From Hurricane Harvey, to Hurricane Irma, to Hurricane Jose and Maria, not to mention rampant wildfires, we’ve seen plenty of natural disasters in the U.S. this summer. Although the greatest loss is the loss of life, there are also thousands of families who have lost their way of life: homes, places of employment, and literally every possession. Even if we refuse to call ourselves rich, those of us with a roof over our heads and food in our pantries are in the position to help, yet sometimes we hesitate.

David’s Note: They are now saying that 100% of Puerto Rico is going to be without power for months. Months! For the entire country! I can’t imagine living without electricity for a few months, though I imagine that’s not even the worst of the their concern since they are probably low on basic necessities like food and water.

It’s not that we don’t want to give. Rather, in a world full of charity scams and inefficient organizations, we question where to give so our gifts are being used as they’re intended and getting to those who most need them. If you’re eager to help but want more assurance your charitable donations are making an impact, here are a few (hopefully helpful) guidelines.

1. Don’t Donate Stuff – Donate Cash

People tend to start donating used clothes, canned goods, and bottled water every time there’s a natural disaster. The intention is good, but it also forces government officials and charity groups to deal with the logistics of sorting, transporting and distributing random donations. The inefficiency of this process can end up costing more in time and expense. So, unless an organization asks for donation of items that fill specific needs and gives clear guidelines for how to donate them, it’s best to donate money so these groups can better coordinate and streamline their relief efforts.
[ continue reading… ]


A baby on the way is a very exciting time for any family. Whether you’re new parents or adding to your growing family, preparing for your new arrival can already feel like a handful. Aside from the upcoming sleepless nights and never ending diaper changes, one of your biggest concerns is probably your finances. According to Parenting.com, the average middle class family will spend $12,000 on child-related expenses in the baby’s first year of life. That’s not a small chunk of change. So how do you prepare financially while trying to juggle all the new responsibilities that come with a new baby at the same time?

It’s definitely not an easy task and there’s really no rule book on how to parent, especially when it comes to finances. One tip we know works though, and it’s that the earlier you start preparing, the better you’ll be able to set up for your baby’s future. Before your baby’s arrival, take a look at this checklist on easy things you can do to financially prepare now:
[ continue reading… ]


As unemployment drops and the demand for workers continues to increase, the ball is in the employee’s court to attract potential employees. Companies in similar industries are increasingly competing amongst each other for the best-qualified applicants — even to the point of courting people before they’ve moved on from their current jobs. With comparable positions and tempting salaries at your fingertips, it’s only natural to consider switching jobs, especially if you’re being personally recruited by a friend or former colleague.

Switching jobs might not seem like as much of a leap as switching careers, but job hopping can still be detrimental to your career path and your finances. Before you jump at that new opportunity, take these tips to heart.
[ continue reading… ]


September marks the start of school for most kids around the country. This month is also the unofficial start of the fall wedding season for adults. That’s why we need to talk about it today because if you’ve ever hosted a wedding of your own or even attended a wedding, you definitely know how much it can potentially cost. From venues to flowers to photography, the expenses add up quickly. And considering that it’s only one day of your life, the cost of a wedding can be very daunting.

Luckily, eloping isn’t the only solution to the problem. While weddings can get really expensive, there are ways to cut back without sacrificing the experience for you or your guests. Being strategic about how you stick to your budget can significantly impact your costs in a good way. Here are 11 tips to help you save on your wedding day:
[ continue reading… ]


At a national average of $479 a month, car payments can take a big chunk out of the monthly budget. Even if you avoid car loans, the high cost of a vehicle can delay other savings goals. Either way, it’s rewarding when a vehicle costs nothing more than fuel and routine maintenance. In fact, it’s such a rewarding feeling that you might miss important signs it’s time to start car shopping again.

Being frugal is a great quality when it comes to vehicle purchases – while the average consumer purchases a new one every 3 to 5 years, today’s vehicles are designed to last 10 or more. Still, it’s possible to be too frugal and end up costing yourself more money in the long run. If you have any doubts about whether it’s time to buy a newer vehicle, consider these four signs.

1. Your Vehicle’s Safety is Questionable

Aesthetic qualities and luxury features are one thing, but safety is quite another. If there’s any question whether your vehicle can get you safely from Point A to Point B, it’s time to consider an upgrade. Here are a few examples of what might constitute a safety concern:

  • Your vehicle sometimes has mobility problems. If this happens on the road, it could cause an accident.
  • Your vehicle lacks important safety features. Newer vehicles are equipped with advanced safety features, but we’re talking about the basics — seatbelts, curtain air bags, traction control, etc.
  • Your vehicle has been in an accident or has extensive rust that could compromise is structural integrity. The appearance of rust might not bother you, but the damage it does to internal parts could.

[ continue reading… ]