By Angelique Andrae - March 28, 2012
How many of the following characteristics describe you?
- You save less than 5% of your income.
- Your debts exceed your assets.
- If you have investments, they’re probably in collectibles, vacation homes, boats or other luxury items.
- You shop when you’re down.
- Your luxury spending causes tension in your relationships.
If you're not taking advantage of your employee benefits, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table!
By Angelique Andrae - March 23, 2012
Spoiler alert, if you don’t know the story, you might want to wait to read this!
I went to see the new blockbuster hit, “The Hunger Games,” with about 20 fellow Fools this morning. Our book club read the series a while ago and we’ve had the movie on our calendars ever since the release date was first announced. On the way back to work, I wondered how more »
So, you’re in debt. And, if you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re working on getting out of debt. I applaud you for making this effort. Hopefully this will be the last time that you have to go through this kind of financial pain, but for many, that won’t be the case.
How many people have you known in your life that have paid off more »
By Angelique Andrae - March 20, 2012
Spring is officially here and for most of us that means more nice weather to come and more chances to find cheap or free entertainment. If you keep a list of free or low-cost activities handy, the next time you and a friend, or your family, is looking for something to do, you’ll be less tempted to settle for an expensive restaurant or a night out at the movies more »
Today I met with my attorney and signed my will, power of attorney and medical directive and saved $400. Last month, I refinanced my condo and saved $500 on closing fees. A few months ago I called the cable company and saved myself $450 a year. Last year, I bought a used Jeep and saved over 25% off the asking price.
How? I asked!
I used to be the most more »
If you’ve got a family, and you’ve got debt, you can’t go it alone. You have to get the whole family on the bus. Agreements will have to be made, by everyone, about what’s going to be spent and where, what sacrifices will need to be made and then what the payoff will be in the end. Yes, the payoff! There will definitely need to be more »
The first step to successful budget creation is tracking your spending. You can do it in a little notepad that you carry with you or via some sort of online system like Mint which is a free online tracker owned by Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) or HelloWallet which is $8.95 a month or free through certain employers. But regardless of how, you need to figure out where your money is more »
Do you know your credit scores from all three reporting agencies? Are you looking at your FICO score, the VantageScore or the Plus Score? If you’re not sure, or you’re not looking at all three, you may be in for a rude awakening the next time you need to borrow or refinance. If you’re only looking at one of your scores and your lender is looking at more »
By Angelique Andrae - March 13, 2012
While reading an article about OpenTable written by one of our Motley Fool writers, Seth Jayson, on msnbc.com, my eye was drawn to another article titled (be careful, don’t click on it just yet), “The 5 Stupid Things People Do When They Have Too Much Debt.” As I read the article, the opening paragraph all made sense – pointing out things I had heard before.
But then, I realized more »
By Angelique Andrae - March 12, 2012
If you think that you can’t afford to participate in your 401(k) or 403(b) at work, you might want to think again. There are several reasons why, even if you’re in debt, you will still want to contribute – or contribute more – to your retirement account.
Pay Yourself Rather than Uncle Sam
I’d been contributing up to the level that my employer matched for quite some more »
This NPR story, “Habits: How They Form and How to Break Them” got me thinking about habits that cause us to remain in debt. Based on the book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business” by Charles Duhigg, the article says that the key to figuring out how to break or create a habit is by understanding the queues and the rewards associated more »
This weekend, HappyDanceDay asked our Facebook and Twitter followers what kind of low-budget fun they were having, and we got some great responses. My favorite response is the title of this article. My Saturday night consisted of a couple of bottles of $10 wine and an “American Horror Story” marathon with my best girlfriend who had the whole first season saved on her DVR.
Ways to Have Fun on the more »
I’m not usually a proponent of people in credit card debt accumulating additional cards, but I may have to make an exception in this case. I was doing a little research on credit cards offering no-fee balance transfers this afternoon and found only one. The Slate Card from Chase (NYSE: JPM).
This looks like a no-frills card. No annual fee and no rewards – but it’s offering 0% interest more »
By Angelique Andrae - March 1, 2012
As reported by the New York Times today, the senate voted against the bill that would allow insurance companies or employers to deny certain treatment under their health insurance coverage for religious reasons. This got me thinking about health insurance in general and how health coverage affects our budgets.
I’ve heard horror stories about kids with brain cancer who reached their lifetime limits for care by the age of more »
Word on the street is that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will be launching the new IPad3 at an event in NYC next week, which poses an interesting question for those of us trying to get out of debt. How do you budget for new technology? The answer – like any other major purchase that you’ll need to make.
The key to budgeting for technology is to:
- determine what you are going more »
By Angelique Andrae - February 27, 2012
So you’ve pulled together all of your credit card statements. You’ve looked at your balances, interest rates and minimum payments. You’ve called your creditors, and all of your negotiating savvy has reduced your interest rates only minimally, if at all. Based on what you can afford to pay each month, it looks like you’ll be in debt for roughly 44 years or until you die – whichever more »
When you're trying to figure out how to get out of debt, it's obvious that you have to spend less than you earn (at least I hope that's obvious) and stop using your credit cards. But, after you've created a budget, cut out all the incidentals, started making your own coffee in the morning rather than hitting Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and are buying all of your more »
By Angelique Andrae - February 24, 2012
I guess it serves me right for watching TV at 2:00am rather than sleeping. But, I recently saw the most egregious get out of debt scam that I’ve seen yet. I used to think that the debt settlement companies were the worst…but this even tops those!
If you own your home, there may be a way to get ahead in your debt paydown. If you think that you can’t refinance because you’ve lost too much value in your home, there might be an option for you. I just finished this process myself (finally – I’ll get to that…) and have an interest rate that is 2.25% less than I was paying previously. That more »
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