Profile for Heather Teilhet

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Money 101: How To Buy Your First Home

Buying your first home can be a terrifying experience that may transform you from a financially stable go-getter to a jittery, nervous wreck.

I remember lying awake, staring at the ceiling the night before our closing. I pondered the longevity of this decision. How could I sign a 30-year financial commitment when I couldn’t even commit to a color to paint the walls in our soon-to-be new home?

We’ve already told you how to start saving for a purchase this large and momentous. Once you’ve got the money in the bank, where do you go? A good realtor should hold your hand and walk you slowly through the myriad of steps required to buy your first home. In the meantime, we asked 20-year-veteran Atlanta realtor Kristen Crisp to give us the abbreviated version for first-time home buyers. Keep reading »

Money 101: An Overview Of 401(k), 403(b), And Roth IRA Retirement Accounts

If you’re anything like me, when someone brings up retirement savings, investing, or your 401(k) match at a cocktail party, your eyes immediately glaze over and all you hear is the “wonk wonk” of the adults from a Charlie Brown special. Inside my head is the flashing red light and loud voice signaling “Danger. Danger. You are engaging in a discussion of a topic you know nothing about. Abort conversation to avoid massive embarrassment.”

But the truth is that investing and retirement accounts are something worth knowing about. Even a financial neophyte like me knows that if you start socking away for retirement early in your career you have a huge advantage. In this case, time really is money.

So, we interviewed financial blogger phenomenon and author of Your Money: The Missing Manual, J.D. Roth, for the Cliff’s Notes of Retirement 101. He gave us almost enough to get you through a cocktail and conversation with a financial planner without faking it. Keep reading »

Money 101: How To Start Saving To Buy Your First Home

There it is again. That once-a-month unsettling feeling. It’s not your ovulation cycle. It’s your monthly financial cycle making you nauseous. It’s that nagging feeling that accompanies the deadline for your rent check. Who’s getting rich off your rent? Are you wasting money when you should be building equity? And what the heck IS equity, anyway?

However noble and responsible those questions are, if you’re anything like I was before I got hitched and bought a house, you quickly file them away in the “I’ll think about that next month” drawer. Besides, the pizza deliveryman is on the way, and “Sex and the City” re-runs are on demand. Renter’s paradise, right?

But if you’re lingering over the neighborhood home guide, you might as well educate yourself on how to save for your first home. We interviewed consultant and women’s financial expert Deana Arnett for tips on when you’re ready for your own home and how in the heck to get the process started. (First, turn off Carrie Bradshaw. She’s a bad influence. Her shoes and handbags alone would cover half a dozen mortgage payments.) Keep reading »

Money 101: How To Start Your Own Small Business

J.K. Rowling was buying groceries on a welfare check until she hit pay dirt with a nerdy pre-teen wizard. Sara Blakely was a sales trainer and stand-up comic before she revolutionized the pantyhose industry with Spanx.

Almost two-thirds of the world’s approximately 1,000 billionaires are rags-to-riches stories. And even Kanye says a little ambition can help you make a Benz out of that Datsun. So … why not you? Keep reading »

Money 101: The Lowdown On Hidden Finance Charges

So you’ve just noticed the $4.99 mystery charge on your cell phone bill; and, how annoying, that “emergencies only” credit card you never use billed you $15 for your frugality? We consulted two experts to find out if these and other hidden charges are legit, and if there’s any way to avoid being nickel and dimed right into the poorhouse. Deborah Owens, women’s wealth coach and author of A Purse of Your Own, says it’s more than just sweating the small stuff. “This is about knowledge, and knowledge is power,” says Owens. Keep reading »

Money 101: Get Out Of Debt Now!

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One Venti latte five mornings a week. You could probably pay for your caffeine addiction with cash, but who carries around stacks of green besides strippers and Lil Wayne? Plastic is so much more convenient.

A couple coffees probably won’t send you to the poorhouse, but are you swiping the plastic for groceries? Rent? Routine living expenses?

If so, you’re not alone, says Clarky Davis, The Debt Diva, author of The Debt Diva’s Financial Guide. Davis says most Gen Y-ers have more than three credit cards, and one-fifth of them owe more than $10,000. Of those households in the U.S. with credit card debt, the average debt is $16,007. So, when are you in over your head? If you are struggling to meet your minimum payment, your phone is blowing up with collections calls, or you cannot pay off your entire credit card balance in three months … the Debt Diva is talking to YOU. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: 7 Ways To Work Through Money-Focused Fights

He found the receipt for the Manolos you blew half a paycheck on, and the resulting confrontation wasn’t pretty. You called him a penny-pinching tightwad. He said you’re wasteful and irresponsible. Is this relationship doomed? And are we really fighting about high heels, or is there something deeper going on?

According to Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., relationship expert and host of “The Love Doctor,” a popular radio show, seven out of 10 couples report that money causes tension in their relationship. She reports that in the early years of a relationship, money is the number one issue of conflict. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: How To Create A Budget After “Two” Becomes “One”

Your honeymoon bags are unpacked and your tan is starting to fade. He’s getting used to picking up Tampax at the grocery store, and you’re getting used to picking up his toenail clippings from the bathroom floor. Hello, real life. It’s time for the next challenge: combining finances.

Financial experts agree that because money-related issues cause the most friction among couples, the best thing a new couple can do is bare all when discussing money. We consulted Stacy Johnson, financial expert and author of Life or Debt, for some specific advice on how to let go of a lifetime of going dutch, and embrace creating a budget for two. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: 5 Money Questions You Need to Ask Your Honey

Are you and your love shopping for a puppy? Relocating to a new city, so you can finally be together? Apartment hunting for two? Expecting some permanent bling on your left hand soon? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then grab your dude and two Venti lattes and get comfy on the nearest park bench. You two need to spend some time discussing the “m-word.” But tell him not to sweat it — we’re not talking marriage. First, it’s all about money. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: How To Cover Your Ass-ets During A Breakup

You’ve discovered your union is more Ben and J. Lo than Ben and J-Gar. Some things just weren’t meant to be. Luckily for you, making a few dumb decisions on love doesn’t mean you — or your finances — are doomed for all eternity. As long as you’re smart enough to avoid a major financial setback during your breakup (and, of course, avoid making “Gigli 2”), you’ll emerge a little heartbroken but with a bank account as strong as ever. Here’s how to cover your “ass-ets” when you’re breaking up. Keep reading »

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