Money and Finance Articles

Learn to live a life of financial freedom and browse money-saving tips and tricks to stretch your dollar further than ever before. Browse dozens of great articles, hundreds of tips, and full tutorials to take control of your pocketbook!

From Simple Tips to Develop a Saver’s Attitude to understanding the difference between Paying Down or Paying Ahead to understanding When and Why to Give your Kids an Allowance, we have articles covering every money and finance question you have!

You can do it, we can help, and it starts with the articles here!

3 Money Mistakes to Avoid

 

I’m going to guess you’ve made a financial mistake or two in your life. Who hasn’t? For some of us, it was more than an occasional late fee or random urge to overspend that brought us to our financial knees. But I’m not talking about the kind of blunders that got us into trouble—we could list those in our sleep. Instead, I want to focus on the mistakes people make while they’re working their way back to financial health. Avoid these goofs to make 2014 a year you make financial progress!

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Mistake: Not saving. You’ve heard this plenty, and here it comes again: Jump to the front of the line—in front of your creditors—when you divvy up your paycheck. Get over feeling guilty about keeping money for yourself. You need a fat emergency fund, and the only way to build it is to pay yourself first. Stuff happens, and if you’re not financially prepared for those emergencies, you’ll keep falling back into debt.  Read more

Simplifying Saves Time and Money

 

When our lives get chaotic, we pay dearly in terms of stress and money. There are hundreds of things you can do to simplify your life. Here are seven to help you get started … one a day for the next week.

1. Carry only the keys you use every day. Clean everything else off your key ring. If you don`t recognize what a key is for, toss it. If you have keys you use occasionally, keep them on separate rings in a safe place. I carry only three keys: house, car and office. They’re not bulky, simple to select AND fit into a small pocket in my purse. Not only has this small trick simplified my life, my car’s ignition is happier too. Heavy keys pull the ignition out of alignment causing it to eventually fail.

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2. Get rid of all but one credit card. One statement, one bill. Having so many credit cards can really stress your life and it is not necessary. In fact many cards are hazardous to your wealth. Start today with the goal to strategically get rid of all but one on which you carry $0 balance.

3. Downsize your purse or briefcase. Carry only the minimum essentials. If you’re anything like me, no matter what size of bag I carry, it is completely filled and then some. Ditch the bag that’s the size of Nebraska in favor of something small and compact. Now carry only the items you really need. Read more

Life’s Money Rules – Rule 7: Borrow Only What You Know You Can Repay

 

Over the past months, I’ve been sharing an overview of my basic money rules. There are seven of them and today we look at the last one. Rule 7 insures you have a safety net when borrowing money.

It is unrealistic to flat-out ban borrowing money from our lives. I am grateful for a home mortgage. Without it, my husband and I would not have had a prayer of owning our home. And I don’t believe that financing an automobile is evil or that all student debt is toxic.

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Borrowing money and the debt that creates should be taken on rarely, and then dealt with swiftly. Debt should be a means to an end. Borrowing money is a financial tool that improves your life if dealt with intelligently, not emotionally.

The rule is to borrow only what you know you can repay. When I use the word “know,” I do not mean with-absolute-certainty-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt know. I mean to know as in having a reasonable certainty based on credible information. Read more

I’d Rather Have the Money, Bob

 

Did you see us? My husband Harold and I were on TV with Bob Barker. Before you run to check your TiVo I’d better tell you this was awhile ago. Try 1971.

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We were plucked from the live audience of that old favorite, Truth or Consequences along with two other couples. Ours was a kind of “newlywed game” stunt. They put the guys in a sound-proof booth and we ladies had to predict how our husbands would answer questions.

Of course the hubs and I won. And a mighty fine prize it was: $50 and a blender!  Read more

Six Common Money Blunders

 

I could be wrong but I’m going to guess you’ve made a money blunder or two in your life. For many of us, it was a non-stop series of blunders that finally brought us to our financial knees.

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But I’m not talking about the kind of blunders that got us into trouble. We could list those in our sleep. These are the blunders commonly made while clawing our way back to financial freedom. Avoid these blunders and you’ll get there much faster. Read more

Duplicate Car Insurance is Money Down the Drain

 

CHECK FIRST. Before renting a car, make a quick call to your insurance agent to find out if your regular auto insurance will cover the rental car in the area you’ll be driving. Chances are great it will, that means you can just say ‘No’ when the rental agency tries to force you to pay $10 or $15 a day extra for insurance coverage. It’s silly to pay for duplicate coverage. Kyle D., Florida

Money-Down-Drain

ALL GONE? No matter how much you squeeze a toothpaste tube, chances are there still is some paste left. So when you’re certain you’ve squeezed the last drop, cut open the tube and you’ll be able to brush once more. Lauralee D., Montana

SOFTENING SHEETS. make your own dryer sheets by pouring a tablespoon of liquid fabric softener onto a damp rag. Rub it in and toss it in the dryer. Barb L., Colorado Read more

Your Money Temperament

To loosely assess your money temperament, consider the following premise then choose the response closest to what you would do:

Your rich uncle gets wind of your desperate need for transportation. In a surprise move, he sends you $15,000 with instructions to buy a car. What do you do?

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a. Make a $15,000 down payment on your dream car.

b. Pay cash for a $15,000 car.

c. Exercise extreme patience, flexibility, consumer savvy and negotiating skills to find a dandy used, late model, low-mileage, well-maintained car for $7,500 then stash $7,500 into a savings account.

Putting aside your humble author’s obvious bias, let’s analyze the options.  Read more

Money Pit or Home Sweet Home?

 

Sometimes, home sweet home can seem like a money pit. But your house doesn’t have to cost you tons for upkeep when you use ingenuity, creativity, shopping sense and saving sense to bring out the best without breaking the bank. Check out  these clever ways your fellow readers have discovered to make home a wonderful place, with money and time to spare.

Clean Kitchen

ON TRACK. My best tip for keeping our food budget under control is to keep the kitchen clean. Having a dirty kitchen makes it less likely that I will cook and more likely we’ll order out. —Marnie, Washington

TWISTER DECOR. I used the mat from Twister game as a table cover for my son’s birthday party. Big dots in bright colors on a white background—it was perfect! And it cleaned up beautifully both before and after the party. —Marlene, email Read more