December 20, 2012

Mortgage Payoff Progress for December 2012 with Chart

My wife and I moved in to our new home in February of 2010. We have a conventional, fixed-rate, 15-year mortgage.  We recently reduced the interest rate on our mortgage. Our goal is to pay it off our mortgage in less than ten total years. As of December, we have made 33 regular, monthly mortgage payments. We have also made several additional principal-only payments. Our mortgage payment is drafted […]

Don’t Overload a Vacation with Scheduled Activities (354/365)

I’ve gone on one vacation in my life where we had pre-bought tickets for activities on most of the days. I thought I was doing a great job in terms of bargain hunting. Oh, how wrong I was. For one, we didn’t even end up doing some of the activities. […]

What are Baby Bonds?

One of the ways that you can diversify your portfolio is to add bonds to the mix. There are a number of different choices when it comes to bonds. You can purchase bonds from the government, including foreign and city governments. Additionally, you can get bonds from corporations. When many people think of bonds, though, they immediately think of U.S. […]

Naked With Cash: Kathleen

In January, Consumerism Commentary will begin the Naked With Cash event and series. Several Consumerism Commentary readers will share their financial reports and analyses at the beginning of each month, with insight from financial planners and other experts. […]

Reader Mailbag: Christmas Prep

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Separating business and personal finances 2. Roth IRA over income limit 3. Replenishing emergency funds 4. “Date night” Christmas gift 5. IRA or 401(k) first? 6. Building responsibility in children 7. IRA or student loans? 8. […]

Should You Pay Off Your Auto Loan Early?

Carrying debt is always a drain on the finances, so many people look to pay off their loans early. When you’re talking about credit cards or other high-interest revolving debt this is certainly true. […]

Side Gig Thursdays: Aprille Cole, Cups ‘N’ Cakes

Cupcakes are all the rage these days and it’s not surprising that more and more people are taking advantage of that craze by opening up bakeries as a side gig. […]

Plant A Garden

Last year, I planted a small garden. Throughout the spring and summer, we had fresh strawberries, butter beans, and onions. This year, I plan to expand my garden.  I will be adding a couple of raised beds – and trying my hand at growing watermelons, potatoes, and assorted beans. My goal is to be healthy – and frugal.  Here are some tips for planting a garden, without breaking the bank. Place your […]

Thursday Night Soup: Delicious Soup From Leftovers

"Thursday Night Soup" is a classic working class dish made from leftovers. It’s called Thursday Night Soup because, back in the day, factory workers were paid on Friday, so Thursday night’s dinner was always scraped together from what was left in the cupboard. […]

FICO vs. Fakes: Are You Getting the Wrong Credit Score?

If you’ve applied for a loan recently and had your credit score pulled, chances are you are aware that you have more than one credit score. FICO issues a score, and each of the three major credit bureaus also offers its own credit score, too. Knowing your credit score is important for wise financial management . […]

Best Money Tips: How to Be a Good Thrift Store Shopper

Welcome to Wise Bread's Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on how to be a good thrift store shopper, stopping the cycle of debt, and holiday gifts that give back. Top 5 Articles How to Be a Good Thrift Store Shopper — To be a good thrift store shopper, examine everything in detail before purchasing it. […]

The power of proclaiming your frugality

Last week, I was paying for purchases at a store I frequent in my neighborhood. Routinely, the sales clerk asked me if I’d like to sign up for a store credit card. It wasn’t the first time she’d asked me; thus, it wasn’t the first time I scrambled for a polite way of saying no. I’ve been on the other side of the counter — it’s not like you want to ask this question. […]

Boost Your Retirement Savings: Avoid 401(k) Fees

You might not have noticed if your 401(k) plan has been charging exorbitant fees for accounting, record keeping, legal work, management, or for any number of dubious reasons. In fact, 7 out of 10 participants don't know they pay fees to their 401(k) plan provider, according to an AARP survey. […]

Four great ways to pay down a mortgage

Housing is right up there with groceries as a major household budget item for many families — not just in the raw amount of money shelled out, but also in importance.  Food and shelter and all that. Since housing involves a commitment (either a lease or a mortgage) there’s less flexibility in adjusting housing costs than there is in adjusting a grocery budget.  After you sign the lease or mortgage […]

Nine Cheap Holiday Events that Won’t Tax Your Wallet

A holiday with all the trimmings can seriously trim your bank account. Expensive gifts, big meals, travel, parties… It all adds up. But when the season is over and you’re looking back, what will you remember best? Probably the rare peaceful moments with family or friends, not the expensive blow-out events. With that in mind, here are nine holiday activities that won’t shrink your wallet. 1. […]

Most Soon-to-Be Retirees Don't Have Enough Saved

The December issue of Money magazine lists this interesting stat on the last page: The median retirement savings for households near retirement (55-64): $120,000 One word: yikes!!!!Let's look at the math a bit: Let's assume a person right in the middle of this age range: age 59 1/2 We'll give him six more years of work So far in 37 years of work he's managed to save $3,243 per year […]

Details on the ING Direct/Capital One 360 Transition

Not quite six weeks ago I talked about the looming transition of ING Direct into Capital One 360. At that time, details were scarce. They did, however, promise that additional information would be forthcoming in December. Well, earlier this week I received that info. […]