Our government spent $11 trillion bailing out banks and major companies. Middle class Americans want to know: where’s our bailout? For the next nine weeks, Beth Kobliner will cover everything middle class Americans need to know about bailing yourself out: from how to set financial priorities, to making the most out of tax time, to improving a credit score, to saving for your kids’ colleges. Because at the end of the day, the only one who can bail you out ... is you.
It's our final installment of our Do It Yourself Bailout series. Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner has taken us on a financial journey; she's helped us learn how to invest the right way, trick ourselves into saving, and understand the art of negotiating. Today, we talk about a big piece of your financial and personal life: your spouse or partner.
What happens when you want to save money for a home, or your kids’ college or for retirement, but your spouse wants to blow it on a trip to Bali or, even worse, waste it away, one dinner out at a time? While our nation has picked over just about every other topic—sex, love, politics—the one we seem to successfully avoid discussing is money. And yet a classic study by Paul R. Amato and Stacey J. Rogers found that feeling that one’s spouse wastes money is the third most common reason why people get divorced, after affairs and drug abuse.
If you’re like a lot of people, the idea of investing seems overwhelming, mysterious and downright frightening. The wild ride, you reason, just isn’t for you. That argument may make sense for money you know you’ll need to get your hands on within the next ten years. But for money you don’t plan to touch for longer, it can be riskier to keep your cash in a savings account that does not keep up with inflation.
After you pay off high-rate credit card debt, put money into tax-favored retirement plans (particularly those with company matches) and save six months’ worth of living expenses in a bank savings account (to bail you out if you lose your job or have a major emergency), you should consider investing at least a portion of your money. Some steps to consider:
We are closer than ever to getting our financial life in order here on The Takeaway. This is week nine of our series, Do It Yourself Bailout. Since the beginning of the series Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner, author of "Get a Financial Life" has tackled our trickiest money issues in order to help us all get on sound financial footing. We have talked about how to trick yourself into saving more money and whether you should prioritise your retirement savings over saving for your kid's college, among many other money questions.
It's week eight of The Takeaway's Do It Yourself Bailout with our friend Beth Kobliner, author of "Get a Financial Life", and we're taking a good long look in the mirror at our spending habits: where we're saving, if we're saving enough and whether we can do more to bail ourselves out of the financial mess that many of us are in. This week's question to ask yourself: are you spending too much on insurance? Or not enough?
If you’re looking to tighten your belt, you may be eying your various insurance policies and wondering if you’re just throwing money down the drain. The answer is: You might be! There’s insurance you may have too much of, and insurance you don’t have enough of. Here’s how to sort it out:
We've been talking with Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner, author of "Get a Financial Life", about how to get ourselves on strong financial footing, with our Do It Yourself Bailout series. This week, Beth helps us with a big dilemma: If we can't afford to do both, should we sock away money every month for retirement or save for our kids' college?
Even if you don’t have kids yet, you’ve heard the scary numbers: the parents of an entering college freshmen this fall can expect to pay $161,000 for a four-year private college education and $121,000 for four years at an out-of-state public college. And the once bargain-basement priced in-state colleges don’t seem like such a steal anymore: in-state freshmen heading to the average four-year public college can expect to pay roughly $66,000 over the next four years.
All that being said, you still need to put your adult-self first and save for your retirement before you save for college. Here’s why:
Everyone has at least one family member who loves to negotiate, whether they fight for a good deal on a new car or a free dessert: They just don't stop until they've gotten a concession on the price. Well, Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner, author of "Get a Financial Life", thinks we should look to that family member for inspiration in making our very own DIY Bailout. She says everyone should aspire to the art of deal making.
Day-to-day purchases in this country are generally pretty straightforward: Instead of haggling we look at the price tag, decide if it’s worth it, and make our decision. That means we don’t build up a lot experience negotiating, so when it comes to discussing salaries with potential employers or calling up our credit-card companies to ask for lower-rates, we’re tongue-tied. Still, negotiating is an important skill. Here are some tips on how to do it right.
The government bailout of the big banks on Wall Street is still headline news. But nobody we know got a bailout, and lots of people are trying to figure out how to make it through the recession. Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner, author of "Get a Financial Life", is helping us construct our own bailout; this week, she teaches us now to trick ourselves into saving money.
Each week in our "Do-It-Yourself Bailout" series, we talk about how we can all get into better financial shape and bail ourselves out of debt. This week: credit scores.
Are you looking to buy a house, a car or other major item using credit? You will almost certainly hear about your "credit score," if you are. It's not something you can study for, though you can improve it: Here are the 7 things you need to know about getting and keeping a good credit score.
Only two weeks and a day until tax time! If you had a rough 2009, however, there may be a silver lining. If your income went down last year, you might qualify for more deductions and credits than you did in 2008. And even if you didn’t lose your job, there’s a lot you can do to help save yourself some cash:
In the aftershocks of the financial crisis and with billions of dollars flying in stimulus, TARP, and other tools, have you been left wondering where your bailout is? Takeaway contributor, Beth Kobliner has gotten that question a lot: she's the author of “Get a Financial Life.”
One of the personal finance questions I get asked the most is “How do I set priorities?” In fact, the first conversation I had with Celeste was about this very topic. To quote the Takeaway co-host: “I hear what you’re saying about an emergency fund, paying off credit card debt, and starting an IRA ... but what do I actually do first?” It’s no wonder people are confused: with so many things to do with money, it’s hard to know where to start!
This past year we’ve heard a lot of talk about the bailouts that America’s big banks got in the wake of the sub-prime mortgage debacle. And the question keeps coming up: what about the little guy? Who will come in and bail me out?