(Adam Hirsch)

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.  

Recently in The Do-It-Yourself Bailout

DIY Bailout: Saving Money with Your Partner

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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. 

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The Hardest Lesson of All: How Do You Mix Love and Money?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

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.

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To Invest or Not to Invest: “How” Is the Question

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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:

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DIY Bailout: Investing 101

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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.

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DIY Bailout: Are You Over-Insured?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

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?

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Insurance: Safe Bets, Better Bets

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

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:

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Should You Save for Your Kid's College or Your Own Retirement?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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?

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Before You Save for College, Save for Your Own Future

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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:

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DIY Bailout: The Art of Negotiating

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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.

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Beth's Tips for Negotiating Prices

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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.

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Behavioral Tricks to Get Yourself to Save

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Think you’ve tried everything to save more money but are still coming up short of your goals? Here are five tips to boost your bottom line, based in the increasingly popular field of behavioral economics.

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DIY Bailout: How to Trick Yourself to Save Money

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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.

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Do It Yourself Bailout: Demystifying Your Credit Score

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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.

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Getting and Keeping a Good Credit Score

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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.

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Beth Kobliner's Tax Time Tips

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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:

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Your Tax Time Questions

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We continue our personal finance series, DIY Bailout, with some tips for tax time. Beth Kobliner will be taking your questions here. With the April 15th deadline looming, what do you want to know about your taxes?

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Setting Priorities for Your DIY Bailout

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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.”

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DIY Bailout: How Do I Set Priorities?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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!

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Ask Beth Kobliner: The Do It Yourself Bailout

Monday, March 22, 2010

As we explore our Do It Yourself Bailout series, personal finance expert Beth Kobliner takes your questions about money management, budgeting, and improving your financial situation. Leave a question for her!

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Why We Find it So Hard to Talk About Money

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

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? 

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