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Your 30s are a key time in your financial journey. Learn what mistakes you absolutely need to avoid and how to move ahead on milestones like buying a home and funding your retirement....

Most people hate to pay taxes. That’s not hard to understand. What is baffling is the length people will go to avoid taxes – sometimes, the cost of avoiding taxes exceeds the taxes themselves. The reason this happens is that for some people, all they have to hear is that a scheme will help them avoid taxes, and they are on board. Remember though, avoiding taxes should not be your ultimate goal. The idea is…


Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates have dropped from above 6 percent to below 4 percent. This has touched off an unprecedented refinancing opportunity for homeowners. However, unless they learn to take a broader view of refinancing, those homeowners may be missing out on the biggest money-saving opportunities. By now, home prices have recovered to levels higher than at any time other than the peak years of the housing bubble. Between that and the principal payments homeowners…


Small business owners have unique needs when it comes to their checking accounts. Here is a simple guide to understanding what features you need when it comes to small business checking accounts and exactly what you don’t. Getting started The first step is to think about what you will need the account for. Paying lots of vendors by check daily? Make sure you don’t get locked into an account with per-check fees. Unsure if you even…


You’ve got the crib. The baby monitor. The stroller. The highest-rated-for-safety car seat. You’ve thought of everything for that newest member of your family. Or have you? What about your baby’s financial future? Related >> Household Budgets for Beginners: Simple Tips for Success What kind of account should you open for your child, and when should you do it? According to financial planning experts, it is never too soon to set up a savings account for…


According to a recent consumer survey, most Americans have very little — if anything at all — saved for retirement. Fifty-six percent of Americans have less than $10,000 earmarked for retirement, which is not even enough to cover a year of day-to-day living expenses for most people. This is echoed by a survey Get Rich Slowly did with Experian earlier this year. In that national survey, 71 percent of Americans felt they weren’t saving nearly…


In the old days you had to wait to get that monthly statement from your financial institution to see how much money you had coming in, and how much money turned around and went out. Today all that information is on-demand and contained within your smartphone — but which apps are best to manage all that data? In this installment of our ongoing series: the best budget apps, we check out Mint. App Overview Mint is a…


A Spousal Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a special type of IRA that is designed to benefit a non-working spouse and allows a married couple to each have an IRA to help fund their retirement. Internal Revenue Service rules require that you earn taxable compensation from work in order to have an IRA. The IRS defines “compensation” as income generated from a wage, salary, commission or self-employment. It also counts alimony, separate maintenance and tax-exempt…


We all know we should make and stick to a household budget if we want to be able to sock away savings each month—and end up financially comfortable. But building a household budget as a beginner can be daunting. Only one in three Americans takes the time to create a monthly budget, a recent Gallup poll showed. (I don’t need to tell you the rest of us are spending an inordinate amount of time looking…


A lot of things change as you start to rise up the income ladder. Most of them are good – the old junker is replaced with a comfortable new car, the apartment becomes a house, you order steak instead of a hamburger. At the same time, managing your money becomes more complicated. Savings strategies for high-net worth individuals can be different. Recognizing how that game changes as you start to earn more will help you…


Living paycheck to paycheck is never easy, but it doesn’t have to mean you can’t save for the future. Everyone needs a savings nest egg or emergency fund. The solution is to get prepared now, no matter what it takes. (And know that you aren’t alone! One study by the Federal Reserve found that most Americans have $400 or less in cash savings.) Let’s start with one straightforward and relatively simple savings goal: setting aside…


There are investors and there are savers. If you fall into the category of the former, you have a greater tolerance for risk. If you are a saver, your main financial concern is to protect your principal, which leads many to certificates of deposit. But how to find the best CD terms? Let’s start at the beginning. The goal of a CD is to ensure the principal can be spared no matter what happens in…


Many people have heard of CDs — certificates of deposit. But not many will say the same for market linked CDs, also known as equity CDs or market or indexed CDs. Though they’ve been around since the 1980s, renewed interest in market-linked CDs is a product of our current interest rate environment. Interest rates are low. Really low. So it’s understandable that people are looking for some risk-free or lower risk ways to earn the…


Technology has given consumers unprecedented access to shopping opportunities — you can shop, literally, morning, noon and night. From your phone or tablet. Debit, credit, store cards, gift cards…the list is endless. There probably has never been a tougher time to resist the temptation to overspend. A few impulsive clicks and your carefully crafted monthly budget is kaput. So it’s no wonder our personal finance experts get this question all the time — how can…


It's easy to feel insecure when thinking about retirement, but there are steps you can take now to restore piece of mind. Learn some tips from the 'millionaire next door'....

Savvy savers open Individual Retirement Accounts for themselves to ensure that their golden years will be enjoyable and not fraught with financial worry. But what if you die before you reach retirement? What happens to your IRA? What to do if you inherit an IRA? First things first: When you open your IRA account, you will fill out a form listing beneficiaries. It is important to keep this form up to date throughout your working…


No matter your age or income, it's essential to have a strong emergency fund. This is true peace of mind. But what if money is already tight? How to start? Where to put the money?...

Sometimes you need extra income in order to meet unexpected expenses or to save for a major purchase or goal. With the rise of the sharing economy it is easier than ever to latch onto short-term gigs, especially if you have a strong Internet connection and some idle time. If this sounds like something you’ve done or are considering — you have plenty of company. A new study by the Brookings Institution showed a “surge” —…


Experience is a great teacher for investors, but it can also be a very expensive way to learn. Rather than learning by trial and error, reading up on basic investment topics is a more cost-effective way to start, because it allows you to benefit from the experience of others. The following are six of the best investing books for beginners that can help you make an informed start: 1. One Year to an Organized Financial…


“Got any investment tips?” It’s a common question, but there is no one answer to it. The right investment decision depends on the circumstances, and circumstances change over time. For example, the right way to invest can vary depending on how much money you have available. To look at how the size of the investment should guide your approach, consider the different actions you might take with $1,000, $10,000, or $100,000 to invest. How to…


As far as money apps go, BillTracker is less about budgeting and more about reminding. So for anyone who’s ever been hit with a late fee for being a day or two late, the app is a valuable tool to help you stay current on all your bills, which ultimately may improve your credit. Here’s our review: What I Like The user interface is simple and easy to use. Hit the “Accounts” tab in the…


There are times in everyone’s life where you live paycheck to paycheck — college student, young professional, recently divorced, on the heels of unemployment. It’s during these times that we are most cost-conscious, yet we can still struggle to track where and how every penny is spent. In our ongoing series to find the best budget apps around, we take a look at Level Money, an app that analyzes your balances and bills due to generate…


Alternative health insurance to Obamacare may cost less -- this family of five pays $450/month -- but you have to be organized, aware of your doctor's charges, and even be willing to negotiate....

With more than 20 million students enrolled in colleges and universities and with the average cost of a four-year degree at nearly $10,000 per year (triple that number for a private institution), scores of Americans will realize now or later that higher education comes with serious financial implications — for them and their parents. Many students will finance their education with student loans. The average 2016 college graduate has more than $37,000 in loan debt, but there…


Investing can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is to get a few basic concepts down first and then set clear goals for your money. Then it’s a matter of determining which tools will be best for the job at hand — do you want to be risk-averse, passive investor? Are you focusing on retirement and college savings at the same time? To the end, we’ve gathered all the basics in…


Saving for college is daunting enough, but as any parent of college-age kids can tell you, you also need to learn a whole new vocabulary — FAFSA, 529 plans, Coverdell accounts. It can be a lot to process. One common question is the difference between a 529 plan and a 529 “prepaid” plan. While pre-paid plans aren’t nearly as common as they used to be, it’s important to know the difference. Here’s all that you…


Sometimes it’s hard to think about making those IRA contributions and taking the time out to understand IRA contribution limits because, well, retirement seems so far off. But the U.S. tax structure has several incentives that make both Roth and traditional IRAs worth the look. It also pays to make sure you know about deductions relating to your income level, so we’ll deal with that here as well. IRA contribution limits For tax year 2016,…


Few people want to risk it all on the stock market, but it also doesn't make sense to stuff your hard-earned cash into a mattress. We'll walk you through some investment options that are generally seen as lower on the risk spectrum....

If there is one thing that marks fall in the economy, it is rising prices. Home values go up and that makes us feel rich. The quarterly reports we get for our 401(k) plans and IRAs make us feel more secure about our financial future. Rents for homes and apartments go up, just like rent for warehouses and offices. Car prices go up because demand begins to exceed capacity....

While our bellies may be stuffed on Thanksgiving, our wallets will be thinner — Americans will spend nearly $3 billion on the holiday, according to data compiled by Statistic Brain. Three billion! That includes food, travel, parties and nights out, and various other items. But instead, we could focus on how to save money on Thanksgiving this year. The average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people in 2015 was $50.11, an increase of $0.70…


Ultimately, retirement planning is like a math equation -- you input several variables and estimate whether what you’ll have will pay for what you will need in retirement. The challenge is that many of the variables are future values that are unknowable today. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make some educated guesses....

Searching for a job can become very costly, so it is important to build your savings to cover the expenses and potential loss of income you may experience. Here's three tips that can help you get ready financially....

In personal finance there are often more questions than answers, especially if you are new to the money game, from how to start investing in stocks to growing your childrens’ 529 plans. After all, every situation is unique. To help guide you on your financial journey, we’re featuring two questions we received recently via the Get Rich Slowly Facebook community and turned to Richard Barrington, a certified financial analyst and contributor to Get Rich Slowly,…


What if retirement didn't have to be about watching every nickel and dime, watching your property taxes grow and your savings balance decline? Read how one woman with a love for travel, adventure and motorcycles found her early retirement nirvana in Guatemala....

Talking about money is just as uncomfortable as any discussion about religion or politics. We’re raised to think it’s not a topic for polite conversation. Unfortunately, some of us hold onto that belief even when the person on the other end of the conversation is someone we should trust — our future spouse. Millions of Americans will tie the knot this year, but how many will have “the talk” — the one about marriage and…


How to be generous with money when you don’t have a ton — that’s a major question. Here’s how one Get Rich Slowly contributor, Lisa Aberle, discovered some essential truths about money, friendship and giving....

App Overview NerdWallet is a personal finance site that provides tools and resources to help consumers make financial decisions. Their new mobile app, simply called NerdWallet, allows anyone with an iPhone to ask financial questions about any subject and get in-depth, one-on-one help for free from their in-house financial experts. We recently reviewed the app as part of our series highlighting the best budget apps of 2016-2017. What I Liked It’s a real person providing information…


I’ve just come from the gym. My arms are so spent I can barely type. My glutes are killing me as I sit on my wooden chair. I am guzzling ice water and still sweating a little. An hour of concentrated exercise with a trainer — part of my gym memberships — has left me feeling both exhausted and accomplished. I love my gym. My gym membership costs us $158.46 per month. I can hear…


Who doesn’t want a little extra money each month? The best side jobs or “side hustles” are popular ways to earn cash quickly, but it’s also a fact of everyday life for many Americans now. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.1 million U.S. workers are “involuntary part-time workers” or those who would prefer full-time employment but can’t because their hours have been cut or they can’t find full-time employment....

It was big news recently when Hillary Clinton tried to go to work sick with pneumonia and was forced to leave a 9/11 memorial event. It became even bigger news when every woman in America pointed out she always “works sick” because there’s always something or someone who needs you. Heck, I remember that time when I had a brutal flu and was bedridden, but had to haul myself up and go pick up my…


Knowing you aren’t saving enough for retirement isn’t a great feeling, but at least you are not alone. A full 71 percent of Americans say they are behind on their retirement savings and more than half, 54 percent, believe they will never pay off their debt fully, according to a new national survey commissioned by Experian together with Get Rich Slowly and other top U.S. personal finance blogs. Entering retirement with a large debt load…


This article started out as the individual experience of one personal finance blogger as he successfully haggled with his cable company to reduce his bill by 33% back in 2009. Unfortunately, that sinking feeling you are overpaying for services such as cable is still alive and well in 2016....

The prevailing wisdom is that people spend more when they have a debit or credit card in their hand. Every swipe feels like free money until you get your monthly statement. Enter the envelope system. You put just enough cash in designated envelopes and when the money’s gone, it’s gone — the idea being that making your spending tangible will produce better financial habits. Goodbudget, formerly known as Easy Envelope Budget Aid, has taken this…


I’ve had to let go of many, many fears. Sometimes, letting go is gradual. I was afraid of money for a long time. It kept me from budgeting, but I got over it. Then, it kept me from investing, and I just recently got over that. Even more recently, I’ve had to deal with one of my greatest money fears — not having a job. It was scary. I wanted to bury my head in the sand. But I dealt with it and did what I needed to do....

Plenty of Americans have that entrepreneurial spirit. Being your own boss and setting your own hours is liberating, and millions of Americans have made the leap. But there are special credit challenges to be aware of, especially in the first two years of striking out on your own. Self-employed Americans by the numbers According to a 2014 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14.4 million Americans are self-employed. (When you factor in part-time independent…


The recent uproar over the cost of EpiPens, the life saving self-injection device that contains epinephrine, a chemical that narrows blood vessels and opens airways in the lungs to offset an allergic reaction, has garnered tremendous media attention and consumer outrage. Through massive marketing and outreach efforts by the manufacturer, Mylan, EpiPen has become to the go-to device for anyone facing a potentially serious or life-threatening allergic reaction. It is a brand that has “become”…


Each time tuition rises, students become more dependent upon loan programs to pay for school. But the long-term consequences of those decisions means students and graduates will spend years working to get rid of the financial strain associated with student-loan debt.  Time.com put it best: “This year, more than two-thirds of college graduates graduated with debt, and their average debt at graduation was about $35,000, tripling in two decades.” Your game plan to reduce student-loan…


There's no such thing as a free puppy. Or kitten. Or hamster, lizard, fish or rabbit. Even if someone hands you a critter outright, you can expect to spend between $580 to $875 a year for basic expenses, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Americans are expected to spend $60.59 billion dollars on their pets this year. Here's 37 ways you can save money on your pets without compromising their care....

As I write this, I am on vacation. And I’m not just working for GRS while on my break. I’m posting on social media for six other clients, and writing freelance pieces for two other websites. So when I say I am on vacation, I really mean that I am working in a house that is not my own, with a lovely view of a beach. Since being laid off from my traditional full time…


Look around you at anyone over 60 or 70. How are they living? Chances are you will see or know some who is barely scraping by, and others who are living well. What is the difference between them? More likely than not, the difference between those who live well and those who scrape by is that one group invested and the other did not....

My oldest son recently asked: “What can I do to make sure I get a big, fat salary when I graduate?” He’s a sophomore eyeing chemistry as his career. Having spent his summer working nearly 60 hours a week in a warehouse, I think he’s suddenly come to realize the full-court advantage of a college education. So I took his question to the mat. How can a student leverage college experience in order to maximize his…


Food. You can’t live without it, but it sure can be expensive. It’s also a time suck, especially because the grocery stores spend so much time playing bait-and-switch with us, requiring Inspector-Clouseau-level skills to find, for example, the pine nuts. For those who have been following my tales on GRS, it should come as no surprise The Husband does the grocery shopping, at least the bulk of it. I tend to suffer from sensory overload…


A notoriously lucrative asset class, real estate—both residential and commercial—has become one of the most popular ways to secure residual income. Traditionally, building a residual income stream through real estate has required a large, up-front investment of both time and money; but thanks to new investment vehicles, those interested in earning passive income through real estate have several options from which to choose. Different Ways to Build Residual Income through Real Estate New Technology Platforms…


School is (almost) back in session. That means fresh notebooks, new backpacks and outgrown sneakers that need replacing. It’s an exciting and expensive time of year. Before the first bell even chimes many of us will have shelled out several hundred dollars per child. The National Retail Federation backs that up. Its annual survey finds parents with kids in K-12 plan to spend an average $673.57 for back-to-school necessities this year, up 9.6 percent from…


Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Living at home post undergrad has many rewards. If you were fortunate to have parents like mine, where rent-free is the name of their game, you might agree that it’s like winning the lotto! After a contract I was working on changed due to mutual agreement, I ended a job with the hope of tackling personal and business ventures. Technically, I wasn’t broke because I had no job. I was broke…


Ah, summer employment. Those heady teenage years when you worked from June through August, doing what no adult in their right mind would do, for a wage no adult would agree to, all the while hoping to meet the boy of your dreams. Heaven, right? Well, not exactly. Even with the rosy glow of nostalgia attached, I still remember many of my summer jobs as just plain hard work. Babysitting from the age of 13:…


I had the itch. I had a great idea and the support of my wife. I had the hunger to write my own story. It was 2002 when someone from a division at my Fortune 50 employer whispered in my ear: “If you go out on your own, we’ll hire you.” So I made the leap and started my own business in 2002. And it was great — until late 2007 when the sky started…


  We joined a CSA this year, our first time venturing into the realm of Community Supported Agriculture. I have been intrigued with the concept for several years, as I have friends who rave about their weekly boxes of fresh veggies from a local farm. A special deal popped up in my Facebook feed in late winter and I decided to do it. We shelled out $475 ($450 for the CSA and $25 one-time delivery…


Ever wonder how long a check is good for? Now you can know for sure. See all the ins and outs of dealing with bank regulations on older checks. (And yes people still write checks!)...

Money and Budgeting App Reviews 2016-2017: Digit Many people have a system for building up financial reserves. Some deposit a set amount of each paycheck or at month’s end into a savings account. Others have their checks deposited into savings, leaving only the amount needed for bills and entertainment transferred into checking. Not surprising in this age of technology, there is also a high tech iteration of the classic piggy bank: The Digit app is…


My favorite scene in the 1985 movie “The Sure Thing” is when John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga are stranded in the middle of nowhere, cold and hungry, and it starts to torrentially pour. Seeking shelter in a locked trailer, John bangs incessantly on the padlock with a stone, while Daphne reaches into her bag looking for lock-picking tools and pulls out … a credit card. “I have a credit card. I have a credit card,”…


We've all been there: That stomach-churning, awful feeling that comes with an unpaid bill, a salary setback or a plunge in the stock market. Read how a certified financial analyst copes with money stress....

Lower risk investments are becoming more popular now that interest rates seem fixed at historic lows. Remember the thrill of bringing your savings account book to the bank when you were a kid? They would stamp it and — ta-daaaa — you had more money than when you walked in. Fast forward to today. Most of us don’t get that giddy feeling after making a deposit with the so-low-it’s-not-even-worth-it interest earned on traditional bank deposit…


Ah, retirement strategies. Either a dream or a worry, but either way, you need them. Dreaming of retirement is part of the evolution of life. As a 20-something, you spend time envisioning the amazing career you’ll have and the important work you’ll do. As a 50-something, what you picture is a hammock, an ice-cold beer, and a good book. You picture retirement. For years, The Husband has laughed about the retirees who snag the earliest oil…


Money and Budgeting App Reviews 2016-2017: You Need a Budget If you’re ready to account for where every cent of your money goes, You Need a Budget could work for you. The app is based on the premise of “giving every dollar a job,” meaning you budget for every expense — fixed, discretionary or otherwise. Want to buy a new purse or pair of shoes? If your monthly clothing budget is $100, then you may…


Brexit: A primer for Americans. Voters in Britain singlehandedly ignited an international crisis with their historic decision to leave the European Union last week. The British exit, or “Brexit” for short, continues to dominate the news, spawning talk of regret, a re-vote and recovery from what The New York Times described as a massive Brexit “hangover.” It’s easy to think the June 23rd vote won’t have an impact on family finances over on this side…


The world celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday (or is it just an American thing?) and it got me thinking: What’s the best financial advice your dad ever gave you? My father was never big on dishing out guidance, although when I was in college he did tell me it was always a good idea to nurse a beer rather than chug it. When it came to money, I only remember two things: When I got…


“No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks.” And for many parents, no more child care for eight hours a day. Summertime — every child’s dream season — can be every working parent’s nightmare. Think about it: From late August or early September through mid-June, working parents have the luxury of public education to make sure their children are cared for, watched over, intellectually stimulated and exercised. Yes, it’s education. Yes, your…


As savers go, I’m somewhere between decent and so-so…or at least that’s what I thought until I saw a 22-year-old neighborhood kid who used to work with me saving $800 a month with his earnings, plus furnishing his own rental apartment (in New York!) and buying a piece of land in Mexico. Our other neighbor has three kids and she earns a pretty humble salary taking care of babies and cleaning houses—yet she too saves…


  The first rule of Data Club is don’t go over your monthly data allotment. The second rule of Data Club is if you do go over, only go over a little. The third rule of Data Club is hope Dad doesn’t notice we’ve gone over our data allotment because he will be mad and will give us a talking-to. Ah, data. The modern-day parents’ nightmare. In my parents’ day, we had a phone bill,…


The graduation parties are over, and it’s time to get down to business. Armed with a sense of maturity and independence, you are ready to conquer your coursework in order to snare your first dream job. But if you’re like most college students, your pocketbook has nary a dollar to its name. Whether you’re a rising freshman, a dorm veteran or a parent of either, here are 21 commonsense money-saving strategies that can stretch your…


Ready to roll out this summer? Hitting the highway is always fun, but it does cost money. Luckily there are a lot of online tools to help estimate gas costs. Which one is your favorite?...

I love this time of year. School’s out, the days are long, the sunshine is warm. And the kids need cash. These days, they have jobs. Real jobs. The 18-year-old works at a local coffee shop and babysits. She is accumulating cash for college. The 15-year-old is excited to start work at a local farmstand selling fresh veggies to mini-van-driving suburban moms. It is fun and exciting to see them start their working lives, searching…


Switching banks can be a giant pain, something to schedule in between taxes and a root canal. That’s why some of us stick with a bank long after the relationship has stopped working in our favor. In an effort to help you explore and compare banking options, we’ll be presenting unbiased reviews in this space as often as we can. You can be part of the conversation, too: Do you love your bank? Hate it?…


Lifestyle inflation is an easy concept to define: when you make more, you spend more. The opposite is just as simple: When you make more, why not save more? Are you guilty of lifestyle inflation? If you draw a salary, you may need to confront it at some point this year. According to the 42nd annual “WorldatWork 2015-2016 Salary Budget Survey,” the average 2016 budget for raises in the United States was forecasted at 3.1…


I turned 53 on Tuesday. My daughter made me breakfast. My husband gave me roses. AARP sent me another membership solicitation. It all adds up to one thing: senior discounts. Like many, when the AARP pitch arrives in the mail, I ditch it. I’M NOT OLD, I say to anyone who is listening (usually just the dog). Just this season on the Netflix series Frankie and Grace, one of the characters — who is in…


I spend days psyching myself up to make the calls. My targets include the very companies that make dialing the number possible: communications providers. Why am I connecting with these connectors who give us access to wireless phone, email, entertainment and internet? To cut that very expensive cord. This is no trivial matter. According to a survey by eMarketer, the average U.S. adult is expected to spend 5 hours and 45 minutes each day on…


If you need tips to spend less money, you’ve come to the right judgment-free zone. I feel like I should introduce myself. “Hello. My name is Elissa, and I am an unconscious spender.” (“Hello, Elissa.”) “I give myself a $200 allowance every two weeks, but when the cash is gone, I use the credit card or hit the ATM. A hundred here, a hundred there. I feel like that Fast Cash $60 button is a…


So, you’ve decided to enact some savings strategies. You’ve banned takeout, swapped all venti fat-free lattes for the trusty Mr. Coffee at home, staged the yard sale, cut the cable, dropped the landline, raised your insurance deductibles, brown bagged every single lunch for months, and … plan to limit the A/C all sweatin’-summer long. But you still need to build your emergency fund. What can you do? Make little changes for maximum impact Not every tip…


It was all over the news last week that the college Class of 2016 will graduate with an average — an average — of $37,000 in debt, the most ever. This is a 6 percent increase over the Class of 2015 (those lucky dogs graduated with an average loan debt of $35K). Experts say that if these kids’ starting salaries are more than their total debt, they should be able to pay them off in…


About one month after I graduated from high school, I moved out of my parents’ home for the first time. Freedom! No curfew! No rules! I had been waiting for this day for years. “When I graduate from high school, I am so outta here!” Shortly after moving out, though, I realized I wasn’t quite as well-prepared as I thought I was. One of my similarly immature friends was telling me about a minor car…


At the age of 50, I was laid off. It was a Thursday morning in August of 2013 and it came on a conference call along with hundreds of co-workers. I had been working in one way or another since the age of 13 — babysitting, apple picking, camp counselor, journalist. It was the first time I had ever been involuntarily out of work. Did I mention it happened while I was technically on vacation?…


Sticker shock can be a real “wow” moment when parents first consider the costs of sending their child to college. All-in costs — including tuition, room & board, books and incidentals — can range from about $15,000 to over $60,000 annually. Take a deep cleansing breath. Exhale. Have a seat. Take another deep breath and begin thinking strategically. Full college retail price can be financially intimidating, but you can bring your costs down over time…


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Have you been enjoying the sharply-reduced cost of gasoline this year? Lower petroleum prices add up to slick savings for the typical American; but in the back of your mind, there’s that nagging thought… “This isn’t going to last.” You are probably right. Oil prices are notoriously cyclical, what goes up tends to go down, and vice versa. Proving this to be true, gas prices began to tick up this month, reaching a six-month high…


“Gap years” are nothing new, but it was still pretty surprising when the most watched college decider in the nation – Malia Obama – elected to defer her entrance to Harvard University. My immediate reaction as the mother of a high school freshman was…pretty impressed. It’s never an easy decision to go against the grain of expectations and most 17- or 18-year-old’s reaction to a Harvard acceptance letter would be so long folks, hello Cambridge….


You’ve heard how awesome Roth IRAs are and how starting one now can mean big bucks when you’re older. You’ve even done some research so you have a vague idea of how a Roth IRA works. Now what? How do you actually open a Roth IRA for yourself?...

This article is by GRS contributor Chris Kissell.

It’s a form of abuse that often unfolds in silence. Its victims are often reluctant to report it. And it is likely to become even more commonplace as our society ages. What is financial elder abuse? Financial exploitation of elders occurs whenever someone dishonestly hijacks the resources of an older adult for personal gain, such as: Belongings Assets Benefits Other resources Exploiters target seniors because the…


My name is J.D. Roth. Ten years ago today, I started a little blog about money. This blog, in fact. When I started Get Rich Slowly, I had no idea what it would become. Just a year earlier, I had summarized all the best advice from the personal-finance books I’d been reading into a single article for my personal site. It’s when I first began to recognize that all the books had a common thread:…


The series on Roth Individual Retirement Arrangements (Roth IRAs) has covered a number of topics – what they are, how (and where) to open one, and which investments are best. Now, in the final part, we turn to some of your questions. Remember: I am not a financial adviser. I’m just a regular guy trying to gather information to help you. If you need more specific answers, please consult a CPA or an investment professional....

I’m writing to you sitting next to a jar. This jar is stuffed full (okay, imagine it gently filled — it’s a small jar) of $5 bills. I do not feel proud that this is the best way I’ve found yet to save money consistently; somehow, having it sit there on the window sill is a gentle reminder that there are more important things to spend my cash on than the x, y, and z that usually make the list....

Life is full of little bumps … like how our furnace went out at the onset of last season’s most severe cold snap. It’s bad enough that an emergency like that seems to happen at the most inopportune time, but what’s worse is the $6,000 bill that accompanies it. Where do you get $6,000 quickly when you need it? If you’ve set money aside for a rainy day — an emergency fund — you’ll be…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express has a new offer available now that could help you plan a bigger, better summer vacation if you act quickly. This card was recently given a 2016 CardRating’s Editor’s Choice award as one of the best travel credit cards available. (CardRatings.com is one of our partner sites.) Turn regular purchases into vacation perks New cardholders that make $3,000…


Is an annuity a good investment? This is a surprisingly hard question to answer. If you have ever met with a financial advisor about investments, chances are he or she may have proposed annuities as a good way for you to go. However, when you scan the blogosphere for posts about investing, you hardly ever read about annuities. You read about index funds, mutual funds, stocks and real estate and now and then about bonds…


Hey, average American, what are you planning to do with the almost-$3,000 tax refund (according to 2013 data) you are about to receive? Here's 10 things to do to spend your refund wisely....

Bonds can be great low-risk investments but chances are you have never purchased a bond … and probably never will. Same with me. I simply don’t have the capital to commit over $100,000 to purchase the typical bond. But I do believe there are reasons to learn about bonds nonetheless, even if it’s an investment you don’t think you’ll ever make. Never say “never,” right? Well, the fact is… You may already be invested in…


This article is by GRS contributor William Cowie.

Fire can be one of the most destructive forces on earth, and yet some say civilization began when we figured out how to harness its power. Credit cards are the same. Ask any long-time reader of Get Rich Slowly if credit cards are good for anything, and you might get a response like: “They’re to be ripped up and burned in an atmosphere-polluting bonfire of relief!”…


When my husband proposed to me on July 10th, 2005, I was ecstatic. In fact, I’m pretty sure I screeched “Yeeeessssss” before he could even pull the ring out of his pocket. Our plan was to move into the little apartment above his work — it was part of his compensation package — then get married the following summer....

Have you ever hosted a yard sale with dismal sales? You made a dollar per hour for your efforts. No fun. If you want to add to your savings account or start an emergency fund by throwing a yard sale, use these tips to host an epic event....

According to J.D. Roth, Dave Ramsey changed his life: “In the fall of 2004, I had over $35,000 in consumer debt. I was making a solid middle-class salary, but I lived paycheck to paycheck. My money habits were terrible. When I looked into the future, all I saw were years of toil to pay for the things I’d already purchased. “Then a friend loaned me a copy of The Total Money Makeover, a book by...

This article is by GRS contributor Richard Barrington.

More and more, companies are dispensing with traditional annual employee reviews. They say this is out of sensitivity to a new generation of employees who find reviews stressful. The real reason may be that dispensing with employee reviews saves companies money — albeit at the expense of their employees. Microsoft and Dell are among the high-profile companies that have made news recently by dumping annual employee…


When it comes to tax preparation, distinguishing between cost and value is a crucial question. The cost can vary from nothing for doing it yourself on up to hundreds of dollars for professional tax preparation. To judge the value correctly, though, those costs have to be weighed against the results you get, including what could go wrong if you choose the wrong approach. To help you weigh...

Have you received your credit card bill for December yet? If so, you’re not the only one. As this Federal Reserve Board chart shows, Americans accumulate about $30 billion in credit card debt in the last quarter every year – and then attempt to pay it off in the first quarter of the New Year. The problem is they rarely succeed at paying off the entire balance. By the end of the first quarter every…


Building an emergency fund is an essential part of financial security. One constant is that you will face unexpected expenses throughout your adult life and many Americans are unprepared to face them. According to a 2015 study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, 60% of Americans experienced a “financial shock” in the past 12 months and the average cost was $2,000. If you don’t have at least that amount in an easy-to-access emergency fund, you could…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

Last month, the December 2015 Consumer Confidence Index ®, showed improvement over the previous month: “Consumer confidence improved in December, following a moderate decrease in November,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “As 2015 draws to a close, consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive, particularly their assessment of the job market. Looking ahead to 2016, consumers are…


Setting financial goals isn’t easy. If you live paycheck-to-paycheck, saving even a little money each month can be difficult. Then there is all the conflicting advice out there. What if matters were made even more complicated by “impostor syndrome”, a term coined by two American psychologists, Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, in 1978. Simply put, it is the belief that what other people perceive of as accomplishments due to your skill, intellect, or other internal…


This article is by GRS contributor Richard Barrington.

I remember my first mortgage. Getting it seemed like a bureaucratic hurdle on the way toward buying a home, and I couldn’t wait to get the paperwork done and out of the way. By the time we bought our second house, I was 10 years older and wiser. I played a much more active role in choosing a mortgage and negotiating terms that time, and saved us…


Learning how to open a SEP-IRA, a self-employed individual retirement account, doesn’t have to be complicated. Here’s the experience of Lisa Aberle, a Get Rich Slowly contributor who had been working as an independent contractor since 2010, along with working a full-time job, and in 2014 left that full-time job. That meant she no longer had access to a company-sponsored retirement plan and had to figure out the remaining path to retirement as a sole…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

This year, my husband decided to commute to work again – on his bicycle. He’s not alone. The number of people commuting by bike has increased every year since 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Back then, it was just over 687,000 Americans that biked to work. By 2014, the figure had climbed to more than 832,000. What’s surprising is that the number of active commuters…


Millions rely on financial professionals to do their investing for them but not everyone knows how to hire a financial planner the right way — or when to say no to one. On the surface, the rationale for hiring a financial planner or advisor seems valid. People feel intimidated by the whole investing thing. It seems like a jungle out there and, to boot, most people know someone who lost it all with bad investments….


Is this the year to focus on saving more? If you’ve been disappointed when you’ve checked out your savings account balance, let’s change that this year by figuring out how to save money each month. How much should I be saving? Actually, advice on the topic of how much you should be saving differs based on who’s giving the advice. At a minimum, most people recommend saving 10 percent of your income. Dave Ramsey recommends saving…


  Every year we ring in the New Year and experience the phenomenon of being connected to everyone else. We’re tied together by the calendar. Even though we lead separate lives and have distinctly different journeys from every other person, we can’t escape the fact that January 1 starts a new year for us all. Then, of course, there are all the other holidays throughout cultures — and the calendar — that signal rebirth and…


Taking the time for new year planning in relation to your financial goals is a fantastic habit that can pay dividends for years to come. Here at Get Rich Slowly, we’re proud of the content we brought you this year — and we’re excited to go on exploring the topics of personal finance into the years ahead. We’d love to hear what you’d like us to dive into, but first, some highlights of the year that…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

Are you glad to see the sun set on 2015? In the final days of the year, my kids are home on break. It’s fun to spend extra time with them, but many minutes of the day are filled with our older two children fighting with each other. And squished into the half-time show of their fighting games is some whining from a teething 17-month-old. With…


This article is by staff writer Richard Barrington.

Dieting is not a popular topic around the holiday season; but perhaps with caloric temptations everywhere you turn, this is the best time to be thinking about it. Similarly, the holidays are a time of year when people tend to let themselves go financially, so a reminder about financial discipline might also be timely. After all, working toward financial goals is like dieting. I recently wrote…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

If you give (or receive) a gift that misses the mark, returning the item is the natural thing to do. After all, return policies are pretty awesome these days. However, if you decide to make a bigger impact with your gift — an item that you’ve probably survived without just fine for the last year anyway — why not donate it? Why you should think about…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

By the time you read this, most likely all that’s left of your neatly wrapped presents are scraps of wrapping paper, crumpled bows, and empty boxes. Hopefully, the kids are playing with their new toys and you’ve been reading an ebook on your new Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve described a warm and cheery scene, and I hope it feels that way to you — but what if…


It used to be quite rare to find a pet in the cabin of a plane; but according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 2 million pets are transported by air every year in the U.S. Out of curiosity, I went to a couple websites to see how much it costs to travel with a pet: Southwest – $95 per pet carrier Delta – $125 American – $125 Jet Blue – $100 (non-refundable, but…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Now is the time of year to look back, celebrate your accomplishments, and set goals for the upcoming year. Sharing those goals publicly — whether in the comments, in the GRS forums, or to your friends and family — can make you feel more accountable. With that being said, here’s how this year stacked up in the Honey/Jake household! Updated reckoning in chart form: 2012-present Please note…


Retirement lifestyles depend on your financial success — but financial success is part reality and part perception. In fact, if you moderate what you perceive as financial success, you could improve the financial reality of your future. It’s particularly important to consider this as you approach retirement, but this dynamic actually starts well before you’re ready to retire. It has to do with what kind of lifestyle you think you need. People tend to raise…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

We started a project on our Facebook page a couple days ago. We asked the scrimpers and savers to give us their best personal finance tip — and, so far, a few people have offered their advice: “The early bird gets the worm.” “Stop eating out.” “Buy what you need, not what you want – and never what society tells you you want!” “Ditch cable/satellite, make meal…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

From late November until early January, we fill our stomachs and empty our wallets. As I sat down to plan my own little family’s Christmas dinner, I didn’t mind the stomach-filling so much, but I would like to keep our wallets as full as possible too … without the necessity of tapping into our online savings account. So, I decided to calculate some holiday feasts … on a…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

[This is Part II of a two-part series on how banks affect our everyday lives. Part I was Money matters: How money works.] “The bank” has been a standard villain in the movies since the earliest days. In fact, it wouldn’t be the holidays without Jimmy Stewart reminding us how wonderful life could be without Mr. Potter, the banker villain. But where would we be without…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

[This is Part I of a two-part series on banking — what it does, and can do, for you. Part II is 5 things banks do for you that’s really important.] What is money? Seriously, answer the question: What do you say is money? Everyone thinks they have a basic idea what money is, but no two people will come up with the same definition. And chances…


It might be the incessant nagging of an unpaid bill or a stomach-churning plunge in the stock market, but suddenly you don’t know how to stop worrying about money. Join the club. Even having a decent nest egg of savings and a solid financial plan is no cure for money worries because the more you know about personal finance, the more you understand how fragile any plan and any investment program can be. Still, I…


Unhappy couple meeting with attorney

The holidays are upon us. It’s the time of the year when family moves from the shadows of a busy life to the foreground. That probably makes it as good a time as any to consider one of the most difficult topics to discuss pertaining to family and finances — the…


We monitor the interest rates being offered by more than 500 financial institutions (banks, credit unions, and savings and loan associations) and display only the top 50 highest rates in the table below. These are weekly updates to help you find the best online high-yield savings account and money market account rates currently available.

Part of an effective financial strategy includes maximizing your earnings while balancing your need for liquidity -- and a certificate of deposit, or CD, is one way to accomplish that goal. You can easily monitor the best CD rates and terms currently available in the table below plus the rates of more than 500 financial institutions (banks, credit unions, savings banks, and savings and loan associations)

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, and more.

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