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 »
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 »
One of my favorite coats is a gorgeous knee-length number that coordinates with almost anything. The best thing about this coat is that I paid the criminal price of $10 for it. I found it on a clearance rack. It was the only coat of its kind and happened to be in my size; our relationship was obviously meant to be. It lacked a price tag, however, and I was scared this meant it would be expensive. When I asked the cost, the manager pulled a jacket of lesser quality from the same rack and said she’d give me my coat for the same insanely low price. Delighted, I showed her where the coat was missing a button, thinking she would have a suggestion for replacing it. Instead she shrugged and offered to knock off an additional 10 percent. I couldn’t hand over my debit card fast enough, and when I got home? The missing button was tucked in the pocket.
As adorable as the coat is, the amazing bargain makes me love it more. While my steal was more the result of a tired manager than my intense negotiating skills, it definitely whet my appetite for wheeling a good deal. Knowing how to ask for one can be intimidating, though. Jim Camp, negotiation skills trainer and coach, and author of Start with No, offered this advice for the negotiating novice. Keep reading »
Not everyone is as lucky as Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat Pray Love fame, to spend a year in exotic locales to recover from a bad breakup. As a 30-year-old New Yorker returning to singledom after a string of long-term relationships, I can only dream of consulting a Bali guru to show me the right path. With graduate school loans, rising rent, car payments and the need to hold on to my job in this shaky economy, the thought of getting away to reflect and restore seems out of reach and, in Gilbert’s case, very expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. Here, I put together nine affordable things a newly single gal could do to feel better and possibly find love again. Keep reading »
Being the queen of your own financial destiny is priceless … and can be as scary as some of Lady Gaga’s heel heights. Whether your salary is as high as a modest kitten heel or soars to stiletto altitudes, you’re only as financially healthy as your savings habits. Maybe you’re eating Ramen to make your money stretch, or worse, living off your credit cards, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start saving now. J.D. Roth, of GetRichSlowly.org, offers these tips to get you saving even if you feel like you’re barely getting by. Keep reading »
The temperatures in much of the country are higher than tween hormones at a Justin Bieber concert, and at this point in the summer, my mind is at the beach whether the rest of me is or not. Along with the heat coming off the pavement, though, most of us are also feeling the pressures of a tighter budget. So, when it comes to planning a getaway, how can you order your guilt-free margarita and drink it, too? Not to worry, with the following tips from Debi Hayes, Master Cruise Counselor with Vacation Planning of Atlanta, you can blow town without blowing the budget faster than you can say “on the rocks!” Keep reading »
When I planned my wedding for last summer in one of the most expensive cities in the world (New York City) during the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, I picked up a few tips for couples looking to throw a wedding on a budget. I learned how to cut costs and stay sane without compromising too much on what I wanted. If you’re willing to be flexible and open to nontraditional ideas, you, too, can have the “perfect” wedding, whatever your budget may be. After the jump, 15 tips for throwing a budget wedding. Keep reading »
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 »
I, Simcha Whitehill, am a recovering shopaholic. It all started back in the day, when I was a suburban mall rat. My BFF in middle school lived a block from the indoor bonanza. (Coincidence? I think not!) By high school, I had to get an after-school job at a real estate office just to support my Contempo Casuals habit. And although I no longer crave pleated minis, knee socks, and Mary Janes, my taste for choice fashion has just grown up with me. However, despite what I thought back when I was a kid, I didn’t turn out to be a millionaire. But that doesn’t mean I don’t always try to look like a million bucks. I’ve just developed tactics to trick my inner shopaholic from charging me into Chapter 11. Here’s how I’ve managed to stay outta debt, but still kept my belly and my closet full. Keep reading »
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 »