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.

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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The Debt Fix

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12 For the last couple of months we’ve been going over a step-by-step plan for getting out of debt and staying out of debt forever.  If you have debt, you probably didn’t get into it overnight.  Getting out of debt won’t be an […]

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A Mysterious, Maddening Law of Economics

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the “insidious and unforgiving Law of Household Economics.” Don’t remember this one from Econ 101? It goes like this: “For every financial windfall that comes into your home, there will be an equal, unexpected household cost.” The article’s author recited several first-hand experiences, such as the garage sale […]

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Life Without a TV

There was an interesting post on Free Money Finance about the many benefits of going without a TV, including the financial savings, and the quality of life improvements. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with watching TV (especially when there’s a good golf tournament on!). However, it’s pretty easy to make the argument that we […]

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Saving for College While You Shop

Upromise, the first of several programs that enable you to earn money for a 529 college savings plan while you shop, is offering a $10 bonus if you sign up and make a purchase before the end of April. Okay, $10 isn’t much when you consider how much college is likely to cost by the […]

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