Mac App Store Review – Will You Spend More or Less Money on Software?

mac app store computerApple has revolutionized the way we think about technology and how we interact with personal computers. If you’re a Mac user, gone are the days when you had to physically buy software at the store, pull out the CD, and install the software from your disc drive. Last week, Apple unveiled their new Mac App Store, which takes Apple one step closer to phasing out disc drives altogether and solidifying their claim that the MacBook Air is the future of laptops (at less than an inch thick , the Air doesn’t have a CD-ROM drive at all). Of course you’ll still want to consider other laptop specs and features.

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Maximum 401k & Roth IRA Contribution Limits 2011

retirement jar moneyAs you probably already know, saving for retirement is extremely important, and there are many different types of retirement accounts that you can use including the individual 401k, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, and Roth 401k. Which one you go with depends on your own unique needs and preferences, so be sure to do some research on Roth IRA vs 401k and Roth 401k.

Most of these are very easy to fund and maintain. But are you actually doing it? If not, what’s keeping you from getting the most out of these accounts?

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Best Home Security Systems Comparison – Do It Yourself (DIY) or Professionally Installed?

home security systemThis year, I’d like to purchase a home security system. I’m interested in a system with an alarm to prevent residential home burglary for a few reasons: I have a young son who is at home with me quite often, I started my own home small business and therefore store a lot of inventory in my house, and I have been aware of increasing crime rates for quite some time now. I don’t live in a bad area, but these days, you just never know.

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Offermatic Review – Get Automatic Deals & Discounts – Win 2 Free Fandango Movie Vouchers

offermatic logoI recently stumbled upon a website called Offermatic, and I’m excited to tell you about it because it has the potential to save you money at places where you’re already shopping.

It’s actually difficult to categorize the site because it’s pretty unique and there isn’t anything else like it out there just yet. It’s not really your typical coupon site, it’s not an online budgeting or money management tool, and it’s not one of those group buying daily deals sites either. In fact, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch calls it the “freak love child” of Mint.com, Groupon, and Blippy.

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15 Winter Staycation Ideas & Tips – Staying Home for Vacation

winter staycationIf you’re anything like me you’re probably dreaming of sunshine, sandy beaches or just going outside without being assaulted by air so cold it hurts your teeth. Yes, it’s that time of year again, when many people start fantasizing about finally taking that tropical vacation…

The problem? Escaping to the jungle just isn’t in the budget.

If that is your situation, you’re not alone. I’m in the same boat, as are millions of other people. I’d love to jet down to Cocoa Beach for a week of doing nothing but tan. But we’re staying home to save money.

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Kaplan GMAT Prep Course Review – Get Good GMAT Test Scores for MBA Programs

kaplan test prep logoIf you are looking to return to school for an MBA degree in order to make yourself more marketable in the job market, get a raise, or discover new great careers in business, then you’re probably contemplating a GMAT prep course. For the uninitiated, the GMAT is a rigorous, standardized test that most business schools not only require for entrance, but use to differentiate applicants. Prep courses can be extremely helpful in bettering your score, but their quality really varies.

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Nominal vs. Real Interest Rate – Effects of Inflation

interest rates yellow boxesWhen you hear people discussing interest rates or investment returns, you may notice that they make a distinction between real and nominal rates.

What’s the difference and why should it matter to you?

Essentially, the inflation rate is the difference between the two. It matters because nominal rates don’t tell the whole story – for your investment returns or the economy. To really understand what’s happening with your money, you need to look at real rates, too.

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Is a Biweekly Mortgage Payments Plan Right For You?

mortgage biweekly paymentsMy husband and I have owned a house for nearly three years, and we are constantly getting solicitations in the mail about paying our mortgage biweekly.

The letter typically goes on to say how many years you can shave off your mortgage payments and how much you can save in interest. The numbers are pretty astounding, which makes these plans tempting.

Here is some information on biweekly mortgage payments, as well as the pros and cons, to help you decide if it’s the right plan for you.

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How to Calculate Debt-to-Income Ratio for a Mortgage or Loan

debt money pie chartYou probably know, or can figure out, what a debt-to-income ratio is and that lenders use it to decide if they want to offer you a loan or mortgage.

What you may not know is that the way lenders evaluate loan-worthiness should not be how you calculate how much debt you can take on. In fact, the ratio matters for more than just lending. It’s vital to understanding your overall financial health.

For those just learning about this important financial metric, here are the calculations:

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