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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....

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 accounts like savings accounts, money markets and certificates of deposit. Let’s look at CDs as an…


Ah, retirement. Dreaming of it 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. My vision of retirement consists entirely of not having the alarm go off every morning. Never. Not for any reason. For years, The Husband has laughed…


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…


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 of the pond, but experts…


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. 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 her 70s — noted that she refused to join…


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…


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 slot machine in a casino!” I am an impulse buyer from way back. I have…


So, 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 will work for every person, but here’s what…


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…


This article is by J.D. Roth.

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…


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....

This article is by GRS contributor William Cowie.

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…


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…


If you have ever met with a financial adviser 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 … but hardly ever anything about annuities. Should you consider annuities? What is an…


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....

This article is by GRS contributor William Cowie.

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…


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…


Get Rich Slowly contributor Lisa Aberle recently suggested putting 10 percent of income in a savings account. She provided guidelines in “How to save money each month” – tried-and-true techniques like having a yard sale, cutting the cable, dropping the landline, raising insurance deductibles, eating at home and lowering the thermostat. Suppose you’ve done all that stuff already, you’re living pretty close to the bone — and you still need to build your emergency fund. Time for…


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…


This article is by GRS contributor Honey Smith.

“Impostor syndrome” is 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 factors are in fact evidence that you are a fraud. When those who have impostor syndrome receive compliments, rather than feeling pride at the praise, sufferers probably…


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…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

Is your to-do list filled with important things that are buried by urgent tasks? Or easier and/or quicker tasks? Ostensibly, this article is about how a work-at-home parent opens a SEP-IRA (or any other type of self-employed retirement account). But also, once again, I realized that most tasks just aren’t as difficult as I imagine them to be. When I wanted to open a self-employed retirement…


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…


This article is by GRS contributor William Cowie.

Millions rely on financial advisers to do their investing. On the surface, their reasoning 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. Others believe they just don’t have enough time to learn about investing or to maintain their investments on an ongoing basis….


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

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! 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…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

Once again, 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. Our reaction to the New Year is not necessarily shared, though. For as…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Ah, New Year’s Eve — a time to wax nostalgic about the past year and think ahead to what you’d like to accomplish in the new year. Here at Get Rich Slowly, we’re proud of the content we brought you in 2015 — and we’re excited to go on exploring the topics of personal finance beyond savings accounts and certificates of deposit in 2016. We’d love to…


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…


This article is by staff writer Richard Barrington.

Your retirement depends 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…


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. Chances are, there are things that occur periodically that make you worry 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…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

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 subject of inheritances. Nobody wants to talk about it because it is inextricably linked with,…


This article is by staff writer Suba Iyer.

Do you still have money left in your Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)? If you overestimated your medical expenses for 2015, you might lose those funds under the use-it-or-lose-it rule if you don’t spend it all by the end of the year. It used to be really easy to do until a couple of years ago. In January 2011, a sweeping change made to FSAs went into…


This article is by William Cowie.

During the past year (and in years prior), all of us at Get Rich Slowly have been focused on money. And yes, that includes you. If you count them, I suspect the comments contain more words than the posts. GRS would be nothing without you. None of the writers or editors here profess to have all the answers about how best to manage our personal finances. And that’s…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Oh, 2015, where did you go? It seems only moments ago it was time for New Year’s resolutions, and now here we are again. With only a month left before another year is behind us, you may be wondering how best to maximize this year’s finances. Well, look no further! 1. Prepare for taxes. Hopefully, you’ve already started to put the year-end tax-planning 2015 checklist to…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

Were you imagining a thermos of hot coffee, maybe even a sleeping bag or tent to protect you from the elements as you camp out for hot Black Friday deals? Maybe you enjoy the mad rush of adrenaline you get when you spot and lunge for the last remaining iPad that’s on sale at an improbable price. Or maybe, just maybe, you actually prefer to avoid…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — no, not the holidays — performance-review season at work! Now is when many employers evaluate their employees’ contributions to the organization’s mission and bottom line, and then make decisions about raises, bonuses, and promotions accordingly. So it’s a great time to ask for a raise. But if you aren’t able to make a good case for yourself,…


[This is the third installment in a series examining repaying student loans. Part I was a best practices guide for repaying student loans. Part II discussed an alternative payment plan, Revised Pay As You Earn or REPAYE.]

This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Quick Links How is AGI determined? How can I lower my AGI? Is it ethical to artificially lower my AGI? Is it smart to artificially lower my AGI? In…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, the number of young women living with relatives is rising – to levels not seen since the 1940s. Fully 36.4 percent of young women between the ages of 18 to 34 are not financially capable of striking out on their own these days – even though five times more of them are college-educated today. The gender gap It’s no…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

Back in 2005, someone wrote that Priceline.com would be a good stock in which to invest. At the time, I used Priceline because I traveled frequently. I also knew of Peter Lynch’s investing-for-success strategy, which boils down to buying stock in companies you do business with. I looked at the stock, which traded for around $20 to $25 at the time, thought about it … and…


This article is by staff writer Suba Iyer.

Have you started shopping yet? No, I’m not talking about shopping for the holidays; I’m talking about something more important – your health insurance. It’s that time of year when many employers have their open-enrollment period and the federal and state health insurance marketplaces are open for business. Open enrollment is your annual opportunity to review and make changes to your health insurance plan so you…


[This is the second installment in a series examining repaying student loans. Part I was a best practices guide for repaying student loans.]

This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Pay As You Earn (PAYE) was introduced in December 2012 and has been widely touted as one of the best options for those struggling to pay back their student loans. Why is this? PAYE is an income-driven payment plan for federal student loans…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

One of our parenting goals is to rear frugal kids. Take care of their stuff. Spend wisely. Save for a rainy day. Making the goal is easy, but implementing the goal? Definitely harder. How our (current) allowance system works Over the last couple of years, we’ve been experimenting with the best ways to teach our kids to manage money. What I’ve learned is that it’s best…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

Decide to buy a computer these days and immediately you’re confronted with a complex decision process wherein you pit features against price. The choice is intensely personal and a total reflection of your tastes, priorities, and pocketbook. I know how I’ve gone about it in the past, but I was curious to see how other people approach the problem. It wasn’t hard to get people to talk….


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

Even if you’ve never made an overt decision to invest in the stock market, stocks form the foundation of your retirement investing. (At least if you’re like the vast majority of Americans, they do.) That’s because your 401(k) — or equivalent employer retirement plan — is only allowed to invest in mutual funds, and most mutual funds invest in the stock market. If you are investing…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

Ted Leonhardt’s plunge into entrepreneurship was just that — a plunge. After working for a small graphic design agency for eight years, he lost his job and was facing an uncertain future. “I was in survival mode,” he recalls. With a mortgage and a baby, he had to do something quickly. He caught a break when one of his former employer’s clients encouraged one of their…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Given that student loan debt in the U.S. tops $1.2 trillion and the average graduate owed over $30,000 in 2015, it’s no surprise topics like how to start paying student loans are necessary. However, if you’re still in school or are still saving for college (or you have kids or grandkids in that category), there’s an option for reducing or eliminating the amount of student loans…


The holiday season is fast approaching, and you might be planning to travel home to spend time with family – or your family could be coming to see you. Either way, travel expenses add up quickly, leaving little to no room for entertainment once you’re together. Sometimes that’s not a problem because there’s so much to do anyway. But other times, it really could put a crimp in your budget or strain your guests’ finances….


This article is by staff writer Richard Barrington.

Financial planning is like taking a long car trip. You plan your route, your schedule, and your eventual destination in advance; but then you have to be prepared to adjust for detours, traffic delays, bad weather, fatigue or other unexpected changes. When it comes to financial planning, you face this same conflict between sticking to a long-range plan and dealing with the realities of life that…


This is a guest post from Amanda Argue. Don’t you feel sometimes like income tax is the hardest subject in the world to understand? Well, it’s really nothing to be embarrassed about. That’s exactly what Albert Einstein said way back when: “The hardest thing in the world to understand is income taxes.” – Albert Einstein If the subject was perplexing to a genius like Einstein — and it’s only gotten more complicated since then —…


This article is by staff writer Suba Iyer.

Know your taxes! I am a big fan of the philosophy: No one cares more about your money than you do. Even if a professional prepares your taxes every year, learn to do it yourself. Aside from what you’ll save in fees, here are two benefits of learning to prepare your taxes yourself: By doing your taxes on your own, you can learn quite a bit…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

When you order something online, does the retailer charge you sales tax? Do you pay attention to that? I haven’t always. Online purchases and sales tax After we became Amazon Prime users, our online internet orders went waaaaaay up. That free shipping will getcha every time. That year, my husband and I sat in our CPA’s office, as oblivious to most tax things as, unfortunately, every…


This article is by staff writer Megan Wells.

In college, my mind was set on becoming an ethnographic researcher. I wanted to study people and cultures that were new to me while traveling as extensively as possible. After I earned my diploma, I pooled every dollar to purchase a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. Even with my rookie-style budgeting, I was able to make the trip happen – and it didn’t matter that my…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Tailor your circumstances to your strategy. Sounds a bit backwards, doesn’t it? Most of the time, we take the path of least resistance and tailor our strategy to our circumstances. And that can certainly work if all your finances need is some minor tweaking. But if you have a large goal in mind or you need to address debt, you may need a different approach. Prioritizing…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

In my recent post, “Why investing can be better than paying down debt,” Dianecy’s comment raised a question faced by many: What do you do about investing when you have student loans? It is quite the dilemma, actually, because the best time to start funding your retirement is when you’re still in your 20s. And as anyone who has been reading Get Rich Slowly for more…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Student discounts are an interesting topic. They don’t typically give you a discount for anything on campus, because those amenities are paid for by your tuition and “miscellaneous registration fees” — though lots of student groups on campus offer free food in exchange for your attendance and involvement at their events. No, student discounts are actually given at the discretion of retailers and service providers. And…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

It’s a difficult choice: On the one hand, you understand the need to begin investing early to make the miracle of compounding work for you; on the other hand, you know that, when you have debt, making those payments hampers the ability to harness the miracle of compounding. So, what should you do with that $500 you have — invest it or pay down the debt?…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Eating out for lunch. For many of us, it’s one of the biggest temptations we face at work every day because it’s a tasty, convenient excuse to get out of the office and socialize (or not!) with our coworkers. But there are good reasons not to eat out for lunch too — like how long it takes, how bad it can be for the waistline, how…


There’s something about reaching the big 4-0 that often causes you to re-evaluate your direction in life. And when you do, it’s hard to escape the fact that your day of retirement is indeed approaching faster than you ever thought possible. If you’re one of those who eliminated debt and made investing for retirement a habit since your 20s, there’s very little to do other than enjoy your 40th birthday and continue on with what…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

Have you ever received a financial boost by being part of a community? Back in April, I wrote about how (and why) to build community. Along with the article, we also conducted a survey (both of the GRS community and, later, of the general population) about points in the article. The survey covered questions such as: Does your community improve your lifespan? Can you rely on…


If you are a recent graduate, congratulations and best wishes for your success! Whether you were lucky enough to have a job lined up right after completing your degree or not, whether you graduated without student loan debt or your new balance rivals the national average of $30,000, you still need to get your financial life in place. So now that the celebrating is behind you, it’s time to get to work. What are your…


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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