Staycation IdeasBy: Juliana Weiss-Roessler
With times tough for so many of us, the thought of jetting off to an island paradise - or even just packing the family into the car and driving a few states over to a national park - probably sounds more ulcer-inducing than fun and relaxing. Who can afford it? But we all need some relaxing time off, so start thinking outside the box. Take a look around your neighborhood or city for fun things to do without the expense and hassle of travel. That's right - start thinking about "staycations."
You've likely heard this word by now, but what does it mean? Basically, a staycation is a vacation you take in or around your home. No expensive airfare, no luggage or travel agents. Sounds nice, right? Even just thinking about it for a few minutes, you'll probably be surprised with the number of cool ideas you come up with right in your home town, but just to get you started, we're offering a few suggestions below:
Have a camping adventure… in your backyard. "Roughing
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Staycation IdeasBy: Juliana Weiss-RoesslerRead More »from 16 Ideas for an Exciting Staycation
Debt Management Help for CouplesBy: Benjamin GranRead More »from Money Lessons from "Til Debt Do Us Part"
Ninety percent of marriages that end in divorce fail, at least in part, because of money problems. Now, there is a TV show on CNBC called "Til Debt Do Us Part" that helps couples in financial crisis get their financial lives in order.
"Til Debt Do Us Part" is hosted by Gail Vaz-Oxlade, an experienced financial planner who specializes in helping married couples get out of debt and secure their financial futures. The show explores the challenges faced by couples who are buried in debt and examines the underlying relationship issues that often lead to financial trouble.
For example, there's the couple who has moved from house to house as the husband chased higher-paying jobs, only to end up with $80,000 of consumer debt. Or the young couple who doesn't know how much money they make (the husband's business has extremely poor record-keeping practices). Or even the couple that doesn't know how to budget and is still living the lifestyle of a two-income family even though
- Quizzle.com | Work + Money – Tue, Mar 29, 2011 5:10 PM EDT
Credit Card Options for Excellent CreditBy: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub.comRead More »from Got Excellent Credit? Learn the Ins and Outs of Picking the Best Credit Card
So you're one of the lucky few to maintain excellent credit throughout the "Great Recession." Nice work! We all know how difficult the last couple of years have been and that it's been virtually impossible for many of us to maintain our pre-recession credit standing. In fact, a quarter of the people in the country have bad credit, according to FICO. Things surely haven't been easy. That's why you need a reward for all of your hard work and perseverance. What kind of reward, you might ask? The best credit card for excellent credit, of course. You've worked hard for your personal finances over the years, now it's time to make them work hard for you.
But which of the myriad of options available to you should you choose? Well, two of the most popular features on credit cards for excellent credit are "No Preset Spending Limit" (NPSL) and rewards programs. But are these features right for you? Let's find out:
No Preset Spending Limit (NPSL)
Save Money by Shopping SmarterBy: Kate ParhamRead More »from 5 Ways to Shop Smarter & Improve Your Wardrobe
How many times have you looked into your closet and wanted to scream, "I have nothing to wear!" Sometimes, it seems like no matter how much money we spend on clothes, our wardrobe still falls short. But with these five simple tips, you'll learn how to streamline your shopping habits, save money and finally build the wardrobe of your dreams:
Never buy anything you don't absolutely love. Whatever you buy needs to make you seriously happy every time you look at it. See a sale tag and feel compelled to purchase that skirt even though it's really not your style? Stop that! Stop buying clothes that you feel lukewarm about and watch how much more you'll enjoy picking out your outfits in the morning.
Never buy anything that doesn't fit your current body perfectly. Stop buying clothing that are too big or too small because that's the only size the store has left or because you think you'll finally lose the weight. Shop for who you are now, not for who you think you'll be in
- Quizzle.com | Work + Money – Fri, Mar 25, 2011 6:20 PM EDT
Dispute inaccuracies on your credit report!Read More »from How to Successfully Dispute Inaccuracies on Your Credit Report
By: Kristie Lorette
It happens more often than you think. You order a copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies-Experian, Equifax and Transunion. As you go through the information, you come across some alarming or downright inaccurate information. What do you do? Dispute it, of course! Learn what you need to know about the credit report dispute process and the steps you have to take to make it as successful a journey as possible:
Your credit history, as documented on your credit report, is one of the major factors creditors and lenders use to determine if you qualify for a credit card, auto loan or home loan. If there is inaccurate information on your report, your credit score may be suffering needlessly, hurting your chances to qualify for these things. That's why it's smart to review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. By law, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit reports every year via
The Gardner's Guide to Growing Money SlowlyBy: Tammy Kraig, CFP®Read More »from The Gardener's Guide to Growing Money Slowly
After a hard winter for most of the country, spring is beginning to sprout. Here in the Philadelphia region, the green tips of daffodils are just beginning to push up through the moist, cool soil. White snow drops and purple crocuses are already blooming, adding welcome color to the brown palette all around us. At the birdfeeder, little American Goldfinches' winter coloring of dull brown and tan shades is giving way to a lemony green tint that will turn to bright gold (in males) by late spring. The seasons are changing.
What about your life seasons? Specifically, your financial life? What can gardening teach us about our finances?
Plan ahead. Those nursery catalogs come in late winter when there is no chance of planting anything outside in the harsh weather. But gardeners start dreaming and planning. If I plant vegetables next to the back door, they'll take the space of colorful asters, petunias and begonias. But, can I expand the garden next to the patio to
How to Save Money on Video GamesBy: Juliana Weiss-RoesslerRead More »from 5-Step Plan for the Frugal Gamer
In many ways, gaming is a cost-effective form of entertainment. After all, a $20 game can provide you with hours worth of entertainment. When compared to a two-hour movie at the same price, that sounds like a bargain! But becoming a real gamer means investing in many games (some of which cost as much as $60 to $80) and many systems (ranging from $200 to $350). Suddenly the hobby doesn't seem like such a bargain anymore. But have no fear! There are plenty of ways to keep costs down while still enjoying hours of fun:
Don't be an early adopter. The price of systems and games go down significantly after the buzz generated from their initial release goes away, usually about six months or so later. So wait it out. It can be tough, but remember that you'll get the same experience for a much lower cost.
Buy used games. Another benefit of waiting a bit is that there are more likely to be reasonably priced used games on sale. Be sure to check for scratches on the
Tax Breaks that Will Save You MoneyBy: David BunnellRead More »from 8 Commonly Overlooked Tax Breaks
How many times have you finished your taxes and sent them off, only to hear later about a deduction that would've been perfect for you? Well, if you're anything like me, that scenario has played out in your life more than once. Given the fact that it takes the Internal Revenue Service over 70,000 pages to explain the 2010 tax code, it's understandable how you could miss a deduction or two along the line. If you have a relatively straightforward tax return, simply going line by line through Form 1040 can serve as a useful guide to which deductions and credits you are eligible for. However, let's highlight a few of the most commonly overlooked tax breaks:
This may seem obvious at first, but beyond the check you wrote to your favorite non-profit organization, there could be several smaller items to add onto your charitable contribution deduction. For example, did you donate any clothes to the Salvation Army? Or maybe you baked three cakes for
You've worked hard for a lot of years and the day has finally arrived. Your office mates threw you a party. You packed up your belongings. And you drove away from work for the last time. You did it. You retired. For many people, retirement means freedom. No longer tied to a job, they feel like they can do whatever they want. Travel is often at the top of the list. And while retirement does bring some freedoms, some restrictions come with it, too. In order to manage your money well after retirement, you will need to find a good balance between the freedoms and restrictions.
As you're planning for your retirement, keep in mind that most people's spending increases during the first few months or years after they've stopped working. People typically want to take advantage of the fact that they're not tied to jobs anymore and take the opportunity to travel more. This may mean more trips across the country to visit kids and grandkids, or trips around the world toRead More »from How to Manage Your Money after Retirement
- Quizzle.com | Work + Money – Tue, Mar 22, 2011 7:00 PM EDT
How to Repair Winter Home DamageBy: Karen LawesRead More »from After the Storm: How to Spot and Repair Winter Damage to Your Home
It's been a very long winter. In fact, many cities had record snowfall and ice totals. The United States was hit with one large winter storm after another. We thought it would never come, but spring is finally on its way. With April on the horizon, we can begin to look forward to the spring flowers bursting with color and the sound of birds chirping. If only it were that simple. When the sun and warmer temperatures come and begin to melt the record snow accumulations, be prepared to find damage to your home and landscape from this long rough winter.
Roof Damage and Ice Dams
If you haven't removed the snow from your roof this winter you may have problems with ice dams. As the snow melts, the water travels down and freezes when it reaches the edge of the roof. The easiest way to tell if you have ice dams is excessive icicles hanging from the roof. As the snow melts off your roof, it has no place to go, except under your shingles and into your home.