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This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

When my husband and I started dating in 2004, he moved across the country to go back to school and live closer to me. Yep, much to our surprise {insert sarcasm here}, his bachelor’s degree in theater arts hadn’t helped him land his dream job. Therefore, he decided to do something different instead and chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mortuary science. As it is…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

My wife and I are new to camping. Well, it sure seems that way. When we came to America over 30 years ago, we bought Kermit, our green camping van, which we took coast to coast three times. We were young, our hair still had color. And we (being students) had time enough to see all the states (except, for some unexplained reason, West Virginia). But…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

An issue was raised in the comments of my recent post, Celebrating One Year of Homeownership. In that post, I mentioned that we currently have over $30,000 in liquid savings. At least one reader felt that, with our level of debt (currently over $390,000), that this was an excessive amount and instead we should pay down some of our debt. So I thought that this was…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

Are you frantically trying to smother the “I’m bored”s at your house too? Most of the country is knee-deep in their kids’ summer vacation now, and our house is no exception. Keeping our children entertained and out of mischief is a full-time (and, if I’m honest, a little overwhelming too) job. When I start feeling frazzled by sibling fights and whining, I want to cope by…


This article is by Les Masterson. Fathers are great at offering advice – in matters of life, love, and, of course, money.  And while we’ve all resorted to clichés at times, the wisdom fathers impart often stays with their children, who in turn pass that guidance on to the next generation. So in honor of Father’s Day, we wanted to ask readers: What did your father teach you about money? What was his best –…


This article is by staff writer Ryan Takach.

Stock-picking can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the ability to monitor the market and your investments consistently. Managed investments — such as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) — have become a popular choice because they provide exposure to a wide array of securities that would otherwise be out of reach for the average investor. So many reasons to love index funds The fund…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

It’s getting to be summertime, and the living should be easy. But if you’ve ever priced out a week-long vacation, you already know what a shocking experience it can be. Even when you’re frugal, the costs that come with domestic and international travel are inescapable and really add up quickly. Not only are you on the hook for lodging at a hotel or resort typically, but…


This article is from returning staff writer Tim Sullivan. I first became part of the Get Rich Slowly community six years ago. I lived in Austin, Texas, at the time and had to travel a lot between jobs. I say that I drove a scooter to save money on gas; but really, it was because I couldn’t afford a reliable car. The fact it cost me less than $2 to fill up my tank for…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Next week marks my two-month anniversary at my new job. Huzzah! In addition to celebrating my new, higher salary, I am also feeling simultaneously challenged and less stressed. I feel challenged because my new job is in an entirely different industry than my former position. But I’m definitely less stressed because the performance expectations are reasonable and my colleagues are fun and friendly. I may even…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

My Facebook feed is full of good news these days. This is wonderful news for my friends and family, of course. It’s not necessarily good news for my wallet. “Christmas in July” and of course the actual holiday season aside, it seems to me that June is one of the most festive times of year. Think about it — you’ve got: Engagements Bridal showers Bachelor/bachelorette parties…


This article is from returning staff writer Tim Sullivan. I haven’t spent a Father’s Day with my dad for over a decade. Don’t get me wrong, my father is awesome. If I could jet-set at will, I’d be flying non-stop to make him Bloody Marys every third Sunday in June. This year is different, though. A break in my schedule and a new nephew in the family means I am back in my hometown for…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

A 20-something acquaintance of ours recently received an inheritance of a few tens of thousands of dollars from an aunt unexpectedly. Naturally, all of us were very happy for her, and it wasn’t long before I asked what for me was the obvious question: “So, are you going to invest the money?” She looked at me as if I wanted her to bet on the frog…


This is a guest post by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox. In a little less than 18 months, I lost three treasured family members. First, my husband’s 94-year-old grandmother, Nana, passed away in late 2013 and was laid to rest just before Thanksgiving. At the end of December 2014, my sister Deborah died suddenly and completely unexpectedly. Debby was a 49-year-old healthy, vibrant person, the mother of an 11-year-old daughter, and the most caring individual I’ve ever known….


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

Summer may not have arrived according to the calendar, but it sure seems like it’s arrived based on the weather. The sunshine and balmy breezes may have you dreaming of backyard barbeques, luscious produce, and fresh salads. But your grill’s charcoal might not be the only thing on fire this year. Some food prices are heating up too, so watch your food budget. Beef After planning…


This is a guest post from former GRS staff writer Donna Freedman.

I’ve been in debt just once: during and after a two-year-long divorce, a time during which I was also a midlife university student. Good times! Nineteen months after the divorce decree, I zeroed out my legal debt. I also took a deep breath for the first time in years. Unfortunately, I had no idea what to do with the extra money each…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

It’s been just over a year since we bought our house and, as part of my celebration, I thought now would be a good time to dig into the numbers in more depth. How did our financial projections hold up to reality? The monthly budget: Then and now The first data I’d like to share is a list of monthly expenses from when we were renting…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

Have you ever had the nagging sense that you were just floating through life? Stuck in a dead-end job, perhaps? Wasting your abilities, but unsure what to do about it? Almost everyone I know has felt that way at least once. But let me ask you another question: Has that dissatisfaction caused you to spend too much money, as sort of a band-aid on a stagnant…


This is a guest post from former GRS staff writer Donna Freedman.

Looking for a cheap date, some budget-friendly culture, or ways to make your next vacation more affordable? Four words: “Pay what you want,” or PWYW. Theaters, museums, comedy troupes and other organizations may offer PWYW days or nights, where you hand over only as much as you can afford. Think of it as happy hour for entertainment — a way to get…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

Is there a bill you pay that you absolutely detest? Occasionally, I’ll get an attitude about paying one bill or another. (Ha! Paying taxes on April 15 is one bill that comes to mind immediately, for example.) I recognize that there is a reason I have the bills that I have to pay. For the most part, each represents a service that I decided was valuable and…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the various costs that pop up when you’re a homeowner. Things like furnace/AC Repair, having to put on a new roof, and annual maintenance can take a bite out of your savings account — and leave you wondering why you ever stopped renting in the first place. That’s why it makes sense to save money and take care of certain…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

Jake and Kelly (not their real names) were very dear friends of ours. Well, Kelly is still, but her husband just recently passed away. Because he was healthy and active, it came as a complete shock to us all — especially to Kelly. A familiar division of labor had developed in their 40 years of marriage. Jake was the one who took care of everything. He…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

If you or a loved one will be headed to graduate school this fall, chances are you are worried about more than dorm survival. Instead, you may be wondering how to avoid six-digit student loan debt. It’s a valid fear — no one wants to end up where I started. Fortunately, there are ways to earn a graduate degree while avoiding financial catastrophe. Using myself as…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

Interest rates are expected to rise later in 2015. What will you do with this information? You could make the case that you haven’t missed much if you didn’t keep your money in a savings account over the last few years. But still, we all need liquid funds to one degree or another – and the sooner the interest rate goes up on those balances, the better….


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

(From time to time, we look into the subject of frugal travel and vacation ideas. Holly Johnson’s post on How to save money on family vacations is one example. This year, we thought it would be fun to find some frugal and interesting ways to celebrate Memorial Day around the country. We’d love you to share your tips for a frugal Memorial Day weekend in the…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

If you are headed to college this fall (or know someone who is), then you may also be headed to life in a dorm. Like many things, living in a dorm can be an expensive proposition, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes you can avoid the expense completely — one good strategy for this is to live at home and attend an online college or…


This article is by staff writer Suba Iyer.

Presumably, it has been a little more than a month since you submitted your tax return for 2014. Did you end up owing the IRS or did you get a refund? There are plenty of personal finance articles that discuss the pros and cons for each of these situations. So we will skip those discussions and go right to the point: Are you happy with your…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

When I wrote about the pros and cons of homeschooling recently, I left one major piece of the puzzle untouched: How does a family handle the loss of income if a stay-at-home parent is required? It’s not just the loss of monthly income. The parent who stays at home doing the bulk of the educating is also missing out on some other benefits of employment (employer…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

I recently started a new job; and while I didn’t know anyone at the company prior to applying, that doesn’t mean that everything was one giant coincidence. A few years ago, one of my grad school friends mentioned that he was doing freelance SEO (search engine optimization) work for attorneys. Curious, I asked him to teach me. His response was to conference me in on a…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

The United States policy on maternity leave can be a touchy subject among families, and especially women. Unlike all other wealthy countries, many of which mandate weeks and months of paid leave for natural and adoptive mothers and fathers, the U.S. mandates no such thing. In fact, the last movement toward maternity fairness in the U.S., the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), included…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

Summer break is quickly approaching. Last year, I was worried about how I would keep the kids entertained; this year, I vacillate between two ends of the emotional spectrum — being excited and feeling a little overwhelmed. Excited, because I say “adios” to the early morning bus routine and the backpack-and-lunchbox ritual for a few glorious weeks. And socks. They quit wearing socks in the summer….


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

You hear it all the time, here and many other places: Debt is bad — evil, even — you know, like smoking and drinking and gambling. Yet, despite overwhelming evidence that smoking is bad for us, almost one person out of every five still smokes. And in the past year, that number has not declined significantly. The government even has campaigns to get people to stop…


My husband and I are millennials who expect to be part of the sandwich generation soon. The term “sandwich generation” refers to those who support both an aging parent and a child. As I read the responses to the Ask the Readers article, Are you planning to care for an aging parent, it looks like we have plenty of company, and statistics from the Pew Research Center seem to substantiate that. (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/01/30/the-sandwich-generation/):

“Nearly…


(This is Part II in a two-part series about replacing an air conditioning unit. Part I is Honey Progress Report: Replacing our HVAC, Part I. Honey Smith’s experience investigating solar panels is chronicled in Financial benefits of solar panels? Not so fast.)

This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

It’s been over a year since we bought our house and, while homeownership has been a fulfilling experience thus far, it hasn’t been cheap….


This article is by staff writer Ryan Takach.

Have you ever considered taking an overseas assignment? Getting to see the world — while earning a steady paycheck and gaining valuable work experience — is a dream for many adventurous workers. Accepting an expatriate assignment was also one of the best career decisions I ever made — but it required some serious financial preparation and thought. If you are pursuing an expat assignment, hopefully you…


No matter what I do to prevent it, spring budget creep always seems to take hold this time of year. Sometimes it seems as if the dollars start flying out the door the second the temperature starts to rise. And although I budget for all of our known expenses, the extra expenditures still add up — and hurt.

Part of our creep is a product of spring clean-up — mulch, new plants and flowers,…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

What if the average cost to educate a child was over $5,000 but you could drop it to just over $500 per child? According to a really old (1997) report on homeschooling, you could do just that by taking your child out of public school and schooling them at home. Last winter, after several days off school with bitter-cold temperatures, coupled with a few serious cases…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

A few weeks ago, I got an unexpected invitation to lunch from my husband. His afternoon meetings had been rescheduled and he was coming home early. We went to a little Subway store in a shopping center near my office. The patio area in back has a beautiful view of the picturesque homes on the large canal by the bay, and it’s perfect to just talk and…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Disclosure: I am not an attorney or HR specialist. This is just my experience with, and understanding of, FMLA. According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL) website, “The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides certain employees with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to…


(Petrish Dyer is an active military Navy Chief, currently stationed in Japan. Please understand that her duties and time zone may prevent her from responding to comments in a timely manner even though she would like to. Petrish is also the founder of debtfreemartini.com where she blogs and inspires others to live a debt-free life.) A few years ago, I was at my lowest point financially. I was looking for a solution to rise above…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

(Since April is Financial Literacy Month, a number of articles will be devoted to more educational topics. This is Part IV in a four-part series about how understanding economic cycles could inform your financial decisions. Part I is Understanding economic cycles: An introduction. Part II is Recognizing economic seasons: recovery and growth. Part III is The fall and winter seasons of the economic cycle.) In the…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

You may have noticed that, since last September, many of my posts here at Get Rich Slowly have focused on the job search. Some of you may have wondered why I would write about such a topic at all, since my job tenure was over seven years. Well, it’s because I have been job-hunting. And I succeeded! As I write this, I just wrapped up my…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

It’s spring! Don’t you just feel like hitting the road? Well, maybe you do if you don’t travel for a living. Either way, luggage. I’ve had my fair share of experiences with luggage over the years. Lost luggage, broken luggage, matching luggage — you name it. Currently, I travel with a non-descript, black roller that I can barely distinguish from anyone else’s. I bought it for $49…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

“Spring has sprung,” as they say in my little corner of the Midwest. Our magnolia tree is in partial bloom, the daffodils and hyacinths are in full bloom, and most trees are starting to bud. I love this time of year! If you have been missing J.D. Roth’s garden posts, I plan to share periodic posts with a gardening theme. Speaking of gardening, some of our…


(This is Part III in a four-part series about how understanding economic cycles could inform your financial decisions. Part I is Understanding economic cycles: An introduction. Part II is Recognizing economic seasons: recovery and growth. Part IV is How to profit from economic cycles.) You will recall from Part II of this short series about economic seasons that the spring of early recovery and the summer growth season resemble the corresponding seasons in nature fairly…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

Earlier this month, my little family of four embarked on a much-needed spring getaway to the Caribbean. I’m sure that doesn’t sound frugal at all, but rest assured that it was. After a year of planning and a whole lot of strategizing, we were able to book that particular trip for what amounted to a boatload of hotel loyalty points, a bunch of airline miles, and…


While the rest of our group galloped up the mountain in Haiti, I was stuck at a flat area partway up with two other people in our party who just couldn’t make it another step: a man who was pushing 80 and another guy who was overweight. I was so frustrated with my lack of stamina and embarrassed at my inability to push my early-30s self any more physically.

Considering that I used to…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

(Since April is Financial Literacy Month, a number of articles will be devoted to more educational topics. This is Part II in a four-part series about how understanding economic cycles could inform your financial decisions. Part I is Understanding economic cycles: An introduction. Part III is The fall and winter seasons of the economic cycle. Part IV is How to profit from economic cycles.) In Part…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

(Since April is Financial Literacy Month, a number of articles will be devoted to more educational topics. This is Part I in a four-part series about how understanding economic cycles could inform your financial decisions. Part II is Recognizing economic seasons: recovery and growth. Part III is The fall and winter seasons of the economic cycle. Part IV is How to profit from economic cycles.) Getting…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

For the last few months, I’ve been talking about various aspects of job-hunting. But what do you do if you can’t find a job? OK, you can start with cutting your budget to the bone and applying for public assistance programs if you are eligible. But what next? Well, as with many things, the short answer is: It depends. On what, you may ask? Here’s what…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

As we finished up our tax return this year, it turned out that we owed. Great. We don’t have to scrape the money together. We had planned for the extra liability when an unexpected consulting gig came together for my husband at the end of 2014. But nonetheless, it stings when you have to write a check to the Internal Revenue Service. (And besides, you just want…


This article is by staff writer Ryan Takach.

There is much to consider before you decide to join a company. Of course it is important to understand the company culture, the workload, management style, performance expectations, pay and benefits. But you will also want to be sure that a prospective employer is viable. To help you gauge how strong your continued employment and even potential for career growth is within the company, you may…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

That Walmart, and more recently, McDonald’s are giving their workers much-overdue raises is now old news. What few realize is those raises might cost you a lot more than you expect — even your job. Think that’s a little overstated? Hear me out. The good news Many have documented the fact that this recovery has, for the most part, bypassed America’s rank and file. Employment statistics…


When you are living paycheck to paycheck, down on your luck, or living a student lifestyle, it can be difficult to imagine a world where you are suddenly building wealth. Take this comment from Kendra on one of our Ask the Readers posts, “What do you do when you’re broke?”

“I feel like like Caleb a bit — in that most of these blogs don’t cover how to get started. I mean for a…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

We spend a lot of time talking about green here on Get Rich Slowly. But let’s direct our attention for a couple minutes to another color: blue. I first read about the Blue Zones in a magazine a few years ago. These blue zones were identified after researching some of the longest living people on the planet. Although nine characteristics were associated with these blue zones,…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

We spent a fair amount of time exploring investments in the month of March. We looked at how to ladder certificates of deposit (CDs), scrutinized the decision to include gold in your portfolio, and even considered the growth of hedge funds. Over the months and years, we have discussed rental properties, peer-to-peer lending and everyone’s favorite, the index fund. There are a lot of reasons to invest…


This is a guest post from former GRS staff writer Donna Freedman.

A blogger who goes by “empressjuju” thinks she and her husband spend too much on restaurants. “Every month we find ourselves rushed, or tired, or invited out with friends and there goes the budget,” she wrote in a post on her website, (the) Vegas in Austin. Her husband wondered whether it is unreasonable to spend less. Given that they want to be…


Your 30s are a big deal. You may be starting a family or planning to make major purchases, such as a home. It’s also a time when many begin to ask this critical question: How much to save for retirement in my 30s? The short answer is most experts say you should be socking away 15% of your gross income by your 30s — that’s your income before taxes and other deductions. But before you max out…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

Do you dread getting older? There is no need to. Getting old is not all creaky joints and hearing aids. Above and beyond the joys of travel and sleeping in, there are many benefits awaiting those who cross the bridge of the great 6-0. I mentioned in an earlier post that our life expectancy is increasing with every passing year. Not only are we living longer, but…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Speaking about building wealth, J.D. Roth felt that he could never make this point emphatically enough: “Frugality is important, but if you want to make real progress, increase your income.” It’s in this context that being able to ace an interview becomes a very important skill. And certainly part of the interview process should include your asking questions of a prospective employer to make sure that the…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

How are you saving on spring break? A few weeks ago, I attended a daytime get-together comprised mostly of mothers of school-aged children. With spring break approaching, the topic inevitably came up, to which everyone in the room simultaneously let out a grunt of frustration. Unlike some parts of the country, our school system works on a modified year-round schedule. So instead of one week of…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

If you have ever heard talk of Quantitative Easing (QE) and “tapering,” you may have been left wondering what it is exactly. The terms are bandied about so frequently these days that it is rather difficult to parse out the facts from the political hype that surrounds every move the Federal Reserve Board, or Fed, makes. Another, more pointed question to ask might be, “Does Quantitative…


This article is by staff writer Suba Iyer.

Etsy, TaskRabbit, Uber, AirBnB, and numerous other technologies make earning a little extra income (or even a full-time income) easier than ever. Almost anyone can be a micropreneur these days, even if they started out just pursuing a hobby. The sharing economy or peer-to-peer economy is growing at a record pace by leveraging disruptive technologies. But a lot of people don’t seem to understand how the…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

I like saving money — but it has to be easy. And spending hours clipping and organizing coupons, or planning epic shopping trips based on my coupon stash is not easy. Most of the time — if I clip coupons at all — they end up floating around the bottom of my purse, expired. Instead, I usually choose to save in other ways. Yet, there are coupons….


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, around 108 million Americans go without dental insurance during any given year. And since paying the full weight of dental care is often out of the question for those living on low incomes, many people simply choose to go without or get by with as few cleanings and check-ups as they possibly can. However, if you do…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

Honey Smith’s article about achieving your long-term financial goals got me thinking. It’s one thing to tackle big, long-term goals if you are healthy and employed. But hopefully you have to imagine how difficult it is to stay on track to reach them if you aren’t. What if the bottom has dropped out in your world? What if you lost your job – and even lost your…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

In my last post, I talked about how personal finance is about playing the long game and “making choices that are harder in the short term for the good of the long term.” But when the payoff is so many years down the road, it can be difficult to stay on track. In order to actually reach long-term goals, you have to keep making the right choices…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

[Editor’s note: This is Part II of a two-part series on whether it makes sense to include gold in your portfolio. Part I is “Should gold be part of my portfolio?“] This is the second installment of a two-part series about gold as an investment for your portfolio. The two posts may appear like a candidate’s debate or popularity contest, but they really aren’t. Our purpose…


This article is by staff writer Robert Brokamp.

[Editor’s note: This is Part I of a two-part series on whether it makes sense to include gold in your portfolio. Part II is “Why gold should be part of your investment portfolio.”] Humans have valued gold for several millennia, and that will likely continue. It is understandable, then, that a human such as yourself might consider trading some green for gold. I say, “Don’t bother,”…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

When you think about it, personal finance is about playing the long game. Sure, it’s about other things as well. It’s about paying off debt. It’s about spending less than you earn. But when you think about it overall, it’s about making choices that are harder in the short term for the good of the long term. Here’s what I mean…. Saving for retirement Saving for retirement,…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

Have you heard the saying, “You are what you eat”? It rolls off the tongue so easily, doesn’t it? These are words to the wise if you are interested in a healthy lifestyle, however, they may not offer much help for your finances. But there is a similar thought — one of the truths I have seen so often in business as well as in personal…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

My neighbors shake their heads and think I am certifiably crazy, but I have noticed that they are careful how they say it. You see, when we get snow, I am always out there shoveling the sidewalks for three or four houses each way down the street from ours. “Why risk offending the Energizer Bunny with the shovel?” I hear them thinking. “He might stop, and…


This article is by staff writer Suba Iyer.

When I was in my 20s, I was single, without kids, renting, had graduated from college, working at my first job and no interest whatsoever in taxes. My feeling was, Why should I waste time thinking about taxes? As a single, renter with no kids, I would get absolutely no deductions or credits — and in addition to that, I had nothing to itemize. That meant…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

When my mom was in her early 20s, she took a few months to travel abroad with a few of her college friends. I wouldn’t call it an around-the-world trip since they only visited a few regions, but I would call it amazing. So amazing, in fact, that my mom shared numerous stories of her travels with me as I was growing up. I remember those…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

When I packed my hospital bag before having a baby last summer, I tucked my laptop in along with everything else. I thought I might squeeze in some work between contractions, or when the baby was sleeping. Or something. (I’ll pause while you all laugh.) The laptop actually did make it out of the bag once while I, already bleary from lack of sleep, held my baby…


This article is by staff writer Financial Sam.

Back during the dotcom collapse of 2000, I was losing money in the stock market like a champ. I was a second-year financial analyst who had a serious case of confusing brains with a bull market. When I turned to my VP and told him I was still bullish about the stock market, he almost slapped me upside the head. “We’re in a bear market, son….


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

According to a 2013 Nilson report, credit and debit card fraud were the cause of over $11.2 billion in losses in 2012. And if you think that sounds bad, just wait; it’s expected to get much worse. As USA Today reported last year, hackers and scammers have turned stealing credit card numbers into an art form. By focusing on major retailers such as P.F. Chang’s, Target, and…


How to build a CD ladder? It’s a great question — unless you have no idea what a CD “ladder” even is. Let’s start at the beginning. A CD ladder is a method of staggering the maturity dates of certificates of deposits so you can invest your money safely and still keep some of it easily available for emergencies. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures certificates of deposit (or time deposits) just like they…


Your 20s are filled with milestones and life-changing experiences. It’s a time when the things you learn start to become habits and when financial decisions can either lead you to great success or become a problem for you in the future. It would be great to have perfect foresight so that you knew the best decision to make in every situation – but in the absence of perfect knowledge, even knowing what not to do…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

Last week’s bitter-cold temperatures presented an awful time for my furnace to start acting funny. It would shut off for no reason only to restart when I fiddled with the thermostat. Then it would shut off again without me realizing it, only for the temperature to plunge to 50 degrees while I plugged away at my laptop. Then, all of a sudden, I would be absolutely…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

As I mentioned in my homeownership and priorities post, one housing project that we wanted to tackle sooner rather than later was replacing our HVAC unit. Within months of moving into our new house, we had to shell out a thousand bucks to repair our 20-plus-year-old HVAC unit when it broke on a 108-degree day. While we haven’t had a problem since (knock on wood), the fellow…


After a brief stint in the automotive industry in Detroit, Ryan Takach moved to Chicago to work for a major financial institution. The antics of traders on the trading floor stoked his curiosity for the markets, and an ex-pat assignment in London provided additional exposure to the global financial system. These experiences encouraged his investing and provided the financial foundation to manage the money challenges of a 30-something. He currently lives in San Francisco enjoying…


As an active-duty military member, preparing and filing your tax return can be a nightmare. Regardless of your duties or where you’re stationed, tax season will cause you to stop what you’re doing to complete this important task. However, Uncle Sam has taken into account your unique lifestyle with special tax laws. These include the extension of deadlines for filing and paying taxes while on active duty in a combat zone. But did you know…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

As someone who doesn’t like to shop for groceries (or lug them all from my car to the house), the thought of finding a service that helps me avoid the check-out line altogether is very appealing. A service that would put my groceries away would be even more amazing, but I won’t get carried away. Even without that added bonus, though, the advantages start to stack…


This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

Back in 2008, Holly P left a comment on J.D. Roth’s article about teaching kids to invest saying: “I’d love to know how your sibling got your nephew to think about actually saving. Despite repeated efforts to get them to save, my kids want to spend every cent as soon as it hits their palms.” It’s a common problem for parents. They see the need to teach…


This article is by staff writer Robert Brokamp.

Modern technology is amazing. For example, thanks to the wonders of Find My iPhone — an application which allows you to use another device to locate a phone on a map — I was able to watch my stolen iPhone travel northward until the signal stopped deep in the heart of Washington, D.C. I haven’t heard from it since, so I don’t think the person who…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

For most people, pursuing credit card rewards is a game of cat and mouse. You keep a watchful eye on your credit score, seek out the best offers, and strike when the iron is hot. But that is just one component of the hobby; the other part of the equation is that it can be extremely exciting to watch your point balances climb. Obviously, the more…


Retirement travel is in. Out is the era of spending unending retirement days on a golf course in plaid pants and interminable games of bridge with the blue-rinse set.

The new generation of retirees is looking for more adventure, with more activity … and lower costs. Few strategies deliver like the recreational vehicle (RV) retirement lifestyle. A few years ago, my wife and I got a glimpse of it in the most unexpected…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Short answer? Yes. But that wasn’t very interesting, now was it? So let’s weigh the options for working while in school to get a better understanding of why you should consider it. Working as a way to pay for school There are lots of stories about people working their way through school. Unfortunately, it is becoming less common in some quarters, but perhaps the biggest reason…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Love is in the air at this time of year, and the Internet is full of tips and tricks for how to celebrate Valentine’s Day on every end of the spending spectrum. All price points are represented, from customized jewelry to those with something a little more affordable in mind for Valentine’s Day. In past years, we’ve asked people to share their Valentine’s Day plans, but this…


Savings accounts? Are you crazy? Boo, hiss. These days, savings accounts are only used as joke fodder for late-night comedians, but there are benefits of a savings account. Take the mom who wants to teach her kids the value of prudent financial management, for example:

For little Bobby’s eighth birthday, his mother takes him down to the local credit union to open a savings account. Figuring that all the grownups in his life would pour…


This article is by staff writer Lisa Aberle.

The odometer on my car is nearing 223,000 miles. While I am hoping the dented-on-all-four-sides sedan is going to make it to at least 250,000 miles and beyond, realistically, we need to plan for a replacement. But before we go car shopping, we need to decide what we are looking for. There are a lot of things to consider here like the manufacturer, style, color, etc.,…


This article is by contributor Holly Johnson.

When my husband proposed to me on July 10th, 2005, I was ecstatic. In fact, I’m pretty sure I screeched “Yeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssss” 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. Unfortunately (fortunately?), a few of the older ladies…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

In the last 12 months, my husband and I both turned 35 years old. Although I hadn’t put my finger on it until now, I think there is something about that age that made us want to reassess our current financial strategy. But the truth is, gratefully, that I think we are on the right track. We are debt-free aside from a small mortgage, we save…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

Spoiler alert: Stress ahead! More than three in four women think about money more than sex, and more than one in four Americans in relationships feel money-related stress affects their desire for sex according to a survey conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Yodlee from December 6 to December 10, 2013. The 2,039 U.S. respondents were adults ages 18 and…


This article is by staff writer Holly Johnson.

Over the past 12 months, I have used credit card rewards to finance the bulk of our trips to Jamaica, Las Vegas, Denver, New Orleans, London, Paris, and St. Maarten. And in the process, I’ve also cashed in a five-figure sum of hotel loyalty points, airline miles and cash-back rewards. Of course, I blame part of this on my love of family travel, but it also has…


You’ve seen them before: 10 mistakes that could ruin your retirement, 6 things to avoid, and so on. But many of those lists are copies of each other. Make no mistake: Common sense is common sense, and there’s only so many ways to catalog it. The common sense behind any successful savings or investment plan? Rhythm, or doing the same thing month after month. When that rhythm gets disrupted, it can take months, even years…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

I’ve talked about graduate school before, but mostly in terms of how my decision got me deep into student loan debt. I’ve talked less about that decision in terms of its impact on my career. For a long time, I thought my career path was clear. I started working at a writing center as an undergraduate and stayed there for four years. I adored what I did;…


Tax season is fast approaching and, if you are among the diligent, chances are you have already started your annual tax preparation. Close to 40 percent of all Americans use software to do their tax preparation on their own computers, according to the National Retail Foundation; and TurboTax (sold by Intuit, and maker of the ever-popular Quicken and QuickBooks products) is the most popular of the tax-prep software products in use today.

TurboTax has…


This article is by staff writer Honey Smith.

In my homeownership and priorities progress report in September, I mentioned that Jake and I were considering getting solar panels installed on our new house. Although that was our last priority, our first priority was replacing our HVAC unit. We thought there might be HVAC units that were made to be compatible with solar panels. As a result, we decided that it might make sense to investigate…


This article is by staff writer William Cowie.

A few weeks ago, we asked the question “What is your investment strategy?” and described the survey Get Rich Slowly did of attitudes toward investing and a few related subjects. In that post, we noted, with a degree of surprise, that over 40 percent of respondents did not invest at all — and that the youngest respondents were the largest group of non-investors. What follows might…


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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