Financial infidelity may be rampant, but not in this household.
You can have your spreadsheets, online budgeting sites, statements, etc. Want to know what the single greatest positive impact on my finances has been? I'll tell you -- it's my wife. Let me explain.
Back in the day, I was in debt, had no savings, no investments, and my net worth was measured in things I owned (not like a house but more like guitars and music CDs). I wasn't the picture of good financial health.
But I slowly worked my way out of my financial funk. I educated myself. I paid off my credit cards. I contributed to my 401k. I started saving.
I did these things on my own. Had I not met my wife, I would have continued to improve my finances but not to the extent they're at now. My wife turbocharged my finances, well, OUR finances.
It's a good sign when both employers and employees are more confident about job growth.
We recently told you about three cautiously optimistic employment predictions. Well, here are three more for 2011. And this time, the good news is spread around a bit.
- Applying for a job? Estimate your credit score first
Temp wages on the rise. "Wages for skilled temporary employees have finally bottomed out and are inching up," says the Yoh Index of Wages, which for a decade has been following wages of temp workers in IT, engineering, science, health care and telecommunications, among other industries.
Last September, those temp workers earned an average of $29.81 an hour -- a four-year low. But in December, it climbed back up to $31.55. And that's good news even if you're not an engineer.
PenFed takes first place, First Premier is last, and the short-lived Kardashian Kard is the most-hated.
The credit card rating website recently released what it considers to be the worst and best credit cards of 2010.
Were you swearing under your breath at the pumps in 2008? Here's why it'll be easier to handle if prices soar again (and they probably will).
When gas prices hit $4 per gallon back in the summer of 2008, America's drivers had a collective breakdown. No other single item affects the American psyche like gas prices, which are advertised on every street corner and magnified by the media every time they hit an uncomfortable threshold. No wonder car sales stalled, consumer confidence collapsed, and some motorists even mothballed their cars, switching to buses or bicycles to get around.
Gas prices retreated during the recession, plunging all the way to $1.60 by the end of 2008 -- a much-needed break for consumers at a time when many other things were going wrong. But a recovering economy has once again lifted the price of gas above $3, an unusual spike during the winter months, when motorists typically drive less. With the global economy heating up -- especially in oil-thirsty China -- many forecasters expect oil prices to keep rising, bringing gas prices along with them.
People often make big decisions without much information to go on.
Quick game: I have just invented a device that will show me a face or a tree at random every time I use it.
I'm going to use it 16 times, and you're going to guess the probability that the device will show a face the next time I use it.
OK, here are my results:
In your online statements, banks are inserting targeted ads from companies you patronize. Is that an invasion of privacy or an efficient way to get coupons?
Your bank statement is the last place you expect to be asked "Do you want fries with that?"
But McDonald's is among a number of retailers who are now advertising in online bank statements. They may not just suggest you get fries on your next visit, they'll offer you 10% cash back, with the clickable "coupon" going right on your debit card. You may get the same offer from McDonald's if you've used your debit card to charge a meal at Burger King.
Got a creative way to kill a card? Want to share how you got out of debt? Do it on video.
Planning to ditch a credit card? Doing so creatively may win you a prize.
Lending Club and Perk Street Financial are sponsoring the "Shred Your Credit Card" contest. It's a three-step process -- and you get to be evil if you want:
A reader poses that question. How would you respond?
What happens when a great opportunity comes along, but you don't quite have the resources to take advantage of it? That's what Greg wants to know. He and his wife have found their dream house. They think they can buy the place -- but only if they're willing to take on some short-term debt in addition to the mortgage. Greg wants to know if this is a smart move.
- Buying a home? Estimate your credit score for free
Here's his story:
My wife and I are in our late 20s, no kids (yet), both safely employed and living very comfortably with a combined monthly income of around $5,000 after taxes. We currently have about $28,000 in student loans, and plan to pay them all off within the year. The original amount was $37,000 six months ago, so we've been making quick progress with them. One loan is in deferment while my wife is in school, another requires $80 a month for the payments, and the one we are aggressively paying off has no monthly payment due until 2014 because of our extra payments. Basically, we only need $80 a month to satisfy our loans for the next two years. We have no car payments, credit card debt, or anything other than the student loans.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'