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Lifetime Savings Plan – Major Life Expenses & Savings Principles at Every Age

By Michael Lewis

saving for the futureMany Americans are now discovering that a comfortable retirement and adequate healthcare are beyond their means. As a consequence, we are working later in life, lowering our expectations, and going without not only luxuries, but essentials as well.

The decisions we make through our lives come with financial consequences. These choices include the careers we develop, the colleges we attend, the people we marry, the size of our family, and the lifestyles we adopt. While many of these choices may seem out of our control, it is possible to make adjustments along the way to minimize their worst financial consequences. The advantage available to everyone is time: The sooner we understand the long-term impact of our decisions and make the necessary changes, the more likely we are to reach our financial goals.

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How Long Does Makeup Last? – When to Throw Away Old Cosmetics

By Laura Williams

makeupIf you’re like most women, chances are you have a drawer full of cosmetics bursting at the seams. Lipsticks, facial creams, sunscreen, and even hair products have a tendency to accumulate – but when was the last time you considered clearing out your cosmetics drawer for any other reason than to free up space?

The fact is, cosmetics expire. Creams, gels, and liquids are particularly prone to spoilage – they become hotbeds of bacterial activity, they stop working correctly, and they can even negatively affect your skin, leading to breakouts or rashes.

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Understanding Economic Subsidies & Incentives for Corporate Relocations

By Michael Lewis

walmart photo by ken wolterThe taxpayers of America are unknowing victims of corporate extortion, effectively subsidizing big companies at the rate of billions of dollars each year for corporate relocations. The subsidies are often in the form of tax benefits, but may even be cash payments to companies threatening to move from their existing location – or to companies willing to move if the bribe is sufficient.

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8 Ways to Add Accent to Your Outfit Combinations for $50

By Jacqueline Curtis

wardrobe updateWe’ve all been there: pawing through a perfectly adequate wardrobe and still feeling like there’s nothing to wear. One day, you love your current collection of duds, and the next, you’re completely bored by every single option. Sure, a new wardrobe in this season’s “it” colors, fabrics, and styles would help inject some life into anyone’s closet, but it would also cost a small fortune. So, you have a choice – wear something old, or splurge on something new.

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10 Frugal Lifestyle YouTube Channels Worth Following

By Laura Williams

woman computer piggy bankYouTube is currently the second largest search engine worldwide, ranked just below Google. It may be best known for cute cat videos and embarrassing viral bloopers, but if you’re looking for information on practically any subject, it’s safe to assume there’s a channel for it.

The trick with YouTube is finding worthwhile content. If you search “cheap makeup,” you’ll end up with 616,000 videos, which may or may not be what you’re looking for. One thing I’ve learned is that when you’re looking for information on a general topic, such as frugal lifestyle, it’s helpful to search by channel. You can then narrow down your options by diving deeper into the channels with the most followers or the niche subject you’re most interested in.

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How to Better Organize Your Makeup – 5 Essential Tips

By Jacqueline Curtis

makeupWhen you’re totally obsessed with beauty products, buying and sampling the latest goods isn’t the problem – it’s trying to store them all. My makeup drawer is overrun with beauty products, from old standby favorites to impulse buys I don’t even like anymore. Sound familiar?

Though it’s just a short, afternoon project, organizing your makeup drawer can result in major benefits. Not only can it help you save time when searching for your favorite lipstick, it can also save you money: When you know what you have on-hand, you can avoid purchasing duplicates.

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How to Declutter & Downsize Your Home Effectively – 9 Essential Tips

By Laura Williams

declutterIn 11 years of marriage, my husband and I have moved 10 times. We’re not in the military, and there’s no good explanation for all the moves, except that they just made sense at the time. Most of our moves were from a smaller dwelling to a bigger one, which meant there wasn’t much downsizing that needed to take place between moves – we just loaded everything up and carted it along with us.

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What Is myRA – What to Know About The New Retirement Account

By Laura Williams

myra retirement account logoAccording to an August 2014 report from Bankrate, more than one-third (36%) of American adults are not currently saving for retirement. Worse yet, more than a quarter of Americans nearing retirement age (50 to 64 years old) have yet to save anything.

While the stats are staggering, they’re somewhat understandable – it’s easy to de-prioritize retirement savings when you’re struggling to pay those monthly bills. Excuses such as, “I love my job, so I’ll just keep working until I die,” or, “As soon as I finish paying off credit card debt, I’ll open an account,” are easy to come by.

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7 Ways to Save Money When Building a New House

By Laura Williams

home buildingWhen my husband and I moved back to Texas almost two years ago, the plan was to build a separate home on a shared five-acre property with my parents. However, as is often the case in life, things did not go according to plan. Unexpected expenses arose, jobs changed, and one thing after another prevented us from starting an immediate build. And yet, as time passed, it became clear for everyone’s sanity that we needed a place of our own – and soon.

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Biking in the Winter & Cold Weather – Equipment, Safety, Cost & Health Benefits

By Brian Martucci

photo by Papa Bravo / Shutterstock.com According to a League of American Cyclists study, my adopted hometown (Minneapolis) is among the most popular U.S. cities for bike commuters. With numerous bodies of water within city limits, it also has a dense network of recreational trails, and new ones are constantly being built.

But there’s a catch. According to The Weather Channel, the Twin Cities comprise the coldest major metropolitan area in the United States, a place where snow cover can persist for six months out of the year and temperatures routinely drop below zero. So serious cyclists here need to have thick skin (and a lot of clothing to protect it).

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10 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

passport travel credit cardsMany of the first rewards cards were credit cards that offered “miles” for purchases, which could be saved and used for purchasing airline tickets. Nowadays, flight restrictions and requirements on travel rewards cards don’t always result in dream vacations.

As a result, many travel rewards cards now award purchases with not only miles, but opportunities for cash back. These options are especially important if you are not a frequent flyer, but still want to carry a travel rewards card. If you fit this description, here are some of the best travel rewards credit cards to meet your needs.

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4 Best Credit Cards for College Students – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

college student credit cardWhile college students may need their own credit cards for a number of reasons, the most important reason is to establish and build a positive credit history. However, if handled improperly, credit cards can have an extremely negative impact, and can result in an overwhelming mountain of debt.

As a student, it’s important to choose a credit card that you can easily manage. Furthermore, you must restrain yourself from overspending, and always pay your balances in full and on time. The best options on the market have minimal fees, yet provide student-friendly benefits, as well as excellent opportunities to build credit.

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5 Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

secured credit cards cashIt’s not easy to repair damaged credit after a series of missed payments or bankruptcy, but with the help of a secured credit card, it is possible. And while secured credit cards sometimes have a bad reputation for having heavy fees and high interest rates (which can exacerbate debt), the right card can help you build your credit history.

When choosing a secured credit card, it is important to pay attention to fees, and verify that your payment history will be reported to the credit bureaus. Prepaid cards function similarly to debit cards – therefore, your usage of a prepaid card is not reported to the bureaus, doing nothing to improve your credit.

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9 Best Low APR Interest Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

credit cards walletIf you regularly carry credit card balances, it is important that you choose a credit card featuring a low interest rate, rather than a rewards credit card. Rewards cards generally have high APRs, and should only be used by those who can pay off the entire balance each month.

Many low interest options are simple, “plain vanilla” credit cards designed to allow you to make purchases and transfer balances without paying a significant amount of interest. However, some low interest cards buck industry trends and offer small bonuses and rewards programs. Here are a number of the best low APR cards available based both on the rates they charge and the rewards they offer.

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8 Best Cash Back Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

By Christina Majaski

credit card cash pocketAmong rewards credit cards, cash back cards are the most popular. Instead of offering bonuses that can only be redeemed for airline miles or hotel stays, cash back cards reward you for your purchases with actual cash that, for the most part, can be used however you like.

An important factor in determining which cards are the best cash back credit cards is how much cash is received per dollar spent, and whether it is possible to earn enough cash back to compensate for the cost of carrying the credit card. Keep in mind that in order to maximize your earning potential on any reward card, it is recommended that you pay your balance in full each month in order to avoid paying interest on purchases.

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