Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What is Your Top Question About Personal Finance?

By Ashley Jacobs on 13 September 2016 246 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to our winners Cindy, Stacy W., and Mary B.!

Personal finance covers a lot of ground—from budgeting and saving, to managing debt and dealing with insurance, to investing for the future and more. With such wide-ranging topics, it can be hard to master them all. And if you’re like most people, you probably have questions.

What is your top question about personal finance? Are you confused about investing? Not sure how much you need to save for retirement? Looking to figure out how to save more money for a vacation, your child’s college education, or in case of an emergency? Or is there another area of personal finance you are looking for information on?

This week, to celebrate the new look and enhanced functionality of SchwabMoneyWise.com, a financial education site created by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Charles Schwab is sponsoring $200 in prizes for our Ask the Readers giveaway! Make sure to tell us about your number one financial question and we'll enter your name into a drawing to win a $150 or one of two $25 Amazon Gift Cards!

Win a $150 Amazon Gift Card or 1 of 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Comment Entry for a Chance to win a $150 Amazon Gift Card:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $150 Amazon Gift Card!

To win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Use our Raffle copter widget for your chance to win one of two $25 Amazon Gift Cards:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, September 19th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 19th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is not sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

This week, our Ask the Readers giveaway is sponsored by Charles Schwab to celebrate their newly updated site, SchwabMoneyWise.com!

Here is a message from our sponsor:

At Schwab, financial education isn't just about learning to manage money. It's about opportunity and a brighter future. That's why providing people with the tools to take hold of their finances and help improve their lives—whether they're just starting out or facing retirement—is our primary focus.

For a teen on the verge of independence or a senior struggling to make ends meet, financial education can mean the difference between poverty and prosperity, between feeling helpless or hopeful. Through a variety of public-service initiatives, including our collaboration with Boys & Girls Clubs of American on MoneyMatters and the Schwab Moneywise programs, we work to give people tangible ways to take action—and control – of their money.

We’re excited to share an updated SchwabMoneyWise.com, filled with tools and resources to help you achieve your financial dreams, whether you’re a new grad just getting started on the path to financial freedom, a parent saving for your kids’ college education or a recent retiree planning your next adventure. For more financial education information, follow Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz at @CarrieSchwab or on LinkedIn.

©2016 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Member SIPC) All rights reserved.

Amazon is not a participant in or sponsor of this giveaway and is not affiliated with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

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Guest's picture
Jayedee DeWitt

Any tips or tricks for saving on an extremely limited budget would be wonderful!

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Dawn Monroe

My financial question is "Should I worry/save for retirement or our kids college first?"

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Barbara

My top question is: I'm a single parent with a modest, set income and not a lot of assets but I've got decent life insurance. I'd still like to have some kind of nest egg, however small. Where do I start?

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Barbara

My top question is: I'm a single parent with a modest, set income and not a lot of assets but I've got decent life insurance. I'd still like to have some kind of nest egg, however small. Where do I start?

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amy williams

My question is how to save for the future and college for my kids when I am trying to pay my bills?

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Michelle B

What are some easy ways to save up an extra $250 a month? (Of course a person can cut tv, internet, going out to dinner, etc- but do you have any other tips on where you can save a buck or two? Maybe one that most people don’t think of?)

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Michelle B

What are some easy ways to save up an extra $250 a month? (Of course a person can cut tv, internet, going out to dinner, etc- but do you have any other tips on where you can save a buck or two? Maybe one that most people don’t think of?)

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Kyle

We need to do about $5,000 of upgrades to our house in order to get it ready for renting out. What is the best option? Take a credit card out through a place like home depot, do a personal loan, an extra mortgage or just add it to our current credit card (assuming that we already have a $5,000 credit limit)? (Also, we are military, so could we somehow get a low interest loan through a military lender or something?)

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Lisa.

What's the best way to save money for your children? There are so many options!

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Amanda lea

My hubbys employer just started using a new company for his retirement contributions. Should we leave the first account as is...Or transfer the balance from the 1st account into the new account account being receiving the contributions?

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Lauren Paradis

My Question is: How can I financially stay responsible even with student loan debt?! Thanks!! :)

Lauren Paradis

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Kat

My question is how do I pay off my mortgage faster?

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Trish

What is the safest way to invest my money? I am afraid to risk it in the stock market but want to earn the most interest possible.

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Gene Brunak

I need to know how my personal savings can help protect and cover me in retirement and dealing with potential health coverage and medical costs

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Tammy W.

For people over 50 years of age (and have medical issues and incurring large medical bills), who are already living paycheck to paycheck - what are some guidelines on how to get out of debt?

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Liz N

Should we be investing or paying down debt?

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Lissa Crane

What is the best way to save for retirement when you have a growing family?

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Susan

My question is: How do I invest my savings for income in this low interest rate environment?

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Ashley S

My top question is: How much money should I have set aside for a "rainy day fund"? Thanks!

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Connie

My top question is how do I develop a monthly/quarterly/annual budget? I pay necessities with credit and pay off my credit cards each month. I was told to try the cash in envelopes technique but maybe there's a better way?

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JD

At what point to you start to save non-qualified money to supplement your IRA and 401k money in case you decide to retire early?

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Sara C

Thanks for this contest! I am most curious about how to balance savings with spending. I'm in a position where I can comfortably afford my life expenses and to save for the future. My husband and I are in a good spot for retirement and for our children college education. I tend to want to save for a rainy day, but I don't really know why I do that.

My question is how to allocate the extra money? Should we save more than our baseline for the future? Can we splurge on a family vacation (~$10K to Hawaii as there are 6 of us), finish the basement?

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Bekki

Is it better to purchase life insurance, or save/invest on my own?

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TallulahJane Huskey

How can I as a late term saver decide on where best to invest my money?

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Seyma Shabbir

Is it better to save in savings account, buy property and rent, use money market? When you have savings, what is the best return but still safe?

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Seyma Shabbir

Is it better to save in savings account, buy property and rent, use money market? When you have savings, what is the best return but still safe?

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Seyma Shabbir

Is it better to save in savings account, buy property and rent, use money market? When you have savings, what is the best return but still safe?

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Birdiebee

How do I save any money on a monthly basis when I am on a fixed disability income and support my disabled daughter (she has no income) and granddaughter? I have tried every which way to save for an emergency but unable to do so. Just got socked with thousands of dollars in doctor bills as well from cancer.

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Yona Williams

My question is: what are the top three smartest/easiest ways (with less risk) to my invest money for the future?

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Angelica Dimeo

I have some money saved but how much should I try to save a month to increase my money.

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April

I want to know what age should I start saving for retirement?

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Kimberly Bauer

My number one question is how do I even start to save for retirement.

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Pam H.

My number one financial question is, "What is a safe way to invest my money."

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Danielle

My question is how much is the minimum that a person should be saving weekly for retirement? We don't seem to have much left over after our bills are paid and i'm concerned that we aren't saving enough.

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Deborah G

Whats the easiest way to create a budget? I'd like to know where I put my money!

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Kira

I am on a tight budget due to not being able to have both myself and my husband work so I can care for our special needs child. My question is what is the best way to convince my husband that cutting off cable is best so we can put more money into a family vacation fund or use the money into some kind of Mutual fund that can be tapped into for increasing our quality of life

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Lance Cothern

My top question: How do you decide how much balance to spend now or save for later/early retirement?

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rhonda r

I suppose my top question would be if one is approaching 50, how much should he/she plan to have for retirement expenses if they live in region with low property taxes and personal expenses?

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mintpearls

How much should I be saving each month? Thanks for the chance! :)

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Kimmie Moo

I'm so conflicted! I am *probably* going to emigrate to Canada next year but am 35 and way behind in retirement savings (but no debt and vested in a pension plan). I've saved up a good chunk but feel I am ready to do some investing. Where do I start?? I feel like I'm paralyzed, both by options and by lack of understanding. Help!

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Rachel V

How do you start saving money when life keeps throwing you curve balls causing you to live paycheck to paycheck?

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Margaret Porter

Whats the best rout to go, pay more on principal of mortgage loan or pay off credit cards?

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Lizzie

My questions are what kind of account do I need to acquire interest over time on my balance and also I wonder about the finer details of the first time home buyer bond.

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Thomas Murphy

How many different stocks should I own?

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Sue Hull

Im on SSI. How do I save while paying off debt? Im living check to check.

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AEKZ2

What's a "safe" amount to save for my son's college education?