Money Management

Reviewing the Popular Financial Calculator Sites

If you search the web for “financial calculator,” you’ll find hundreds of sites. Many of them present calculators borrowed from other sites, some present calculators that are at best difficult to use and at worst inaccurate. Then there are a few sites that offer simple, powerful calculators. Here are my favorite calculator sites. General Financial Calculator Sites Several sites offer a wide range of calculators. Only a few…
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Ghosts of Financial Decisions Past

I know that technically the ghosts of past, present, and future are Christmas characters, but Halloween seems like a good time to talk about the ghosts of financial decisions past. Here are three good and bad financial choices I made and the ways in which they’re still affecting me. Three Good Financial Decisions Although I’ve made many bad financial choices over the years, I’ve also made some good…
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How My Parents Taught Me about Money

As part of financial literacy month, I decided to really think about the various ways my parents taught me about money. Some of them were active lessons, others were things I picked up throughout my childhood. Those lessons stuck with me and form my own attitudes and actions towards money. My Piggy Bank Like most kids, I started with a piggy bank. Every time I got an allowance or…
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Budgeting for Disability Leave

My husband has been on surgery disability for several weeks now and we’ve learned a few surprising things about the process, the first of which is that it’s really not that much of a financial strain. Of course, we earn more than we spend, so it might be more difficult for families that are on the edge. Total Reduction in Income My husband’s income, after taxes, is reduced…
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How to Deal with a Check-Bouncing Roommate

There are lots of good reasons to have roommates, like the ability to afford an apartment in a better area, reduced utility and housing costs, and simple companionship. However, having roommates can also be risky, especially if they’re not good with money. After experiencing more than my share of bad roommates, I lived alone for several years. My husband also had his share of bad roommates. Here are…
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How Much Do You Really Need for Retirement?

The news likes to bandy about the $2 million figure when predicting the amount the average American will need for retirement. These one-size-fits-all predictions don’t really work, though. $2 million could last a person in low-cost area quite a long time, but run out quickly for someone who previously earned a high income and lives in a high-cost area (like, say, Los Angeles.) How Do You Determine the…
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Couples and Money: Five Tips for Daily Money Talks

Last month, I showed you specific steps toward the big money discussions.  Now it’s time to talk about the small, daily talks that should also be happening. My husband and I have always been pretty open about money, but we didn’t really talk about it regularly when we were both in grad school and poor. We mostly just dealt with making sure we had enough to pay our bills.…
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50 Ways to Cut Your Spending/Expenses by 10%

With all this talk of cuts to the economic stimulus package, I started to wonder if there were any other ways I could cut my personal spending 10% (which is about how much they cut from the package.) So here are 50 simple, not-so-simple, and sometimes silly ways to cut spending by 10%. This assumes an income of $50,000 a year, so a cut of $5,000. Quit Smoking. Boom,…
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Recapping My Financial Resolutions for 2009

Last January, I made a list of six financial goals for 2009. Some were major, some were small. Sadly, I only succeeded in couple. Let’s take a look at the areas where I succeeded, and the ares where I didn’t quite make it. Buy a House: We did it! It took longer than we anticipated, but we closed on our house in late July. We did it with 20% down and…
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My Financial Resolutions for 2010

January is the time when my husband and I sit down and plan our financial goals for the year. These are goals, so we may not meet all of them, but it gives us something to work towards. I’m also throwing in a few personal goals, just for good measure. Financial Goals: Boost Our Emergency Fund: We’ve got a decent cash cushion aside from the funds we need for…
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