Market-linked CDs explained

Photo illustration of a piggy bank and CDs

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.

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More about...Banking

The savers tax credit explained

savers tax credit illustration

A little known tax credit can help you save for retirement, even if you feel you don't have the money to do so.

The formal name is the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit. Most people, however, know it simply as the Saver's Credit, a two-timing savings strategy that reduces taxes and increases retirement.

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More about...Taxes

Guide to using micro-jobs to boost savings

A fall day in the park

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" -- as they described it -- in such jobs after analyzing Census Bureau information on non-employer businesses of one, in other words, self-employed, unincorporated sole proprietors.

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Beginners’ guide to investing

Photo of a couple on a couch

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 one place so anyone can quickly get a sense of the mechanics of the market and what it means to their future.

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College Grads: How to Increase Your Salary

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 or her salary after graduation?

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More about...Career, Planning

11 Myths That Stifle Budding Entrepreneurs

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 to fall. One by one, they took communication in-house, including that Fortune 50 client which made up 60 percent of my client portfolio.

Being an entrepreneur has many, many rewards: It feeds your passion, you don't have to answer to "The Man," and you can insert a few coins into your piggy bank. In that sense, having your own business is also a drug: The highs and lows directly correlate to how the business is going. It's always on your mind and you are always thinking about the next big win, the next big growth move. That's how it was for me anyway.

I'm still connected to the business through marriage. My wife took it over. She even throws me an assignment here and there. She's a great boss too!!

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More about...Career, Side Hustles

Best Lower Risk Investments for the Average Saver

Woman at a computer

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 accounts like savings accounts, money markets and certificates of deposit.

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More about...Banking, Investing

21 Ways to Stretch Your Dollar While in College

Picture of college graduates

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 dollar and ease your financial strain while in college.

1. Drop the latte habit

This one is a no-brainer. Skip the white-chocolate-cinnamon-chai-latte* with extra pumps and learn to love ... plain old coffee. And, of course, brew it yourself in your room (single-serve coffeemakers are quick and easy) or get your coffee as part of your meal plan. Consider this: According to a report by CBS News, the average cost for a single trip to a nationally recognized coffeehouse is $3.25. Not bad for a quick pick-me-up, right? But three trips a week add up to $42.25 a month. Even cutting back on one trip a week puts $126 back into your pocket over a typical school year of nine months. Other ideas: Instead of ordering a latte, ask for an Americano and add your own half-and-half. Or ask for a medium-size specialty drink with a large-size cup full of ice for a larger iced coffee drink at a lesser price. (*real drink!)

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More about...Debt

How to Cut the Cable Cord in 5 Easy Steps

Illustration about cutting the cord with cable

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 devices in 2016, including mobile, laptop, desktop and tablet. Add television on top of that and we sit in front of multiple devices throughout each day. As “The Internet of Things” matures, the cost of communications will command a bigger portion of our household budgets. On the horizon: advancements in home and health monitoring, wearable tech and mobile-everything.

It also costs a ton. Cable, internet and phone can easily top out at $250/month. Here's how I tackled the problem:

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More about...Frugality