How to Prioritize Your Hobbies to Reduce Spending (and Debt)

It’s always a good idea to keep your expenses to a minimum and save as much money as possible. This allows you to build up an emergency fund and prepare for the future. But you don’t want to focus so much on saving money that you cut all the fun out of your life. Here’s how you can prioritize your hobbies to keep spending down and cut down on your debt. Evaluate Your Current Financial Situation The first step in taking better care of your finances is creating a budget, as this shows you exactly how much you make and […] Read more »

Using The Envelope Budgeting System On Vacation

Vacation can be a dangerous financial proposition, even for the most dedicated budget savvy family. One might be diligent in planning out their spending in day to day life, but going into vacation mode can lower a person’s guard. It’s easy to justify not wanting to put in the effort, to just want to relax, not worry about money, and believe everything is going to OK. This kind of lapse in financial judgment is exactly what I’m hoping to avoid. My family and I are headed out on a cross country road trip to Florida later this week. We’ll travel […] Read more »

Is Gold the Preferred Safe-Haven Investment for Your Portfolio?

Gold is currently trading at $1,249.90 per ounce, and on the cusp of a reversal. Gold has racked up multiple consecutive sessions of gains, thanks in large part to a weak USD. Presently, retail trade data reveals that a total of 73% of traders have taken out a net long position on gold, and the long/short ratio is 2.75:1. However, it is important to analyse all aspects of current trends, and to trade the fundamentals in the gold market. While speculators may be going long on gold now, analysts are going short on the precious metal. The consensus among gold […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 3/24

I was impressed by my son the other day, as he remembered a financial obligation that he could have easily forgotten.  He recently purchased his first car.  Well, he contributed the money he had saved, and my wife and I pitched in the rest.  Part of his continuing obligation is to contribute towards the monthly increase that we incurred in our insurance premium.  He was looking to make a purchase, and asked me when he owed the first insurance payment as he wanted to make sure he had the funds to pay it.  We must be doing something right! Fist […] Read more »

How to Improve Your Financial Gain in a Difficult Economy

In previous generations, building wealth was as simple as committing between 10% and 20% of your annual salary into savings. With variable rates on offer to consumers, regular savings could quickly accumulate and contribute towards a nest-egg that could prove invaluable in later life. The same cannot be said in the current economic climate, however, which has been convoluted by the rise of globalisation and various, geopolitical events from around the world. As a result of this, it is increasingly difficult to save and build wealth through traditional vehicles, meaning that citizens are being forced to speculate and improve their […] Read more »

How To Refinance Your Debt Cheaper

refinance your debt

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Pauline of InvestmentZen.com Refinancing, restructuring, or consolidating debt is a step that many have taken in order to become debt-free sooner. This is done for a multitude of reasons but usually involve getting a better interest rate, or term on your debt, making the final pay off cheaper and quicker. This works in different ways. The idea is either to lower your debt payments, or to pay off debt quicker, for a lower interest rate. Before you start, do some research and find out the best rates available on the market. The […] Read more »

How to Use Debt to Your Advantage

Living with debt is something that everyone tries to avoid.  However, it can be extremely difficult when you are trying to balance a growing family and running a small business.  The key is to not let it bring you down.  Instead, learn how to use debt to your advantage.  As such, here are some tips on how to use debt to your advantage. Tip 1 – Keep it in Perspective There are times when taking on debt is inevitable; examples of this include buying a house or even a car.  While it is noble to save up to pay for […] Read more »

What is a 529 College Savings Plan, and Why Do I Want One?

One of the first conversations my wife and I had after the birth of our son was our desire to start a college savings account for him. I suspect many parents have that same thought early in the life of their children given the ever increasing cost of a college education. But saving for your child’s future education shouldn’t just be depositing money into a savings account. There is a special kind of account that provides tax benefits that should be used instead. Parents putting away cash for a child’s college education should open a 529 plan. Here are the […] Read more »

How Many Credit Cards Should You Actually Have

There isn’t a magic number of credit cards you should actually have. If you know where to look though, there are plenty of guidelines out there suggesting how many credit cards are optimal for you to have, in order for you to maintain your best possible credit. Walter Cavanagh, as an extreme example, has 1,497 valid credit cards which amount to a $1.7 million line of credit. He’s the record holder in “Guinness Book of World Records” since 1971, and the book gave him the title “Mr. Plastic Fantastic.” Most suggestions, however, range from a few cards up to a […] Read more »

I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 3/17

I filled out my tax return a few weeks ago, but I just hit the “submit” button last night.  I wanted to let them settle for a bit, then go over them again.  After verifying everything looked correct, I sent them to the IRS.  The government must have agreed with the awesomeness of my returns as both my Federal and State returns were accepted within a few hours.  I got a refund back from federal, and owed some to the state.  All together I owed a few hundred dollars, which is the best our taxes have turned out in years.  […] Read more »

Unlimited Cell Phone Data Plans Are Not Always The Best Choice

Unlimited data plans are all the new rage with cell phone companies, promising to save you big money compared to paying overages on your current data plan.  Mobile phone users that don’t constantly evaluate new plan offerings could miss out big.  For example, a few years ago when we added my wife’s parents to our plan, they went from having limited minutes and texting, and no data to unlimited calling and texting and a 30GB data plan, for HALF the cost.   Wondering if AT&T’s new unlimited data plan would be one of those natural progressions of service that we […] Read more »

Why the NASDAQ Matters for Traders Using International Online Brokers

Many online traders choose to focus solely on technology companies, as the tech industry is among the most dynamic investment sectors in the world. The first stop for most tech traders is the NASDAQ. The NASDAQ consists of leading software developers, online service providers, media outlets, consumer electronics companies, and healthcare firms, all in one massive index, making it the world’s second-largest exchange by market capitalisation, following the New York Stock Exchange. The NASDAQ100 list, however, is made up of only the largest companies, primarily from the technology sector. NASDAQ stands for “National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation”. Founded in 1971, the NASDAQ […] Read more »

The Debt Spiral and How to Climb Back Out

Debt is an insidious thing. It creeps up on us, often so slowly that we barely notice we are in debt until it’s too late. A few profligate spending sprees, an unexpected bill or two and some poor decisions are all it takes to saddle us with more debt than we can handle. Royalty Free Photo There are many reasons why we fall into debt. Sometimes, events out of our control happen and there is very little we can do about it other than deal with the consequences, but the main reasons why people end up indebted are: Poor Money […] Read more »

Fist Pump Friday: I Love You Like A Blogger Roundup – 3/10

This is the big weekend our daughter has been waiting for.  We’re taking her (and some of her friends) to a Panic! At The Disco concert in the Twin Cities.  The ticket was a Christmas present. It’s only an hour north of where we live, so that’s not a big deal.  But now the weatherman is saying there’s a chance for snow late Sunday night.  Hoping we don’t get stuck in Minneapolis/St. Paul for the night! Fist pump for concerts, AND my favorite posts of the week! Posts That Make Me Fist Pump Keep Money Simple Stupid from Budget And […] Read more »