I loved reading The Index Card by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack. In the book, they try to keep personal finance simple by outlining 10 basic principles you should stick to. They recommending keeping their 10 rules on an index card for easy reference (hence the title). By avoiding detailed "how-to" instructions, this book's broad principles are relevant to almost any personal financial . . .
Going into a holiday weekend seems like a good time to address a reader's question about timeshares and vacation clubs. What are they, what's the difference between the two, and is one better than the other? What Are They? Arguably, vacation clubs are just another name for timeshares. It seems that big hotel and resort chains started vacation clubs in response to timeshares' bad . . .
When you decide to buy a home you'll need to decide what kind of mortgage works for you. The most common type of mortgage is the 30-year fixed rate mortgage. However, don't just assume that this one is the best kind for you. The Big Bad Balloon Hopefully your banker or mortgage officer won't even offer you a balloon mortgage. If they do, run out the door. The only balloons you want on . . .
A lot of personal finance focuses on savings: saving for retirement, saving for an emergency, saving up for a car or house, all in addition to the smaller savings goals that you may have set for yourself. The problem is, it's a lot easier to tell ourselves that we need to save than to actually stash away the money. Whether you're currently saving nothing at all, or just not as much as you know . . .
I hope the title of this post didn't resurrect nightmares from accounting classes. And I'll try to keep this post from being as boring as said classes. However, understanding your assets and liabilities is critical to your overall financial plan. Reframing how you view Assets and Liabilities If most people were to tally up their assets and liabilities, they would include all . . .
Some people like to know all their choices. Most of us, whether we admit it or not, are overwhelmed by too many choices. I'm going to guide you through one good option to save for retirement. Might there be better options for your particular situation? Possibly. However, not saving for retirement at all is a much worse option. Start with this, and you can always tweak your plan . . .
In a previous post, I mentioned that a good credit card will earn you cash back. The two most important things to me in a cash back card are a simple and flexible rewards and no annual fee. If a credit card adds hassle to your life, it's not worth it. And although cards with fees sometimes have better perks, very rarely are those perks worth the fee. Only after these conditions are met do I . . .
When you have all your current expenses, needs and wants comfortably in your budget, you may be tempted to stop there. You may even have an emergency fund in place. And that's all great! But don't stop there. When you have your needs covered and your emergency funds (both your $1000 in cash and your 3-12 months income backup) in place, its time to really start saving for future needs. Your . . .
Almost half of Americans can't cover a $400 dollar emergency. That could be a broken house window, broken leg, car repair or a number of other things that can pop up instantaneously and can't really be put off for very long. It would be nice if you could anticipate every event in life, but you can't. Which is where an emergency fund comes in to play. Building an emergency fund should be one . . .
You might be wondering why the internet needs yet another personal finance blog. That's a good question. Personal finance, however is a huge and complicated topic, with lots of opposing opinions. By no means do I claim to be the only personal finance guru out there. I don't even know if I'd call myself a guru. I realize that there are lots of established and famous already out there, giving . . .