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Money 101: Rehab Your Credit Rating

If I’ve learned anything from watching “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” it’s that the sole act of going to rehab doesn’t make for full-on rehabilitation. Well, that and that Tom Sizemore is all kinds of crazytown. If you need help kicking a drug, sex or alcohol problem, call the good folks at Betty Ford or Promises Malibu (Dr. Drew’s celeb rehab track record, not inspiring a whole lot of confidence). If a low credit rating’s your problem, call Manisha Thakor, personal finance expert and featured financial counselor in The Frisky’s “Therapy For Your Pocketbook” video series. She’ll help you get high (because in credit score land, “high” is a good thing) with these three simple steps, which drive a whopping 80 percent of your credit score. Keep reading »

Money 101: Financial “Rules” You Should Ignore

There are all sorts of rules out there that were made to be broken. You can’t wear white after Labor Day; “beer before liquor, never sicker”; “just say no”; “don’t do it on the first date” … they don’t necessarily serve you best, you know? Financial “rules” are no different, says Manisha Thakor, a personal finance expert. So which ones are worth following and which ones should you ignore? She gives us the real deal, after the jump! Keep reading »

Money 101: How To Reduce Your Monthly Bills

I once saw an “Oprah” episode with a guy so hell-bent on reducing his monthly grocery bills that he had a practice of purchasing doubly-ply toilet paper, unrolling it and then re-rolling it into two separate rolls, thus turning 12 rolls into 24. Swear to God. Enter multiple scatological puns here. (What a cheap-ass! That’s a serious tight wad!)

Sure, attempting to slash your monthly bills is a good move — especially these days, when money ain’t exactly growing on trees. But doing so by re-rolling toilet paper? That’s only for serious whack jobs. In her book 99 Things to Save Money in Your Household Budget, Mary Hance, author of the Nashville Tennessean’s “Ms. Cheap” column, offers some real-life (as opposed to real lame) ideas on how to free up a little extra room in your budget. I found many of them really legit, not to mention simple. Some of my personal faves, after the jump! Keep reading »

Money 101: How To Downsize Your Expenditures

I’m 100 percent guilty of spending without really thinking. Downsizing my expenditures really isn’t something I ponder, even though I know I should (and seriously, if I had a dollar for every time my husband told me I needed to ponder it, I likely wouldn’t need to ponder it at all). I’ve heard, though, that rehabbing my inner Suzie Spendthrift is as simple as taking a different approach to how I think about spending, which, for an otherwise savvy, self-aware chick like me, should result in smarter spending practices. The goal for all of us who spend with reckless abandon: make like the late, great Michael Jackson and take a good, hard look at the (Wo)Man in the Mirror, asking yourself how you can change your spending ways. After the jump, some tips to get started. Keep reading »

Money 101: When To Pay With Cash, When To Use Credit Cards & When To Finance

If you’re lucky enough to have money in this crap-tastic economy, you’ve got to do all you can to make sure you’re using it wisely enough to not only remain financially afloat now, but also in the foreseeable – and even distant – future. Doing so involves carefully considering the way you dole out those Benjamins. While some purchases are best paid for in cash, you can get a better bang for your buck by putting some on a credit card. For info on which purchases are better financed with cold, hard cash and which should be paid for in small increments, consider these tips, courtesy of personal finance expert Manisha Thakor.
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Money 101: What’s A Credit Rating Anyway?

When you really think about it, you realize that we rate and/or score nearly all things in life so as to compare them with their contemporaries and confidently grant our patronage. Zagat gives restaurants ratings so that you can find the best tikka masala out of 20 Indian joints; eBay sellers have feedback ratings so you know which person will screw you the least when spending hundreds on sold-out Springsteen tickets; and in school, you get grades and take the SATs in order for some school to grant you admission so you can spend four years there doing keg stands and having lots of random sex. Your credit score’s no different. The ins and outs of your financial activity are monitored and given a three-digit “score” so that all sorts of financial and other institutions have a way to determine your financial reliability and ability to get everything from a home loan to an iPhone.

If you’re a little unclear as to what a credit score is and how it actually impacts your life, don’t stress. After the jump, Frisky Money contributor Manisha Thakor, personal finance expert for women and author of On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance, answers your top credit score-related questions … Keep reading »

Money 101: Tax Deductions You May Have Missed

The U.S. tax code has over seven million words in it. Seriously — seven freaking million! Amongst all those pages and phrases are a variety of tax deductions that you can use to reduce the bite that Uncle Sam is taking out of your hard-earned wages. The good news: there are loads. So, if you’re in the dark, consider these suggestions from Manisha Thakor, personal finance expert for women and author of On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance. Keep reading »

Money 101: 4 Easy Ways To Start Building Your Nest Egg

In this tough economic climate, after paying all of your bills, you’re lucky if the money left over from your paycheck each month allows you to splurge on a trendy item at Forever 21. However, even if you’re not rolling in dough right now, you still should be making a concerted effort to stash away some money for the future, says Manisha Thakor, personal finance expert for women and author of On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance. Here are her suggestions for how to create a nest egg now, while still leaving yourself enough pocket change to have a good time in the now. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: How To Cope When Your Paycheck Dwarfs Your Guy’s

Even though it’s 2010, when you’re in a relationship where you’re out-earning your man, it can make you feel all Peggy Olson, threatening the sharkskin suits off those ass-slapping, whiskey-drinking male ad execs – except that the ego-bruising’s going on in your bedroom, not the boardroom. If your guy’s got size-related inadequacy issues that have nothing to do with what’s in his pants and everything to do with what’s in his checking account, here’s how to keep it from ruining your relationship. Keep reading »

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