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...]

Should You Walk Away from Your Mortgage?

Even though the recession has been "officially" over for quite some time, many people are still feeling the pinch. Indeed, many homeowners are starting to feel worried about what's next. With home values still low, many are underwater on their homes -- and worried about how long it will take to move from negative equity to positive equity. Others not only have negative equity, but are also having trouble making payments. With tough choices ahead, the prospect of … [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...]

Downsize Your Lifestyle for a Lighter Future

Could you use to downsize your stuff? It occurred to me last Christmas, as my husband asked me what I wanted, that I had too much stuff. I couldn't really think of anything that I really wanted -- much less actually needed. And, as I looked around at a house full of things, I began fantasizing about getting rid of some of our stuff. The fact that my family might have to move has me even more interested in downsizing, since I don't want to take it all with … [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...]

Debt Dilemma: Mortgage Payment or Credit Card Payment?

Should you always pay your mortgage payment first? The recent economic climate has created a tough decision for many people with financial obligations. Many homeowners also have credit card debt. When times are tough and the budget is stretched thin, sometimes it seems as though you need to make a choice between making a mortgage payment or making your credit card payments. When push comes to shove, and you have to choose one or the other, what you decide … [Read more...]

How to Save for a Vacation So You Don’t Need Credit

It helps to have a place to save your money. One of the great traditions enjoyed by my family (and by many others, I'm sure) when I was growing up was that of the family vacation. Of course, whether you are planning to fly seven people to Disney World or loading up the 15-passenger van for a three-week cross-country road trip, you need to do some financial planning. The expenses involved in such a trip require that you plan ahead and learn how to save for a … [Read more...]