Personal Spending

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Managing Marriage & Money

Submitted by Michael Garry on Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 3:00pm

One set of financial goals is hard enough to manage. Two sets can seem impossible until you learn how to merge finances with your spouse – and how to keep some assets separate.

Coming together with your spouse for big-picture costs – homes, a college education – is probably easier if you share financial goals and values. Some couples match up from the start; other couples grow into such simpatico. (Amazingly, some couples succeed in planning despite having many different goals and values.)

Investing: Head Vs. Heart

Submitted by Jeff Stimpson on Sunday, September 28, 2014 - 9:00am

What’s life without joy, sadness, happiness and sorrow? Emotions enliven and enrich your existence – and, if you let them sway your financial judgment, they can drive your portfolio onto the rocks. How do you avoid letting your feelings determine your investing?

“Emotions do matter,” said Hugh Massie, chief executive officer of behavioral management advisory firm DNA Behavior in Atlanta. “They get in the way of investors’ success.”

Talking Money With Honey

Submitted by Larry Light on Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 12:00pm

One of the most ticklish situations in a marriage is dealing with money – often because couples don’t talk about it, or if they do, not well. Advisors explored this fraught subject at National Financial Advisor Week.

“Being compatible romantically does not mean being compatible financially,” said Hilary Hendershott, on a panel of advisors that dug into the issue.

Improving Your Credit Score

Submitted by Sophia Bera on Friday, October 3, 2014 - 12:00pm

Your credit score is like the GPA of your finances. To get better financial options in the future, you should know your credit score and how you can improve it if necessary.

Your credit score plays a role in almost every financial aspect of your life. Banks check your credit score to determine whether or not to approve you for credit and how much you pay in interest charges. Your landlord may ask for your credit score for your lease application, and more and more employers are interested in it as a way to measure how responsible you are.

Feel Richer Lately?

Submitted by Phillip Shrotman on Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 9:00am

Bet you don’t feel richer lately. That’s because you’re not, say some co-called experts. What’s the real danger of this?

According to the Federal Reserve’s latest report regarding consumer finances, unless you are among the richest 10% of the population your median income stayed stagnant from 2010 to 2013. The Fed also states that not only did income drop for every other group, the gap widened between the richest and us common folk.

Couples Merging Finances

Submitted by Kimberly J. Howard on Friday, September 26, 2014 - 12:00pm

When a couple weds, each in the new pair often feels pressure to marry individual finances together as well. Smart financial planning actually dictates that you don’t have to – and in many cases shouldn’t – put all your money into a single, joint account. You can enjoy both cooperation and autonomy in your financial marriage.

How’s Your Emergency Fund?

Submitted by Wayne A. Lippert Jr. on Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 12:00pm

Financial planners commonly recommend you keep an easily accessible emergency fund for unexpected expenses. Too bad few people do it. Take steps now to avoid being caught short of money.

More than a third (34%) of 2,000 adults recently had an unexpected event such as a medical problem or a home-related expense that set them back financially, according to a national survey by Pew Research.

Luxury Purchases: A How-To

Submitted by Cherice Chen on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 3:00pm

What’s on your dream list? A yacht? A Lamborghini? Or a house in a summer resort? Well into your career and financially secure with extra money to spend, you now look for a treat, a reward for all the hard work of your youth. Advisors, however, have some important caveats for you when you plan to make such luxury purchases.

Cheap Canadian Drugs: Why?

Submitted by David Marotta and Megan Russell on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 9:00am

Drugs in Canada are cheaper than in America because our neighbors to the north impose price controls on them. Periodically, some U.S. politicians call for a similar system in this country. Bad idea: That would choke off innovation, which occurs here, not in Canada.

The reason Canadians pay less is that U.S. drug makers, who develop the new treatments at great cost, can recoup their money in the American market. Canada gets a free ride when buying our drugs.