Chris S

Is Gold a Worthy Investment?

September 29, 2011

The business news channels are constantly talking about gold, and commercials on nearly every channel are telling you to buy gold now.  Gold sounds exciting right!?  I mean, it’s gold!  But have you ever really thought about buying some?  More importantly, should you buy some?  We’ll take a brief look at some historical gold data and […]

Ways to Save Money on Food

September 19, 2011

Grocery and restaurant bills can really become a large chunk of your monthly budget, especially if you have a large family or dine out often.  Here are some tips on how to save money on your food costs, both dining out and at home. Dining Out.  It is usually more expensive to dine out than […]

Should You Create a Retirement Trust Fund?

September 15, 2011

If you’ve talked to a financial planner about retirement, you’ve probably heard at least a little about creating a trust fund for retirement.  In summary, a retirement trust fund is an irrevocable trust whereby assets (money, securities, property) are transferred to a trust and then managed by a trustee for the benefit of the primary […]

Make $500 Selling Your Used Stuff

September 12, 2011

Our family has never been a fan of having or shopping at garage sales, but since the emergence of ebay and then craigslist, we’ve used online resources to easily make a few hundred dollars a year – by selling our stuff. If you’re ready to make anywhere from a few dollars to a few thousand […]

Are Savings Bonds Worth It?

September 7, 2011

18 years ago I started buying EE saving bonds for my nephew.  Back then, there was no online trading and buying stocks for someone else seemed impossible, so it seemed like the logical choice.  A few years before that, I had cashed in the savings bonds that my parents bought me to pay for college.  […]

Marriage and Money

September 2, 2011

There are so many different marriage scenarios that make it somewhat difficult to manage your money during marriage.  The key factors that determine how you should manage money in marriage are your age, income disparity, spending differences, number of marriages, desire for independence, and financial prowess.  We’ll cover each one briefly to see what type of […]

Planning for Early Retirement

August 31, 2011

If you’re over 30 you should’ve started at least thinking about retirement.  If you’re really motivated, you should not only be thinking, but also planning for early retirement.  As far as I know, everyone wants an early retirement.  However, if you’re lucky enough to save for one, should you really take it?  Let’s look at some […]

Ways to Invest Your Money

August 30, 2011

So you’ve saved some money and are looking for ways to invest it.  There are SO many options available.  And although its overwhelming to cover them all, here is a summary of the most common ways to invest.  Here, we’ll go over the brief pros and cons of each investment, starting with the least risky […]

Penny Stocks – A Good Investment?

August 26, 2011

Are penny stocks a good investment?  I’m sure you’ve seen numerous emails, articles and advertisements promising to get rich by buying penny stocks.  Well, let’s look at the attributes of penny stocks and then decide if it is worthy of inclusion into your investment portfolio. Low price.  By definition, penny stocks are priced below one […]

Don’t Believe Inflation is Low

August 25, 2011

If you look at the published U.S. inflation rate for 2010 it is 1.5% and for 2011 it is about 3% so far.  While I believe these numbers are accurate for what the inflation measures, I do not believe they represent the inflation rate that average families experience. I was looking at our bank and credit card […]

Save a Million Dollars

August 24, 2011

A million dollars isn’t as much as it used to be, but it is a number that most people get excited about when it comes to saving and investing.  The easiest way to save a million dollars is to save as much money as you can every month.  The second best way is to invest […]

How Credit Cards Can Change Your Life

August 23, 2011

Credit cards are an important part of learning money discipline.  They also offer convenience and help you build your credit score, which in the long run can save you thousands of dollars in lower interest rates. I’ve used credit cards three different ways throughout my life: When I was in college I used them to buy […]

I Want to Retire at 50, How Much Money Do I Need?

August 22, 2011

No matter how young you are it’s never too early to start planning for retirement.  For most of us, 50 years of age would be an ideal retirement age.  You’re still young enough to enjoy life and hopefully have a lot of time to do it.  So, how much money do you actually need to retire at […]

15 Ways to Save Money on Landscaping

August 16, 2011

Landscaping costs can be downright outrageous!  We got a quote for a 40 foot retaining wall and it was over $9,000, and that didn’t include getting permits.  For our house, we hit the 10 year old mark and the landscaping started to look kind of dated.  Here are some tricks we learned to help us […]

Borrowing to Invest

August 16, 2011

Alright, let’s be honest.  Have you ever borrowed money to invest?  All the investing rules say not to, but hey, isn’t that what buying investment property is effectively doing?  Although we’ve been told that it’s okay to borrow for real estate because prices only go up and are more stable, I’m not so sure that […]

The Basic Financial Concepts

August 14, 2011

In our opinion, there are three basic financial concepts that are the most important financial concepts to apply to your investing and saving methodology.  Understanding these concepts and applying them to your savings and investments can greatly increase your long-term investment returns.  Understanding them will also help you understand why it is important to maximize […]

Should I Pay Off My Car Loan Early?

August 11, 2011

So you’ve saved some money and are trying to reduce your monthly expenses to get your household budget in order.  Should you pay off your car loan early?  Let’s go over the pros and cons of paying your car loan early. First of all, find out what interest rate you’re paying on your loan and […]

Top Ways to Waste Your Money

August 10, 2011

Wasting your money is the opposite of saving money.  There are hundreds of ways that people waste their money every day.  Today, we’ll focus on some of the most common and obvious ways.  Check our list and see if anything you do makes the list.  If so, maybe you can change your habits to prevent […]

Should You Hire an Investment Advisor?

August 9, 2011

People often ask me whether or not they should hire a financial advisor to help plan for retirement and invest their assets.  I almost always say no.  It’s not that there aren’t a lot of well qualified and worthy investment advisors, it’s really that it’s not that hard to do yourself. Unless you have millions to invest […]

A Free Household Budget Worksheet

August 6, 2011

So you’re ready to start filling out your household budget worksheet?  We’ve created a fairly detailed yet easy to complete free openoffice and excel household budget worksheet to help you get started.  Start by downloading your preferred version and then we’ll go over the instructions.  If you don’t have Microsoft Office you can download a […]

100 Biggest Ways to Save Money

August 4, 2011

Need some money saving ideas?  We’ve compiled a list of 100 ways to save money.  For this list, we’ve started with the biggest ways to save money at the top of the list and then worked out way down to some small but still useful ways to save even more money.  Not all tips will apply to everyone […]

Start Your Household Budget

August 3, 2011

The first thing you need to do before you start your household budget worksheet is to get motivated.  Finding motivation to track expenses, think critically about your spending, and then to put it all into a spreadsheet can be very difficult.  To get over that hump you need to think of something positive to motivate […]

Watch Your Savings Grow

August 1, 2011

Need motivation to save and invest?  Here are some charts that can help you find that motivation. Do you put money into your savings / investment account every month?  Good for you!  Do you ever wonder if it’s worth it?  After all, month by month it doesn’t seem to make much difference right?  Well, you’re wrong!  It […]

Three Biggest Ways to Save Money

July 31, 2011

There are thousands of ways to save money, but there are only a few ways to save a lot of money.  Here, we’ll cover the three biggest ways to save money.  Logically, they are by reducing your three biggest expenses – your home, your car, and your insurance. First, look at your home expenses.  Whether you […]

A Simple Investing Strategy

July 30, 2011

Nearly every investor thinks, at one time in their life, that they can beat the market.  Well, experienced investors know better.  While there are many complex and computer-driven investing models that look like they work on historical data, there is no proof that any of these models actually work.  In our opinion, the best investment […]

How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?

July 28, 2011

Every person that is or has ever planned for retirement asks themselves the question: How much money do I need to retire?  Well, there’s no perfect answer for this question and everyone’s needs are different, so the best way to find the answer you’re looking for is to look at it from many different perspectives […]

It’s All About The Money

July 27, 2011

Why not launch our money blog with a quick article about why we are writing about money?  While we know money isn’t everything and that it can’t buy you happiness, it sure comes in a close second.  On the reverse side, look at all of the problems caused by not having money.  Many marriages are […]