About Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is an author, journalist, and award-winning personal finance freelance writer. Her work can be found at The Hill, Investopedia, Student Loan Hero, US News & World Report, The Huffington Post, and many other outlets.

Create Your Very Own Money-Making Small Business from a Hobby

What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have a hobby? If so, chances are that your hobby costs money, rather than bringing money in. But it doesn't have to be that way. If you have a hobby, and a little creativity, you might be surprised at the way you can earn money from something you do for fun. Many just look for ways that a hobby can pay for itself. A little extra income can go a long way in justifying your hobby to yourself and your financial … [Read more...]

Why I Like “Spending Plan” Better than “Budget”

I really hate the word "budget." Of course, like so many things in life, my aversion to the word budget has more to do with my own personal baggage, then any real problem with the word itself. In the case of the word budget, my personal finance baggage is quite heavy. When I'm talking about how I manage my money, I prefer to use the phrase "spending plan." It seems, I think, to convey a better sense of control and purpose. I know that a spending plan is, … [Read more...]

The Secret to Understanding Your Personal Money Style

What's your style? One of the best things you can do for yourself is to understand yourself.  This advice is often given to those preparing to embark on a personal relationship with someone else. However, this advice also applies to the way you deal with money. Your relationship with money needs to be divined by who you are, and that means that you need to understand your personal money style. Beyond Saver vs. Spender In many cases, we tend to label others - and … [Read more...]

My Favorite Personal Finance & Business Books

There is no doubt that the best personal finance books can make a great resource. What you read about finances can change the way you think about -- and interact with -- money. Everyone has their favorite personal finance books, but I'd like to share my favorite 10 with you: The Millionaire Fastlane - This book, by MJ DeMarco offers some straight talk about getting rich. I really enjoyed how he points out that working away slowly at a traditional job is not the way to … [Read more...]

Find the Perfect Mix of College Funding Options

Can you afford this? When it comes to college, chances are that you will need to look for some sort of funding. Whether you expect your children to pay for their own college costs, or whether you plan to help them, understanding the options is important. Because college has become so expensive, it is a good idea to plan for college as soon as possible. Don't rely on any one college funding source; cultivate multiple options for college, including: Tax … [Read more...]

Are Your Investment Earnings Being Undermined?

Are avoidable expenses affecting your earnings? When you invest, it's important to make sure that you are doing your best to maximize your earnings. Many of us think only of whether or not the investment account is doing well. However, there are some other things to pay attention to. Here are a few things that might undermine your investment earnings: Fees You might be surprised at how fees can erode your investment earnings. Any investment is going to come with … [Read more...]

The Best Things to Spend Money On: Spending that Reflects Your Values

Are you spending on the things that you value? Often, we think about spending in terms of whether or not we are getting a "good deal," or whether we are going to use the item we are buying. Sometimes we forget that we will feel better about different spending decisions we make based on our values. Take a few minutes to consider your values, and whether or not your spending is in line with what's important to you. What Do You Value? Honestly evaluate what you … [Read more...]

How to Decide Which College to Attend

Thinking about college? Consider these factors when making your decision. One of the bigger decisions you will make, if you decide to attend college, is which school to go to. Which college you attend can impact your future earnings, as well as play a role in how much student loan debt you end up with upon graduation. It also contributes to the kind of experiences you have, including resume building experiences. As you consider which college might be best for … [Read more...]

How to Budget Your Money on Variable Income

The combination of technology and the recession has given rise to a whole group of freelancers and other home business owners who no longer have a set income, courtesy of "the man." Having a variable income presents certain challenges when it comes to budgeting. With some planning, though, it is possible to create a working budget that allows you to meet your needs, and even take care of some of your wants. Understanding Your Expenses The first thing to do is figure … [Read more...]

How to Encourage Your Spouse to Save Money

Encourage your spouse to save with you. Money differences in marriage can be quite common. You might find that your spouse isn't as interested in saving money as you are. When this happens, it can lead to difficulties as you become somewhat resentful that your spouse isn't interested in saving money. If you want to get your spouse on board with saving, you are going to need to take a more subtle approach -- one that allows your spouse to catch the vision as … [Read more...]

Do I Have to Pay a Tax on Unemployment Compensation?

Do I have to pay a tax on unemployment compensation? The IRS isn't about to let the fact that you don't have a job stop it from collecting taxes from you. You are required to pay taxes on any income received. That includes the income you receive in the form of unemployment compensation. And, of course, if you were employed for part of the year, you will have to pay income taxes on that money as well. The good news is that your employer likely automatically … [Read more...]

What to Tell Grandma: Disadvantages of Doing a Reverse Mortgage

Don't be tricked into getting a reverse mortgage. One of the retirement “tools” being touted right now is the reverse mortgage. The idea is this: You have put a lot into your home, building up equity. Now, you can use your home to fund a retirement. With a reverse mortgage, the bank pays you every month (or you can get a lump sum), providing you with income in your retirement. Of course, the reverse mortgage is actually a loan; it needs to be paid back with … [Read more...]