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 »
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 »