writing on “millennials," the generation born between the early 80 and mid-90s. Ranging from 18 to about 35, their age makes them ripe for prodding by everyone from financial advisors to government entities to figure out how this generation is handling its finances. Millennials are often referred to as the “recession generation,” as they have been heavily impacted by the housing crisis and subsequent economic downturn. Their perceptions of how to handle finances, therefore, have shifted greatly. Here are five of the top personal finance trends among millennials. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 Hacks are simple tricks that save you time and money. A common trait of most hacks is that they take something you already have and use it for an all new purpose. Some hacks are not about clever uses of dustpans to fill buckets, but better ways to buy buckets. Ultimately hacks are all about changing the way you look at the world and adapting in new and interesting ways that save you resources. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Lauren is THAT lady. The mother of four juggles it all. When her family was digging out of debt she learned just how much she could save on groceries by cutting coupons, planning ahead and executing. Now she shares what she learned with others through her blog, speaking engagements and her book. You may have seen her on the Dr. Oz show, the Marlo Thomas Show or in ALL You magazine. Well, now you can see her here as part of our SmartAsset Talks series where we interview personal finance experts. Read More...

Oct 09, 2014 You never really listen to the advice your parents gave you until you’re older, and half the time you don’t even realize you remembered some of the lessons they tried to teach you until it’s too late. Although I think my parents tried to instill a good foundation for me to become an independent woman and adult, I don’t know that they really imparted a lot of financial advice. So let’s explore some of the most important money lessons that my (and maybe your) parents left out. Read More...

Aug 15, 2017 Finding a couple who hasn't had at least one fight about money is akin to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. Keeping the lines of communication open can help to eliminate a lot of the conflict that goes along with managing your joint finances but the eventual disagreement is bound to pop up. How you and your significant other handle the situation can help determine whether you end up repeating the same arguments. Here's a look at some of the most common money issues that cause strife for couples and how to deal with them. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 We all know the environmental advantages to carpooling and bike riding. Less carbon fumes in the air, makes it a greener mode of transportation. We also know that it can be a bit more economical as well. But I wanted you to know just how much carpooling or bike pooling can save big bucks. You might be surprised at just how much you can save, I know I was, and how many pooling services exist in case you can’t rally your own co-workers to join you. Read More...

May 18, 2018 One of the advantages of being coupled up is that there's someone there to share the financial load with. Even in relationships where one person is the sole breadwinner, two heads can be better than one when it comes to setting goals, managing the budget and planning for the future. When you're on your own, you bear sole responsibility for handling your finances so it's especially important to make wise decisions. Single women are often at a disadvantage since they tend to earn less than men but that doesn't mean they can't be good money stewards. If you're a woman who's flying solo, here are some tips for keeping your finances on the right track. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 As the season changes and the weather gets colder, the types of fruits and vegetables that are in season will change. The produce items that filled our picnic tables this summer during BBQs and cookouts may still be available but for more money. Any thrifty shopper will tell you it is usually more cost effective to buy in season fruits and vegetables over those that have to be shipped from other parts of the world. Thus, one of the main ways to save money on your grocery bill and still eat a healthy, well-balanced diet is to know what fruits and vegetables are in season.  Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 J.D. Roth calls himself an accidental personal finance expert. This humble, friendly and very knowledgeable guy started the Get Rich Slowly movement (and blog!) to share his journey of getting out of debt more than eight years ago. Now J.D. continues to pass on tips through speaking engagements, writing for major publications and multiple books. SmartAsset caught up with J.D. at FinCon in New Orleans. Check out the video below to hear how he got started, what he's learned in the process and some advice he has for the rest of us. Read More...

Oct 02, 2014 Middle class is a term that is thrown around a lot in conversation but rarely understood.  This stems from the fact that there is no one definition of “middle class." While people have an idea of what a middle class income looks like on paper, usually the decision of who is middle class includes other factors that are more visible as well. Read More...

Sep 30, 2014 So you’ve finally gotten that much-deserved pay raise you’ve been waiting for at work. You may think this means it’s time to treat yourself for all of your hard work. Now you can buy those great pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing every time you pass the store window, or pay for that vacation you’ve wanted to take. Wrong. It isn’t that you don’t deserve to spend a little bit of money on yourself, it's just that there are ways to use that new bigger paycheck more constructively to reach your financial goals. Read More...

May 27, 2015 We begin life as helpless newborns completely dependent upon others for every aspect of our well-being. The 'others' are most often our parents. We then spend a couple of decades leaning on them while learning to be independent. This sometimes continues well into our adulthood. Read More...

Dec 28, 2016 When you regularly reach the end of your money before the end of the month, it's probably time to consider revamping your budget. Writing down everything you're spending can help you keep tabs on where your hard-earned dollars are going, but sometimes you might need to go a step further. If you normally use credit or debit cards to pay for things, switching to cash-only can improve accountability and make it easier to stay in the black. Read More...

Sep 26, 2014 As you enter into your fourth decade, you've hopefully learned a few things along the way, especially when it comes to managing your money. Becoming a financial grown-up won't happen overnight and making mistakes is part of the process. If you managed to escape your twenties without racking up a serious amount of debt or doing anything that damaged your credit then congratulations, you're well ahead of the game. To keep your financial house running smoothly in your thirties and beyond, it pays to keep these important money lessons in mind. Read More...

Sep 24, 2014 These days it seems like everyone's got a blog and it's relatively easy to carve out your own little section of real estate on the internet. Setting one up usually doesn't require a large investment of time or cash but you can expect to work a lot harder if you want to convert it into a money-making machine. If you've got a blog that seems to be going nowhere, here's a look at what might be holding you back and how to turn things around. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Taking good care of your teeth is vital to both your physical and financial health. Unlike regular medical insurance, dental insurance is usually much narrower in terms of what it covers. If you end up needing extensive dental work, like a crown or bridge, your final bill can easily be several thousand dollars. When you don't have insurance, it can take an even bigger bite out of your wallet. If a visit to the dentist means a trip into the red, here are some ways to minimize the damage. Read More...

Dec 28, 2016 A neglected lesson is that financially responsible adults are made, not born, usually by parents who instilled important good money management skills early. Budgeting is the most important financial proficiency parents can impart to their children because all other best financial practices flow from it. A kid learning to place a priority on budgeting helps ensure that as an adult they will establish and maintain good credit, have the wherewithal to make investments and develop the type of discipline necessary for success in their work life. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 News flash – gas is expensive! What, you already knew that? Of course you did, but how many of these saving tips and tricks for the gas pump are you aware of? We've collected 14 here to save you money and leave you feeling a little better after filling up that tank. Read More...

Dec 21, 2017 Look both ways before crossing the street. Eat your vegetables. Brush your teeth. Don't talk to strangers. As parents we spend a good portion of our time teaching and reinforcing important lessons to our children. Some we do through a combination of words and deeds, like to be polite, and say please and thank you, which we reinforce by our own behavior. There are also some things that parents tend to put off until children are "old enough to understand" and one of those topics is money. The problem is by the time we believe most kids are able to "understand" money they have already had years of misinformation cemented into their subconscious and overcoming those seemingly hardwired misconceptions is tough. The solution is to teach money and financial lessons early and remember that money is fun. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 My first experience with a cruise ship was right out of an old movie complete with ecstatic passengers tossing confetti and streamers over the rails of the Queen Mary. I stood on the pier on the west side of Manhattan my neck craning back my six year old eyes scouring the ship looking for my grandmother, aunt and uncles as they prepared to depart for Europe. I asked my father if we could ever go on a ship like that for a trip. He smiled patted my head and said probably not, they're very expensive. Read More...

Sep 17, 2014 Routinely assessing your finances is a smart way to make sure you're on the right path but constantly obsessing over money can actually derail your plans. When you're zeroed in on what it is you're doing wrong financially, it often results in a sense of failure that makes it much harder to steer things in the right direction. Even if you're actually doing pretty well, there's often a nagging fear that you can't let go of that you could be doing better. If you're plagued by any of these troublesome money concerns, taking action is the key to banishing your worry permanently. Read More...

Sep 17, 2014 By just about every conceivable measure, the NFL is America’s sport. It attracts more TV viewers (205 million in 2013, or 81% of all television homes) and makes more money (over $9 billion in revenue for 2013) than its closest competitors, the NBA and MLB. By sheer number of fans, it’s also number one: an annual poll asking sports fans to name their favorite sport has, for thirty years straight, found professional football to be most popular. Read More...

Sep 11, 2014 As the temperatures drop and summer turns into fall, we may re-evaluate our financial needs. The fall not only signals a change in the weather, but also a busy time for holidays which include travel, buying presents and more. Unfortunately, all of this travel and holiday shopping requires money. To prepare for these added costs you can begin to put money away for the holiday season or look for ways to make some extra cash in the fall. If you are looking for some ways to bring in extra money, here are five ideas. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 Would you believe that fitness training and savings goals can go hand in hand? There are many life lessons one can learn when embarking on a fitness goal that can help you meet other goals in your life. Whether you are saving to buy a home, for retirement, looking to build a rainy day fund, or any other financial goal, the steps you take to… Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 One of the trickier issues that goes along with tying the knot is figuring out how to manage your finances. Some couples prefer to keep things separate while others are comfortable pooling all of their resources. A prenup may be necessary when one or both parties have financial interests they want to protect, such as a business or an inheritance. If you get hitched without one, you still have the option of signing a postnuptial agreement after the fact. Read More...

Dec 28, 2016 Sometimes all it takes to sour someone on a particular business or company is just one bad experience. An unresolved billing issue, complaints about the quality of a particular product or just poor service may be enough for you to go from current to former customer. The situation is often made worse when you feel like your voice hasn't been heard. Fortunately, there are several agencies that are actively listening to buyer feedback. With help from the North American Consumer Protection Investigators, the Consumer Federation of America has come up with the top 10 consumer complaints for 2013. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Going from dating to married is a big test for any couple but the stakes are a little higher when both of you bring children into the mix. Blended families are becoming increasingly more common and approximately 65% of couples who remarry have children from a previous relationship according to the National Stepfamily Resource Center. Aside from navigating schedules, visitation times and who sleeps where, you also have to figure how you'll handle the financial side of things. Blended families face some unique challenges on the money front so we've got some tips for making the transition a little easier. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Save time. Save money. Save, save, save! So go the ads for all-inclusive resorts. From premium destinations to bargain priced paradises they all claim to give you more for less than if you booked a la carte. Once the exclusive province of specialty purveyors like Club Med, the all-inclusive market has grown dramatically in recent years to encompass 14 percent of US travel bookings in 2013. If current trends, which have seen a 75 percent increase since 2010, continue, the all-inclusive market will more than double in size by 2016. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The things that make a city good to live in are pretty different if you're an adult or a kid. Children don't care much about property tax rates, for example, but if there isn't anything fun to do after school they probably won't be very happy. With that in mind, SmartAsset took a look at the hundred largest cities in the country to assess which were the best to spend a childhood in. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 This year my sister saw her last son graduate from high school and head off to college. To say it is a bittersweet time is an understatement. I remember my husband asking me a few questions about a year before our daughter graduated from high school. He asked me if I was tired of him. I looked at him with a dazed yet annoyed look. "What kind of question is that to ask?" He replied, "Look, both the kids will be gone in a few years and if you are tired of looking at me everyday it will only get worse when we are empty nesters." Read More...

Sep 22, 2016 September brings cooler weather and hot deals on things like swimwear, grills and other summer items. But there are a few things you'll want to put off buying until the temperature drops a little more. While prices will begin dropping on certain big ticket items, the best sales won't start gearing up until it gets closer to the holiday shopping season. We've put together a list of things you should hold off on purchasing until after the leaves have begun to turn. Read More...

Dec 28, 2016 Making the decision to move in together with your significant other is a big step and it usually involves navigating some tricky relationship issues. At the top of the list is how the two of you will share the expenses and manage your finances in general. Not addressing the matter could result in some pretty nasty fights down the road, so it's best to tackle the thorny topic of money before you start unpacking. While it's up to couples to set their own rules for living together, here are some basic financial guidelines to… Read More...

Dec 28, 2016 A college degree can help you develop the specialized knowledge and skills necessary to help you launch your career but it won't necessarily teach all you need to know about managing your money. Figuring out how to take control of your cash usually involves a process of trial and error and it's not uncommon to make a few costly mistakes along the way. The more you're willing to learn about the basic rules of personal finance the better off your long-term outlook will be. If you're in your 20s and just starting out, here are some of the most important money lessons to keep in mind. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 It’s coming down to the end of your summer and another academic year begins. You've enjoyed the warm weather, and now find it’s time to refocus on school and making sure you have everything you need to be successful this year. If you are going away for the first time, it can be scary, compounded by the sometimes immense amount of money you have to pay for college. Tuition, room and board, and others costs can quickly add up. Read More...

Dec 08, 2016 Keeping your budget in check is mostly a matter of having a plan for spending and the willpower to stick to it. Resisting the urge to blow thousands of dollars on a new wardrobe or that dream vacation can keep you out of the red but sometimes it's the smaller things that add up to a big drain on your wallet. If you're on the lookout for ways to save, take a look at these things that may be costing you more than you think. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Everyone loves a bargain. Manufacturers and retailers have understood that fact for decades and the result is bigger boxes with less content because it provides the impression of being a good deal. The process is simple: They offer consumers five percent more in a package that's 10 percent larger, label it bulk economy size and charge 15 percent more than the regular size. Read More...

Sep 01, 2017 The summer's winding down and the back-to-school sales are heating up, which is great news for deal hunters. While August is prime time to snag things like laptops, school supplies and televisions at rock-bottom prices, there are a few things you'll want to hold off on awhile longer. If you're going to be headed out to the stores anytime this month, here are purchases you'll want to steer clear of. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Summer break is long. Parents are finding that out now, as those seemingly endless August days stretch on. Summer break can be especially long for those children who are old enough to want money yet too young to land even a part-time job washing dishes at the local family-owned restaurant. Think of all those 14- and 15-year-olds who are whiling away their summer days playing video games and binge-watching reruns of Glee on Hulu Plus. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 When I think of summer, I think of great weather and spending lots of time outdoors. For those in relationships, summer can be a great time to take your dates outside, and do it without spending a lot of money. Here are five ideas for a fun, inexpensive, summer date. Read More...

Dec 28, 2016 Losing your job unexpectedly can be emotionally and financially devastating but unfortunately, it's something all too many Americans have found themselves dealing with in recent years. While the national unemployment rate has been on a steady decline since 2009, it remained at 6.2% as of July 2014. Whether your job loss was the result of downsizing or a company-wide layoff, how you react to the situation can determine the impact on your bottom line. If you're recently joined the ranks of the unemployed, here's what you need to do now to minimize the damage to your finances. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Starting a family usually requires a significant lifestyle adjustment but it also means making some changes to your finances as a new parent. With a new baby comes added responsibilities as well as added expenses and if you're not prepared, it can throw a serious wrench in how you manage your money. If you'll soon be welcoming a new bundle of joy, here are five financial missteps you'll want to steer clear of. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 For most people money is not something we spend a lot of quality time thinking about. Sure we spend lots of time thinking about how we don't have enough or what we would do if we had more. None of that is quality time. Quality time thinking about money is when we engage in thoughts that lead to actions that improve our financial well being, so that we waste less and save more. Read More...

Dec 21, 2017 There are certain perks that go along with being self-employed or freelancing, like the ability to set your own schedule or work from just about anywhere. There is a catch, however, since working for yourself often means you don't get a regular paycheck. The same is true if your income is irregular because you work on a commission basis or you're a seasonal employee. If you're dealing with a feast or famine scenario more often than you'd like, learning how to adjust your budget accordingly can help you close the gap. Take a look at these tips for making the most of your money when you aren't getting paid on a steady basis. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The hot summer days are almost over and soon fall weather will be setting in across the country. While the summer months are considered prime time for wedding season, waiting until the leaves turn to get hitched is becoming a growing trend. As the temperature drops, photographers, caterers and florists usually see a slowdown in demand which means their prices tend to drop. If you're planning on getting married in September or October, you can save even more on your wedding costs with these frugal tips. Read More...

Dec 08, 2016 The start of the new school year is just around the corner and that collective groan you hear is the millions of parents who'll be shelling out big bucks to get their kiddos prepared. According to the latest report from the National Retail Federation, the average family will spend $669.28 on school supplies for the 2014-15 school year, including clothing, shoes and electronics. That's a jump of 5 percent over last year, although total spending is expected to drop to $26.5 billion. Read More...

Jun 19, 2018 Having a discussion about home energy consumption and saving money can sometimes seem intimidating so it might be best to start with the fundamental equations at the heart of the issue. E (energy) = M (money) Therefore, more energy equals more money. Read More...

Aug 08, 2014 I'm not a mathematician but I'm sure there has to be a direct relationship between the degree to which we desire something to the number of euphemisms and clichés we develop to describe it - get your mind out of the gutter, we're talking about money!  Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Cheapskate, penny pincher, tightwad, skinflint, Scrooge. I've been called them all and more. I don't mind. In fact, with the exception of Scrooge, I think they're all compliments. With the exception of old Ebenezer, who was bitter and mean, the rest of those terms refer to someone who is frugal and in my book frugality is a virtue. You'll notice that I said frugal and not cheap or miserly because while frugal, I'm not cheap or miserly. In fact I'm quite generous. Read More...

Aug 04, 2014 Learning the right and wrong ways to manage your finances is usually a process of trial and error. Some people are taught about money from an early age while others never figure it out completely. Chances are, you've made a few poor choices over the years that have affected your bottom line. As long as you're able to learn from them and not repeat them, the damage usually isn't too severe. Reaching certain milestones, like buying a home, is often considered an important rite of being grown-up but it's really your attitude that determines your level of financial maturity. Read More...

Dec 08, 2016 As the summer days begin to fade into fall, millions of students across the country will be gearing up to go back to school. Heading back to the classroom usually means stocking up on new school gear, which is great for retailers but not necessarily for your wallet. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 Most everybody wants to save more of their hard-earned dollars but actually doing it is challenging for most Americans. According to the Federal Reserve, the Personal Saving Rate was 4.8% as of May 2014, which is a far cry from the 12.3% consumers were saving four decades ago. In today's technology-centric world, you'll find plenty of apps and software that can help you keep track of your money but using them doesn't always equal more savings. If you're looking to fatten up your piggy bank, these old-fashioned tactics might do the trick. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 When you're on the receiving end of an inheritance, figuring out what to do with it can be tricky. Without a plan for managing your sudden windfall, it's easy for the money to slip through your fingers, leaving you no better off than you were before. If you're set to inherit a sizable chunk of change or you've recently come into some cash, here are some tips for using it wisely. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If you're a parent, paying for college can put a serious strain on your budget, especially as tuition prices continue to climb. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition at a public four-year university was $31,107 for the 2013-14 school year. The cost jumps even higher for students enrolled at private colleges. Saving early and often can soften some of the blow but you have to make sure you're stashing your cash in the right place. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 When it comes to getting ahead financially in today's economy, millennials are presented with some unique challenges. These newly minted college grads often face an uphill climb when it comes to finding their footing in the workplace and many are struggling under the weight of crushing student loan debt. In fact, four in ten millennials say their debt is "overwhelming", according to the 2014 Wells Fargo Millennial Study. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 "Say it ain't so" may be the cry for every kid as summer vacay comes closer to ending. However, most moms and dads are already in back to school mode. Many of them wait for the annual sales tax holiday which usually happens in August. I'll provide you with a link later so you can check out your state's guidelines for a weekend of tax-free shopping. But there are some back to school buys waiting for you right now. The savings can sometimes  outweigh any savings you will get waiting for the tax-free weekend. Read More...

Jul 24, 2014 We've all done it: Charging part of, of if not all of, our vacation expenses on a credit card. You totally deserve the vacation and, if you don’t have the money up front to pay for it, you use your card to make up the difference. So is that the best thing for your credit and your debt? Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Summer offers us plenty of opportunity to spend time outdoors. For many of us, this means taking at least one trip to the beach. Whereas we picture a day at the beach, to be carefree and fun, it can end up costing a good deal of money, if we're not careful. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Summer break doesn't mean you can stop thinking about college, especially if you are taking out student loans. For first-time students that means getting enrolled in classes, assigned to dorms and acclimated with the campus. For parents it is a time to double check fees and financial aid. Here are the five types of fees and forms to watch out for. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 Developing good financial habits requires discipline and a willingness to commit but how you view money can play a big part in whether you're successful. Your individual experience is shaped by a number of factors, including your parents, friends and what you see in the media. Picking up on the wrong messages can lead to trouble later on, especially if you've developed a bad money attitude. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The other day I received an interesting letter in the mail. It was from my pharmacy, asking if I would participate in a clinical trial. First, I felt it was too "1984" and I raged against "big brother" being all "up in my business." Then I saw how much it would pay and thought: not bad, I could help myself while helping others. In the end, I decided not to do it, but the financial benefit gave me pause. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Summer is the time of year to let your hair down and relax a little. Some employers take on summer hours meaning more free time, and of course there is the coveted vacation time. These getaways allow an escape from everyday life, even when staying at home. While it is important to enjoy their summer, it is also important to be aware of potential money pitfalls that can drain pockets this season. Here are four common money pitfalls to avoid this summer. Read More...

Dec 20, 2016 Summer is in full swing and next year's tax filing deadline is probably one of the last things on your mind. Even though the 2015 tax season is still several months away, now's a good time to go over your financials and fine tune your tax planning strategy. The more prepared you are the better off you'll be, especially if you're worried about owing money to Uncle Sam. Here are a few midyear tax must-dos that can help you hang on to as much of your hard-earned cash as possible. Read More...

Jul 15, 2014 It's no secret that student loan debt has reached epic proportions, surpassing $1.2 trillion total according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While the average borrower's debt load has increased, so has the default rate as students struggle to keep up with hefty monthly payments. According to the most recent data from the Department of Education, the two-year default rate was 10% for the 2011… Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Everyone likes to save but it's usually easier said than done, especially if you're throwing away money on things you don't really need. Even when the cost doesn't seem like much, you could still be sabotaging your savings efforts. If you've declared 2014 to be the year you stop wasting your hard-earned cash on unnecessary expenses, here are 5 things to eliminate from your budget. Read More...

Feb 19, 2016 Getting ahead financially requires determining your priorities and setting goals. When you're focused on paying down debt, it's tempting to put things like saving for retirement on the back-burner. Dumping your debt as quickly as possible can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest but you have to figure out whether it's worth it to delay building your nest egg. If you're torn between saving for retirement and getting rid of those lingering credit cards or student loans, here are some tips to help you strike the right balance. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Once the initial elation of being out of school wears off, boredom begins to set in for many kids. This usually leads to frustration for parents. If you're tired of hearing your child complain about not having anything to do, there are plenty of ways they can keep busy while earning some extra pocket money in the process. Here are some great summer job ideas for kids of all ages. Read More...

Dec 01, 2016 After you've exchanged vows and cut the cake it's time to head off on a romantic trip for two. If your big day came with a hefty price tag, there may not be much room left in your budget for a pricey honeymoon. While travel can be expensive, it's still possible to plan a fantastic post-wedding escape even when you don't have a lot to spend. Here are a few ways to make the most of your newly-wedded bliss without breaking the bank. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 When you're soaking up the sun and enjoying the summer weather, Christmas is probably the last thing on your mind. By the time Halloween rolls around, you realize that you haven't set aside anything for holiday shopping and the clock is ticking. You pull out the plastic to cover gifts for everyone on your list and vow that next year you'll start saving early. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 There's a scene in Mr. Mom where Michael Keaton's character Jack Butler is having a heated discussion with his wife about the fact that he's gained a few pounds and his brain is like oatmeal. The conversation ends with Jack heading downstairs to sleep on the "fat" couch, "if he can get through the door". While the movie is meant to be a comical take on what happens when running the house and raising the kids falls to Dad, it's become a reality for more fathers than ever. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 Being in debt takes a toll financially and emotionally, making the moment when you finally send in that last credit card payment particularly sweet. Paying it off is a test of endurance, patience and your ability to plan. Once you've achieved debt freedom, the next challenge is to figure out the best way to manage your money going forward. If you've kicked those student loans or credit cards to the curb for good, here are four steps you need to take next. Read More...

Jan 05, 2015 In today's job market, a college degree is considered a must-have but the rising cost of tuition is making it more difficult than ever to afford higher education. Student loan debt in the U.S. currently tops $1 trillion, leaving young grads with a nasty case of sticker shock once they leave college behind. For parents who are looking to ease some of the burden, saving early and often is the best way to financially prepare. If you're planning on footing the bill for some or all of your child's education costs, you need to avoid these costly college planning mistakes. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 Planning a wedding takes a lot of work--from finding the perfect dress to choosing a venue, the list of things to do can seem never-ending. Couples get so focused on the big day itself that they often don't have time to think about what happens after they say their vows. You both agree to love one another for richer or poorer but if you haven't talked about your finances beforehand, you could be starting off on shaky ground. Here are seven important money questions to tackle before you walk down the aisle. Read More...

Apr 10, 2018 The first year of college is full of ups and downs as new students learn to navigate life on their own for the first time. In addition to juggling classes with working, studying or just having a social life, many freshman students are also figuring out how to manage their money without mom and dad's help. According to the National Financial Educator's Council, which administers the National Financial Literacy Test, the majority of young adults are woefully under-prepared for tackling financial issues. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 There's no way around it-- raising kids is expensive. According to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a new parent can expect to shell out nearly a quarter of a million dollars by the time their child reaches age 17. As if that thought wasn't panic-inducing enough, that figure doesn't include the cost of a college education. Read More...

Sep 25, 2017 It's summertime and for millions of Americans, the change in seasons also means a change of scenery. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 36 million U.S. residents moved from 2012 to 2013 and many of them did so during the summer months. While packing and unpacking boxes may not be your idea of a dream vacation, there is some good news since you may be able to write off some of the costs. If a move is on your agenda in the near future, here's what you need to know to score a tax break. Read More...

Apr 19, 2016 Keeping the summer heat at bay can certainly get costly at times. Apart from turning your AC off when you aren't home or at night when it's a bit cooler outside. There are other ways to save money on a daily basis on electricity. Check out five tricks that anyone can pick up to save a bundle on energy this summer. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The lazy days of summer are here, and if you haven't started planning your vacation yet, now's the time to start. Whether you're going to hit the beach or see the sights abroad, having fun doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend a lot. If you're worried about breaking the bank while you're away, it helps to know what vacation expenses tend to be the biggest money drains. We've put together a list of things that travelers frequently pay more for, along with some tips to help make your summer getaway more affordable. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Being a minimalist is all about paring down your lifestyle to only include those things you truly need. The main idea behind this growing movement is that simplifying your life increases happiness and contentment. Applying this same concept to your finances can help to remove some of the stress that goes along with managing your money. Here are some ways to incorporate the minimalist approach so you can save your pennies. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 A car accident can happen in the blink of an eye, potentially causing serious injuries and leaving your vehicle worse for wear. While your insurance is designed to protect you against financial consequences that could break your budget, you could still end up on the hook for medical bills or car repairs if you're not careful. Planning for the aftermath of an accident before it happens may seem pessimistic but it's a smart way to protect yourself money-wise. Here's a look at what steps to take if you're involved in a collision. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 You may be taking a break this summer, but scammers aren't. Here are some of the summer scams making the rounds. Read More...

Jun 21, 2014 Interest rates make up a huge part of our financial lives. Most potential homebuyers are worried about interest rates rising because that would increase the cost of borrowing money and in turn the monthly payment on their mortgage. We know there's a mathematical lower bound for interest rates at 0% (unless banks start paying you for the privilege of also loaning money to you), but is there an upper limit? Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 It's that time of year when new grads are taking that long walk across the stage to collect their degrees and first-time students are preparing to head off to college for the first time. From a parent's perspective, both events can be financially draining, especially if you're shouldering some of the cost of tuition or forking over a sizable amount of cash as a graduation present. To add insult to injury, your wallet could see even more of a strain if you have to pay a gift tax on your contribution. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 A lot of us are in various stages of spring cleaning, out with the old and in with the new. However, when it comes to buying that new spring/summer wardrobe some, even the fashionistas among us, may be holding off this year. Maybe it's higher gas prices or maybe you are still recovering from those record energy bills from our "winter of discontent." Whatever the reason, Americans are spending less. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 These days, it’s hard to get an education without having to borrow money to help you do it. Some of us end up borrowing quite a lot. Not all degrees offer a great salary once you graduate to help pay back some of the student debt load. So if you’ve got a lot, or even just a little bit, of student debt and are scratching your head as to how you’ll pay it off before you die, we’ve got some tips for you. Read More...

Jun 22, 2017 The fourth of July is a great time to get together with family and friends, throw some burgers on the grill and enjoy the fireworks. The only problem is that if you're not careful, the festivities could end up blowing your budget. When it comes to things like food, decorations or alcohol it's easy to overspend if you don't plan ahead. If you'll be hosting a July 4th bash this year, here are some tips for keeping the cost under control. Read More...

May 18, 2018 It's high school graduation season across the country. While commencement means the end for many, in its truest sense it is the beginning of the next chapter. Many high school grads will be heading off to pre-college for all or part of the summer. It is a growing trend in which colleges and universities allow students to transition and prepare for college by attending a shortened semester. Read More...

Nov 15, 2017 Rewards, points, and cash, oh my! If used responsibly (paid-off in-full on-time) credit cards can be very rewarding. Who doesn’t like an extra? Not all rewards are created equal. If there are annual fees, the rewards might not even be worth it depending on your spending habits. When I was choosing a new credit card, I was firmly anti-annual fee. From there I had to decide which reward I wanted and my thought process was this: Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Being a good pet owner requires a significant investment of time and energy, not to mention money. The pet industry is big business, raking in more than $55 billion in 2013 according to the American Pet Products Association. Depending on the type of pet you have, you could easily shell out several hundred dollars a year on food alone. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Would you ever try oil to cure your back pain or take herbs to fight a cold? Some of you would say no, but there are many who would try a natural remedy, especially if it keeps them away from the doctors office. It’s estimated that as many as 36 percent of US adults aged 18 and over use some type of complementary and alternative medicine. With the rising costs of traditional healthcare, I feel like this number will keep rising. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Summer is fast approaching. Your kids are excited to be finishing (or have already finished!) the school year and if you are like me, you are scrambling to find activities to keep the kids busy while trying not to go broke. Amusement parks and carnivals are a fun way to spend your summer, but most families can’t afford to do that on a daily basis. What do you do with your kids all summer long? Sure, you can take them to the park, but after a week of that, it will get old and they will be bored. We all know what happens when kids get bored. Here are some suggestions of frugal summer fun activities for kids that will keep your sanity and budget intact. Read More...

Feb 09, 2015 The housing market continues its upward climb as the post-recession economy improves but that doesn't mean that everyone's buying. Rising home values and tighter lending restrictions have put the squeeze on many potential home buyers, sometimes making being a renter the more affordable choice. In fact, it's estimated that renters now account for roughly 35 percent of American households. Read More...

Jun 06, 2014 When I was in college, I attempted to start an investment club. Being on my own for the first time and free to explore topics that interested me such as personal finance, lead me towards reading up on the topic and talking with friends about the possibility. Unfortunately, the club never got started, but I am grateful for what I did learn. Especially now that investment clubs seem to be becoming more popular once again. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 Anyone who knows me knows that my family and I have lived in six different states over the course of my journalism career. They also know my answer when people ask me; "Where are you from?" My reply is this; "Sooner born, Sooner bred and when I die I'm Sooner dead." I am a proud Okie (some hate being called that, but I've been called worse) from Oklahoma City. Read More...

Sep 02, 2014 When the lazy days of summer come calling it's easy to adopt a more relaxed approach, especially when it comes to your finances. Going on vacation, buying new clothes or socializing with friends can eat away at your bottom line if you're not careful. Taking some time to do a midyear money checkup can help you stay on track and see how much progress you've made towards your goals. Here's a quick rundown of what you should look for to make sure you're fiscally fit. Read More...

Feb 05, 2015 As you plan your summer getaway it's easy to get caught up in thoughts of beaches, lakes or rivers and picnics, barbecues or patio dining. One often overlooked component when planning vacations is possible scams, particularly if you are traveling internationally. A discussion a few weeks back with an acquaintance of mine who lives abroad, brought up a couple different scenarios on how to avoid being scammed while traveling. Here are three measures to take to avoid becoming the victim of a scam while on vacation. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Everybody likes saving money but how you go about it can make a big difference in how quickly those extra pennies pile up. Clipping coupons and slashing your budget down to the bare bones can certainly help you grow your cash cushion but there are some savings habits that may leave you feeling shortchanged. If you've employed any of these tricks to try and save a few extra bucks, you could actually be costing yourself money in the long run. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Shopping seasonally can add up to big savings but you'll need to do your research before you hit the stores. Certain things are always cheaper at different times during the year and with the weather heating up, there are plenty of deals to be had. Whether you're in the market for a new computer or you're looking to do some home renovations, here's what you'll save the most on this summer. Read More...

Feb 21, 2018 Making the move from coupledom to the single parent life can be challenging in terms of the emotions involved but it can also take a serious toll on your finances. Whether you're going from two incomes to one or you're finding yourself on the hunt for a job after years of staying at home, learning how to manage your money on your own takes some getting used to. Add in the day to day responsibilities of caring for children and running a home and it's easy to see why single parents are often so stressed. Creating a plan of attack can make it easier to get a grip on your finances when you're the sole decision-maker. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 During the summer months, the temperature isn't the only thing that rises. Whether you're working on home improvement projects, looking for ways to keep the kids entertained or simply trying to stay cool in the heat, there's a good chance you'll see your expenses creeping up along with the mercury. By the time September rolls around your wallet may be more than ready for a vacation. If you're trying to keep costs down this summertime, here are some tips to help you spend less. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Thanks to tighter lending restrictions and rising home values, renting has taken on a new degree of popularity over the last few years. Many have determined that renting is better than buying for them. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, approximately 35% of U.S. households are comprised of renters. As demand continues to grow, rent rates are skyrocketing in cities across the country leaving many renters feeling the pinch. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 For those of you in the northern reaches of the US (and some of you in the south, too), it has been an excruciatingly long winter filled with lots of snow and subzero temperatures. Now that summer is on its way, you can start thinking about filling your social calendar with fun things to do. You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a blast this summer. Here are some ideas for frugal summer fun. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 I remember the first time I heard the term "Generation Y," I thought it was more like Generation Why? because they seemed to ask that questions more often. That catch-phrase would soon morph into the term millennial generation, or millennials, those born in the early 1980s through the 2000s. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 Getting a divorce can take an extreme emotional toll on everyone involved and it can also pack a wallop when it comes to your money. Even if you don't have a substantial amount of assets to divvy up you need to be prepared to untangle the knots of shared financial responsibilities. Doing as much as you can to separate things before divorce proceedings begin can save you a lot of time and headaches in the long run. If your marriage is on the rocks, here's what you can do to protect your finances. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 For working parents, the question of what to do with the little ones when school's out for the summer can be a tough one. While daycare may be appropriate for younger children, it's not necessarily a good fit for older kids. Summer camp offers an opportunity to explore nature and make new friends but paying for it can be challenging for mom and dad. Read More...

May 20, 2014 Cars are some of the most complex machines we use in daily life. With so many moving parts, slight mishaps are a case of when rather than if, and most non-mechanics lack the know-how to fix them. Fortunately, having access to a quick fix for a malfunctioning car anywhere and anytime is as easy as signing up for a roadside assistance plan. TopTenReviews estimates full-service roadside assistance companies cost between $48 and $108 a year to use, and they offer a broad spectrum of commonly-needed services. If you notice yourself falling into any of these five driving habits, you’ll thank yourself later for getting a roadside assistance subscription. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 You save up, fly in or load up a mobile home or van and you are off on your family vacation. However, so often we put things off because of money and time constraints. I have reached a point in my life where I proclaim; "if not now, then when?" My goal, as it was in the Miami article, is to help you get away without giving away all your cash. This time we tackle one of my favorite cities in the Midwest: Kansas City, Missouri, who's also known for some of the top financial advisor firms around. Read More...

May 19, 2014 You got that student loan to pay for college, or maybe you used the cash for that spring break vacay. Whatever you used the money for, it is time to pay the piper. The problem is you are graduating and still looking for a job or planning to go to grad or professional school. Read More...

Mar 28, 2016 Sharing your living space with a complete stranger may not sound like an ideal situation but it can be a lifesaver when finances are tight. Taking on a roommate is a smart move if you're looking to save money and you can't afford to buy a house. But there are certain pitfalls that go along with communal living. In addition to navigating the rules about chores, socializing and personal boundaries, you'll also have to figure out how to make it work financially. If you're worried about a money miscommunication with your new roomie, here are some things you can do to keep conflicts to a minimum. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Let's get real - for many of us the only time we see our extended family seems to be at a wedding or a funeral. However, if you think about how it was when you grew up, most of us remember the long trips to Grandma and Grandpa's house with the payoff being that we were going to a big family reunion and would get to see all of our cousins. This is a little help for those who are nostalgic at heart and would love to host a family reunion. Here are five ways you can say hello to family without saying "goodbye" to your budget. Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 For decades if you told someone you were attending a junior or community college there was often the implications that it was because you "weren't smart enough" to get into a 4-year college or university. That paradigm has not shifted, but rather has been shattered.  Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 When it comes to planning a marriage, most people believe they will be with their future spouse for a lifetime. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. While skeptics believe signing or even discussing prenuptial agreements is akin to signing a death warrant on your marriage, this is not necessarily so. Not all marriages last a lifetime, and it is important to be realistic about that because a divorce can have major consequences not only for your emotional well-being, but also on your finances. Read More...

Dec 28, 2016 What would you say if I told you my nightly beauty routine starts with a trip to my pantry? After dealing with some chronic health issues the last few years, I started to research everything that I was putting on or in my body. It changed what products I used but also how much I spent. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 The old adage, ‘nothing is free’ applies to most things in our lives, but not everything. Does it sound impossible that you might actually score a free vacation? Yes, it does. Is it possible to get a free vacation if you make smart purchases, look for deals and are travel savvy? Yes, it is. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 You're ready to plunk down the cash you need for that new bedroom set. Or maybe it's time to upgrade your laptop. A long-awaited trip might be in your future, and you're ready to book the perfect hotel. If you're like a growing number of consumers, you'll make these purchases online. Research firm Forrester says that online shopping should account for $370 billion in sales by 2017. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 I will be the first to say the idea of vacationing in the Bahamas without busting your budget is counter-intuitive. However, it can be done if you have a plan, and then work the plan. I know because I've done it. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 Remember graduating from college? Remember how clueless you really were about money? When you’re fresh of school, you have a lot on your plate and money management is often the last thing on the list. Here’s a few easy tips to pass along that could really benefit a new grad in the very near future. Whether the person is a relative or a friend, your new grad may not soak in all of the information but even a little bit of it can save them frustration, time and money. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 When you get delivery or takeout from your favorite restaurant on the job, chances are you’ll get, along with your plastic cutlery, a handful of tiny paper packets of salt. If food needs it, we typically use one or two of these, and tend to throw the rest out. But why waste salt when it’s so useful? After all, to the ancient Romans and West Africans, salt was worth its weight in gold, and it still can be. Here are five ways you can put your salt packets to work at work. Read More...

Aug 15, 2017 Having enough money isn't a necessity for a successful relationship, but it sure makes things easier. You would think that if you have more money, there'd be less to argue about, right? But no matter how much money you have, there's one thing that's even more important: how you and your spouse feel about money. Read More...

Aug 17, 2015 In today's economy, retirement has become an elusive goal for many Americans who were hit particularly hard by the fallout from the housing market collapse. Some older workers are even facing the possibility of having to continue working long past retirement age. The concept of retiring early may seem foreign to a large part of the population but if you're diligent about saving, it could become a reality. Here are some tips: Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Summer is coming, and with the increased temperatures comes our desire to get out and have some fun. Unfortunately, many of us may think we can’t afford to enjoy our summer or that in order to have a great summer, you need to spend a great deal of money. This is not always the case. In fact, if you start planning now you can save enough, find deals, and get discounts that will have you enjoying your summer. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 We have all been there. You read an article about arsenic levels in orange juice or meat recalls in the grocery store and you panic. Or maybe you watched a documentary like Food, Inc or Supersize Me and you were shocked by the way our food is “made”. It could be enough to make you head down to the local Whole Foods and spend a week’s paycheck on making over your home and refrigerator. For some people, spending a little more on their grocery bill is easy to do. For others, tacking on money to the grocery bill can be a hardship. Read More...

Apr 28, 2015 You know how important it is to save for your retirement years. Problem is, you don't make a lot of money. Maybe you're pulling down $40,000 a year. Maybe your annual salary is even under $30,000. It might seem impossible to put anything away for retirement if your yearly salary is so low. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Taking care of your body is one of the smartest investments you can make. The more time and energy you put in maintaining good physical health, the bigger the payoff will be down the road. If you regularly eat the wrong foods or carry around extra weight it can significantly up your risk for developing health issues later in life. When bad habits lead to a serious illness, it can put a strain on your budget if you rack up hefty medical bills. Read More...

Apr 27, 2014 During the past year, I have been contacted for being enjoined in three consumer-related class action lawsuits. In the past I was among millions who fell victim of a big bank whose policy was designed to make it the maximum amount of dollars in fees from check-writing. What I learned from that lawsuit was it cost me more time and effort to gather the necessary documents compared to the payment I received. By the way, I think it was around fourteen dollars. Read More...

May 27, 2015 Planning for your financial future can seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be. Finances can be confusing and there is a bit of a learning curve, but there are a few key things you should do if you are trying to secure your financial future. You do not have to be rich or extremely wealthy to have a secure financial future. However, you do need to pay attention to your finances and be willing to make changes when needed. Here are four things you should have to help ensure a secure financial future. Read More...

Dec 21, 2017 If you dream of leaving the 9 to 5 behind and making it big as a freelancer, it may be time for a reality check. While there are some definite perks to working for yourself, it's not something you can afford to do without proper planning. Building a solid freelance career takes time and you need to make sure you can cover your bills until those steady gigs start rolling in. Before you strike out on your own, there are some things you can and should do to make sure your finances are on solid ground. Read More...

Apr 22, 2014 Switching banks can sometimes make sense, especially if you're trying to pay less for banking services or get a better rate on a loan. With many banks hiking their fees to offset some of the losses associated with the economic slowdown, more Americans are turning to credit unions for their financial needs. These institutions, which operate on a not-for-profit basis, can offer some distinct advantages to their customers. If you're looking for a new place to put your cash, here are a few reasons to give your local credit union a try. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Winning the lottery or inheriting a fat stack of cash are two ways to get rich quick but if you're like most people, the odds are against you. This means most of us will have to focus on hard work, discipline and smart decision-making to build wealth. Whether you make a lot or a little, what you do with it that has a big impact on your financial outlook. If getting rich is your goal, avoiding these common money missteps can help you move from the red to the black. Read More...

Apr 19, 2014 While I was at the supermarket the other day I heard a child ask "Grandma, how come you don't have to pay for your food with real money?" The woman chuckled and assured the child that the check she was writing was real money. The littler girl informed her grandmother that as far as she knew there were two kinds of money, plastic and the old fashioned kind that the tooth fairy left under your pillow. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Spring and summer are my favorite times of year, but especially when it comes to the abundance of fresh produce. There is a bounty of fresh fruit just ready to be cut up into delicious fruit salads, grilled or added to dishes that are just as appealing to the eye as they are to the belly. And of course, more fruits are beneficial for our waistlines and overall health. However, spending more on fresh fruits can add up. If you are looking to continue to save, but not sacrifice on fruits it is important to know what fruits are most abundant and cheapest during the coming months. Here are five frugal fruits for spring: Read More...

Dec 21, 2017 When I started working as a freelancer, a very wise and experienced writer told me one helpful piece of information that has followed me in my career and other aspects of my life, "Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket." Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The word nontraditional can have many different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. For our conversation on continuing your education, it means a student between older than 24. These are people going back to school instead of continuing right after high school. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The national unemployment rate fell to 6.6 percent in January, a five-year low (February and March numbers were 6.7 percent). If you're one of the fortunate who has found work after a long period of unemployment, congratulations. But know this: Working might help pay the bills, but it isn't free. Read More...

Feb 07, 2017 Flying the friendly skies is getting more expensive as airlines continue to tack on new fees for travel-related expenses. Higher fees translate to big business for the airline industry, which raked in a whopping $6 billion in baggage and reservation-change fees alone in 2012, according to the Department of Transportation. For passengers, the rising fees are one of the more frustrating aspects of air travel. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your costs down. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 When I was growing up, Easter was a huge occasion. Our extended family would gather together and celebrate with a large dinner. Around Easter time, the Poconos were thawing out and the first signs of spring were starting to appear. If we were lucky it would be a warm enough day for all of the kids to be outside playing after dinner. The years went by, I grew up and started my own family. I also began to take over the holiday dinners. Although I loved cooking, baking and entertaining, it invoked a sense of dread when thinking about paying for all of the food, decorations and kids baskets. The bill usually ended up on a credit card. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 You've just finished calculating your income taxes and you've come to a sobering conclusion: You owe the IRS money. And not just a little, but a lot. In fact, you owe more than what you can afford to pay. The good news? It's not time to panic. The IRS is actually a fairly reasonable creditor. The agency offers several options for taxpayers who can't afford their federal tax bills. Read More...

Sep 25, 2017 Spring is finally here after what seemed like the longest winter ever. That also means that Easter is right around the corner. Are you looking for crafts to do with the kids to get ready for Easter? Heading to the local craft shop and buying supplies is expensive. You can easily drop big bucks there. Why not look for inexpensive items in your home? Here are some fun crafts that are almost free, can be used to decorate your home and keep the kids busy. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 It’s never too early to teach your kids responsibility when it comes to money. The same goes for the value of hard work. One of the best ways to teach this is by giving your kids an allowance for helping out around the house. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If you are like other financially smart or aware individuals, you're probably constantly looking for ways to save money. While we may have our finances in order, it never hurts to look at what we are paying and to whom, to find ways to cut back or plug up any financial leaks we may have. In doing so, you may find yourself saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. Here are five financial drains that could be escaping your attention, and how to plug them up. Read More...

Apr 04, 2014 Spring break is right around the corner for many and the summer travel season will soon be underway. While you're gearing up for your next getaway, would-be criminals are thinking up creative ways to sucker you out of your hard-earned cash. Whether you're traveling abroad or planning to stick closer to home, you need to be alert for potential scams. We've put together a list of some of the worst travel traps you want to avoid. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 So you want to go on a cruise, but have neither a lot of time nor a lot of money. If you are one of those folks who says "go big or stay home," I am not writing to you. This is for the first time cruiser or someone who is fed up with winter-y weather (even as we step into spring!) and just needs to soak up some sun and relax. Here are some answers to the question, "How can I take a "last minute cruise" without going broke?" Read More...

May 18, 2018 If you dream of a big wedding you better be prepared to give your checkbook a workout. On average, couples can expect to pay close to $29,000 (some resorting to wedding loans) to get hitched. Even if you're planning a smaller-scale ceremony you could still end up shelling out some serious cash if you're not paying attention. If you'll be tying the knot this year, here are some tips for making sure your wedded bliss doesn't come with an oversized price tag. Read More...

Mar 31, 2014 Over the last several years, the U.S. Postal Service has been on a financial losing streak. Despite measures to increase revenue and improve productivity, the agency still reported a net loss of $5 billion for the 2013 fiscal year. That brings total net losses to a whopping $27 billion since 2011. Read More...

Jun 27, 2017   Once spring arrives, the lazy days of summer won't be far behind. Plus, it's never too soon to start making plans for a quick getaway. Whether it's soaking up the sun at the beach or taking the family on a European tour, you need to make sure you have enough cash to cover your trip. Here are a few simple tips to make sure you reach your summer vacation savings goal. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 My family and/or I have lived in seven cities in seven states which is often the life of a journalist. Vacation generally consisted of heading back home every Spring Break to see family and friends. Okay, I admit we did manage to get in a cruise or two... or four along the way. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 At some point, parents have to decide when to permanently close the Bank of Mom and Dad and allow adult children to stand on their own two feet. If you've taught your kids smart money habits from an early age, it may be relatively painless for them to make the leap to financial independence. Cutting the financial cord may be a bit more difficult when the roles are reversed. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Since February 1, 2014 the U.S. Department of State has issued ten travel alerts or warnings due to civil unrest. Among the countries are Thailand, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. Such countries are not common spring break travel destinations. However, one country has remained under a warning that is one of the most popular spring break spots: Mexico. Read More...

Mar 06, 2017 Spring is finally here! The warmer weather may tempt some shoppers to hit the stores looking for deals. During the months of March, April and May sales abound on everything from household items to electronics, which can add up to big savings when you're planning a major purchase. If you're thinking of doing a little retail therapy to cure your cabin fever, here are some great spring buys that won't break your budget. Read More...

Dec 31, 2014 You've done your taxes and instead of getting a refund it turns out you owe Uncle Sam even more money. Asking for an extension gives you more time to file but it won't get you off the hook for any penalties or interest that accrue on your tax bill. If you're short on cash but you don't want to be in debt to the IRS you could use a credit card to close the gap. Paying your taxes with a credit card can actually work to your advantage in certain situations but it's not the right choice for everyone. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you pull out the plastic. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 I swear, every time I sign up for a new phone plan, regardless of the carrier, I can’t seem to pay less than $80 a month for one phone. I’m sure some might even say that $80 is cheap. In fact, I think we’re all accustomed to paying that high price. We barely even question it any more. I’ve tried to lower my plan, given that I only use about 400-500 minutes a month and maybe send about 300 text messages. Since I’ve gotten a smartphone, it’s even worse. Every single carrier that I've checked with charges a surcharge of $20 a month just for a data plan, whether I actually use it or not. Read More...

Oct 06, 2014 Credit cards can be a double-edged sword and if you don't handle them carefully, it's easy to do serious damage to your finances. Charging purchases is certainly convenient and you can even score big rewards, like cash back or airline miles but there's always the danger of racking up high-interest debt. As long as you're paying your card off in full each month, how much you charge may not matter. Read More...

Dec 08, 2016 Have you looked at the commercial cleaners on the market lately? Not only are they expensive but they are filled with dangerous chemicals. Can you even pronounce half the ingredients listed on the bottle? I can't. Then you have the organic cleaners at your local Whole Foods. Although they don't have the chemicals that traditional cleaners have, you pay twice as much, forcing a lot of people to use the cheaper, chemical-filled brands. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 Effectively managing your money is all about organization, planning and commitment but your mindset can have a significant impact on your success. Buying into certain money misconceptions can be a major stumbling block when it comes to achieving your goals. If you've allowed yourself to believe any of these damaging money lies, it's time for a reality check. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Children are expensive! On a scale that runs from OMG! up to You Can't be Serious, just how expensive depends on where you live and a handful of other factors. Of course on the off chance that one of my children are reading this, let me assure you that you were all worth it - every penny was well spent.... but it was a lot of pennies! Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Having kids can be a drain on your wallet but you may be able to get some of that cash back at tax time. There are a number of credits and deductions available that can help lower your tax bill or potentially bump up your refund. With the cost of raising children hovering around $241,000, parents need to be on the lookout for these key tax breaks. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 When it comes to the causes of stress in our everyday lives, none seem to be as constant as personal finances. Our finances can be, and often are, a great source of stress for many Americans. Whether you are struggling with some form of debt, trying to figure out how to send your children to college or saving up to buy a house, there are any number of reasons to feel stressed over your finances. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 The cold weather will soon give way to the warmth of spring and for many people, it's the time of year to tackle those cleaning and maintenance projects they've been putting off. When you're through decluttering the attic and the basement it might be a good idea to do a little spring cleaning where your finances are concerned. Read More...

Dec 31, 2014 Why is this article specifically about women? Because while the majority of us make financial mistakes at some point in our lives, women across the board tend to make many of the same mistakes that men don’t. Having less to do with ability, and more often with financial ignorance, most if not all of these mistakes can be easily avoided. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 The holidays ended not too long ago, and in many parts of the country, the weather is almost unbearably cold. If you are anything like me, you have been thinking - no dreaming - about upcoming spring, and what vacation spots you would be able to visit. If you are a student, spring break may be only a handful of weeks away. For those of you who contemplated going away for spring break, but pushed that thought aside because of price, you may want to continue looking. There are a number of spring break deals you can find online just by doing a little research. These deals are not as expensive as you would think, and now is the time to start making those reservations. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 I have now spent years advising parents on how to get their kid in college, pay for it and live to tell the tale. However, there are things beyond getting accepted to a college or university and receiving a scholarship. You must also prepare your child for what can be the greatest challenge of their lives thus far, campus life. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If you're looking to trim your budget, shopping around for a better deal on car insurance is a good first step. While reducing your coverage is one way to lower your bill, it could end up hurting you in the long run if you wind up in an accident. If you're looking to keep your existing coverage but pay a little less, it may be worth it to consider a usage-based policy. Depending on how much you drive, you could end up saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year by making the switch. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 I’ve recently started taking the city bus to work. Some of you reading this might yawn and say, ‘so what?’ Some of you might think, ‘I would never take the city bus.’ Every city transit system is different, and while it may seem like a no-brainer to take public transit in New York City, it doesn’t necessarily compute to folks in Albuquerque. Beyond just saving money and the environment, there are several reasons why you should really contemplate riding the mass transit in your city. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 With the winter cold starting to subside and spring break just around the corner, now's the time to start planning a quick getaway. Whether you want to soak up the sun on the beach or take a nature hike through the mountains, there are plenty of destinations to choose from that won't break the bank. If you're looking to create some fun family memories without spending a lot, here are our top picks for frugal spring break vacation spots. Read More...

Dec 30, 2014 In June 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, declaring that same-sex married couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual spouses under federal law. This includes employer-sponsored health insurance, Social Security benefits and military benefits for gay couples who are legally married. Read More...

Apr 16, 2018 Living on a budget is one of the first and most important steps towards financial freedom. We all have different goals, from getting rid of debt or saving for retirement. Reaching those goals comes with having a financial plan. You should plan for how you spend your money each month and optimize it.  Read More...

Dec 09, 2016 You know you need to sit down and go over your monthly bills but you can't ever seem to get around to it. Meanwhile, you're not sure exactly where your money's going each month and your credit card balances are slowly creeping up. If you take a hands-off approach when it comes to budgeting, your finances could be paying the price. Read More...

Aug 20, 2018 The unfortunate truth is that most people do not feel prepared financially for their retirement years. A 2013 survey by American Consumer Credit Counseling found that 75 percent of people agreed that they were not financially ready for their post-work years. But what about if retirement comes earlier than expected... and not by your choice? Read More...

Dec 30, 2014 If you are hoping to make smarter decisions with your finances, seeking out professional help may get you closer to your goals. Financial advisors can offer guidance on the best way to manage your money but they're not all created equal. There are four basic types of financial experts to choose from and knowing how they differ can help you find the best fit for your situation. Read More...

Dec 09, 2016 If your wallet's feeling the squeeze, cutting out certain expenses can give you the financial breathing room you need. Taking a closer look at your spending can give you an idea of what's dragging down your budget but how do you decide what to cut back on? If you're trying to free up some extra cash each month, here are a few cost-cutting moves you'll want to consider. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 In the wake of the recession, millions of Americans have found themselves looking for ways to trim their budgets. With the economy still recovering, many consumers continue to rely on frugal tricks like clipping coupons, scouring bargain bins and shopping secondhand to save. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Saving money takes sacrifice. In order to properly fund your financial goals you find it necessary to cut back in certain areas, and you’re OK with that. We all have to make tough choices to meet our financial goals, right?Well, for the most part, yes. Saving money requires some sacrifice, and in the long run benefits us. However, there are some ways in which we tend to try and save money that ends up backfiring. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The new year saw key provisions of the Affordable Care Act take effect, including the mandate requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. In late 2013, state and federal health insurance exchanges were established to help the uninsured find affordable coverage. Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 Valentine's Day is known for flowers, candy and expensive dinners, but what about those of us who are on a budget or don’t feel like celebrating with a bunch of strangers in a restaurant? Just because you are celebrating Valentine's Day at home doesn't mean that you can’t have a romantic and memorable Valentine’s Day. Here are a few ideas on how you can have a low-key Valentine’s Day at home that’s big on romance and easy on the budget. Read More...

Jan 31, 2017 The amount of student loan debt in America is a staggering number. It’s estimated that Americans carry at least a trillion dollars in student loan debt. Yes, some colleges have a much higher tuition than others, but at least two thirds of college graduates are carrying some type of student loan debt.  Couple that with a limping economy, and the job horizon for many first entering the work force, (or those who have been laid off) can be depressing. But there is hope! Some good careers will actually help you pay your student loans. In fact, some public service jobs will even pay your loans completely. Read More...

Dec 02, 2016 We often give up on our travel aspirations because of money. These days, with the price of flights and hotels, many feel traveling has become an option only for the wealthy. Road trips, however, offer an antidote. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015   This is a guest post written by the Editors of CreditDonkey. It's a tough economy out there, and even tougher for elderly folks. According to the Pew Research Center, around 20 percent of adult children ages 40 to 60 years old in the United States help with their aging parents' living costs, including everyday expenses and geriatric care bills. If your parents have fallen on hard times, whether due to illness or dwindling income, you have several different options. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Keeping warm in the winter can be costly, especially if you live in an area that's prone to colder weather. As the temperature drops, you're likely to see your utility bills get higher. But there are some things you can do to minimize the damage. Making a few simple and inexpensive adjustments in your home can cut down your energy usage (and energy costs) without having to sacrifice comfort. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 When it comes to personal finances we all have a certain style. Some of us prefer to save, some to spend and still others don't really give it a lot of thought. Ultimately how we treat our money is a personal decision. But there's no denying others can and do influence our financial choices. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 Americans are constantly on the move. Each year the Department of Commerce conducts a geographical mobility report. This report reveals the rate of moving Americans does within the span of a year. This year's report revealed that an estimated 11.7 percent, or just under 36 million Americans, moved from one location to another between 2012 and 2013. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 If you've decided that 2014 is the year that you spend less and save more, you need to be prepared for potential curveballs. While you've got the power to decide when and where to part with your hard-earned cash, one thing you can't control is what the things you buy cost. Shopping around, using coupons or other money saving tips can help, but ultimately someone else is setting the price for the things you buy. Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 College acceptances have already (or will soon!) come in. I thought I would search out a few scholarship surprises you may not know about to help cover the cost of college. There are more out there that can help parents keep a few jingles in their pockets in order to save money for college. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 Saving money doesn't always mean you have to drastically change your lifestyle. There are small changes that can really add up. In fact, you can find large savings in every room of the house. Check out our latest video blog for 3 tips to save you money in the bathroom: Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If you're already dreaming of warmer weather, it may be time to plan a weekend getaway to someplace sunny. With the holiday travel season over and spring break still a few weeks away, now is a great time to seek out a little rest and relaxation. If you're on a tight budget, there are plenty of spots that are perfect for a mini-vacation without breaking the bank. Here are our top five frugal destination picks for the month of February. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Have you looked at your energy bill recently? Did you like what you saw? If not, you’re probably thinking of ways to save money. While making sure to unplug the coffeemaker while you're at work can help reduce energy usage, a more efficient way to cut costs is to look into an energy audit. Read More...

Dec 21, 2017 With mortgage rates still low, it makes sense to consider a refinance if you're trying to save on interest or lower your monthly payments. Refinancing your home can be time-consuming. Depending on your situation, you may find it difficult to get approved for a new loan. If you're planning to refinance, there are a few things you should do to make sure you're ready first. Read More...

Dec 30, 2014 Making the transition from high school to college or from college to the real world isn't always a smooth ride. For some students, taking a year off before facing the next challenge in their academic or professional careers gives them some much-needed room to breathe. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 Financial advice is everywhere. But knowing what to listen to and what to ignore isn't always that simple. When it comes to managing your money, putting stock in certain beliefs could end up costing you big time. If you're looking to keep your finances on the straight and narrow, here are some key money myths you'll want to steer clear of. Read More...

Dec 30, 2014 For many baby boomers, 2014 signals the end of their time in the workforce. Retirement often means a lifestyle change but it can also bring some significant financial changes as well. Having a plan in place can take some of the stress and headaches out of the transition. If you're a soon-to-be retiree, here are a few tips to ensure that you're prepared when it's time to say goodbye to the 9 to 5 routine. Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 Valentine's Day can be the most romantic day of the year. Many people go out to a fancy restaurant and shower their love with gifts, candy and flowers. Because of this, Valentine's Day can be killer on the budget. What about those of us struggling to make ends meet? You still need to celebrate, but we have some suggestions how to have a romantic Valentine's Day without busting the budget. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 Carrying around high interest debt is like living in a financial black hole. You throw money at credit card bills each month but the balances never seem to go down. You want to sock away extra money for retirement and other financial goals, but there just never seems to be any cash left once you're done feeding the debt monster. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 The first step in overcoming any phobia is acknowledging that it exists. This is particularly true when it comes to financial phobias, which are all too often and all too easily dismissed as procrastination or a lack of understanding. William Shakespeare offered great advice in this regard with the words of Polonius to his son Laertes, "To thine own self be true". Read More...

Nov 28, 2016 Donating your time to those in need is a great way to connect with others and make a lasting impact in your community. Giving back provides a deep sense of satisfaction. From a financial perspective, working for free may not seem to make much sense. But it can actually be a smart move in the long run. If you've been wondering what to do with your spare time, here are three good financial reasons to volunteer. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 In academic terms, economics is the study of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Simply speaking, it's the study of the choices people make with the resources they have. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Having kids is expensive and welcoming home a new bundle of joy can put a serious pinch on your wallet. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child until the age of 18 is right around $241,000. If you've got a new baby on the way, you need to cut costs now so you'll have plenty of money saved by the time your little one arrives. Read More...

Feb 10, 2017 Mortgage rates are once again on the rise and you may be feeling pressured to refinance before they go even higher. While you may be able to save some serious cash, that doesn't mean you should rush to get a loan. Refinancing can be a complicated process and a seemingly harmless error could end up costing you big. Before you try to get a better deal on your home loan, take a look at our list of refinancing mistakes you'll want to avoid. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 When I began writing my parent's guide "How to Get Your Kid in College and Live to Tell the Tale," my goal was to help parents maneuver through the maze that can be the college and scholarship search. Recently I have joked to my college YACs (young adult children), family and friends that perhaps I need to write another guide, this one called "How to Help Your Kids Keep Their College Scholarships." Read More...

Dec 29, 2014 Amidst all the bad economic news we’re faced with every day, there is still one area that is growing and giving. Charitable giving is at an all-time high even when other parts of our economy are still a bit sluggish. Statistics from 2013 showed that at least 65 percent of American households gave to a charity last year. Read More...

Dec 29, 2014 If you're working on your retirement savings strategy for 2014 you need to know exactly how much you can sock away. The Internal Revenue Service routinely adjusts the annual contribution limits for different types of retirement plans, including 401(k)s and IRAs. For 2014, most limits will stay the same. But there are a few key changes that take effect. Here's a rundown of what you can expect if you're looking to max out your retirement plan this year. Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 With winter weather, homeowners are sure to see their heating bills rise as they try to stave off the cold. Investing in a few minor home improvements can help keep your energy costs down when you feel the chill. Here are some money-saving projects you may want to tackle this winter. Read More...

Dec 29, 2014 If you're tired of lugging around a wallet full of plastic there's a new gadget on the way that promises to eliminate the card clutter. Read More...

Apr 10, 2018 We've all seen that Public Service Announcement from the Ad Council and The American Institute of CPA's that urges us to "Feed the pig." Well, I will be the first to say it is annoying, but it is also very effective. Read More...

Nov 07, 2017 Deciding which college is the best fit  is no easy task. There are all sorts of factors to consider which run the gamut from cost of the college and campus life to how big the institution is and what degrees it offers. You should consider them all before you and your child make a final decision, but there's got to be a starting point. Consider these 5 factors when picking the perfect college. Read More...

Jan 11, 2017 In the simplest sense, a budget is a written plan for how much money you plan to spend versus how much you'll have coming in over a set period of time. Making a budget is a fairly straightforward process but making it work isn't always as easy. If you've written a budget but you still find yourself running out of money before the end of the month, you need to figure out why your plan's not working. Read More...

Dec 08, 2016 It happens to just about everyone at some point. You walk into the supermarket to pick up one or two things and before you know it, you're walking out with an armload of bags and no idea how much you've spent. Read More...

Dec 20, 2016 If you've still got some cash left in your pocket after the holidays are over, you're in luck. There are plenty of great deals to be had once the new year rolls around if you know what to shop for. January is a great time to snag certain items at a major markdown. Here's a list of what you should put on your shopping list now and what you're better off waiting until later to buy. Read More...

May 18, 2018 A trip to the emergency room or an unexpected illness can be a recipe for financial disaster if you don't have health insurance or your coverage isn't that great. According to a study released earlier this year, medical bills are the number one factor leading to personal bankruptcy filings in the U.S. If your medical bills are piling up because of an injury, illness or other health crisis, here are a few strategies for dealing with the debt when you can't afford to pay. Read More...

Nov 15, 2017 When you don't have insurance, paying for medical care can put a serious pinch on your wallet. Credit cards are a convenient way to cover medical bills when you're strapped for cash but that convenience comes at a premium if you end up having to pay interest and fees. A number of banks are now offering medical credit cards for consumers looking to finance health-related expenses. These cards can seem like a great deal but there are a few things to know before you sign on the dotted line. Read More...

Dec 07, 2016 Are you one of the 40% of the population who will be making a New Year's resolution this year? If you are, don’t set yourself up for failure. By July 60% of those who make a New Year's resolution will have given up. Starting the year off with goals is a great idea, but how do you stick to them? Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree - but they also say one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. According to a new study from the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council, 25-34 year olds base their financial decisions on friends, not elders. More than three fourths of young adults say their financial habits are dictated by their peers. The source seems to be peer pressure. Millennials are pressured to keep up with their friends' lifestyles from housing and clothing to restaurants and gadgets. Read More...

Dec 15, 2016 Does the thought of the new year have you thinking of a fresh start? You’re not alone. About 40% of us will make a New Year's resolution in 2017. How do we achieve those resolutions? Whether it’s expensive diet food, pricey exercise equipment or books that help you get on financial track, it can be costly trying to achieve those New Year's resolutions. Many people feel if they buy these things, it will help them reach their goal, when in fact you can accomplish the same goals for free or cheap. Here are some popular New Year's resolutions and ways to achieve them on any budget. Read More...

Nov 12, 2017 The new year is just days away and it's time to start planning for a fiscally fit 2014. Like most people, you probably include a few financial goals when you're making your New Year's resolutions. But following through is often easier said than done. If you're ready to take control of your money, here are some key moves you'll want to make next year. Read More...

Dec 29, 2014 The year is almost over and that means tax time is right around the corner. Before you pull the proverbial covers over your head and roll over, consider the fact that a little time spent now can put money in your pocket later. The pros call the process tax planning and it's not just for the super rich! Read More...

Jan 23, 2017 Do you love throwing a New Year's Eve party each year to celebrate with friends and family? I love throwing a party as much as the next person, but sometimes I just can’t afford to. Don’t let the cost of throwing a party deter you from having one. For someone who is just recovering financially from the holidays, the thought of throwing a New Year's Eve party can be overwhelming. That doesn't mean you can’t have a great party and still stick to your budget. If you don’t want to end up paying for your New Year's Eve party well into 2017, here are some tips and ideas that your wallet will love. Read More...

Nov 12, 2017 Teaching your kids money management skills can help them to establish good financial habits that will benefit them long after they're grown. If you're ready to start raising money-smart kids, here are some of the most important topics you'll want to tackle. Read More...

Nov 15, 2017 While pay freezes have been the norm over the last few years, raises are slowly making a comeback in the workplace. Getting a raise can be a great confidence booster and it can significantly improve your financial situation. But only if you use it wisely. If you've recently gotten a raise or you expect a bump in pay in the near future, here are a few smart ways to put those extra dollars to use. Read More...

Nov 12, 2017 Most people have at least one bad habit. While some are relatively harmless, others can have a negative impact on your health or your life. When bad habits spill over to your finances, it can make getting ahead a major challenge. Learning how to break these bad money habits can help you get your finances back on track so you don't end up in the poor house. We've got the 3 bad money habits that are keeping you broke. Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 The holidays shouldn’t be stressful, but they are. Finding the time to spend with friends and family, let alone all of the effort and time of shopping for them is hard. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, there’s always the cost of the holidays. Trying to pick out the perfect gift that’s within your budget isn’t easy, especially when you’re just flat broke. There’s no shame in making gifts for those you love, because sometimes the time and effort it takes to make a gift makes it that much more special. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Netflix, ShoeDazzle, Citrus Lane, Petflow, Birchbox. It seems that subscription services are popping up everywhere these days. And it makes sense. These companies sell you something once and the revenue doesn't stop. It's also easy to see the appeal of these services: monthly surprises in a curated box of  stuff. Whether the 'stuff' is shoes, TV and movie streaming, baby products, pet food, make-up, clothing, or any other product for that matter, it's nice to get things sent to you! Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 At the grocery store there are aisles full of over-the-counter medications, cleaning products, hair shampoos and conditioners that can be purchased. While these products may be helpful, they are not the end all and be all when it comes to household needs. There are many home remedies that can be made with everyday products often found around the home. The benefit is that these home remedies are often cheaper than the actual products designed for specific purposes. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Some of the hot toys this season are also some of the most expensive. So what if you want to give your kids a great holiday without spending a small fortune? Here are some of the season’s hot toys and how you can still make your little ones happy with a more budget friendly alternative. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 It's that time of year when charities are asking people to give a little more to help others in need. But not all of these organizations have good intentions. The holidays are a prime time for scammers who are looking to prey on the goodwill of others. So you need to be on your guard. If you're in the giving spirit this season, here are some tips to help make sure your donation doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 'Tis the season - for festivities, traditions, family...and spending. Travel, parties, presents and decorations are just a few of the mounting expenses we face as the merriest time of the year approaches. When it comes to presents, I not only struggle with what to give someone - but how much I should spend, per person and overall. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If you're busy decking the halls and hauling out the holly, you may not have time to hunt around for the best deals on holiday gifts or travel. Retailers are advertising big holiday sales for  but that doesn't necessarily mean you'll be paying rock-bottom prices for the items on your list. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 It's that time of year when people are encouraged to give back to those who are less fortunate. When you're on a shoestring budget, giving even a little can seem like a stretch. But there are plenty of ways to give to charity that don't cost a thing. Read More...

Mar 02, 2018 Holiday shopping season is in full swing and retailers are hoping it will be a profitable one. When it comes to gift-giving, it's easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit and overspend. But that can make the most wonderful time of the year the most stressful. When you're making your list and checking it twice, remember to avoid these holiday shopping don'ts. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Travel is on the schedule for many of us this holiday season. Whether you are going out of town to visit friends or family, there is a good chance you will be leaving your home or apartment unoccupied for a period of time. This provides the opportunity to make a little extra money or save money by renting out your home or doing a home swap. Read More...

Dec 29, 2014 Even though tax season is still several months away, it's not too early to start working on your tax planning strategy for 2014. There are a number of new tax provisions rolling out in the new year as well as several tax breaks that are expiring soon. You need to know how these changes will impact your bottom line. Here are some of the most important tax planning moves you may want to make before December 31st. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 There are few words that go together as well as Christmas and overspending. But there are alternatives to ending the year with piles of debt. Of course no one wants to feel like a Scrooge in the midst of a holiday season that celebrates giving across faith traditions as well as among the purely secular. SmartAsset has some tips so you can save money and celebrate this Christmas season. Read More...

Apr 11, 2017 It's the time of year when many of us think about giving back. You can donate money or time, new toys or old coats. But this year, I decided to donate my hair. It doesn't cost a thing (often the salon will offer a free haircut if you are donating) and it can mean a lot to someone else. Check out the video of my hair donation here: Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 With the holidays fast approaching, you may begin looking at your budget and questioning how you are going to afford everything. Holiday expenses can add up quickly. Between travel, buying gifts, hosting parties, going to dinners, there are a lot of 'extras' this time of year. If you have not been able to fully prepare for the holidays, we have five ways to save money quickly. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The leftover turkey is in the fridge, your guests are safely on their way home and the house is now quiet. Don’t get too comfortable. It probably won’t stay that way for long. The holiday season is upon us and in just a few short weeks we will be overwhelmed with the hustle bustle of the Christmas season. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If you’re an owner of a small business, (as I am) you know that marketing is usually the last thing you’re able to afford. That said, without some marketing, the majority of businesses are doomed to fail. There are several cheap and simple marketing tips literally anyone can use. Small budgets (or even no budgets) can still produce targeted efforts and great results. Whether you work for a non-profit or a small business just starting out, all four of these easy marketing steps can be utilized for big results. Read More...

Nov 23, 2016 We all know about the awesome deals Black Friday has to offer, but what about Cyber Monday? Not everyone has the time or the commitment to battle the crowds on the Friday after Thanksgiving and that's one of the main reasons why Cyber Monday was spawned. You can remove a lot of the hassle of Black Friday shopping and get some of the same great deals by following these simple Cyber Monday tips. Read More...

Nov 12, 2015 I make enough dinner to feed an Army at Thanksgiving. So if you are like me, staring down a refrigerator filled with Thanksgiving leftovers after waking up from a tryptophan induced coma can be a little overwhelming. You need to get creative on how to use them before they go bad. It doesn't matter how much you give away, leftovers never seem to leave us completely. I hate wasting food (and money) as much as the next person, so I usually look for ways to stretch my leftovers to feed our family over and over again. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 The idea of a road trip is a romantic one. To be sure, road trips can be exciting, adventurous, and an ideal type of travel for solo, group, and family excursions. At some point though, scenery is going to lose some of its pull, the car is going to get hot, backs will ache, and boredom will threaten to kill any remaining buzz. Music and snacks are a must, and so are a few games to whittle away at some of those hours of highway stuck behind a cow trailer. Read More...

Jun 29, 2015 More and more people are using online tools and their smartphone to create their budgets and track their spending. We met up with Julianna Young from Moven to talk about this trend. Watch our video interview below to learn some of the advantages of having your budgeting tools at your fingertips and how products are developed to better match how people live and spend. Read More...

Nov 18, 2015 One of the best things about the drowsiness that starts to hit us after a large Thanksgiving feast is the early bed time.  It's a great feeling to doze off after a nice meal with family and friends. It's also important to get a good night's rest for what could be one of the most exciting shopping days of the year: Black Friday. Read More...

Mar 23, 2016 Rich, poor, or somewhere in between: every class of society enjoys a drink or two. Unfortunately, drinking well typically requires one to spend near-exorbitant (and sometimes downright flashy) amounts of money on a product that is, essentially, delicious poison. For the everyday imbiber, beer is a logical choice. Read More...

Sep 25, 2017 The holiday season is here and if you're planning to fly to visit friends and family, you need to start making your travel arrangements now. Getting a great deal on a flight can seem impossible but it really just requires a little bit of time and research. Whether you're planning on making a cross-country trek or a trip to a neighboring town, here are some tips to help you find the best bargains on air travel over the holidays. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The days are now shorter. It's inevitable - winter is coming! Maybe you've already turned the heat on for one or two nights. Or maybe you're trying to tough it out. A big concern for many of us is the increased cost of heating and our electric bills in the colder months. For help, we can look to a perhaps strange source - cities. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The holidays are on the horizon and, if you live a far from family and friends, that could mean some traveling this time of year. When you couple the purchase of gifts with travel costs, the expenses for holiday travel can begin to add up. One area you can save money is on baggage fees. Read More...

Jan 12, 2017 For the past few years we have seen many documentaries and stories on the health benefits of switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Not only have films such as Food Inc., shown us the supposedly healthier side to eating less meat, but also the cruelty and poor conditions of huge industrial farms where these animals are grown. Many have taken note. Meatless Mondays have become a mainstay in households across the country, in addition to varying forms of vegetarianism. Well, according to recent revelations on food prices, it may not only benefit your physical… Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 We all understand it: Bring Your Own Beverage. Choosing to BYOB to a restaurant – with a beverage license or not - can be a wonderful way to eat out while cutting costs. There’s a reason Zagat added “BYOB” to the “special features” section of their newest editions. Bringing your own beer and wine for a night out is a favorable factor for restaurant-goers. But before you start swigging Three Buck Chuck at the nicest restaurants in town, learn how to BYOB properly. Read More...

Jun 26, 2017 In the past few years we've seen a resurgence of point-earning credit cards and handsome sign up bonuses. There are a number of ways to earn credit card points and miles. However, redeeming those rewards for things you actually need and want is a whole another game in itself. 50,000 points won't do you a whole lot of good if you can never use them. Read More...

Apr 10, 2017 Your health is a priceless asset. How well you take care of it can have a big impact on your wallet. A poor diet and lack of exercise can contribute to major health problems. This can all add up to big medical bills later on. If you're worried about how your health choices will affect you financially, there are a few things you can do to improve your quality of life and keep more cash in your pocket. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Halloween costumes are a lot like wedding dresses. You get all dressed up for one day and after that they live in the back of your closet forever. There are so many other ways you can use that old Halloween costume to give it new life. Read More...

Dec 24, 2014 For the average American, landing a job that offers health insurance, vacation pay and a retirement plan would be a huge score. For employees working in the tech and social media sectors, benefits like these are just the tip of the iceberg. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 30.7 billion dollars. $30,700,000,000.  That's the richest endowment of any U.S. university and it belongs to Harvard.  It's no big surprise that Harvard sits at the top of the list for university endowments but $30 billion is pretty astounding.  That's $10 billion more than the next highest endowment which belongs to Yale University(again, big surprise). Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 As a young professional, I can tell you that we as a generation make a lot of financial mistakes. Some of it can be attributed to youth, some of it to our own family financial history. That being said, many of these mistakes are catastrophic, and have long-lasting effects well beyond our youthful years. The key is to learn what those mistakes are and to avoid those financial pitfalls so that you don’t end up kicking yourself throughout your 30's. Read More...

Sep 20, 2016 Everyone's talking about weddings.  Well, really they're talking about wedding dollars. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 It’s inevitable. November 1 of every year we end up staring down a huge pile of candy. Whether you purchased too much or your kid is a candy ninja, it seems that there is always more than your family could possibly eat. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 Five years after the Great Recession and resulting financial crisis, the economy still has not recovered to the degree that economists and policy makers had hoped. Unemployment is on the decline, the threat of deflation has abated, and the stock market is at all-time highs. Yet Americans are not spending. Consumer spending is the final piece to an economic recovery. Without it, the present recovery has remained tenuous, fueled as much by Federal Reserve action as by true growth. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 Bills, bills and more bills.  We all have them. But when you're struggling financially, they can really be a burden on your financial health and well being.  Even though you might not necessarily live paycheck to paycheck, if you were to suddenly lose your main source of income would you know which bills you should pay first? Read More...

Sep 14, 2016 Sometimes you may look around your home and wonder how it ever got this way. Meanwhile you see gorgeous decor images all around you. Looking through Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn magazines, and Pinterest boards can provide a lot of inspiration to spruce up your space, but sometimes they are too expensive to implement for your budget. Read More...

Feb 21, 2019 Americans spent over $55 billion on their pets last year, according to the American Pet Products Association. The largest percentage went towards food. But pet owners shelled out approximately $13 billion just for veterinary care, up 40 percent from 2006. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Whether you're an Apple fan boy or hooked on Android, there's one thing that we can all agree on: smartphones aren't cheap.  Not only do you have to re-up your 2 year $100 a month contract every time you want the latest and greatest phone, but there's also the cost of the actual phone to deal with.  We'll ignore the opportunity cost of the time spent waiting in lines for hours every time a new phone comes out for now. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 It's not what you know, it's what you don't know.  Increasingly, we are learning just how little Americans know about finances.  It's hurting us all. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 How often have you seen this scenario? You budget at the beginning of the month, you know exactly how much you have to spend on bills, necessities, and fun. Yet at the end of the month, you are left scratching your head and wondering where all that money went. Sound familiar? Don’t worry; you aren't alone. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 Everyone dreams of being on the receiving end of an unexpected wad of cash but landing a financial windfall can quickly become a nightmare. Without some careful thought and planning, you could end up squandering the money before you've had a chance to put it to good use. Whether you've come into an inheritance, gotten a hefty bonus at work or hit it big playing the lottery, we've got some tips to help you make the most of your new-found wealth. Read More...

Dec 13, 2016 A trip to the ER can be a frightening experience, especially if you've suffered a serious injury or you're having an unexpected health crisis. Once you're on the road to recovery, you may get another shock to the system when the medical bills start to arrive. According to an NIH-funded study published earlier this year, the average cost of treatment in the emergency room is 40 percent more than a month's rent. It's only expected to get higher. Read More...

Jan 12, 2017 Chances are you fall into one or both of these categories: someone who has said "does this smell bad" or "you can't eat\drink that it's expired!" You want to be safe but you also don't want to waste money.  Well, there's a way to strike a balance.  We have some tips to make sure you're not throwing away food too early.  Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 We've all heard stories of personal bankruptcy.  Many of us have even known people who have been to the brink and fallen off. One all too common and unfortunate comment is he\she\they had no idea how bad things were until it was too late. This is of course pure bunk, hogwash if you prefer. There are always signs whether we choose to read them or not is another story. Read More...

Oct 17, 2016 Just because you have a small space, doesn't mean you can’t think big when it comes to decorating for Halloween! There are so many fun and inexpensive ways that you can decorate your apartment. Whether you want to add some spooky-chic or turn your entire apartment into a haunted house, we have some great ideas to get you started! Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Given the economy of the past few years, many people have been laid off or are underemployed. Couple this lack of or decreased income with the fact that a lot of us are just not very financially savvy and the consequences can be disastrous. Luckily, there are ways you can become more financially secure, so that if you ever find yourself on the wrong end of a pink slip or a government shutdown, you are prepared. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 The issue of student loans has been getting much attention lately. Here at SmartAsset, we've written on entrepreneurs such as Peter Thiel who are creating programs for young students to drop out of school and pursue their interests directly. States such as Oregon are coming up with alternative methods to pay for state college tuition. However, for many of us, these programs are coming out a little too late. We're already saddled with student loan debt. While this debt cannot be reversed, if you take some smart steps to pay down your debt sooner than expected. Read More...

Oct 17, 2016 We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so my mom was a queen of making DIY Halloween costumes. She never bought costumes at a store, she made them year after year. Although my mom was a master seamstress, there were some years she ditched the sewing machine and used other materials. You don’t need to be a seamstress to make a frugal costume for you or your kiddos. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Saving money is tough and if you're like most on a budget, you're always looking for new ways to save .  One of the challenges I'm faced with on a daily basis is deciding between doing things myself or hiring outside help to do it for me.  There's really no task that you can't outsource these days but where do you draw the line? Read More...

Feb 08, 2017 Student life is busy: school, internships, part-time jobs, friends, dating, and staying involved on campus. It may seem easier to worry about grades than your credit score, but college is a great time to start building credit. The key is to take calculated steps in becoming financially independent. Using a credit card can be a way to do that.  Here's a list of tips for college students who are ready to begin establishing credit. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If the government shutdown isn’t enough to convince you just how interwoven health care and finances are, nothing will. You can keep your own budget from shutting down in the face of health concerns, however. During the season of sickness, when cold and flu germs lurk all over, it (literally) pays to build up your immune system. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 This is a guest post from Bo Lu, CEO of  FutureAdvisor,  a fee-only registered investment advisor. Read More...

Jan 11, 2017 As any new grad will tell you, once you're in the real world expenses can start to add up quickly. Most people right out of college don't have much experience managing their own money and it shows in their spending patterns.  We've compiled a list of 5 things that new grads waste their money on and tips for how to stop, without sacrificing too much in the way of quality of life. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 They always have special names, although not usually in the formal sense, like The House, The Country, Upstate, The Shack, Grandma's. They are more than buildings sitting on pieces of land large and small. They are collective and individual memories that mean the same thing to every member of the family. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The arrival of autumn doesn't mean you have to stop making vacation plans; in fact, the fall is one of the best seasons for fun. Summer crowds have come and gone. Landscapes are transforming with the season’s signature foliage change. Especially in New York, the harshness of summer and winter temperatures can make the “usual” travel seasons unappealing. Fall is well suited for a staycation as the lack of traffic and brisk air make for divine day trips. SmartAsset rounded up some seasonal ideas for in and around NYC designed with the frugal explorer in mind. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 As the economy has recovered over the past few years, so have the wallets of the richest Americans.  The top 10 percent of earners took home more than half of the country's total income in 2012.  Think about that statistic for a moment and let it sink in.  Nearly 50% of all the money made last year in the United States went to only 10% of the population. Read More...

Jan 12, 2017 It’s that coveted time of the year: the air gets crisp, your favorite hoodie comes out of retirement, and your inner-friend-circle football team rivals begin to heat up. After you've purchased that new team jersey you had your eye on, the matching beanie, and home game tickets, however, you may be a little strapped for cash. How are you going to host that tailgate party? Whether at the stadium parking lot or your cramped apartment, there are simple ways to feed your posse while keeping a tight budget. SmartAsset is here to ensure you and your crew won’t go hungry… Read More...

Apr 14, 2017 This is a guest post from Bo Lu, CEO of  FutureAdvisor,  a fee-only registered investment advisor. Research shows that diligent attention to taxes can save an investor $6,057 per year over 25 years on a $200k investment. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 This is a guest post from Bo Lu, CEO of FutureAdvisor, a fee-only registered investment advisor. There aren't many products or industries where the lowest cost item often turns out to be the best choice.  But when it comes to mutual funds, that's often the case. The most expensive funds tend to be actively managed mutual funds while the lowest cost funds are passively managed index funds. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 FOMO stands for “fear of missing out.” Even if we don’t want to admit it, we've all felt it at times. The inter-connectivity of social media is adding a new dimension to how we share our personal lives. When we are sitting at home on a Friday night while others post pictures of fabulous parties and vacation, it often feels like we aren’t doing enough. The "fear of missing out" on a fun night with friends or family can quickly become the "fear of missing out" on a better life. So we say yes to the dinner out we can't afford, take the expensive vacation and generally spend more than we should leading to one big problem: FOMO can get expensive. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Everyone likes to save money and one of the easiest ways to keep more cash in your wallet is to shop secondhand. Whether you're browsing the local flea market or surfing the ads on Craigslist, you're sure to find deals on everything from books to clothes to furniture. While it's better to buy some things used, there are certain purchases you can't afford to skimp on. Here's a list of things we think you're better off buying new, even if it means spending a little more. Read More...

Jan 13, 2016 There was a time when people got paid on Friday and went to the bank on their lunch hour.  They cashed their paychecks and deposited money into their bank accounts. Stores took checks from customers they knew and everyone else paid cash with real money that they carried around in a wallet or purse. Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 We eat for lots of reasons, not the least of which is to stay alive. This makes food the only item on our household budgets that can't be eliminated entirely. What and how we eat is also a matter of pleasure in both the physical sensation of being full and contented and for the enjoyment of the tastes. Finally sharing meals is a social function that pre-dates history and brings us closer as families. If the only concern we had when it comes to food were staying alive we're pretty adaptable and can eat most anything to meet our needs for nourishment. Since survival is not our only reason for eating what and how we eat has a greater impact on our household budgets. Eating more, eating better and doing it for less is not impossible or even complicated. Read More...

Dec 01, 2016 Congratulations you're engaged! Tell your parents. Text your friends and tweet and post the happy news so that everyone can share in the happy occasion. Pick a date, pick a hall, book a honeymoon, and start picking baby names! What? Choosing baby names seems a little premature? Ok, you can do the rest, right? Wrong! Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Who doesn't love a bargain? Be honest, no matter how big or small the saving is, you love the feeling of sticking it to the man. Getting a good deal is a big deal no matter how small that deal is. That's a lot to deal with I know but it does bring us face to face with an uncomfortable truth: sometimes we buy things we don't need because the price is right.  Couponing can have a downside. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 In July 2013 eight states increased their gas taxes. If you don't live in one of these eight states don't rest easy just yet; 11 other states are considering similar gas tax increases. I can still remember when I started to drive. I got my license and my shiny new (to me) Ford Escort. No more asking my parents to drive me around or have friends take me from place to place. I was mobile and it was fantastic. The only stipulation my parents handed me with the keys is that I would have to pay for the insurance and gas. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 Imagine moving out of your parents’ house for the first time, and not knowing how to create a budget, what a 3% interest rate on a student loan means, or never having seen a credit card only to be confronted by employees of credit card companies trying to sign you up for a card by enticing you with free stuff. For many, these scenarios have played out on college campuses across the nation. Unfortunately, it’s not only young adults, freshly out of high school, who are confused or unaware about personal finances. In a previous post, I discussed how one-fifth of adults lacked confidence or were confused about their own personal finances. If these adults lack awareness about their own personal finances, chances are they are hesitant to teach their children about… Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 For better or worse divorce is the end result of close to half of first marriages and an even higher percentage of subsequent marriages. Adding to the crushing emotional toll is often financial uncertainty. Divorce is a process and the sooner it is treated that way the better, especially when it comes to personal finances. Denying the inevitable will only serve to make matters worse down the road and will do little to slow the progression of change. Divorces are fraught with uncertainty even those that occur on the friendliest of terms. Read More...

Jan 10, 2017 Early adulthood is a time in most people’s lives when they are first coming into their own. Students who have graduated high school and are moving on to college, may be thinking about world travel while in school. More and more colleges and universities are offering an array of study abroad programs that allow students to in a foreign country while taking classes, and still receive credits towards their graduation requirements. Read More...

Dec 08, 2016 Health insurance is designed to help cover the costs of your medical care, whether you're going in for a routine checkup or undergoing emergency surgery. Comprehensive plans typically cover both major and minor medical care expenses, but every policy is different. If you're concerned about the possibility of developing a serious illness, such as cancer, you may want to consider purchasing a disease-specific policy. Read More...

Nov 12, 2017 As the price of a college education continues to rise, more and more people are asking themselves is it even worth it. The Peter Thiel Fellowship  funds opportunities for young people to drop out, or completely avoid going to college in order to get real world, hands on experience in the science and technology fields. While Thiel’s fellowship may seem like a better alternative to college, and is a great way to get hands on experience, Stanford’s Dean of Engineering states that most investments fail, which will leave these young twenty-somethings without any real marketable skills and without a strong network. However, this is the type of argument one would expect from a college dean. The real question is what are the other alternatives? Read More...

Dec 22, 2014 Last week, an unfortunate (and hungry) Seattle Starbucks Employee lost his job for eating an egg sandwich out of the trash. This state of affairs brings up some interesting questions, such as, “does eating marked-out food from the trash constitute theft?” and, “should that really be considered a fire-able offense?” While these important questions are debated in comments sections across the Internet, we at Smartasset will exercise pragmatism by exploring low-cost lunch alternatives that make the waste-bin look less appetizing. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If the bills are piling up and creditors are hounding you over unpaid debts, it may seem like the only way out is to file bankruptcy. While filing bankruptcy can give you a financial clean slate, it's meant to be a last resort. In some situations, bankruptcy is unavoidable but in many cases, all it takes is careful budgeting and a little discipline to get your debt under control. If you're struggling with your finances, these simple budgeting tips may be able to pull you away from the brink of bankruptcy. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If you're looking for ways to trim your budget, buying things that have been previously owned can save you a lot of money. While it's true that you get what you pay for, buying secondhand doesn't necessarily mean you have to sacrifice quality. If you take the time to shop around, you'll find that there are plenty of things you can buy in like-new condition without having to pay top dollar. Here are just a few things we think you're better off buying used. Read More...

Dec 22, 2014 In the U.S., there is growing national concern over the obesity epidemic. According to public health workers, anyone with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 is considered obese. Nearly, one-third of Americans are obese today, and it is estimated that by 2030, 42% of Americans will be obese. Obesity is a major concern for a number of reasons, many of which center around the healthcare costs associated with obesity. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 If you don't have health insurance, you're not alone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 50 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2010. Cost is a major obstacle that prevents many people from having health coverage but it doesn't mean you can't get affordable medical care. Whether you just need a check-up or you have a minor illness, there are some money-saving options for getting the care you need. Read More...

May 20, 2015 In today’s day and age, people have much more access to information than ever before. The ease with which we can look up all sorts of data and information is astounding, and often, incomprehensible to past generations. However, given all the information available to us, right at our fingertips, it still seems that many people are confused about their personal finances. If you find yourself in this boat, just know you are not alone. Read More...

Dec 22, 2014 Today's investment professionals use historical references all the time.  Although they know that past performance is no guarantee of future returns, there is a lot of knowledge that can be gained by looking into the past. For the average investor, the past 50 years of investing research has actually taught us a lot. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 The past few months have been very exciting for same sex-couples. One of the most exciting occurrences was the Supreme Court’s striking down of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA. The Supreme Court’s decision made way for a number of significant advancements for same-sex couples when it comes to taxes and nursing homes or living arrangements for elderly same-sex couples. One of the main arguments for same-sex couples who were championing the legalization of marriage had to do with tax and other benefits that heterosexual married couples enjoy. According to an article published by Slate by J Bryan Lowder, the U.S. Treasury announced that given the strike down of DOMA, same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes. The press release from the Treasury states, in part: Read More...

Dec 08, 2016 Your health is an invaluable asset that you can't afford to neglect. How well you take care of yourself has a significant impact on your quality of life and it can also affect your finances. If you're in good health, you generally won't have to spend as much on medical care and you may get a better deal on insurance. If you're not in great shape, you may face more costly medical issues as you age. Maintaining good health requires time and effort but it doesn't have to be expensive. Take a look at these budget-busting health myths that could be costing… Read More...

Apr 10, 2017 Technology has become a way of life for most of us. The convenience of being able to conduct our shopping online, entertain ourselves, communicate with friends and family across state or international borders has given us a reason to spend a great deal of time with our face glued to a screen. Although technology can be extremely beneficial, there are drawbacks to constantly being inundated with online advertisements, work e-mails, and even the constant barrage of tweets and Instagram photos. Not only can being constantly digitally connected impact your overall well-being, it can also do a number on your finances. Given the ease and convenience of online shopping, many retailers have found ways to entice customers to spend more than they originally intended. For example, websites such as Amazon.com use special formulas based on your previous purchases to advertise or recommend… Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 When it comes to buying and selling real estate, there are certain situations where it helps to have a qualified legal professional on your side. If you're looking to get into real estate investing, attempting to purchase a short sale or foreclosure, or having unexpected complications with a simple transaction, it may be time to hire a real estate attorney. Before you sign on the dotted line, consider asking these five questions to make sure your prospective attorney has the skills and qualifications you need. Read More...

Sep 02, 2015 With Labor Day behind us and the summer unofficially officially over, the great fall sales beckon shoppers to dole out some cash on end-of-the-season sales. The transition into fall makes it  possible to find deals on summer products and snatch up last year’s models before the new ones are unveiled. Here is a quick guide on what to look for while shopping this September. Read More...

Dec 22, 2014 Believe it or not the rich have financial problems too, and Paul Aitken is a man who understands that. He knows that even the wealthiest often find themselves strapped for cash. He has the money they need, but only if he can hold on to something of theirs until they can pay him back. With interest, of course. Read More...

Dec 08, 2016 Do you ever find yourself checking your bank account or credit card balances and wondering where your money went, only to realize it’s all in your closet? Do you find yourself splurging a little too often on a new pair of shoes, new clothes, or even eating out? Unfortunately, emotional spending is a problem for many of us that leads to overspending on things we really don’t need. Thankfully, there are ways to break the habit of emotional spending, so that we can put our money to better use and improve our overall financial situation. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 I was fortunate enough to graduate college with very little debt.  I went to a public university in California and although tuition has skyrocketed lately, the cost wasn't overly outrageous at the time.  My fiancee was in the same boat but she chose to attend graduate school after college.  We've been dating for 9 years so I knew all along that we would be incurring big time debt to pay for her graduate studies.  But I didn't mind since it was what she wanted to do and I didn't want to hold her back from her career goals and dreams. The same can't be said about all couples though, when is the right time to ask how much student debt or debt in general your partner has?  I've been out of the dating game for a while but I don't think credit scores are a great first date conversation starter.  Not if you want to have a second date at least. Read More...

Sep 20, 2016 Whether you consult on a freelance basis, work remotely or operate your own business, your home office is a hub for focused productivity. It can also serve as the space where you keep your personal finances organized. With the right tools and conditions, the life of the home office worker can be very rewarding. SmartAsset rounded up these handy tips to help the Smart Guy to optimize his home office space. Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 New York City is one of the most expensive cities to visit, and live, in the country and in the fall it's also one of the most beautiful. What a lot of people don’t realize is that for every expensive attraction or show, there are just as many free things to do in NYC as well. In the city that never sleeps, you can find enough activities to keep you busy all day and keep you up all night. When you get to NYC, pick up a Time Out magazine or check out their website. I find it’s a wealth of information when it comes to finding free things to do in NYC. You can find everything from free buffets at happy hour to free classes and more. These activities can vary from day to day. If you can’t find something in there to do, you can always check out these great alternatives. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 For many freshly-minted grads struggling to find their footing in a tough job market, the arrival of their first student loan bill is a harsh reality check. Just as student loan debt is approaching an all-time high, default rates are also skyrocketing. According to a recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, approximately 7 million borrowers are in default on a federal or private student loan. If your student loan payments are putting the squeeze on your budget, you need to know what your options are. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Are you getting the best deal on your cell phone? Did you ever take the time to compare other companies or do you just pay your phone bill because you don’t want to take the time to shop around? I am one of those people. I love to save money but I can never get it together in time for when my plan renews, so for the last decade I have had the same cell phone carrier. Does that sound familiar? Read More...

Dec 22, 2014 People choose to rent their homes for a variety of reasons. Maybe they were temporarily relocated by their employer or their relocation was so fast, they didn’t have time to sell. When the housing market crashed, a new wave of landlords emerged. Many people found themselves upside down in their homes, but needed to move anyways. Instead of taking a loss, they rented their homes to wait for the market to rebound. Read More...

Dec 22, 2014 A college degree is crucial to success in today’s job market, but the rising costs of earning a diploma is making it harder for young Americans today. Scholarships, grants and student loans can ease the burden but you could still end up having to cover part of the expense yourself. The good news is you may be able to put some of that money back in your pocket by taking advantage of these key tax breaks for education. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 It’s that time of year again. Back to school means term papers, long nights studying, costs for books and other materials needed for classes. College can be very demanding, with the costs of books, the stress of getting everything completed on time, and keeping it all organized. Luckily, there are ways to save money on books and keep the busy student organized and ready to meet the challenges of college life. The cost for one text book can easily cost $100 or more, and if you are taking four courses, the costs of books can easily top $300+, per semester. However, the savvy student can save a great deal or possibly get all their books for free, if you know where to look. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Sometimes you just need to get away. But if you haven't planned out a vacation, are you doomed to spend tons for airfare and hotel rooms at your preferred destination? The answer is no! Here are a few helpful tips to help you save money on your last minute vacation. Read More...

Sep 14, 2016 A bare bones apartment is the ultimate blank canvas for creativity. But unless you’re a skilled designer or interior decorator, putting together an attractive, comfortable home — and ensuring it all works together — can be daunting. SmartAsset has compiled some price-savvy design ideas to help you create the ideal living space. Read More...

Dec 04, 2017 Growing up in Brooklyn you learned a few things early on: Look both ways, twice when crossing a street. The thing you most want in a gumball machine never comes out and milk money and your red and white Dime Savings Bank envelope were due on Wednesday. That was the secular holy trinity of my youth. The first kept you safe from harm, the second reminded you that sooner or later persistence pays off and the third, well that was a financial double play. Milk money was your lesson in bill paying for the penalty, for failure was the humiliation of having to drink water from the water fountain. But the white envelopes with the red printing that said Dime Savings Bank was something else altogether. Read More...

Dec 22, 2014 Bike sharing is a new phenomenon in the United States that has its roots in Europe and in a city that is legendary for its canals and its bicycle culture Amsterdam. Modern bike sharing got its start in the Dutch capital in 1965 has since evolved into a world wide trend since. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 Handling your money is a personal endeavor. You are the person in control of what you spend on and how much you allocate to your expenses. The amount of pressure and responsibility is part of what makes budgeting so difficult. How do you decide what to buy, when to buy it, and how much you should spend? Saving money presents challenges all its own. Add to this chaos the confusion of loans, debt, and perhaps mortgages, and crafting a personal budget becomes a near impossible task. Read More...

Aug 09, 2013 High school graduation is a rite of passage and time for celebration. But unless you’re willing to witness a real life scene from 16 Candles,  Weird Science or even worse,  Project X, you’d do best hosting a project graduation party. Nowadays, schools across the country participate in some type of chaperoned, drug- and alcohol-free event, which typically on throughout the night. The scope of these events varies, depending on the school’s budget allocation and cost-per-ticket. But that doesn’t mean party planners need to skimp on the frills. The pleasure seekers at SmartAsset have compiled some ideas to help you load up on the fun on a budget. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 A home entertainment center may be the smart guy’s most valued possession in the apartment. It’s a dream come true to watch your favorite media in HD with 7.1 surround sound. In years past, the cost of the ultimate home A/V experience quickly added up to the tune of $5000 or more. But recently, decent home entertainment solutions can be purchased on a shoestring budget. SmartAsset has rounded up these tips so that you don’t need to compromise on quality fun and enjoyment in the comfort of your dwelling. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 A zero sum game is a one in which one player’s gains are the result of another player’s losses where there is no change in the total amount of points, money or resources available only in which player has what in this sense wealth is finite and is only shifted from one participant to another. Read More...

Apr 13, 2018 In an article, a financial columnist wrote about how it was possible to put away thousands by saving rather than spending $5 for a cup of coffee or some other frivolous item.  That can add up to hundreds thousands of dollars over the years.  Those funds you are saving can easily pay for a car, house, college or retirement. Read More...

Mar 01, 2018 In the August installment of The Best and Worst Things to Buy, we take a look at the best and worst end of summer deals.  For parents the end of summer  can’t come soon enough. For the kids it’s here too soon. But, August isn't just back to school time, it’s a great time of year to snag some deals. Whether you are looking for a new grill or stocking up office supplies, there is a sale for everyone. Read More...

May 18, 2018 Shopping and banking online occur constantly in the Internet marketplace. Unfortunately, online fraud and identify theft occurs just as frequently, thanks to clever thieves and sloppy consumer Internet shopping habits. Online transactions always carry some risk, but consumers can do many things to increase their security on the web. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 In 2009, the American Journal of Medicine found that at least 60% of all bankruptcies are caused by medical problems. The issues of health care coverage and its costs are often the center of political debate and discussion, and are a main concern of Americans from different classes and backgrounds; everyone needs and deserves to be healthy. As a culture, it has been shown that Americans are quite unhealthy, and do not often lead lifestyles that prevent the onset of disease like diabetes and heart disease. The result is that many people are finding it difficult or nearly impossible to pay for health care costs, especially those without access to health insurance. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 People with damaged credit or bad spending habits will try anything to protect themselves from poor decisions. Of course, there is always some corporation there ready and willing to offer you a product marketed to look like something that can help you. Enter the prepaid debit card. The prepaid debit card can be used anywhere a credit card can be used. You can only use the funds that have been deposited into the account attached to the card and it can be replenished at any time. The reason why this type of card is sold at all is because of the perceived theory that people with bad credit can only qualify for this and that it will help build and repair a person’s credit. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 Have you ever felt undervalued, under-paid, or just underappreciated for the effort you put into your work? While you’ve certainly heard of the Type A personality, and about the habits of highly effective people, you may not yet have heard about the personality type called “The Underearner.” In many ways, under-earning is the flipside of the Type A and hyper-productivity--it may even be an overreaction to the aggressive pursuit of self-expansion and accumulation that characterizes those other types and is generally celebrated in our culture. Read More...

Apr 10, 2017 It’s really hard to choose a place to raise your family. There are places you would love to live but can’t afford and other places that you can afford but may not be the best for your family. Believe it or not, even in this economy, there are still family friendly cities where you can enjoy high wages, low cost of living and a family friendly environment – you just need to know where to find them. We put together a list of a few family friendly cities to settle down in. Read More...

Sep 16, 2016 It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, weather is warm, and the beach is calling your name. This is the time of year when Americans take vacations and decide to get away for relaxation and fun. For many, car rentals will be a part of their vacation and travel expenses. Luckily, there are some ways you can cut down on the cost for your car rental.  Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 In matters of personal finance, debt can basically be divided into two types: long term and short term.  For accounting purposes, any debt less than one year in repayment is short term.  Being responsible with your long term debt is an important goal in personal financial planning that you should make every effort to accomplish. There are many types of long term debt that you will probably consider. Read More...

May 03, 2018 Congratulations, you’ve either paid off all your high interest credit card and revolving credit debt (or are well on your way) and you’re ready to start building your own emergency rainy day fund. A what, you ask? Rainy day funds or emergency funds or financial security blankets are some of names given to a stash of cash you keep locked away to cover your living expenses for six months or more. Read More...

Aug 12, 2015 Trends come and go, but fitness is forever. For many of us, however, staying fit is a constant fight against time, inertia, and boredom, and the various trends that help reinvent fitness are a reliable source of reinvigoration. Fitness trends also offer us new and innovative ways of staying healthy, and the more options there are out there to do that, the better the chances we find one that really suits us. Being healthy can often mean finding a workout that works for you, a fitness trends that just fits. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014   More than one third of  American adults are obese. With their average medical costs being $1429 higher than someone who is not overweight, it was about time that the government took notice and did something about it. The Affordable Care Act is doing just that. In the past there were a small handful of insurance companies that helped those who were trying to lose weight, however with Obamacare, most insurance plans are now required to help obese patients lose weight. The methods they cover may vary from plan to plan but one thing is for sure – we are finally getting the help we need to fight the war on obesity. Read More...

Feb 21, 2018 There’s a war going on in your wallet. The war is for control of your life and the enemy is personal debt. That might sound like hyperbole at first blush but the reality is that personal debt, especially excessive personal debt is slowly strangling millions of people every day. Personal debt can suck the joy out of life faster than shop vac in fish tank. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 Discussions of personal finance usually end up in one of two ways, with drooping eyelids, yawns and repeated glances at a watch or in raised voices and some variation of “None of this applies to me I know what I’m doing.” Yet every day more and more people find themselves in financial hot water without much of a clue about how to get out or how they got there in the first place. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 You’ve filed your income tax return and put another year tax year behind you as you wipe the sweat from your brow. The relief that you survived a visit from the tax man is tempered by a deeply seeded sense of anxiety borne from the uncertainty of the eternal question that has plagued human kind since the dawn of time, what if!?! Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Congratulations! You've got yourself a first date with someone that you're interested in. That's great! What's not so great though is your bank account. Don't fret here are just a few cheap first date tips! With these you can still have a great night out without breaking your already broken bank. Read More...

Feb 21, 2018 Drinking wine can be a fun way to socialize, or a great way to relax. But if you pay too much for it, you're going to be tense. You also won't be able to afford to be social. That's money you'll have to spend on dates, or that can pay for your education. Put healthcare, gym memberships, and eating right on that list, too. You'll have a more balanced life and checkbook, and all because of the effort you made to save on wine at the right price. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 Both millennials and retirees are looking for ways to make money in this tough economy. Unfortunately, when the economy took a dive, it was felt by all especially these groups. In the wake, twenty somethings leaving college were left with little job prospects and mounting student loan debt. Retirees took a hard hit as well, watching their investments crash with the market and scrambling to make extra money. With a desperate situation, millennials and retirees were forced to get creative with making money. Some used a bit of creativity and technology to bring home the bacon. Here are some out of the box ideas that both millennials and retirees have used to make money in a terrible economy. Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 I love aphorisms and clichés particularly when I realize how much more profound and far reaching in scope they are relative to their ubiquity. One of my favorites is "Time is Money" which comes to us from that great source of aphorisms, Benjamin Franklin. He wrote those words in Advice to a Young Tradesman about the dangers of time ill spent. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Infertility sucks. There is no way around it. If you can’t have a baby the old fashioned way, the alternatives are extremely expensive. You can either adopt or you can choose to have a procedure like In Vitro Fertilization to try to conceive on your own. Both can be expensive and put a toll on your finances, your mental health and your relationship. IVF is the way a lot of couples go, however, it can costs tens of thousands of dollars (most insurances won’t cover it) and there is no guarantee that it will even work. So how does a working class family afford a procedure like this without taking out a second mortgage? Read More...

Dec 18, 2014 Personal space is important for our sanity. The way that your home environment is structured, curated, and expressed says volumes about you, and influences your mood. Home is the place where even the busiest of people can relax and just “be.”Naturally, we want to be able to fill our homes and apartments with bits and pieces from the outside that make us feel good, which can get expensive. When you allow yourself to become creative however, you can develop high style for you and your loved ones without high prices. SmartAsset found several cheap redecorating tips that you can use to breathe new life into your home without breaking your bank. Read More...

Jul 05, 2018 Having fun on a tight budget can be tough especially if you live in a big city or anywhere where a lot of traveling is required. However, we found 12 ways anyone – families, friends, couples, or singles – can have a great time while still meeting their strict budget guidelines. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 If you have some unused space in your home, it could be making you money. No, we're not talking about renting out a room or getting a foreign exchange student for the summer. Instead, head down to a place like Costco or any other warehouse club near you, and take a look at how much you'll save. When you buy in bulk you'll get great deals, and you’ll fill up that empty space in your house. The best part is there won’t be as much empty space in your wallet or bank account either. Read More...

Dec 22, 2016 The global economy has shown signs of slowing. Financial security is not something easy to come by, and if found, should be considered a lucky thing to have. Some could say the same of finding a mate and getting married. It has been long known that marriage is financially beneficial for both parties for a number of reasons. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Moving back home with your parents may be a little embarrassing, but it is an increasingly common choice for American 20-somethings. As recent college graduates they may need a place to stay while they get their feet on the ground. Whether you are waiting for a job, looking for a cheap apartment, or biding time until marriage, use these tips to keep your family from going crazy. Read More...

Dec 16, 2016 With summer holidays around the corner, barbecues and holiday parties will soon be upon us. However, there is absolutely no need to break the bank when entertaining friends and family. Here are our top seven recommendations for throwing a party while maintaining your wallet’s composure. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Many travelers purchase short-term insurance before they leave on their vacations in order to have coverage in case of unforeseen emergencies.  However, these quick-fix travel insurance plans don’t always leave you as well-covered as you would like.  We looked at Travel Insured, Travelguard, and Allianz Travel Insurance to see what travel insurance actually covers, and what may fall through the cracks. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Regardless of your position on the ladder of success the question is the same: "what can I do to move on up the food chain?" Whether you are a fresh out of school or a highly experienced professional everybody wants to get ahead. Even though every business, career and career path is unique, where some may have education requirements or experience minimums or other standards that are particular to your industry or field there are still some rules that are universal. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 According to financial calculators on www.finaid.org, the tuition for a public 4-year college when a child born this year enrolls, will cost well over $50k a year. Even in this financial environment, it is not only possible, but extremely helpful to invest in a 529 Plan, which is one of the best college savings plans. Used correctly, it can be a very useful tool for college planning and reaching your long-term goals. Read on to learn about 529 plan rules. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Just when you thought Google had peaked their technological innovation with Google Glass, they have upped the ante once again. When it was founded in 2011, Google Wallet was the prize pig of the internets most popular search engine. It allows you to compile all of your credit cards into one space, and connect to them through your smartphone. With it’s “Tap and Pay” feature, you can pay at any store where there are Near Field Communications (when smartphones and similar technologies can communicate with one another through touching). Read More...

Dec 21, 2016 It seems that with the advent of money, there hasn’t been a single moment of respite for man. The diurnal and seasonal hunter and cultivator suddenly found himself bogged down with pursuits, of the monetary kind that is, that were not limited by the seasons. In fact, he willingly (gleefully too) devoted himself to the task of thinking up a plethora of ways and means to make money, save money, and grow money. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 So you have decided to begin a life a frugality. Congratulations on your new found direction! In a short time you will see the positive results of your new found frugality in your bank account and in your head as you will be stressing less over your financial situation. However, many wannabe frugal livers have trouble kick-starting their endeavor. If you are one of these people, have no fear! Here are 20 simple living tips to kick-start your new lifestyle. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Hosting a successful yard sale is much more than throwing your items out in the front yard with a “For Sale” sign. With the age of technology, you can advertise to a larger audience and even take credit card payments from your smart phone. Planning a yard sale can be time consuming, but if you do it right, you may be able to make a few hundred dollars (or more) in just a few hours. Here are a few tips for hosting a yard sale in style (and making some money along the way): Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 According to a national study conducted last year, only 27% of Americans formally volunteer. Unfortunately, in these tough economic times, many social services, community outreach programs, and cultural organizations have suffered cutbacks that make it very difficult for them to provide for the people who need help the most. Now more than ever, charitable organizations need volunteers who can fill the breach opened by years of recession. Volunteering is an act that improves both giver and receiver. Check out this list of volunteer ideas and make yourself and the world a better place. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 We have all had a difficult boss, or have been stuck in a job you didn’t love. At one point in our careers have hummed “Take This Job and Shove it” under our breath. If you haven’t, you are one of the select few who love what they do. In that case, you can stop reading. For the rest of us, dreaming of quitting your job and finding a different one, starting your own business or working from home has been something that we have thought about at some point. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 It starts with flashing lights and a few chirps of the police cruisers siren and you find yourself on the side of the road fumbling for your license, registration, insurance and a reasonable explanation in the hope of getting out of a traffic ticket. Sometimes you get lucky and the officer lets you off with stern lecture and a warning. Other times you join the not so exclusive club of traffic law violators. Traffic tickets, aka moving violations are no fun and can end up being far more costly than being late for an appointment which is by far the most common excuse for speeding. When excuses and explanations fail and a ticket is issued and the patrol car drives out of view you are left with a piece of paper that represents only a portion, possibly a small portion of your cost for the event. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 If you have ever been a server at any type of restaurant, you know how important a tip can be. Servers are amongst those making some of the lowest wages in the country, and therefore rely on tips in order to make each week’s pay worth the hard work they put in. However, if you are more often in a restaurant to enjoy a meal and good service, you may conceive of the coveted tip in quite a different light. Read More...

Sep 14, 2016 Have you dreamed of a European vacation but only have enough money to get you a trip to the next town over? It’s no secret that some destinations in Europe like Paris and London are expensive to visit. What if I told you that there were countries where you can have a five star vacation on a staycation budget? There are still a few hidden gems in Europe where you can stay in five star accommodations for less than that you would pay to stay in a budget motel here in the states. Here are just a few budget European travel destinations at the top of our list. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 It's clear that debt can impact your credit score. There are few things that cause more stress than the looming specter of debt.  Even when you are meeting monthly payments and staying afloat, that silent ball and chain still drags behind you, clinking now and then to remind you that you are not really free. It seems logical to assume that the psychological burden debt carries could adversely affect one’s mental health.  I did a little investigating to find some hard numbers on this phenomenon and see what science has to say about the relationship between debt and mental health. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Results? Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward.... – Thomas Edison How many times have you found yourself daydreaming about what life could be like? Images of that business you always wanted to start float around in your head. Fashion designs that you’ve always played around with, but never actually attempted litter the alleyway of your mind like old newspapers. Maybe you sit there on a Sunday afternoon reading a book thinking you could write a better story…Why are they just thoughts? What is the cement that keeps you in place instead of reaching for your dreams? Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 If you're a part of the graduating class of 2013 you can consider yourself among the luckiest batch of recent college grads. Why? The job market for new graduates is considerably brighter than it has been in the past few years. A National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) survey demonstrates businesses plan to add between two and 13 percent additional college graduates in 2013 compared to 2012. NACE also reports salary expectations for 2013 grads should see an increase over five percent from previous years. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Exercise, we all need it. The Center for Disease Control states that physical activity has the capacity to help manage our weight, reduce the risk of premature death, diabetes, heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and more. Not only is exercise great for physical health, but it is also great for mental health, as well. The benefits of exercise and physical activity are innumerable. However, one of the drawbacks to seeking out exercise is the cost of a gym membership and exercise equipment. Luckily, there are many ways to build a successful exercise regimen without spending a great deal of money. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Workplace awkwardness is such a familiar phenomenon that a hugely popular television series, “The Office”, is based nearly entirely on corporate clumsiness in its many modes.  The US version of the extremely popular comedy series recently came to a very awkward end, capping a hugely successful eight seasons on NBC.  Why was it so popular?  I would venture to guess that more than its classic characterizations from Rainn Wilson and Steve Carrell, what made “The Office” so popular was its familiar and often hilarious portrayal of awkward co-workers. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Unless you work at Facebook or Yahoo, chances are you didn’t receive a few months salary for your maternity leave. You will likely find yourself paying off medical bills and additional added expenses like diapers and formula without your usual salary. Even for those of us who are financially stable, having a baby can still be a financial stress on a household. Losing a few months of salary can make you feel like it will take an eternity to catch up. Don’t let your little bundle get you into a mountain of debt. Once you get back to work, we have a few tips to help you put yourself back on track. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Car sharing services such as Zipcar, RelayRides and Getaround are all the rage around college campuses and among urban dwellers in crowded cities. In 2012, reports show some 800,000 belonged to car-sharing services, in which members pay a small annual fee to join and can rent cars on an hourly basis using a smart phone app or going online. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Many of us have a family member or friend who seems to be unable to get it quite right with their finances. Whether they are our children, and are just starting out or an older relative or parent who has taken a financial hit, if they come to us for help, we want to be able to give them the help them the help they need. This help can come in the form of cosigning for a loan. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 When I think about hard work and determination, I think of my grandparents. They were married young and were raising a family when they decided to take a leap and open a diner. They weren’t wealthy by any means, and for many years worked hours on end to make their business a success. Not a success by most people’s standards, but more of a personal success. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 As many police officers and lawyers will tell you, the best way to avoid a traffic ticket is to obey the law.  However, in the rare occurrence that you do infringe upon a traffic law, a ticket can be burden. Different jurisdictions have different costs, it can affect whether or not you keep your license, and if you work, you may be unable to take time off to fight the ticket in court.  However, as soon as you see those lights in your rear-view mirror, there are things you can start doing to build your case. Read More...

Dec 21, 2016 Debt free people aren’t born, they’re made. It’s easy to look at people without debt with stank-faced envy as you spend your days paying off student loans, car payments, or the speedboat that solved your midlife crisis. However, becoming one of them might not be as complicated as it seems. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Summer is less than a few weeks away and temperatures are already climbing. It will soon be time to run your air conditioning around the clock. While the AC is a necessary creature comfort, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep it affordable. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home takes up more than 54% of your utility bill. However, there are ways to minimize costs. SmartAsset rounded up these tips to help you crank that AC with the least guilt possible. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 The dog days of summer are quickly approaching. For those with a serious sense of adventure that means one thing: road trips. You may be heading to a music festival like Bonnaroo, a historic tour of the East Coast, or simply visit a friend who lives a few states away. Whatever the occasion, road trips can get pretty expensive. Before gassing up the car, check out this list of four ways to save your money for the cross country journey. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 If you are a homeowner, you are very familiar with the mortgage interest deduction you claim on your taxes each year. No doubt you are a big fan of it as well! But whether you have a mortgage now or are considering buying a home with a mortgage in the next few years, you should be aware of proposed changes in the tax code which may change or eliminate this benefit of home ownership. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 With summer right around the corner, many of us might be tempted to spend some cash on nice summer clothing. Before embarking on your journey for a new wardrobe, we suggest you look through this list of frugal fashion tips to help you out. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 One of the first things you learn in business school is that the goal of any corporation is to “maximize shareholder value.” In layman’s terms, it means, to make a profit. That is the foremost objective of any and every business. What you do not learn in business school, or in any other classroom setting, is how to maximize your own value, as an individual. We are never taught to apply the teachings of how to make money for a company, towards ourselves and our own personal finances. However, we can apply many of the principles that corporations utilize to our own financial lives. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 June is upon us, and along with rising temperatures there are plenty of hot deals to out there for the savvy shopper. Continuing a series we started last month, here are a few items to buy in June and a few things to avoid. Read More...

Dec 21, 2016 Feeding your self can be a tedious task. With all of our deadlines, and meetings picking what to food hardly makes it on to the to-do list. Consequently, we end up picking up something on the way to and from our appointments, causing us to spend unnecessarily. Since these on-the-go meals are usually packaged and processed foods, we are missing out on key nutrients found in whole, unprocessed fruits and veggies. We also miss out on one of the best parts of changing seasons, which is eating produce at its ripest- and also cheapest. Foods that are in season… Read More...

Jan 23, 2015 It seems things are looking up for the average consumer. According to recent data, the cost of living has gone down. The Consumer-Price Index dropped .2 percent in March 2013, allowing the month to truly go out like a lamb. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Retirees and pensioners on fixed incomes are among the hardest hit in the recession. Some companies have developed ways to exploit their financial woes while disguising the solutions as “pension advances” rather than show their true nature. To seniors, these “cash now” offers may seem like the answer to money problems. Pension loan companies tell clients that these advances will turn future pension checks into hard cash today. Read More...

Dec 17, 2014 Ask anyone who wants to live a green lifestyle what’s holding them back. The number one reason is always cost. It’s expensive to buy green cleaners for your home, organic fruits and veggies and organic beauty products. For those motivated to adopt a green lifestyle, with a little time and planning, you can learn how to live green on a budget. We can help you get started with these 5 tips below. Read More...

Dec 16, 2014 On mornings when I feel particularly proud of myself, I walk into my local coffee shop and get the works. I order a large iced frothy drink with extra whipped cream, plus an egg sandwich for breakfast, a granola bar as a mid-morning snack, and a pack of mints for later. Fast forward a week to when my coffee fund (a tin can full of spare change and singles) has all but run out, and I have to resort to digging around the crevices of my car for extra quarters. Or worse, I end up  pushing the envelope on the “leave a penny, take a penny” policy at the register. Read More...

Dec 16, 2014 It’s hard to keep a family organized. Who am I kidding – it’s tough to keep yourself organized at times. Imagine trying to keep a household together with kids who are involved in activities and sports, working full time and having a spouse that works full time, too. You can easily get overwhelmed and disorganized and once you get there, it’s tough getting back.  We put together some tips and helpful tools to help you stay organized and sane. Read More...

Dec 16, 2014   Congratulations, you made it through the ringer of college. All those sleepless nights you spent cramming, hungover mornings and hazy afternoons paid off and you can now hang your fancy bit of paper on the wall of your cubicle. However,  in the current post graduate job market this is becoming increasingly difficult.  But you don't have to take the journey alone. SmartAsset has put together a  list of job hunting tips that will turn you into a ice-cold job hunter faster than you can say "student loan debt." Read More...

Dec 16, 2014 A hobby can be a wonderful and fulfilling use of your free time.  However, sometimes your recreation budget can get a bit out of control, and going overboard on hobby-related spending can get expensive.  Here are a few tips on how to have fun without breaking the bank. Read More...

Aug 12, 2015 Nothing burns more than when you’re shopping for things and when you “Proceed to Checkout,” suddenly your balance balloons with shipping charges and other fees.  You always feel a bit cheated, and you ask yourself, “How could I have avoided these horrible charges?!” Here are eight shopping sites that will help ease your shipping burden. Read More...

Dec 23, 2014 If you were to sit and think for a moment, the concept of growth in technology would visually represent the scene in Star Wars when the Millennium Falcon hits light speed. New apps, or updates for old ones, are released almost daily. They are a time suck. Social media apps like Facebook and gaming apps can be addicting. Read More...

Apr 10, 2017 When it comes to saving money, timing is everything.  It takes more to be a super savvy spender and saver than just clipping coupons and comparing prices. The real spendthrifts out there know that in order to maximize savings, you have to time your purchases so you can buy when prices are lowest. Read More...

Dec 16, 2014 There is an ever constant trend growing in America with more couples living together before they are married. In fact, some studies and recent census data suggest that almost half of all adults in the United States in their 30s and 40s live together in romantic relationships but aren’t married. Read More...

Dec 16, 2014 According to the 2010 Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 53 million people had trouble paying or were unable to pay their medical bills.  Of that 53 million, 30 million had been contacted by a collections agency over unpaid medical debt.  Medical debts can have a severely negative impact on your credit score for several reasons, and there has been debate over whether they should be as credit-impairing as they currently are.  Here’s our breakdown of the situation. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Let’s face it,  as a culture Americans love to dine out, and for good reason. Going out to eat can be fun and even romantic, and with so many amazing restaurants all over the country, the desire to grab a bite with friends at your local spot is understandable. However, it can also be one of the biggest financial vacuums. Read More...

Dec 15, 2014 There's a new school of writers emerging in the arena of personal finance. They're young, they're fun, and they're making financial responsibility cool. Since I'm older than them and still have significant debt, I decided to follow along and see if it really is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. Read More...

Jan 12, 2017 Eating healthy on a tight budget requires that we consider food as fuel, not as a past time or as entertainment. Eating for $50 a week means that not every meal you eat is something you can find on a restaurant’s menu. Eating healthy means that we eat clean, whole foods- foods that are as unprocessed as possible. Read More...

Jul 07, 2016 By Ankita Dewan Nolan Key Bushnell, American engineer, entrepreneur, and founder of Atari Inc., once said, "The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer." Well, if you're ready to take Mr. Bushnell's advice and turn your entrepreneurial ideas into reality, you'll have to spend time planning your financial agenda before getting started. Here's some finance tips to help you along in your endeavors. Read More...

Dec 15, 2014 True product loyalty is rare, so when you do more than simply “like” a company’s Facebook page and choose to use them exclusively, have the option to join a benefits program or rewards club. In case you’re looking to brand your loyalty with a specific company or make a change based on a comparison, here is a breakdown of royalty program perks in the hotel industry. Read More...

Dec 15, 2014 Cleaning up this spring can unearth some old treasures. A favorite movie, an old game, a photo album, who knows? But, there are some other things that it might be time to get rid of. Luckily, there are places you can turn to unload your old junk and  put some money in your pocket. Read More...

Feb 15, 2017 Every year, there are more cars on the road.  While the mass transit departments of America’s metropolitan areas struggle to keep up with growing population and urban sprawl, long commutes are becoming an ever-present part of daily life.  Some have it worse than others, but every rush-hour commute has its own, unique mechanism to aggravate and enrage.  Here are America’s worst commutes, broken down by specific brand of hell. Read More...

Dec 15, 2014 The age-old notion that “love don’t cost a thing” has rung false in recent years. With the introduction of dating sites in the mid-2000’s and the recent uprising in social-media obsessions, online profiles have proved that they can run up a relatively high bill. In fact, the United State’s online dating industry is worth over $2 billion. So, before signing up for a long-term commitment with a dating site, be sure to put your finances into perspective. To determine whether or not an online dating website is cost-effective, take these aspects into consideration. Read More...

Jun 27, 2017 What exactly does “best” mean when it comes to traveling? Well to us, best means optimal. It means figuring out what’s easiest for the traveler, the most wallet-friendly and the most convenient. With that in mind, we looked for the best times and ways to travel, for you and your budget. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 With vacation season quickly approaching, it’s nice to picture yourself on a tropical resort with a softball-sized coconut drink in your hands. To get there however, you might have to pinch some serious pennies. Read More...

Dec 04, 2017 Advancements in internet security technology have led to a proliferation of websites that offer bank-level security and the chance to organize your financial life in one way or another. Back in the olden days (2005), many of us were hesitant or unwilling to provide our social security numbers or bank log-in credentials to third-party sites. Now, safety and security are well established and membership on those sites grows exponentially each year. Providers have popped up in every possible niche to meet our financial management needs. Let’s ignore, for the moment, services that charge a fee, and just take a look at the best reputable, free financial management tools available to anyone with an Internet connection. Read More...

Dec 04, 2017 If you’re looking for a reminder that tax day (April 15 th) is right around the corner, turn on your television. As soon as there's a commercial break you will be assaulted by a never ending stream of ads from H&R Block, TurboTax and other tax services.  While the nation is fixated on their own personal taxes, one contentious question continues to rise to the surface: do the rich pay their fair share in taxes? It doesn't make for polite dinner conversation, or particularly captivating bar banter. But we'll take a look at the three main aspects of the current tax environment to see where the truth lies. Read More...

Mar 10, 2015 Mobile apps for consumers can help you with everything from managing household finances to buying trendy items at cut-rate prices.  The power of personal finance, charitable giving, entrepreneurship, and savvy consumer choice has never been so accessible or beneficial to your bank account. At SmartAsset we love to take advantage of tools that can save us money, time, and headaches. Here are our favorite apps that help empower you, the consumer. Read More...

Dec 15, 2014 VantageScore Solutions recently introduced a new credit scoring model. Introduced in March 2013 Vantage Score 3.0 has already established itself as one the most unique credit scoring systems in the country. Read More...

Jan 02, 2015 Last week we outlined 10 great personal finance books. One of my personal favorites in that list is  I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. In it Ramit outlines some intricate strategies to help young people become the personal finance moguls of their dreams. Everything that Sethi mentions works for the younger generation (22-35 years old). But what struck a chord with me was the chapter called "Save While Sleeping." Read More...

Dec 12, 2014 Fisker, once the darling of America’s green evolution and the twinkle in Hollywood’s eye, is on life support. This comes after purchase talks with Chinese automaker Geely Automotive fell through. It is a sad story filled with tales of mismanagement, too much ambition, bad luck and more bad luck. But there are many lessons to be learned from Fisker’s demise that apply to your own finances. Read More...

Sep 14, 2018 When people refer to personal finance books, they could be referring to thousands of book titles. Everything from managing debt, being frugal, protecting your identity, planning for college, and managing relationships all fall under the umbrella of personal finance. However the basics of sound financial decision making are based on a few basics. Having a firm grip on these makes it much easier to succeed in the other avenues.  Here are 10 personal finance books and investing books to help you create the perfect strategy for getting your personal finances under control, and send you down the road to creating wealth. Read More...

Dec 12, 2014 The team at SmartAsset was lucky to get the chance to interview David Domzalski, founder of  Financial Bin.  Before we get going, we want to congratulate Financial Bin on their first book release, Entrepreneur Intervention, a great read for all of us in the crazy world of startups! We really enjoyed the interview process and are grateful to David for his advice and insight. We think a lot of people can benefit from this interview, and we are happy to feature it on our blog.  Thanks again David, it was a pleasure! Read More...

Dec 12, 2014 Jenn Calonia is a Jr. Editor and Contributing Writer at GoBankingRates.com , and her office recently took on the challenge of a week long Fiscal Fast. That means no spending any money for a whole week! Would you be up for this challenge? Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 If you have read my last blog post about how difficult it is to move from theory to practice with New Year’s resolutions, you might be feeling a little daunted. Simply deciding you wish to change something with your finances doesn’t get you there, and I know from first hand experience that budgeting for the first time is completely overwhelming. Read More...

Dec 04, 2017 The arrival of a new year is a great time to asses your finances, but you can’t expect to revolutionize your personal finances in one go. This takes continual attention and assessment, just like my bike needs a little extra air in its tires and grease on its chain every week. The major tuneup happens only once a year, but I save myself a lot of grief by solving small problems when they are still small. That’s why you need to check in on your finances now. Read More...

Dec 12, 2014 Currently 27% of Americans believe their homes are worth less than what they owe on their mortgage. That’s a staggering number. The good side of this bad news is that it’s not being ignored.  In an effort to help individuals feeling the effects of the housing crisis, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is introducing a tailored Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Read More...

Dec 12, 2014 Some people are born with uncanny ability to answer the "how much money can I save?" question. They often perfectly manage their money from an early age- clearly I must have bad genes.  I’m sure I had all the math skills in middle school it really takes to be able to do a respectable job of making sure my finances are in order now, but the truth is they aren’t. Read More...

May 13, 2015 When I hear the word TAXES my usual response is to wince, and it’s all I can do just to keep from shutting down and giving up on the spot.  This can be quite inconvenient, especially considering the fact that paperwork scares me, particularly the tax kind. But, while frustrating to deal with, if properly understood you can turn taxes to your advantage. A great example of this is home ownership, many home-related expenses are tax deductible, and if you know what you're doing, you can end up saving a significant amount on the taxes you pay. Read More...

Dec 12, 2014 The team at SmartAsset.com is happy to have the opportunity to interview Adam Underhill, a blogger and financial and health coach at Health & Wealth Makeover.com.  He offers a unique insight on financial planning; the concepts behind physical and financial health aren't so different.  We really enjoyed the interview process and hope you like reading his responses! Read More...

Dec 12, 2014 David Bakke is a financial author who has been blogging about personal finance on Money Crashers for over two years. He enjoys sharing his insights about saving money, building wealth, and preparing for retirement. Read on for our interview with the man himself. Read More...

Nov 10, 2016 If you find yourself with a mortgage and a home that is partly yours and also happen to have the financial possibility of paying off your mortgage sooner, how do you know when this is a good decision, and how might you go about doing this?  This isn't a decision you should make quickly, and it is important to evaluate the potential effects this could have on your finances down the road before you decide on a course of action.    Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 To find, buy and move to a new home are not trivial matters, so the more help you can get in this process, the better off you will be.  Fortunately, there are a lot of free tools online that can make the process of moving go much more smoothly.  The more planning you can do by using these 6 tools, the less stress you will have and the happier you will be.  There is no reason why you shouldn't make things easier on yourself if you can! Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 If you are looking for ways to make your life more frugal, there is no doubt that you have already stumbled across many a blog post telling you to cook from home.  While there is no doubt that this is good advice, the fact remains that cooking from home won't necessarily save you money, and it can take an awful lot of time! Read More...

Dec 21, 2016 What if you want to buy a home, but you have a bankruptcy on your credit report? You may be worried that you won't be able to convince a mortgage lender to provide you with a home loan. There's good news and bad news. First, the bad: It will take time to repair your credit enough to qualify for a mortgage loan. But the good news? Depending on the type of bankruptcy you have filed and the steps you take next, becoming a homeowner certainly isn't out of reach. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 Many students heading off to college will be managing their money for the first time. If you're contributing to your child's college education, you'll undoubtedly want to make sure your money is being used wisely, as well as help him or her learn money management skills. Taking the time to create a budget together can be a great way to help your college student get off on the right foot financially. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 Many students take out a loan to help pay college expenses — often, even more than one. For graduates who secure jobs with healthy salaries, paying those loans off early becomes a distinct possibility. If you are fortunate enough to be in this situation, you may wonder if paying off your student loans is a smart financial move, or if you should be investing the money elsewhere. Here are three questions to ask in making the right decision for your financial circumstances. Read More...

Dec 30, 2014 You found your dream home. You even made an offer that the seller has accepted. Before you close your home loan, you must take one more step: You need to purchase homeowners insurance. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 Psyched about your new job, but not sure what to do about the 401(k) you left behind at your last one? You’ve got options. Generally, you can move your money to your new company’s plan, leave it with your former employer, roll it into an IRA, or cash it out. There’s one way to simplify your choices: scratch that last option. Retirement may be eons away, but don’t let that tempt you into cashing out your savings. If you do, you’ll face an income-tax hit plus a 10% early withdrawal penalty (unless you’re 55 or older). Say you’ve got $25,000 saved. The penalty, plus federal and state income taxes, could easily add up to 40%. That leaves you just $15,000. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 Leasing a car can be a financially smart decision in certain circumstances. But all leases are not created equal, and the lease details found in the fine print of the contract are often the difference between a good deal and a poor one. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 Most college students find that they need to work at least part-time when going to school to make ends meet. While many students work at retail stores or restaurants, others find that they need more flexible employment or even a second job. Here are four ways to earn extra money as a college or graduate student: Read More...

Jun 14, 2018 When most people learn that they are going to become parents, they spend months searching for the safest car seat and decorating the nursery for their new arrival. But in addition to buying tiny clothes and mounds of diapers, you should remember to tackle four important to-do items after your baby is born. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 Life insurance isn't a typical cocktail party conversation, and most people don’t like to think about the possibility of their own demise. But it is important to take some time and determine if life insurance is right for you at your current stage of life. In some circumstances, life insurance can be the difference between your family members' being able to maintain their current standard of living and having to drastically change lifestyles. In other cases, your money could be better spent saving for retirement or building your emergency fund. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 You've got a limited pool of money to put aside for retirement. How do you choose whether a 401(k) or Roth IRA is best for you? Read More...

Jun 22, 2018 Paying your bills on time each month is one of the most important ways to manage your credit score, not to mention an essential part of being financially responsible. But if you have made some payments after the due date in the past, you may wonder if that's going to affect your credit score. The answer is: yes. Read More...

Feb 19, 2016 Building an emergency fund is one of the most important financial steps we need to take, especially in today’s shaky economy. The big question for many of us, though, is how much is enough? Conventional advice says we should set aside three to six months’ worth of expenses, but that one-size-fits-all rule might not be appropriate. Let’s look at how to find the right number for your situation. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 Navigating the financial process for college can be overwhelming for both parents and students. With college costs rising each year, many families struggle to afford college costs, turning to student loans to help pay tuition and expenses. But there are a lot of incorrect assumptions about college loans that can lead to wrong decisions or costly financial mistakes. Here are four common misconceptions about college loans and debt: Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 Are you considering going back to college to finish your degree? Maybe you're thinking about pursuing a different career and need to earn a certification to make it a reality — or perhaps you need a graduate degree to increase your earning potential in your current profession. Read More...

Dec 11, 2014 I recently stumbled upon an interesting video documenting a fascinating trend in home size in response to economic troubles in the United States. I was thinking that in response to the housing crisis, many people would simply give up the dream of owning their own big house and opt to rent, but such is not the case for everyone! You could look for homes of very low value and try to buy one, but then you might end up living somewhere less desirable and you still might have a 30 year mortgage to pay off. Or, you can commission architect Jay Schafer to build you a mini home (not to be confused with these tiny homes!). For a few adaptable and adventurous people, the American dream is becoming: think small, live free! Read More...

Apr 24, 2015 Obama unveiled his $447 Billion American Jobs Act (AJA) this past Thursday (9/8), asking congress 12 times to “Pass this Bill”.  The AJA intends to address our 9.1% unemployment rate (Economists view 5.0% unemployment as healthy) and the weakness of our economic recovery from the Financial Crisis.  Regardless of your economic persuasion there is a little something in this Bill for everyone:  infrastructure spending, tax cuts, help for the unemployed, support for veterans and deficit reductions. So how can the AJA help you? Read More...

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