How Much Does Your Credit Score Matter?

Certain personal finance gurus such as Dave Ramsey argue that you can (and should) ignore your FICO credit score. Others, like Suze Orman, advocate taking control of your score. So who is right? Given how often credit scores are talked about in various books and on TV, I wanted to dig deeper and see how […]

Looking Into 529 Plans for College Savings

Last week, I announced that we’re having our first child, and I talked about some of the financial impacts and decisions that we’ll face. We received an incredible amount of valuable feedback and advice, for which my husband and I are both thankful. In a followup comment, Investor Junkie got us thinking about saving for […]

Preparing for a Baby

As I noted in a recent review of our 2011 financial goals, we’re going to have some big upcoming expenses that we need to prepare for. It’s happy news – we’re expecting our first child! Of course, aside from the emotional, mental, and physical preparations, we’re also looking at our finances so we can be […]

Learning to Live on One Income (By Choice)

Many of us are starting 2011 with every intention of reaching big financial milestones such as getting out of debt, saving up for a house, or getting serious about retirement. For many couples, however, it might be hard to reach your goals if you’re depending on two incomes to support your lifestyle. It is possible […]

Financial Tips for Couples in 2011

While you don’t have to wait for January to start working on your finances, this is often a great time to try a new approach. If you’re thinking of making some changes, you may be wondering where to start. Here are some ideas for optimizing your finances. Clean up your bank accounts If you have […]

Escaping an Upside Down Car Loan

After I wrote about doing a year end financial review, a reader shared a problem that they were having: Briefly, here’s the situation. I “inherited” a vehicle from my ex-wife through divorce. She declared bankruptcy and, rather than have the vehicle included in that (it had my name on the lien as well as hers), […]

Finding a Charity to Support in 2011

One of our goals in 2011 is to increase our charitable contributions throughout the year. We’ve been getting a better handle of our finances and our monthly budget has enough room to accomodate increased charitable giving. Have you thought about which charities you’d like to support during the coming year? Or maybe you’ve wondered how […]

Conducting a Year-End Financial Review

Last week, I mentioned that now would be a good time to take care of any financial task you needed to do before the end of the year. One of these tasks was creating reasonable financial goals for next year. We’ve done that for the last few years, and it’s helped us have a general […]

Our Year End Financial Checklist

The year is quickly winding down, and soon we’ll be starting 2011. It’s gone by incredibly fast, and so many things have happened. Fortunately, we’ve been doing well so far and are hoping to end the year on a good note. We’re thus working through our end-of-year checklist to make sure we have everything taken […]

Dollar Cost Averaging vs. Value Averaging

No one wants to lose money, especially money that they’ve worked hard to earn and save. At the same time, just about everyone is trying to increase their portfolio’s value and make as much money as they can. Some people subscribe to investment newsletters to learn the ‘secrets’ of investing, while others are constantly on […]