Money Management

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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How to Invite Financial Windfalls into Your Life

My husband and I have received several thousand dollars in windfalls during the last few months and expect a few more in the coming months. While it may seem like we’re extraordinarily lucky, the truth is we created situations that made them possible, and then did our best to ensure we received them. Here’s what you can do to attract a windfall your way. Research Possible Sources of…
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Don’t Fight About Finances: How Couples Should Talk About Money

When my husband and I first got married, we divided up our financial responsibilities: daily bills were his and taxes and investing were mine. Most of our conversations centered around our lack of money, with my occasional irritation about one of his purchases. Now that we have money, and are steadily working on debt, we’ve begun to change the way we talk about money. Here’s how we got…
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What Is a CD Ladder?

I’ve mentioned CD ladders as good options for tax refunds and emergency funds. They’re a safe way to earn a bit more in interest than the basic savings account. Currently, you won’t earn significantly more, but in the past I’ve seen CD rates go as high as 7% on a 5-year CD. What is a CD Ladder? Basically a CD ladder is five CDs, each with different maturity dates.…
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Financial Resolutions for 2009

Every January, I make a list of about ten goals and write them in the little notebook I carry everywhere. Looking at 2008, I achieved three of the financial goals and almost none of the others. Oops. Hopefully I’ll do better in 2009. To be fair, some of them are outside my control, but I make them goals anyway. I should rethink that – I’m just setting myself up…
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Reviewing My Financial Resolutions for 2010

Last January, I set seven resolutions. Three were financial, and four were personal. Let’s see how I did. Financial Goals: Boost Our Emergency Fund: I wanted to boost our emergency fund to at least $15,000. We actually got there, even though my husband didn’t work for four months. We managed not to dip into savings for our home repairs, insurance and tax bills, or regular bills while he was…
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What to Do with a Holiday Bonus

If you received a holiday or year-end bonus, it can be tempting to blow the money on the big screen TV you didn’t get for Christmas or take a spur-of-the-moment trip. Instead of wasting the money, use it wisely to get a leg up on your finances in the new year. Here are five ways to spend your holiday bonus. Pay Holiday Expenses: Use the money to pay for all…
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Could You Afford to Drop Out of Life?

Earlier this month, a co-worker quit so he could spend a year traveling the world. Then this weekend the LA Times covered a family who spent six months traveling the world with a toddler. It got me thinking: could I ever do something like that? What would I need to do it? Both my co-worker and the family from the newspaper had two advantages: contacts in foreign locations that allowed…
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