Tag Archives: personal finance

12 Money-Saving Tricks You Can Learn From Hipsters

Flickr/Joel Bedford

Flickr/Joel Bedford

Particularly if you live in a larger city, you’ve probably come across a few hipsters. These arty counter-culturalists tend to sport thick glasses, skinny jeans, and thrift-store inspired fashions. And, at least in the 20-30 year age group, they appear to rule.

I am not one of them. I don’t use an iPhone, I own absolutely no chic, nostalgic memorabilia and, rather than wearing skinny jeans and an ironic T-shirt, I’m often found wearing running spandex and compression socks — in public. I do, however, think that my outsider status allows me to have a more objective view of hipster culture, and I’ve noticed that when it comes to money, hipsters have some great habits.

Check out the top 12 ways hipsters stay frugal and ignore the status quo for spending in my new post on WiseBread.

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This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score

Source: Lendingmemo.com

Source: Lendingmemo.com

A credit score is a bit like the Da Vinci Code; it’s a serpentine web of myth and mystery that’s hard to crack. But there is a Holy Grail of sorts here too. Of all the different factors that feed into your credit score, many experts believe that there is one factor that stands above the rest in keeping your score high. The fact that this one ratio is so important is a little counterintuitive, so simply understanding its importance can unlock the higher credit score you’ve been looking for.

So what is it? It’s called the credit utilization ratio. Learn more about it in my new post on WiseBread.

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Top 8 Ways to Get a Mortgage with Bad Credit

Flickr/TheTruthAbout

Flickr/TheTruthAbout

Perhaps you’ve fallen on hard times or made some financial mistakes. If you’re lucky, you’ve learned from those mistakes, and are on better financial footing. Even so, it can take some time for your credit score to reflect that, making it hard to get any kind of loan or mortgage. If you’ve already been turned down by your bank for a mortgage, you may not realize that it’s actually quite easy to get a loan when you have bad credit. The catch is that you’ll pay through the nose for it.

Getting a mortgage when you have bad credit means making some concessions in terms of the price of the home you buy and the interest rate you accept. Plus, if you want to stay on firm financial footing in the future, you’ll also have to make a serious effort to improve your score.

Check out a few options to consider in my new post on Dividend.com.

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Hate Budgeting? How a Percentage-Based Budget Might Work for You

Flickr/Keith Ramsey

Flickr/Keith Ramsey

I’ve heard just about every excuse in the book for not making a budget. I’ve even excused my own way out of budgeting more times than I care to admit. What I’ve learned in the process is that just like diet and exercise plans or productivity goals, budgets aren’t one-size-fits-all. In other words, the style of budgeting that helps you get your personal finances on track might be a disaster for someone else.

One very simple and easy-to-follow budgeting style is percentage-based budgeting. Is it a fit for you? Find out in my new post on WiseBread.

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5 Painless Ways to Manage Money With Your Partner

Flickr/hafecheese

Flickr/hafecheese

Whenever I see a talk show or reality show that deals with finances, I’m always most amazed by the couples.

“She makes about $60,000 per year … I think.”

“I know he has credit card debt, I just don’t know how much.”

These are the kinds of things I hear people say about their spouses and their money. When you’re sharing bills, a household, and (hopefully) a future, it seems a little insane that so many people aren’t on the same page. Or haven’t even talked about what page they’re on. Not before they were married, not after, and not even when they land in major financial trouble.

Not that managing money as a couple is easy. It isn’t. That said, there are few key things that couples can do to help get — and stay — on the right financial track. Check out the top five in my new post on WiseBread.

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5 Beginning Investor Mistakes I’ve Made (And You Don’t Have To)

There’s something I’ve noticed about a lot of people who write about investing: They’re either very rich or they work as investment professionals. Now, I don’t think that that makes them unqualified to give advice to those of us who don’t have a seven (or eight!) figure net worth, but it does make it a little hard to identify with them. After all, if I had a million bucks in the bank, putting some of it in riskier investments would be a lot easier to stomach. Ditto for investing other people’s money.

But here’s the thing. I’m an investor, too. I’m not a professional one or a rich one. But I am richer than before I started. And I’m a smarter investor than I was when I started, too. I’m also getting more confident about investing money in the stock market. That said, I made a lot of rookie mistakes along the way. Here are five of the ones that stand out. Read about them in my new post on WiseBread. And try to avoid them, OK?

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The 10 Kinds of People Who Get Rich (and How They Do It)

Flickr/Spyros Papaspyropoulos

Flickr/Spyros Papaspyropoulos

I think it’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t mind having a little more money in the bank. Maybe a lot more money. According to a 2008 survey by Pew Research Group, 43% of Americans report that being wealthy is “somewhat important” to them, while another 13% said that being rich was “very important.” Of course, wanting to be richer is one thing; actually accumulating that wealth is quite another. However, there’s plenty of research to support the idea that there are certain sorts of people who are likely to become wealthy — and I’m not just talking about the kind who were born that way. In fact, according to research by Fidelity, 86% of today’s millionaires are self-made. Check out 10 traits that tend to show up in the wealthiest people, and how those characteristics help them bring in the big bucks in my new post on WiseBread.

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