My husband is like a child when it comes to giving gifts. He shops big – both big price tags and big impact — and he’s usually even more excited about giving me my gifts than I am about getting them. They’re always really nice – for my 30th birthday I got an iPad – and he literally can’t wait to give them to me. (I got the unwrapped iPad weeks before my actual birthday.) I, on the other hand, gravitate towards thoughtful gifts with smaller price tags. The money he puts behind my (often bling-y) gifts caught me off guard earlier in our relationship, and it’s taken me almost six years to convince him that every holiday doesn’t require an over-the-top gift. Keep reading »
Profile for Colleen Meeks
You’ve probably made your shopping list and checked it three or four times by now this holiday season. Some of the people on there are no-brainers; you know you have to buy your mom a gift. But after you put the obvious folks on there and move further down the list, you always get the point where you can’t help but think, “Do I really have to buy them something?” Even if you grudgingly accept that yes, you really need to leave that person on your “nice” list, there are ways to show them holiday love without blowing your budget. Gifting expert and New York Times best-selling author Robyn Spizman, who has partnered with Office Depot to serve as a Smart Gifting Expert, offered these tips for tackling those obligatory gifts your list with your holiday spirit – and budget – intact. Keep reading »
As much as I would love to tell you to take the holidays off from having to worry about money, the fact is, the bazillion dollars we Americans spend every year celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s are all the more reason to be responsible about your finances. The blur and excitement of the season can have you blowing your cash as if it were Monopoly money, and if you aren’t careful, you’re gonna wake up in January with a worse feeling of dread than you did the morning after your office party with vague memories of drunkenly puking on your boss’s shoe. Keep reading »
It seems like the floundering economy has taken its toll on everyone in some way or another. Maybe you ended up in the unemployment line, or maybe your pantry’s stocked with nothing but store-brand food. And while the financial environment may have led you to cringe whenever you look at your checking account statement, our generation is lucky in that we have plenty of time to recover before we’re ready to start thinking seriously about retirement.
But what about your parents? If they haven’t retired already, they’re probably getting close, and they have much less time to recover if the economy took their finances down with it. Knowing how to help your parents can be tricky, but they may be at a point where they really need you. Keep reading »
You’re not going to like this. But now — mid-November — would be a really smart time to start thinking about your 2010 taxes. Yes, going to the gynecologist sounds like more fun. And, sure, right now the only taxes you’re thinking about are the sales taxes on your holiday purchases, but consider this: with a little bit of planning this winter, you can save yourself a lot of stress when you file your 2010 tax return. For tips on how to get your files organized before you file, we talked to Lee Molotsky, managing partner of The Molotsky Tax Advisory Group and co-host of “THE MOLOT$KY MONEY HOUR” radio show. You will thank us. Keep reading »
We know you love your man for more than how much he reminds you of Don Draper when he puts on his suit and tie every day, just like we know that you aren’t with him for his paycheck. That said, a voluntary career change involving a serious pay cut isn’t necessarily easy to cope with. If your significant other has come to you wanting to talk about a career change, hopefully it’s something you can believe in, like supporting his lifelong desire to be a teacher, not joining his little brother’s garage band. But even if your heart’s behind him and your relationship’s rock solid, it doesn’t mean that your finances will be, too. Cathi Doebler, author of Ditch the Joneses, Discover your Family, offered this advice for deciding whether a major career change is right for your family. Keep reading »
When you’re looking to trim your budget, it can be easy to cut down on what you spend on food. You can stop getting that latte every morning on your way to work and eat like you’re still in college. (Ramen, anyone?) But what if eating well is a priority, too? Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian and author of Eat Your Way to Happiness, offered these tips for keeping both your diet and your checkbook balanced. Keep reading »
Sometimes when you hit rock bottom, there’s only one place to go – back home with Mom and Dad. As layoffs and overwhelming debt are knocking members of our generation on their asses, many are flocking home to the safety net they couldn’t wait to escape at age 18. There isn’t any shame in going home to catch your breath and regroup, but there’s a way to approach the situation so you really do get back on your feet and avoid causing more angst than the My Chemical Romance blaring from your little brother’s room.
The Frisky hit up Rick Kahler, an NAPFA-registered, fee-only financial advisor and author of four books on financial planning and money psychology, for advice on how to move home and get independent without feeling like you’re re-living the turmoil of your Jordan Catalano-crushing youth all over again. Keep reading »
When a man gets down on one knee and offers you a ring, it can be one of the most blindingly blissful experiences of your life. But sometimes, after you accept the offering and your eyes adjust to the light, you realize that while diamonds last forever, the men who give them to you sometimes don’t. So when Mr. “I think he’s the one!” turns into Mr. “Bullet Dodged,” what do you do with the rock left behind? You may love bling, but you don’t want to wear the karma of relationships past on your finger. And sure, diamonds are great for scratching the paint on his car, but you’re much more mature than that. Sometimes the only reasonable thing to do is to sell that bad boy, but selling a diamond is more complicated than unloading that treadmill you bought last January and never used.
In order to safely get the best price for your jewelry after a relationship goes bust, Jerry Ehrenwald, president and CEO of the International Gemological Institute (IGI), the world’s largest independent laboratory for grading and evaluating diamonds and gemstones, offered Frisky readers this advice. Keep reading »
I have two children, and we’re expecting our third (and last … hello, vasectomy!) in the spring. I recently saw a billboard that claimed babies cost about $700 a month. I did the math on my 2.5 kids, and holy disposable income; the figure hurt. The billboard was an advertisement to deter teenage pregnancy, but if I hadn’t already taken the plunge, it would have made 30-year-old me think twice before procreating. Keep reading »