Profile for Amelia Timbers

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Money 101: Why You Need A 401(k) Now

Retirement seems so far away. Then again, so did 30 and that’s all up in my grill. Like other distant things, thinking about retirement is easy to delay in favor of the triage of daily life. But objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. Since there’s no way to rapidly save for retirement besides a windfall (hello, lottery!), it’s critical to begin saving ASAP. Le sigh. This article will guide you through the basics of the time value of money and its progeny, the 401(k). Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: Seriously, Ladies, Get A Damn Prenup!

Prenups are a backup plan. Like any other backup plan — the fold-up flats in your purse, tampons in your desk drawer at work, the rape whistle on your keychain — you don’t expect to use it, and you really hope not to, but thank God it’s there when you need it. For women, divorce is financially dangerous, and you’re necessarily subject to a 50 percent chance of suffering from it if you marry. After the jump, I’ll debunk popular excuses for avoiding a prenup. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: How To Make A Divorce Suck Less Financially

Last time in Cash & Coupling, we covered how to go into a marriage making financial choices that would benefit you in the event of a future divorce. But what about after disaster strikes and the marriage is over? (I know, we’re thinking real positive around these parts.) Here are five tips designed to help new divorcees keep as much of their finances intact as possible as they bid their husbands adieu. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: Divorce In Your Future? Here Are 4 Steps To Take Before You Tie The Knot!

When I think prenup, I think Donald Trump protecting his vast fortune from gold-digging spouses. But this is an outdated point of view. Getting a prenuptial agreement is actually a very savvy move for a pragmatic couple. Prenups are an example of one of the important financial choices women can make from the outset of a marriage to minimize the financial upheaval in the worst-case scenario: divorce. Though few of us see ourselves as future-divorcees, I’ve come up with a few recommendations for preemptive, defensive financial management, just in case. Divorce still typically incurs much more financial harm to women than men. These four tips offer basic, fundamental financial safeguards that are only logical in an age of high divorce rates. Keep reading »

Money 101: How To Meaningfully Reduce Your Expenses

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Financial tips like “skip your latte” are obnoxious. So are suggestions to camp rather than stay in hotels, separate two-ply toilet paper and cook eggs in the dishwasher. After all, I don’t want my life to suck. While it’s true that incremental expenditures add up over time, the biggest factors affecting spending have to do with central life choices. The average “middle class” American making about $50k spends 30 percent of it on housing, 20 percent on transportation, 15 percent on food, 10 percent on retirement, 8 percent on utilities, and 7 percent on healthcare. These things aren’t elastic — you need it all — so the idea is to make efficient choices within these categories. Keep reading »

Money 101: How To Save For The Big Stuff

Let’s face it, saving money is a bitch. But all the big stuff in life — car, college, marriage, kids, travel — have equally big dollar signs attached. To minimize debt, saving for these expenditures ahead of time is important. Here are six effective strategies to set money aside — and keep it there. Keep reading »

Money 101: 3 Very Good Reasons Not To Buy A Home — Yet

During a coffee break at the Boston Federal Reserve’s housing crisis conference, I answered my 23-year-old, unemployed, freshly engaged sister’s phone call. She and her (also young but at least employed) fiancé were shopping for homes near San Francisco, where housing prices start above half a million dollars, and wasn’t I so excited for her? Nope! In an effort to prevent her and other young buyers from becoming housing horror stories, here are three thoughts to consider before house shopping. Keep reading »

Money 101: 11 Personal Finance Reads To Change Your Life

In finance, there’s a canon that everyone on Wall Street has read: Benjamin Graham, Adam Smith, and Robert Schiller. But no canon exists for personal finance. In fact, most personal finance books are a frustrating waste of time and money. From Suze Orman’s factually incorrect information to Jim Cramer’s super-caffeinated hysteria, it’s a sad field that puts consumers who take such advice, likely already vulnerable if seeking help, at risk. But, despite all the garbage, there are some stellar resources and I am going to direct you to them. Keep reading »

Money 101: 4 Secrets For Financing Grad School

“Don’t you have a daddy?” the professor sitting across from me asked. I smiled a little. Was he was joking? Or hitting on me? Nope, he was serious and thought my father was paying for my legal education. Though I’ve been independent for years, my law school’s financial aid office had a similar attitude, telling me “ … most students have relatives helping them … ” After a JD, MBA and a third master’s, I’ve found there’s significant latent knowledge about financing grad school, but no one to fill you in. Here’s how it goes … Keep reading »

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