5 Financial Lessons From “The Real Housewives” Franchise

the real housewivesDon’t say that reality TV never taught you anything. Like much of television-obsessed America, I’ve watched the trial of Joe and Teresa Giudice with great interest. “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars were accused of an entire slew of financial crimes, from mortgage fraud to tax fraud. Unfortunately, these are not even the first legal woes to befall “The Real Housewives” families.

A closer look reveals a pattern to their financial demise. And, while it’s certainly not the main reason viewers tune into the shows, they can learn a thing or two about money by watching the financial train wrecks that have occurred in New York, Orange County, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New Jersey.

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8 Common Misconceptions About Working From Home – Is It Right for You?

wahmI quit my full-time office job back in 2006 after having my first child, and have been working from home ever since. I love it. It offers me maximum control over my schedule and allows me to keep my skills sharp while doing something I love.

However, while it’s a perfect fit for me, working from home is not necessarily ideal for everyone. By understanding the truth behind the most common misconceptions of this nontraditional lifestyle, you can decide whether making the switch is right for you.

Myths & Misconceptions About Working at Home

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7 Tips to Transition Your Summer Wardrobe to Fall Clothing Fashion

fall clothesAh, autumn. It comes with pumpkin spice lattes, cooler temperatures, and the onset of the holiday season, so what’s not to love? Well, if you have a pretty tight clothing budget, the change in seasons might not be all that welcome. You were fine with your breezy dresses and standard-issue flip-flops, so what happens when the weather starts to cool off and you’re expected to start wearing shoes again?

Don’t fret if the changing window displays at your favorite stores remind you that you’re not ready for fall. Chances are that you have the foundation for a great autumn wardrobe already in your closet. By adding a few key pieces and wearing your summer staples in different ways, you can mitigate a frugal clothing budget.

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6 Tips to Buy Ethical Clothing & Fashion on a Budget

ethical shoppingIn the fashion industry, there’s a term for retailers that sell piles of clothing for rock-bottom prices: fast fashion. Just like “fast food,” it’s cheap and quick, but it doesn’t always make you feel great after you’re done. While fast fashion can fill up your closet with discount goods, the process by which it’s manufactured may not always be ethical.

In 2013, the retail fashion industry was rocked when a Bangladeshi garment factory collapsed, leaving 1,129 workers dead and another 2,500 injured. It was no secret that foreign garment workers churn out shirts, dresses, suits, and scarves for low wages, but this tragedy highlighted another problem – terrible and downright dangerous working conditions.

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9 Ways to Make Your Clothes Look More Expensive & Fashionable

fashionWith the beginning of fall comes New York Fashion Week (NYFW), a showcase of every new trend, must-have designer, and, of course, exorbitant prices. But let’s face it: The average American woman isn’t spending a cool $3,000 on a pair of Christian Louboutin boots, no matter how much the fashion magazines crow about their fall faves.

However, even if you have Michael Kors tastes but live on an Old Navy budget, it doesn’t mean you have to feel bad about your non-NYFW clothes. In fact, I maintain that spending a ton of money on trends that will only last a season isn’t only unwise, it’s also a poor use of closet space. Instead, it’s possible to score high fashion based on purchasing clothes that look expensive, but don’t cost more than your budget will allow.

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6 Tips to Stop Being Ashamed of Your Debt and Take Control

debtWhat would you be more embarrassed to shout from the rooftops: your weight or your credit score?

For the general public, the answers are pretty surprising. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling conducted a poll asking participants to finish this sentence: “I’d be most embarrassed to admit my…” And respondents made it clear that debt shame in the United States is worse than even diet shame. A whopping 37% of people answered that their credit card debt was the most embarrassing, followed by 30% of respondents admitting they wouldn’t want to fess up to their credit score. Weight made only 12% of people sweat, and came in a distant third place.

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8 Habits to Avoid When Teaching Kids Financial Responsibility

kids and moneyIf you have children, you might feel responsible for teaching them everything they need to know. I have two young children, and am constantly helping them work on their math skills, pushing them to read more, and reminding them to practice whichever sport they’re playing that month. But as parents, it’s our actions that say far more than any words of instruction or encouragement we might offer.

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7 Tips to Streamline Your Bank Accounts for Easier Money Management

bankingI remember watching my mom pay bills each month when I was a child. She’d sit at the kitchen table, surrounded by a mound of paper, envelopes, stamps, and her checkbook as she wrote out the amounts, balanced the budget, and kept all of those slips of papers and bills in a huge folder.

Today, that amount of paperwork would make me shudder. At the beginning of the month, I routinely sit down to make my regular payments: the gas bill, health insurance, Internet, and whatever else. The difference? I do it with a few clicks online.

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Airline Fees: 13 Best & Worst Airlines When Traveling in the U.S.

airline feesLast October, the members of my large family made their way back to Toronto, Ontario for Thanksgiving. After the week’s festivities, we all said goodbye and headed back to the airport. My family headed home, but one of my brothers was completely stonewalled when he went to check into his flight. The airline agent told him that his suitcase was not only going to cost him an extra fee, but new weight restrictions meant that his 45-pound suitcase was now considered “oversize.”

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6 Tips to Avoid DIY Home Improvement Disasters & Mistakes

diyThese days, you can’t turn on the TV without seeing a commercial for a home improvement store. And the commercials make it seem so easy: If you don’t like something about your house, a trip to the hardware store and an afternoon in your paint clothes should do the trick. After watching one of those commercials, you might end up getting the itch for a new paint color or to finally build the deck you’ve always wanted.

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