Michael Momany, a homeless Seattle man, recently announced his idea to start “homeless tours” that would give people a three-day experience of living like a homeless person. The cost for such a tour? Two thousand dollars.
What’s more, $1,500 of this fee would be Momany’s personal earnings, while only $500 would go towards homeless shelters in the Seattle area. To most people, this seems outrageous, almost a con. But the truth is that he’s already received feedback from people who are interested. [ continue reading... ]
“Under no circumstances are you to buy me an Xbox One or a PS4 for Christmas.”
That was my teenage son’s response when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. His reply astonished me, because he spends much of his free time playing video games. With two new consoles released this holiday season, I thought he’d be carefully reviewing the specifications of both, deciding which one to ask for.
With my curiosity piqued, I asked him to explain his statement. I was completely unprepared for the logical, yet frugal answer he gave: [ continue reading... ]
To some, a credit score is a grade of how well they’ve managed their finances. Others use different factors to judge their financial achievements, such as their ability to pay for life’s necessities with cash only. They might not give two thoughts about their credit score.
Unfortunately, your credit score affects much more than just the interest rate you receive on loans — whether you like it or not.
In fact, many people are quite surprised when they learn just how much of a role credit scores can play in seemingly unrelated areas.
Here are two surprising things your credit affects: [ continue reading... ]
The Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success just released a report indicating that, for the fifth year in a row, the average amount borrowed by college students has increased. The average debt for undergrad students in 2012 was $29,400.
Even if you consider the fact that some of that comes from for-profit colleges, all you have to do is look at the rising tuition rates of your local not-for-profit school to see that it’s a growing trend. College is getting more expensive, and more people need to borrow in order to afford the price tag.
I have student loans for my undergraduate and graduate experiences, but I’m fortunate to have a very low interest rate. Today’s students don’t even have that luxury.
So before you borrow for college, here are three things to consider: [ continue reading... ]
You’ve tried setting a budget and sticking to it.
You can’t, so you blow more money than you would have had you not set the budget in the first place.
Why is it so hard? And what should you do about it?
Budgets are hard because they’re so restrictive — almost suffocating.
When your friends invite you out to TGIFriday’s, you can’t say no. It’s degrading. It’s demeaning. It’s just plain sad. You can’t bring yourself to do it. Out you go, deeper in debt thanks to your lack of will power.
The psychology behind budgets encourages failure. It’s tantamount to being told “no,” and who wants to be told “no” to everything they want? It’s almost like budgets are daring us to spend.
Here are some ways to get around this mentality — and finally get frugal.
[ continue reading... ]
As the end of the year rolls around, you’re probably trying to figure out how to pay less taxes. While tax loss harvesting may not make sense in every situation, it could potentially save you hundreds of dollars in taxes. For most investors, taking the time to sell investments at a loss before year’s end might be the single easiest step to reduce tax exposure.
Here’s what you need to know about this tax-saving technique:
Top tax rates are rising in 2013
Each year, you pay tax on the realized capital gains on your taxable investments. How those gains are taxed is based on your tax rate, which can range anywhere from zero to 43.4% (for top rate taxpayers in 2013). And this is just federal! Add in the state’s take, and you can quickly see why managing this is a pretty big deal. [ continue reading... ]