Author Archive | Matt Bell

Marriage and Money

Everyone knows that money is a prime source of disagreements in marriage, but the _Wall Street Journal_ recently put a number to the issue: 75 percent of married adults in the U.S. quarrel about finances with their spouse. At least that’s how many _admitted_ doing so in a recent _Journal/Harris Interactive_ online survey. The most […]

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Good Options for Rainy Day Money

Last month I emphasized the importance of an emergency fund and recommended money market funds from Fidelity or Vanguard as good options for those with the minimum required deposits of $2,500 and $3,000 respectively. However, I’ve since learned of some alternatives that offer similar yields of around five percent for much lower initial deposits. According […]

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Online Money Lessons for Kids

Brokerage house A.G. Edwards has introduced a new online game for kids interested in learning about managing money. As reported in the _Chicago Sun-Times_, helps kids age nine and older learn how to allocate income for necessary expenses, deal with unexpected expenses, and save for future goals. Along the way they learn the hard reality […]

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Best Advice – Part III

In the last two issues of this eNewsletter, I’ve been summarizing some of the “best financial advice” ideas readers have submitted. Here are a few more. Mary Ellen pointed to these words of wisdom from her parents: “Don’t spend money you don’t have. Credit cards are fine as long as you pay them off in […]

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The Wisdom and Foolishness of Saving Money

“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” – Proverbs 21:20 Three times during several recent financial workshops with college students I was asked a surprising and refreshing question: Does saving money reflect a lack of faith in God’s provision?  It was […]

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Spring Cleaning

A recent article on the _Motley Fool’s_ web site talked about the challenges of living through a kitchen remodel. After trying to temporarily make room for their kitchen stuff in other parts of their house, the author and her husband concluded that they simply have too much stuff. That made her curious to know how […]

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The Uncle Sam Bonus Plan

So far this year, income tax refunds are averaging $2,650–up about $100 from last year. Among the suggestions about what to do with that money from a recent _MSNBC_ article: Put the money in an IRA, pay down debt, give some to charity, invest in yourself by taking a class, pay to have a will […]

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Cheap “Sneaks” and the New Cool

Twenty years ago, when Nike signed basketball superstar Michael Jordan to an endorsement deal, $100 basketball shoes became all the rage. Kids begged their parents for a pair. Some even killed for them. Flash-forward to today and New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury is out to end the insanity of overpriced sneakers. As reported on […]

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Best Advice – Part II

Recently I asked you to share the best financial advice you’ve ever received. Here’s a second installment of some of that advice. A reader named Bob said that during a pre-marriage class he and his then fiance attended, the teacher suggested using pay raises to build an initial savings account. In Bob’s words, “I can […]

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Keeping Found Money

What’s the biggest mistake you can make when leaving your job for greener pastures? Posting a video of the last office party on YouTube? Using the boss’ reserved parking place on your last day? Cashing in your 401(k)? Okay, they’re _all_ bad ideas. But the worst _financial_ mistake you can make is closing out your […]

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