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5 things to Spring clean your finances that will take 5 minutes or less

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Cheryl.Lock)
at 10:45AM Tuesday April 2, 2013
under Personal Finance

(photo credit: Newton Free Library)

If you're anything like us, the arrival of spring conjures up images of open windows, sun-filled days and, of course, spring cleaning our finances.

Even if that last one's not on your list of 'Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate Spring', it should be. That's because the arrival of a new season is a great excuse to do some tidying up—both in your house and with your finances.

Spring cleaning your finances doesn't have to take a long time, either. In fact, here are five things you can do right now to help your finances, each of which would take five minutes or less to accomplish. Read More »

The 5 biggest tax mistakes people make

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Cheryl.Lock)
at 6:00AM Thursday March 28, 2013
under Personal Finance

Did you know taxes are due right around the corner?

Of course you did, and you're probably almost done preparing everything as well. However, before you file them away and checkmark that box off your to-do list, ask yourself one question — are you totally prepared to file?

We spoke with Thomas D. Fisher, CPA, LLC and asked: What are the top five tax mistakes people make every year?

Check out what he told us, and be sure to get your own ducks in a row before signing those magical slips of paper. Read More »

4 steps to help you save for a down payment

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Cheryl.Lock)
at 6:00AM Thursday February 28, 2013
under Personal Finance

One of the hardest parts of buying a house is saving for the down payment. Most down payments are anywhere from 10 to 20% of the total house price, and the more money you can put down for a down payment, the less interest you'll pay over the course of your mortgage.

Saving that much money can be hard, of course, but not impossible. Here is a step-by-step guide to get you off on the right foot. Read More »

Homeownership vs. Renting: What's better for you?

By (view all posts by Susan.Yoo-Lee)
at 6:00AM Wednesday February 27, 2013
under Personal Finance

Let me start off by saying, I am a new homeowner. After years of renting, my husband and I were able to finally save enough money to put a down payment on our new home.  The question we consistently asked ourselves throughout renting was if we were making the best decision for our future (financial future).

We wanted to feel like we were investing in something versus throwing our hard earned money away.  However, the constant lingering question in the back of our heads were the responsibility of owning something and if we would be able to handle it financially. We would be responsible for property taxes, all utilities, gardener, maintenance and any breakdowns in the home, and the list went on.

When we finally bought our home, within the first month, we ended up spending over $12,000 of our savings to replace the back roof, adding a vent to our tankless water heater inside our garage, getting rid of the shrubs in our backyard, pest control and taking care of a backup in our plumbing. Yes, this happened all at once, prompting my husband to want to put our home on the market.

After experiencing renting and owning, I've come up with the pros and cons of both: Read More »

Why you should stop wasting money on fraud prevention

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Odysseas.Papadimitriou)
at 6:00AM Sunday February 17, 2013
under Personal Finance

We all waste money on things we could easily live without. That's no surprise, though, as a quick look at our runaway credit card debt reveals an obvious fascination with overspending. However, you might be surprised to learn what some of our most unnecessary money drains actually are.

Sure, you've got the usual suspects like luxury cars and oversized homes, but we also can't forget about things like rental car insurance and fraud monitoring services either.

While we may consider such things to be essential, they're actually redundant at best. For example, most credit cards automatically provide free auto rental coverage, and by choosing to pay for a policy through a rental company, you're actually negating what you've already got, not supplementing it.

The same goes for fraud protection.
Read More »

5 personal finance resolutions to make this year

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Cheryl.Lock)
at 9:00AM Thursday January 10, 2013
under Personal Finance

January.

It's the time for resolutions and wishes, promises and new beginnings. The thing about the New Year's Resolution is that we're always left feeling really badly when, at the end of the year, we haven't been able to keep them.

That's why this year we decided to come up with five super easy, super actionable New Year's resolutions that will be simple to keep, but that can make a big difference in our personal finances throughout the year. Read More »

Better Leftovers, Better Savings

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by savingtools.com)
at 5:08PM Monday May 21, 2012
under Personal Finance

Stretching your food budget is as easy as learning to take those leftovers that usually get pushed to the back of the fridge and using them to create a new and exciting dish. The key to doing this successfully is planning your meals to take full advantage of everything in your kitchen. Following a few simple rules will ensure that you don't end up with a refrigerator full of plastic leftover containers.

Plan Ahead

There are literally thousands of ways to take main course leftovers and turn them into something dramatically different. One of the easiest ideas is making tacos, which can be done with shredded beef, chicken or even turkey. Soups are another easy transformation for a former main course meat. The tried and true pot pie is also a great choice. Read More »

Extreme Couponing Myths

By DealPro(view all posts by sistersshopping)
at 11:54AM Monday May 21, 2012
under Personal Finance

Extreme Couponing is coming back for another season on TLC, bringing with it even more attention on some of the negative perceptions of the couponing world.  When you get weird looks in the store for walking around with a coupon binder or having a stack of coupons at checkout, you can thank some of the more "extreme" people who tend to get lots of attention on TV.

In reality, most couponers are ethical, use coupon etiquitte, and don't displace their children's play areas for paper towel storage.  Here are a few myths people believe about people who use coupons, and some ideas for setting people straight.

Read More »

Stop Beating Yourself Up, It's Time To Move On

By DealPro(view all posts by DonnaFreedman)
at 12:45PM Wednesday March 14, 2012
under Personal Finance

So you've finally taken charge of your spending. Good for you! Next step: Don't self-sabotage by thinking, "If only I'd done this sooner." Plenty of people think that. They can't believe they used to spend $300 a month just on lunches out, let alone multiple thousands per year on clothes, happy hours, or concert tickets.

They wish they'd been more careful.They wish they'd deferred gratification. They wish they'd held on to even a fraction of the funds they frittered. News flash: You will never see that money again. You can't change the past.However, you can change the present – and in doing so change the future. You can change the way you handle money now. It doesn't matter when you start.It matters that you start. Read More »

4 Tips For Saving Money With Credit Cards

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by jeffcrews)
at 9:45AM Tuesday March 6, 2012
under Personal Finance

Saving money should be one of the key principles taught from a young age.  I remember my  grandparents would give me $1 and say, "Now don't go and spend it all!"  In high school, it was all about saving for college. You graduate from college, and you begin to start saving for those other big events. From there, saving often becomes one of the key components of life. While saving money is a great goal, we all spend on fun, food, housing and the occasional cup of coffee. Credit cards are known for being the "King" of the spending mindset. However, there are ways to save money while using a credit card. Below are four tips to get you started. Read More »

Billeater: Dealing with Big Spender Friends without Becoming Frenemies

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by savingtools.com)
at 10:57AM Wednesday January 11, 2012
under Personal Finance

Everyone has a friend who likes to go out and blow cash on a big night or the latest electronic gadget. It's fun to be around someone who feels comfortable spending money, especially if you're always working to keep within your more limited budget. That fun can turn to frustration if you start to feel pressured to match your friend's spending habits, though.

Here are some ways to keep your free-spending friends without blowing through your own bank account. Read More »

Five Money Saving Ways to Start the New Year Right

By (view all posts by brwood)
at 8:54AM Wednesday January 4, 2012
under Personal Finance

Happy New Year everyone! It's only the 3rd and I'm sure some of you have already given up on resolutions made three days ago. I have not, but only because I never make life changing pronouncements due to arbitrary dates on the calendar. There are however certain things that are easier to do at the end/beginning of the year than at any other time. Read More »