Archive | Saving

Getting Started With Savings
I recommend maintaining three distinct types of savings accounts: an emergency fund (with 3-6 months’ worth of essential living expenses), a big-ticket item replacement fund (where you save for your next vehicle or to pay for a new furnace), and a periodic bills and expenses fund (where you save each month for bills and expenses that you’ll have to pay sometime in the year, such as an annual life insurance premium or Christmas gifts). You could open 3 separate accounts. Or, I use Capital One 360, where one account can be set up with numerous sub-accounts.

Nobody’s Fool

“Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?” – Proverbs 17:16 No one wants to be thought of as a fool – not on April first, not at any time. The Bible uses that strong term only a handful of times in regard to […]

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Calculate Your Financial Comeback

If you’re like most people, your investment accounts took a beating in 2008. Wondering when you might recover from those losses? The New York Times has a free online calculator that’ll help you estimate an answer to that question. Of course, no one knows what future market returns will be. And a wise person once […]

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Overdraft Protection For Less

More than three-quarters of all banks automatically enroll their customers in the most expensive form of overdraft protection. That’s a key finding from a new FDIC survey, as reported by MarketWatch. If you are among the 25 percent of people who spend more than is in your checking account at some point in a given […]

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More Savings Now Insured

Previously, I mentioned that the federal government is now insuring money saved in money market mutual funds. The move was made in response to a rare dip below a dollar for the value of shares in the Reserve Primary Fund. Two points of clarification are warranted. First, as reported by ABC News, the insurance only […]

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Controlling What We Can Control

Eight in ten Americans feel stressed about money, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. Nearly 60 percent of respondents say they are concerned about job stability, while 50 percent say they are increasingly concerned about their ability to provide for their family’s basic needs. How are people responding to the stress brought […]

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Money Market Funds Now (Temporarily) Insured

Whereas money market accounts are a type of insured savings account offered by banks and credit unions, money market funds are mutual funds, which until last week were not insured against investment loss. Historically, money market funds have been widely viewed as extremely safe. However, within the mix of bad news last week came word […]

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Making Sure Your Money Is Safe

The news of the past couple of weeks has been unsettling for many people, with Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch being sold, and AIG getting a government bailout. Even if you don’t have money in these institutions it can make you wonder how safe your money is. In the midst of all the […]

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Protect Yourself From Overdraft Protection

If you use your debit card to make a purchase but don’t have enough money in your account, chances are good that your bank will allow the transaction to go through, helping you avoid the embarrassment of a checkout line rejection. However, as pointed out in a recent CNNMoney.com article, there’s a cost to the […]

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Changing Our Money Ways

With our tough economy leading people to eat out less often, switch from SUVs to gas sippers, and generally spend less, an MSN columnist recently wondered what would happen if we all suddenly got and stayed money-smart? That is, what if we paid our credit cards in full each month (46 percent of households carry […]

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