I’ll be honest: I’ve never really understood the difference between money market funds and money market accounts.

Recently, however, I read a few articles that showed me the basic differences between these two investments, and I want to pass my new knowledge on to you.

First of all, both money market accounts and money market (mutual) funds are liquid investments that can be easily transferred back into cash. The vital differences are: who you’re investing with, the security of your funds, and the yield rates.  [ continue reading... ]

I’d always thought of bingo as a game that only elderly people played. But I’m always up for a new adventure, so I agreed when our neighbors asked us to join them at a new bingo hall. Walking in, I was surprised to see people of all ages — including a group of high school girls celebrating an 18th birthday.

Inquiring at the service counter, we discovered how it worked:

  • The early bird session was about to start, for which we could buy a pack of bingo sheets for $5 a piece.
  • In 30 minutes, the regular session would start, for which we could buy a large pack of bingo sheets (with 12 bingo boards for each game) for $10 a piece.
  • Seven special games would be offered throughout the evening for $1 a piece.

My wife and I each purchased the early bird and regular session pack for a total of $30. We planned to decide about the special games as the night went on. We sat down just as things were getting rolling, expecting a slow-paced game of bingo.

We were wrong. So wrong. [ continue reading... ]

My oldest daughter just started kindergarten — and I’m quickly realizing school is going to be more expensive than I’d anticipated.

Though I was ready for some expenses, like clothes, lunches, and supplies, others — like the classroom cleaning supplies and tissues — caught me by surprise.

Here are the ways I’ve been trying to keep back-to-school costs down:

Buy A Year’s Worth of Supplies Now

School supplies aren’t going to be any cheaper than they are right now. Stocking up for the whole year (while crayons are fifty cents a pack) makes more sense than paying two dollars in a month.

You don’t have to go overboard, but just grab a couple extras of the main items your children use. This way, you’ll have them on hand when it comes time to replenish. [ continue reading... ]

It’s a growing trend: stepping away from your career for a brief period of time. These “career breaks” are catching on because more people are designing their lives around their own goals and interests.

Some people choose to take a career break to raise a family or care for ailing family members. Others are interested in traveling the world (the so-called mini-retirement). No matter the reason for your career break, it makes sense to take it the right way.

How to Take a Career Break

Leave on Good Terms

Since Americans usually change jobs several times during their life, it’s no surprise when someone leaves a job to go do something else — whatever it may be. [ continue reading... ]

I’m a big believer in the sharing economy. I think it makes great sense for individuals to share the things they own but aren’t using. Everybody wins when you rent out your home, car, bicycle, or services: You earn money, and your customer gets what they need for less.

However, there’s one aspect of the sharing economy that gives me pause: the issue of insurance when ridesharing.

It’s true that anytime you use a peer-to-peer sharing model, there’s the possibility for disaster — as several well-publicized cases of Airbnb abuse have shown.

But automobiles are dangerous in a way that apartments are not: over 37,000 people die in road crashes in the United States each year, and another 2.35 million are injured or disabled. Every time you get into a car, you put yourself at a (not insignificant) risk. And if you’re ridesharing, it’s not entirely clear who will be on the hook should something happen.

Here’s a breakdown of the insurance issues you might face if you become a driver for a ridesharing company: [ continue reading... ]

Being asked to be in someone’s wedding is supposed to be a special honor — but by the time the wedding rolls around, it can feel like the bride has asked you to give her a direct line to your checking account. Though bridesmaids definitely have more cost requirements, being a groomsman can be pricey too.

Here’s how to honor your wedding duties on a tight budget:

How to Save Money as a Bridesmaid

Decline If You Need To

There’s nothing wrong with turning down the honor of being in a wedding party. Obviously, this works better with friendships that have drifted over the years, or people who feel obligated to have you (aka my mother is making me).

Simply say: “I’m so honored you want me to be part of your special day, but I have to decline because it’s a busy time in my life right now. You deserve a bridesmaid who can devote more attention and time to help you.” [ continue reading... ]