luxury living
It’s a problem everyone would like to have: you inherit a nice chunk of change from your favorite great-aunt, you receive a signing bonus for joining a new company, or you do really well on your NCAA brackets one March, and you find yourself staring down a big decision. What do you do with this newfound wealth?

A windfall can mean different things to different people. For some, an unanticipated $500 can seem like manna from heaven, while to others it would take a check with five zeros on it to mean much of anything.

But the bottom line is that a windfall is money you hadn’t expected or counted on — and you now need to decide where it will best be used.
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Emergency funds are necessary. We all need to be prepared for those unplanned rainy days. Therefore, it’s not a question of whether or not we need an emergency fund, but how much of an emergency fund we really need.

When speaking with others about their emergency funds, I’ve encountered funds anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. There’s really no magical number. Everyone’s situation is different and hence, the optimal size of an emergency fund will vary from person to person. Here are some tips to help you decide how much to put into your emergency fund:
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It’s hard to believe when I actually think about how long the site’s been around but has been dishing out financial advice for almost 14 years now. In a few short weeks, that’s 168 months of savings for those who followed us from the beginning.

You know, try to live below your means, build an emergency fund to weather possible storms, and invest the rest. I know some of the advice seems pretty obvious sometimes. I mean, who doesn’t know that cutting out your cable and joining a service like Netflix is going to save you money by now? But then again, how many of you actually take the time to implement what we preach here on a weekly basis?

I was just talking to my friend about his Netflix account he signed up for about 10 years ago. He was thanking me because I was the one who got him to cut cable and switch to streaming instead back when doing so wasn’t as accepted as it is today. His cable bill was about $120 a month back then. By saving $110 a month and $1,320 a year, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that he’s saved $13,200 already.

I told him there’s no need to thank me because I had pretty much similar savings too. That’s over $25,000 between the pair of us. Wow. Did you follow our advice to cut out cable when we first told you about Netflix? If not, is the sports channel or whatever show you can’t give up worth $13,200 to you?

I thought it would be fun to see just how much the savings were if you followed us and made some other simple changes to your services. So let’s see…
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According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average retirement age in the U.S. was 67.2 in 2020. That’s up from 65 for men and 63 for women in 2016.

What’s interesting is that a recent T. Rowe Price survey found that 43% of millennials expect to retire by 55. This is much higher than Gen Xers at 35% and 17% for baby boomers.

Is it because young Americans don’t fully understand the financial realities of retirement compared to their middle age counterparts? While this theory has some merit, I’d like to look at it from another perspective.

The thought of retiring at the age of 67 doesn’t really appeal to me. But up until not too long ago, I didn’t really think that I had any other option. My opinion changed as I got older though.
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You’ve finally decided that she’s “the one,” and you’re ready to pop the question. There’s only one problem: you don’t have enough cash to buy the engagement ring.

You’re in a bind. Should you finance an expensive ring that she’ll love, save money and postpone your engagement, or buy a smaller ring that you can afford?

There are pros and cons to all three of these options. Let’s take a look.

Finance a Ring

Sometimes love makes us do crazy things. And, since the average price of an engagement ring hovers right around $5,500, financing may seem like a good option. The pro is obviously getting your girl a ring that will bring her to tears (in a good way). It comes at a high cost, however. [ continue reading… ]

When it comes to grocery shopping, it seems like there are only two camps: the extreme couponing types who devote hours upon hours to cut their grocery bill to the absolute bone, and those who just want to get in and out of the grocery store quickly, never mind the savings.

Count me in the latter group. Although I’m generally pretty frugal, grocery stores send out so many coupons with varying expiration dates that it just seems like an organizing nightmare. For frugal shoppers who don’t have time to make grocery-buying a part-time job, it may seem like there are no options for cutting costs that aren’t unrealistic.

Luckily, it IS possible to save money on your grocery budget without turning into a coupon commando. Here are 12 ways to cut your grocery bill without making yourself crazy:
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