Julie Rains's blog

9 Ways Americans Are Spending Differently (but Not Less)

After several years of decline, Americans are spending more again, but in different ways. For the frugal-minded, it's a reminder that thrift is an endurance race, not a sprint.

How Much College Can You (and Your Kid) Afford?

Is it worth it to pay steep tuition, or should you compromise and pay a lot less? Use this guide to evaluate costs and career goals to match budget with college.

3 Survival Instincts That Harm Investors

Following the herd was a good survival strategy for our subsistence ancestors. Today it's a good way to get your investment funds trampled.

What Makes a Company an Attractive Investment?

Index fund investing is hard to beat, but if you're eager to test your chops by investing in individual companies, these are key attributes you should evaluate.

6 Financial Mistakes We Don't Make Anymore (and 2 We Still Do)

Once burned twice shy applies to personal finance, too. The Great Recession taught many of us to improve our financial ways, mostly for the better.

3 Steps to Getting Started in the Stock Market With Index Funds

For new investors with limited resources, the stock market can be confusing and intimidating. Index funds are an easy, low risk, and affordable way to get started.

Investment Secrets of the Rich and Famous

Sure, celebrities have a lot more income to work with than most of us, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from their investing techniques.

Self-Made Billionaires: Investment Lessons From Their Success

If you want to get rich on the stock market, follow the example of this group of self-made, billionaire investors.

The Basics of Asset Allocation

Once beginning investors move beyond indexes and mutual funds, they start to hear about asset allocation. Learn the basics and how they apply to your investment decisions.

17 Places to Find Investment Inspiration

Investing ideas are plentiful. Pay attention, and you'll recognize profitable possibilities wherever you are.

8 Cheap, Easy, and Not-So-Obvious Ways to Invest in a Company's Stock

There are many ways to invest besides buying shares in a company's stock through a brokerage firm. Discover eight cheap (or free!) ways.

4 Quick Ways to Decide if a Company Is Worth Your Investment

You don't have to be an insider to glean valuable insights about a company. These four public sources of info can tell you a lot of what you need to know before you invest.

Keep an Eye on Your Money With These 7 Online Investing Tools and Apps

If you can tolerate watching your nest egg rise and fall, these tools and apps can help you stay tuned to market news, manage your portfolio, and do research.

From 0 to 18: Frugal Tips for Every Year of Your Child’s Life

Children are blessings, but raising them from birth to young adulthood can be expensive. Follow these tips to spend wisely and save money at every age.

5 Sure-Fire Signs of an Investment Scam

Even well-educated and honest people can get conned. Learn the signs of a scheme to avoid losing your savings.

The 3-Step Plan to Choosing Your First (or Next) Mutual Fund

Choosing your first mutual fund may seem daunting. A small investment of time and these easy steps can help you get started building a portfolio.

Using Time Horizons to Make Smarter Investments

A time horizon is the length of time you can leave money in an investment before you need it. Apply this concept to improve your financial health, now and later.

Begin Your Investing Career Right With Some Mutual Fund Basics

Buying mutual funds is a simple way to build an investment portfolio. Here are the basics to get you started.

22 Fun and Free Summertime Exercise Ideas

Summer is the perfect time to have fun outside and get fit. Here are more than 20 ways to enjoy yourself and exercise at the same time.

10 Ways to Lower Medicare Part D Costs

Learn how speaking with a pharmacist can help you save hundreds of dollars each year.