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One of the things that has struck me as some gear up for what some believe will be the Rapture tomorrow, is that we really do want our assets cared for after we are gone. It’s why we get involved in estate planning. We write wills and form trusts in an effort to make sure that those we leave behind are cared for. As I’ve read stories of post-rapture services — especially pet care –…

One of the biggest questions people ask about finances is what the 30% rule means for housing. Does it mean net or gross income? Is it just the mortgage plus interest, or does it include other expenses? You might get several different answers. The most generous answer, of course, is that you can “afford” to pay 30% of your gross income on mortgage and interest payments. While you might feel good about this plan, it…

How many personal finance blogs are there? Too many to count. Here are some resources to help you discover the best personal finance blogs on the web. An Overwhelming List of PF Blogs WiseBread – Explore more than 700 personal finance blogs. Many of them include coupon, savings and mommy bloggers. I browsed several of the sites and some of the blogs are not updated regularly. Regardless, this is the most comprehensive list of blogs…

We hear a lot about how money can’t buy happiness. However, in some cases it really can. Recently, a study pointed out that $75,000 was the salary for happiness. Many might argue that they are perfectly happy with less than $75,000 a year. And that is probably true. However, the report does point something interesting out: Money can contribute to happiness. [ad#Content 300×250] It would be nice to think that money can’t really buy happiness,…

Have you ever wondered what a stock, bond, or mutual fund are exactly? If so, then this is the post for you. These terms are thrown around daily on stations like CNBC. It’s just expected that the average person knows what they are and the differences between them. Well I have found that this is not always the case. Stocks A stock is simply ownership in a corporation. Stockholders are known as equity holders. An…

Right now, interest rates are at record lows. This means that if you are going to borrow money, now is a good time to do it. (It is also a good time to pay down debt, since more of your payment will go to principal.) If you have been looking for a good time to make home improvements, this might be it, depending on your individual situation. Home equity loan rate and HELOC rates are…

There has been a great deal of talk about the changes that many have made in response to the recent recession. Many have made financial changes, paying down credit card debt and building savings. A little more conscious spending is taking place. As a result, many people are now creating a better financial foundation, rather than overspending into a precarious situation. But will it last? It’s easy to make financial changes when you know that…

Earlier this week, Federal Reserve rules requiring banks to get your permission for debit card overdrafts went into effect. This might not be much of a surprise to you, since your bank has probably been sending you information, and encouraging you to opt in. If you do not opt in, any debit card transactions for amounts you do not have in your checking account will be denied. The End of Automatic Debit Overdraft Protection Prior…

One of the most frustrating things about personal finance is feeling as though you cannot save any money. You know how important it is to save for such milestones as retirement, and that it is vital that you build up an emergency fund. But finding the money to do so can be difficult. If you are looking for ways to save more, you might want to try spending a little less. You might be surprised…

Retirement is one of those big milestones we mark in life. However, getting there is more of a journey than an event. On your way to retirement, it is a good idea to have small goals that can help you along to a successful retirement. While there are a number of mini-milestones you should attempt to reach on your way to retirement, here are 3 goals that can be especially helpful as you set up…

One of the ways that you can save for retirement is to open an IRA. An IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account that allows you to build a nest egg through investments. There are any number of investments that can be held in an IRA, including Certificates of Deposit (CDs). When you have a CD in your IRA, the interest earned is either tax-deferred (Traditional IRA) or tax-free (Roth IRA). Many banks are starting to…

Marriage can be challenging on its own. Learning to live with someone else is difficult in any circumstance, and no amount of love or passion can change the fact that marriage requires conscientious effort to ensure success. Adding money troubles to the equation can make marriage even more difficult. Money elicits strong emotional responses, and stresses related to money can easily spill over into our relationships. One way you can reduce marital stress due to…