Getty Images"Oh, don't worry, it was marked down to 50% off." "Of course I remembered to pay the credit card bill on time." "That old bank account in my name? I forgot that was even open."
We all have money secrets. For this article, I asked a few pals to reveal any financial fibs they've told their significant others (or, for an added layer of anonymity, verifiable ones told by other friends).
No one needed much time to mull. The scenarios ran the gamut -- from the $200 in parking tickets (paid in cash to avoid detection) to the $60,000 in credit card debt that a friend's friend failed to mention to her fiancee until after they said their "I dos."
The amount of the infraction in each case mattered, but not nearly as much as the non-financial fallout: In each case, a trust had been breached, a financial infidelity committed.
The lies we tell
You may think you're being stealthy -- disguising that new designer purse's true provenance by transferring it to a discount-store sack before you bring
Blog Posts by Dayana Yochim, The Motley Fool
- Dayana Yochim, The Motley Fool | Work + Money – Tue, May 4, 2010 10:56 PM EDT
Getty Images"Oh, don't worry, it was marked down to 50% off." "Of course I remembered to pay the credit card bill on time." "That old bank account in my name? I forgot that was even open."Read More »from He Cheats, She Lies: How to Cope With Financial Infidelity
Getty ImagesOccasionally, I play a grim game I call "Grab and Run" -- a mental exercise where I plan which items I would take with me as I flee an impending disaster, such as a tornado, hurricane, or sudden ozone failure. It goes something like this: dog, leash, sneakers (the cute ones), cell phone, saline solution, photo album, mascara, and my iPod.Read More »from What would you grab if your house was on fire?
Everyone plays this game, right? Anyone?
Fine, so the occasional foray into Catastro-fantasyland may be a sign of a low-level anxiety disorder. Still, preparation (psychological and physical) is the best defense against the demons of disaster. If a fire, flood, killer bee or alien invasion happened right now, how prepared are you to deal with the aftermath?
The right way to worry
While a beekeeper's suit or a personal bomb shelter might help you rest easily at night, there are more practical ways to protect your personal treasures.
Personal safety is always first, of course. But after that, insurance companies and state and federal agencies bear
Getty ImagesWhen Bruce Friedman's wife, Anne, died suddenly of a heart attack in September 2001, he was summarily passed over for her $900,000 pension because of a technicality.
The problem? His wife's beneficiary paperwork indicated that in the case of death, her pension should go to her closest living relative. Under New York state law, a spouse is considered the closest relative on record unless someone else is named as a beneficiary.
All good so far, right? Absolutely. Until a long-forgotten, three-decade-old form was found. On that form -- filed in 1974, four years before the couple first met on a blind date - Anne's sister was named as the sole beneficiary.
The million-dollar clerical errorRead More »from When you die will your ex get rich?
Friedman took his case to court, arguing that his wife was regularly sent account updates indicating that there was no beneficiary designation form on file. But the court would not hear his tale of 11th-hour paperwork woe.
Because of a simple oversight - a form that Anne could have updated in
Good help is so hard to find these days. And if you're looking for money advice, finding any help at all is a challenge.
If the adjectives "high net worth" or "affluent" (euphemisms for "filthy rich" in professional money manager land) can't be used in the same sentence as your name, then much of the financial services industry will tell you: "Thanks, but you can't afford my advice , kiddo."
However, let's say you encountered a situation where you did need a financial advisor's input - sorting out your finances after a divorce or family death, developing an estate plan or dealing with an inheritance, insurance or investments. And in this scenario, that fancy advisor who works with high net worth clients is happy to take your business.
Before you say, "You're hired," consider this: The advice you get has the power to change the entire course of your financial future. And there's the rub: The less you have the bigger the impact of each financial move you make. ThatRead More »from Why Your Financial Advisor Is Richer Than You
In a song written for his newborn son, John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans ... so have your checkbook handy!"
OK, he didn't actually say that last bit. But he should have.
We get a windfall and buy tickets to Europe and end up cancelling the flights and using our new digital camera to document water damage from a basement flood. We put a down payment on our dream house and then the walls close in when our hours at work get cut in half. We dream in detail of an early retirement and then the market plummets right after we give our notice.
Life happens. And when it does, it's expensive.
There's marriage, kids, changing jobs, dealing with a family illness, buying a house, and remembering to update your auto coverage before it's too late. (More on that last point in a moment.) Maybe all you need is love (or so said The Beatles), but an emergency cash cushion and a solid financial plan are close runners up.
DetoursRead More »from Money Advice From John Lennon
Getty ImagesWe've all got that "to do" list that never seems to get done. It starts off as a record of Very Important Things that don't seem particularly urgent. Eventually, we'll "deal with old 401(k) paperwork" and "look into getting life insurance"... after we replace that cracked windshield and pick up the dog's heartworm medication.Read More »from Find the Fortune Buried in Your To-Do List
If you're like me, about an hour after you jot down these critical "to dos" the list begins a journey that goes something like this:
After a few days tacked to the fridge the list follows the predictable fate of its forerunners, migrating from the fridge to the top of the pile of papers on the desk to the bottom of the pile where it is eventually rediscovered (while we're straightening up for last-minute guests) and ultimately moved to the safety of our laptop bag for its slow crumpling descent to the bottom of our laptop bag, where weeks later it experiences a rebirth as a handy piece of scrap paper reminding us to pick up milk and toilet paper on our way
- Dayana Yochim, The Motley Fool | Work + Money – Thu, Mar 11, 2010 11:08 PM EST
What happens when two titans of multimedia financial advice dynasties ruffle one another's feathers? They Tweet their tiff, of course.
Last week, finance gurus Robert Kiyosaki and Suze Orman took to the Twitter stage for an impromptu philosophical smackdown, disparaging each other's guru-ness 140 characters at a time.
" Suze Orman and Robert Kiyosaki in Advice Showdown ," announced InvestmentNews.com, whose top headlines before the March 2 all-star Twitter snit were Schwab's former head of national sales returning to the company and lawmakers hoping the Senate will pass HR 4154, extending the 2009 estate tax rate on $3.5 million-plus estates.
We'll go to the Kiyosaki vs. Orman Twitter Tiff play-by-play in a moment. First, a little background on our dueling gurus.
Ladies and gentlemen, the contendersRead More »from Suze Orman vs. Rich Dad: Finance Titans Tweet It Out
In one corner is Suze Orman, the tanned and toothy proponent of empowerment-laced thrift-focused financial advice. "People first, then money, then things" is her
AP Photo/Mike Fuentes: Snoop DoggThe headline to this story practically writes itself, which makes it hard to pick just one. To sum up the latest celebrity financial foible, here are three other titles that didn't quite make the cut:
- IRS Bites Dogg
- Uncle Sam Takes on the Doggfather
- IRS Snoops Around Rapper's Finances
Motley Fool Facebook fans chimed in with some inspired headline suggestions of their own. Personal favorites: "Snoop has Bone to Pick with IRS," " I Never Got My W-Twizzle," and the elegantly simple "Bad Dogg."
Snoop adds to his rap sheet
Now, the Snoop scoop: The Internal Revenue Service has filed a $598,309 lien against Snoop Dogg for back taxes owed, according to The Detroit News.
Snoop (a.k.a. Calvin Broadus) is an accomplished rap star (a leader in the "gangsta" oeuvre), gifted actor (consider his nuanced performance as Huggy Bear in Starsky & Hutch), and impassioned environmentalist (his name is synonymous with marijuana advocacy).
Oh, and he's a repeat
- Dayana Yochim, The Motley Fool | Work + Money – Sun, Feb 14, 2010 5:38 PM EST
Getty ImagesTapping your toes waiting to see if your significant other remembers what day it is? Stop stewing and forward this article -- a guide to giving your Valentine a gift that'll pay dividends for years to come.
If you're reading this, then it's likely you're doing one -- or more -- of these three things:
- Slapping your forehead against your computer monitor and Googling "last-minute Valentine's Day gifts in [insert your city]."
- Clicking around the Web, while on hold with a florist whose hand is cupped over the receiver while she says in a very audible stage whisper, "Get this -- someone's calling to see if we have any roses left!"
- Experiencing a moment of panic as it dawns on you that, yup, you're that poor schlub who only now realizes what day it is.
No, this is not a setup
Granted, Read More »from Happy Valentineâ€™s Day, Honey. I Paid the Electric Bill!
Getty ImagesThe Motley Fool's Fiscal Fitness Boot Camp is in session! Every weekday this month, we'll walk you through a fresh money-saving/money-making tip as we work toward finding $2,000 in savings you didn't know you had.
During this month-long Fiscal Fitness Boot Camp, we worked some money magic -- saving big bucks by scrutinizing our major (and even some minor) expenses.--
What's the point? Sure, padding the bank account is good. Freeing up cash to more quickly pay down high-interest debt is even better.
But once the basics are taken care of -- once that debt is but a distant memory, and you've got a decent emergency cash cushion for life's just-in-case events -- the very best thing you can do with your money is to make it grow. In other words: You've mastered the art of saving. Now it's time to become a bona-fide investor.
Channel your inner Warren BuffettRead More »from Fiscal Fitness: You've saved money, now invest it
The truth is that every one of us is already an investor. Every dollar decision we make is an investment, whether