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  • How to Save Money at Kroger

    IMG_7388 by Downtown Short Pump on FlickrkrogerBy: Kate Parham

    Last week, we talked about how to save money at CVS, one of the nation's largest retail pharmacy chains. This week, in part two of our five-part series about saving money at the country's biggest retailers, it's all about grocery shopping with coupons at the largest grocery store chain in the United States: Kroger. Here's what you need to know about Kroger before shopping:

    Sales Cycle: Kroger sales cycles run Wednesday through Tuesday, meaning that the advertised sales prices change on Wednesday.

    Related: Top 5 Places to Find Coupons

    Rewards Program:
    By filling out a short form at Kroger's customer service desk, you can get a Kroger Plus Card. Use this card every time you shop in order to get advertised sale prices on hundreds of products in the store. If you register your card on the Kroger website, you will frequently receive coupons in the mail, including periodic coupon booklets and personalized coupons based on your shopping habits.

    What's more? For every

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  • How to Prioritize Your Financial Life

    Prioritize Your Financial LifePrioritize Your Financial LifeBy: Kristie Lorette

    Everyone has different priorities in life, but your finances should take a front seat rather than a back seat in these priorities. Organizing your financial life and deciding what's important doesn't have to be a burden if you learn how to do it right the first time. Four primary ways to prioritize your financial life include:

    • Invest now for later
    • Save for a rainy day
    • Always pay bills on time
    • Get out and stay out of debt

    In a lot of ways, once you have your financial life on track, it helps you to keep the rest of your life heading in the direction. This is not to say that money makes you happy, because it doesn't. When your money situation is in order, however, it may help to alleviate stress that affects other areas of your life.

    Invest Now for Tomorrow

    Planning today for what is coming tomorrow is one of the key elements of prioritizing your financial life. As soon as you start working, you should be working to save money for your retirement Read More »from How to Prioritize Your Financial Life
  • The Truth about the "D" Word: DEBT

    The Truth about DebtThe Truth about Debt

    By: John D. Buerger, CFP®

    DEBT is the four-letter-word of personal finance.

    Most people have some debt with which to deal. Once the debt level gets to a certain point, it is nearly impossible to rid yourself of it. Interest payments crowd out all the productive (and fun) uses of your money until the whole thing implodes in an avalanche of expletives and misery.

    Good Advice?

    The personal finance gurus have their theories on how to deal with debt. There are some good ideas with hard and fast rules and heated discussions about whether any debt is good debt.

    These advisory approaches, however, treat you - the person in debt - like a child who cannot make good choices for yourself. I have found in my personal, parental and professional life that if you treat people as inferior or incapable, they make every effort to meet your expectation of them.

    So let's try something different.

    The Root Cause

    I believe (please give your opinion in the comments) that

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  • Individual Retirement Accounts: Which Flavor Works for You?

    Traditional IRA or Roth IRA?Traditional IRA or Roth IRA?By: David Young

    How to choose between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA.

    The efficiency of the driver's license bureau. The readability of the IRS's rules. The Postal Service's track record of setting stamp rates (that last more than six months). Let's admit it, the government won't exactly win any awards for innovation or organizational effectiveness.

    But on a few occasions, the suits down at Capitol Hill get it right. Two examples are the are the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. The first of these created the individual retirement account (IRA) and the later piece of legislation created the Roth IRA.

    For the casual investor, saving for retirement can seem complicated and intimidating. Which plan should I choose? A Roth IRA or a traditional IRA? Do I go with an employer 401(k) or do it on my own? Should I invest in Costa Rican coffee bean futures?

    Well, maybe you shouldn't be asking the last question (if you are, I've got a lovely bridge in New York with

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  • How to Save Money at CVS

    Saving Money at CVSSaving Money at CVSBy: Kate Parham

    We've been talking a lot about couponing lately (e.g. where to find coupons, couponing secrets and coupon lingo), but it's time to put our money where our mouth is. This is the first article, in a series of five, that will outline the best ways to shop at five of the nation's leading retailers to maximize your savings. Each store has their own coupon policy, rewards program and sales cycles, so it's important to learn the ins and outs of your preferred retailer. Up first: CVS. Stay tuned for Kroger, Walgreens, Safeway and Target.

    CVS is one of the nation's largest retail pharmacy chains with over 7,000 stores. Here's what you need to know about CVS before shopping:

    Sales Cycle:
    CVS sales cycles run Sunday through Saturday, meaning that the advertised sales prices change on Sunday. In addition to weekly deals, CVS also offers monthly deals, which are advertised in the monthly ECB booklet. What's an ECB, you ask? ECBs, or "ExtraCare Bucks," are CVS currency that you

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  • 5 Ways to Decide If a Project Is DIY-Worthy

    Should You Do It Yourself?Should You Do It Yourself?By: Mariana Ashley

    One of the things I pride myself on is my ability to do many things for myself. I made it a point long ago to learn about the basics of house and car maintenance. I can plug a car tire, change the oil and filter, and jumpstart it if need be. Likewise, I'm just as handy around the house when it comes to basic maintenance and home improvements. I've found that knowing how to do these things for myself has been both a great money-saver and a source of satisfaction.

    However, just because I know how to take care of my house and car doesn't mean I always complete the work myself. I have other things to take care of during my busy days, many of which directly relate to my job or personal life. Sometimes these necessary chores and jobs around the house are not worth the trouble.

    If you're ever considering taking on some Do-It-Yourself project, then you might want to take a few minutes to consider the following questions. They've been extremely helpful for me when I decide

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  • Quiz for Women: What's Your Financial IQ?

    Quiz: What's Your Financial IQ?Quiz: What's Your Financial IQ?By: Gelasia Steed, CFP ®

    Are you a lady who lunches and lets your husband handle all of the financial affairs? Or are you a woman who holds the purse strings tightly and puts your hubby on an allowance? Or do you fall somewhere in the middle? All couples have their own way of budgeting and working out their finances. But, what don't you know and what should you know to be prepared for the unexpected? Let's test your Financial IQ:

    1. What is your household budget? a) I know when, where and how much we spend.

    b) My husband keeps everything in Quickbooks, I just can't remember the password.

    c) Budget? Paycheck plus credit cards = Spending.
    2. Do you have an emergency savings account? If so, how much? a) Absolutely! Six months of our monthly expenses in a bank savings account.

    b) We can borrow from our 401(k).

    c) Overdraft protection!
    3. How much debt do you have? a) Debt-free, just paid off the mortgage!

    b) Mortgage and some student loans that we pay

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  • 4 Tips to Make Comparison Shopping Easy

    Save Money by Comparison Shoppingshopping-questBy: Juliana Weiss-Roessler

    This is where we thank the technology gods for the World Wide Web. Twenty years ago, comparison shopping meant thumbing through the Sunday ads in the newspaper or individually calling different stores in the phonebook to ask for prices on specific items. No longer! Now we have so much technology at our fingertips that it can actually be overwhelming at times, so we're here to cut through the clutter and make comparison shopping easy for you:

    Check reviews first

    You can find the cheapest possible digital camera simply by googling "digital camera" and hitting the "shopping" tab, but you might end up with a piece of junk if you don't know what kind of camera you want and which ones are actually good. If you're willing to spend the money for an account, Consumer Reports is still one of the best places to find which products work best and what features they have. Barring that, the Internet is full of sites giving product reviews - both from professionals and

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  • Does Money Make You Happy? Maybe Not

    Secrets of the WealthySecrets of the WealthyBy: Benjamin Gran

    Many people think, "If I had more money, I'd be happier." Or, "If I was rich, I wouldn't have to worry about money anymore." While it's true that to some extent, having more money does make you happier, this effect wears off after a certain point, according to a study from Princeton University. Once you're earning $75,000 a year, additional money does not "buy" additional happiness.

    As for the rich, most people might be surprised to learn that some of America's wealthiest people are not necessarily happy or entirely comfortable, despite their wealth. There are approximately 115,000 American households with a net worth of $25 million or more. But even with all that money, many of them still have the same problems as the rest of us - in fact, being extremely wealthy often creates new problems that most people might not expect.

    A recent study by the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, which was discussed in an article in the Atlantic, included interviews

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  • 5 Ways to Save Money on Insurance

    How to Save Money on InsuranceHow to Save Money on InsuranceBy: Matthew Bacon

    If you own a house or a car, insurance is a must. It can protect you in case of damage or an accident and will ensure that you have the money to start over, whether that means buying a new car or rebuilding your house. Most people who have insurance never need it, but it's essential to have it in case you ever do.

    Insurance isn't cheap: depending on the coverage you opt into, it can be very expensive. But there are some things that you can do to save money on both your home and car insurance:

    1. Shop around.

    Whether you're looking for insurance for a new car or a new house, don't just go with the first company that you come across. Do some comparison shopping so you know you're getting the best price. If you find a company you like but they aren't offering the best deal, ask them what they can do for you. Sometimes if you present them with a cheaper, but comparable package from another company, they'll match the price to get your business.

    2. Raise your

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