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Keep all of your plastic in order and your finances won't suffer.

By Credit.com 23 minutes ago
This post comes from Jason Steele at partner site Credit.com.

Credit.com on MSN MoneyThere are some good reasons that credit card users may want to have multiple accounts open at the same time.


Often, cardholders are trying to take advantage of the unique benefits of different cards, such as bonus rewards for certain categories of spending. Some earn tremendous amounts of points and miles through generous sign-up bonuses. Others choose to have multiple credit cards in order to expand their credit history and improve their credit scores.


Credit card and computer © Stockbyte/SuperStockRegardless of the reasons for having multiple credit cards, cardholders will need to some way to keep track of their spending.

 

Airline co-branded credit cards can save you lots of money. But be careful: They can come with big annual fees.

By MSN Money Partner 28 minutes ago

This post comes from Summer Hull at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyMost of us are initially attracted to one of the multitude of airline co-branded credit cards out there because of the 30,000-, 50,000-, or sometimes even 100,000-mile sign-up bonuses that are offered. Don't get me wrong, those miles are very valuable, but many airline credit cards can do more than just earn you frequent-flier miles.


Airline © Blend Images/SuperStockThey can also save you money by helping you avoid some pesky airline fees.


This savings can be huge. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation said U.S.-based airlines charged $3.35 billion in baggage fees alone. That doesn't count the additional fees the airlines charge for changing your flight, early boarding, premium seat assignments, on-board food, and more.


There are some situations where there is nothing you can do to avoid airline fees, but in other cases a simple co-branded airline credit card will protect you from certain fees, such as checked bag fees, or even save you some money on on-board purchases. Here are examples:

 

One online calculator tells a reader he's on track, and another tells him he'll need to save half his salary from now until he retires. Which one are you supposed to believe?

By MSN Money Partner 1 hour ago

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWe all hate something. Almost everybody hates taxes. My wife's family hates the Red Sox. Me? I hate online calculators.


Financial adviser talking with clients © NULL/CorbisFor a textbook example of why, here's this week's reader question:

I checked the calculators you provided in your recent article "8 reasons your parents had an easier retirement than you will." AARP said that I was over target, Bloomberg had me right on, and the FINRA calculator said that I needed to save 50 percent of my income every year from now on to make my target.
How do we validate that the information we are getting is accurate? There is no lack of information … but when they do not agree, how do we find what is good information? -- Kenneth

I'm not surprised Kenneth can't find an online calculator he can count on. Here are the reasons I've grown to hate many types of online calculators.

 

CareerCast has released its list of jobs that really aren't as glamorous as they seem.

By MSN Money Partner 21 hours ago

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.


Have you ever dreamed about the glamorous life of a lawyer or advertising executive? It turns out both jobs are anything but, despite what you may have seen on television with "Mad Men" or "Suits."


 Laws © Medio Images/SuperStock

High stress, weak hiring prospects for entry-level applicants and a so-so annual salary push advertising execs to the top of CareerCast.com's new list of the most overrated jobs in America.


Here are the top five most overrated jobs for 2014:

  • Advertising account executive. The projected hiring outlook is negative 1 percent over the next eight years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Lawyer. If you want dramatic courtroom showdowns like those depicted on TV, think again. "Being a lawyer is a lot of long hours spent poring over reading material and memorizing precedents," CareerCast said.
  • Author. It's incredibly challenging (and competitive) to become a published author, especially if you want to write full time, CareerCast said.
  • Bookkeeper. Low pay and the threat of automation are hallmarks of bookkeeping.
  • Event coordinator. Despite a positive outlook for growth, event coordinators have to be able to adapt to a variety of clients and their demands. It's a "high-stress, high-pressure job," CareerCast said.
 

We've got some sensible suggestions (and a few "out there" ideas) to help you save money on baby-sitting.

By MSN Money Partner 24 hours ago

This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWhen was the last time you spent any quality time away from your little darlings? Can't remember? Then this is the article for you.


It doesn't matter how much you love them or how sweet they are; every parent's sanity can benefit from a little me time. I have five kids. I know.

 

They can qualify for cards and are capable of building credit, but many are opting to avoid the debt that comes with them.

By Credit.com 24 hours ago
This post comes from Christine Di Gangi at partner site Credit.com.

Credit.com on MSN MoneyIf you ask a young consumer about the contents of his wallet, there's a pretty good chance he'll tell you he has a debit card in it, if a recent survey is any indication. The prevalence of ecommerce and mobile banking practically makes it a necessity to have a payment card of some kind if you want to engage in the modern economy, but among the youngest adult generation, debit cards are the favorite.


Millennials -- people define the group differently, but it's generally people ages 18 to 30 or 35 -- favor debit cards  not because they don't want to build credit or can't qualify for credit cards, rather they tend to have an aversion to the idea of debt. Millennials started their adult lives during or in the wake of the financial crisis, in which debt emerged as a devastating villain to be avoided at all costs in the future.

 

A new comprehensive report by the Federal Reserve finds that most Americans' incomes have fallen since 2007, and the recovery hasn't brought them back.

By MSN Money Partner 24 hours ago

This post comes from Marilyn Lewis at partner site Money Talks News. 


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyThe verdict is in on the economic recovery, and it's what you may have suspected: The only Americans who have really recovered are wealthy ones.


Businessman with cigar © Juice Images , SuperStockThe majority of U.S. families could not even handle an unanticipated expense as small as $400, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says a new Federal Reserve survey has revealed. Those families would need to sell something, borrow or not pay, she said.


Financial crisis looming for many families

"For many lower-income families without assets, the definition of a financial crisis is a month or two without a paycheck, or the advent of a sudden illness or some other unexpected expense," Yellen said, speaking to the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a nonprofit organization whose goal is financial independence for lower-income families.


She described more findings from the Fed's Survey of Consumer Finances, a major study done every three years. This year's study is called "Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2010 to 2013: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances" (.pdf file). Among the findings:

  • The median net worth of the bottom 20 percent of U.S. households, some 25 million households in the lowest income bracket, was just $6,400. The median is the point in the middle for the group; half had a net worth that was higher, and half were lower.
  • Many of those families had no savings at all. For some, their debts exceeded assets.
 

She's 20-something, making $57,000 a year in Southern California, and can't afford to rent an apartment on her own, let alone buy a house. It's part of a phenomenon called The Great Delay.

By MSN Money Partner 24 hours ago

This post comes from Bob Sullivan at partner site Money Talks News. 


Money Talks News on MSN Money"What is making me 'restless' is that I 'should' be able to live on my own. I hate the idea of the very real possibility that I may be 30 and still living with a roommate because I cannot afford to rent by myself."


Conflict between roommates © Izabela Habur/Getty ImagesIn The Restless Project, I am examining the surprising reasons that many Americans feel stuck, even though they seem to be doing all right. Household budgeting is one main factor. The reasons are simple: Wages are stagnant, but costs have risen, particularly housing and education costs. Outstanding student loans, now more than $1 trillion, have tripled in a decade, for example.


In other words, many people feel like they are earning plenty but still have no money left to plan for the future.


In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing individual American budgets that represent typical experiences. Today we start with a millennial who has no idea when she'll be able to live on her own.

 

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