Tag Archives: personal finance

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 »

My Two Cents: I Used To Be A Financial Idiot

As soon as I was pushed out of the college womb into the harsh light of day, I discovered I had a really big problem: I was a complete financial idiot. How did I miss the memo on how to support myself as an adult? I was raised in a middle-class family where both of my parents worked. I never was denied anything I needed, yet I wasn’t spoiled. I worked as a teenager, but mostly used my money to buy clothes and CDs. I attended a prestigious private university in New York City on a partial scholarship, and worked during college to make up for the difference. I was always a good student who got good grades. My point: I assumed that I knew what I needed to know to be a reasonably financially successful adult. 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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Poll: What’s Your Bill-Paying Policy?

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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 »

My Two Cents: How I Saved Enough Money To Move Abroad

I am essentially living my dream—seven months ago, I packed up my life in New York and decided to move to Paris for a year. I get a lot of “How did you do it?” questions from people with similar aspirations, all of whom seem to think that moving abroad was a whimsical decision I made in a week. Not the case—planning such an endeavor took months, not just to sort out logistics, but also to save money. Lots of it.

Thinking about ex-pat life? Here are some tips to save and manage your money to make it possible, plus things to consider once you make the jump. 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 »

How To Make Doing Next Year’s Taxes Less Painful

If you’re like us, you probably spent the better part of the week ripping out your hair as you collected and combed through bank statements, pay stubs, and W-2s to get your taxes finished on time. (You sent in your taxes by yesterday, right?!?!) Since we don’t want to experience a similar last-minute meltdown next April, we asked Regina Leeds and Russell Wild, authors of One Year to an Organized Financial Life, for advice on what we can do now to make next year a lot less painful. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: How I Got Out Of Debt

In certain ways, I think of my life in two parts. There was before, when I was more carefree, more irresponsible, and carried debt. And there’s after, where I’m a bit more serious, way more self-controlled, and have no debt at all. But how did I get here? Well, I didn’t read a book, I didn’t watch Suze Orman, and I didn’t write down every single thing that I spent. It wasn’t easy. And it sure didn’t happen over night. But, eventually, I went from debt-heavy to debt-free, and I would like to report from personal experience that while the road there isn’t exactly paved with fun and frivolity, the payoff is pretty awesome. Keep reading »

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