This post is a step-by-step guide to scheduling Sallie Mae payments on ReadyForZero. There have been some recent changes to the way we request your information to process these payments, so please read on if you have questions about how this works.Read more
The author of this post is Kimberly Riccardi, a Staff Attorney for Colorado PERA and frequent blogger for their personal finance blog The Dime Colorado.
Both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans will help you save for a secure retirement, so how are they different? Depending on where you work, your employer may offer you a choice between the two different types of plans, so it is important to choose the one that is best for you.Read more
We talk a lot about working to achieve financial goals on this blog. But one thing we haven’t addressed much is how striving for lifelong goals can be the game changer when it comes to staying motivated for your financial goals. Today we’re going to change that.
This idea occurred to me when I was working with Ms. Career Girl on the Money Makeover Series. One of our participants is doing well financially, but struggles to stay motivated because she isn’t sure what she strives for outside of financial independence. Without having a lifelong goal that financial independence can enable her to achieve, it’s difficult for her to buy into keeping a frugal lifestyle rather than doing whatever she wants with her money. That’s when I realized our budgeting talks needed to turn to life talks.Read more
Mitchell Fox is a Tax Nerd and the Co-Founder of GoodApril, a site that provides consumers with online tax planning and tax advice services and offers a free “Tax Checkup” to help you identify actions you can take to reduce your taxes. You can follow Mitch on Twitter at @mitchellwfox or @goodapril.
Your home loan is the biggest debt you will probably pay off in your life.
If your mortgage is the 800 lb gorilla of your overall financial picture, you’re not alone. For many people, the purchase of a home is the largest financial commitment they’ll ever make. While the tax advantages of home ownership are often mentioned as a reason to own instead of rent, you may not know the specific benefits of paying down your mortgage.
Let’s start with the basics:Read more
When it comes to Things That Cost Money, hospital stays are right up near the top. Even if you have health insurance, a hospital stay can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.
If you have a plan that covers 80% of your stay, and you end up with a bill of $50,000, you still have to come up with $10,000. A longer stay, or a more serious condition, could still result in a larger obligation.
The good news is that most hospitals don’t expect you to pay such a large chunk at once (if at all). Read below for a few tips on dealing with hospital bills:Read more
Have you and your partner had the money talk yet? Could you use some help getting started? Veteran’s United is hosting a live chat tomorrow at 7pm EST to share advice on money and relationships. In honor of this chat and important topic, we’re sharing blog posts from other experts to help you and your partner handle this productively and happily.
As employees at an Internet company, we love connecting with people online and talking to our awesome ReadyForZero users from all over the United States. Those conversations have helped us take ReadyForZero this far and set the direction for the future. Plus, they inspire us to keep working hard to create a better and better tool for getting out of debt. But no matter how satisfying those online conversations are, sometimes it’s just nice to talk to each other in person.
So… one Friday at the beginning of the new year, Kristina, Rod, Ben and I were sitting in a meeting and talking about fun things we could try for the new year. The entire RFZ team always loves to brainstorm and find ways to add more value to the ReadyForZero community. Kristina brought up the idea of bringing some current users here to talk with us in person and help us create some user testimonial videos. As soon as we started talking about it, we knew this was an idea we had to jump on right away – we’d already interviewed some of our most successful users for our blog, so why not invite them out to San Francisco and interview them in person?Read more
Have you recently started your first professional job? First of all, congratulations! Your days of trying to break into the professional field are over and now you can focus on building your career and improving your finances. I’m sure you won’t miss the interview hustle!
But what about after the celebration has worn off? If you’re suddenly making more money than you were before, then this could end up being a confusing time. What do you do with the extra money? Do you pay off debt first, build up a savings account first, or move out on your own (if you haven’t already)? We’re going to talk about how to create a focus for your new financial plan. After you read this, head over to Ms. Career Girl for our Money Makeover Series, where you can follow the story of one girl who’s on the same journey!Read more
Fiona Lee is a personal finance writer for ReadyForZero. This is her first post here! She is a frugalista who loves discovering new ways to save money, especially in expensive cities.
When I first started budgeting, I had an idealistic view about my spending. I would become a money monk! All unnecessary items were cut, and so was anything that was remotely fun: clothes, cosmetics, or pastries from my favorite bakery. There were times when I even cut home supplies.
The problem with being a money monk is that it was unrealistic. My actual spending always included things I hadn’t planned for at the beginning of the month. The pattern was very similar over time—I would usually crack around the middle of the month, exhausted by all this personal austerity. A single purchase of a coffee or pastry would break the chain of good habits, triggering feelings of guilt and shame. Bigger purchases could then be justified, and by the end of the month the numbers on my budget would look at me reproachfully, and I felt guilty and anxious for spending so much.
After three months, I was tired of my own overspending and the guilt cycle. Instead, I came up with a more realistic way of dealing with my discretionary spending: I gave myself a monthly allowance of $150 to use any way I liked.
An allowance can easily fit into anyone’s monthly budget. Look over your last few months of discretionary spending and figure out an amount that works for you. Once you know how much you can spend, use the tips below to make your allowance a successful financial tool:Read more
There’s nothing more discouraging than scrimping and saving your money all month — to pay off debt or reach your savings goals — and coming up short.
In the past I’ve shared lots of different ways to make legitimate money from home and how to increase your income by using your skills and other assets. But now I’m sharing my top five favorite easy ways to make money without doing a lot of work.Read more