Vacations are about throwing all caution to the winds, right? Indulge, play and forget your worries. No one is questioning whether vacations are about enjoyment, but there are some things you’ll still need to keep in mind if you want to find your finances intact when your vacation is over.
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I often get asked sheepishly if it makes sense to buy or lease a new car, knowing what my response is going to be, but hoping I might still legitimize what they want to do—most of us know that buying or leasing a new car is rarely a good deal or smart financial decision, but we can’t resist the temptation of driving a brand new car with all the latest bells and whistles. If you’re grappling with this decision or will be soon, read on to find out the arguments on both sides and how to make the most of it whether you end up buying new or used:Read more →
You’ve finally set aside time to plan for the future. You think about all the things you need to save for—retirement, college, vacations, emergencies, taking care of your parents, paying off your mortgage early, paying off your student loans, getting rid of your credit card debts, etc. Then you figure out how much money you have left to save after paying all your bills and you realize it’s barely enough to save for even one of the items in your list. You don’t know which item is most important so how can you possibly choose just one? And what if you make the wrong choice? It feels hopeless and futile. Don’t make the mistake of giving up and not saving at all. Whether it’s prioritizing your goals or reducing your expenses to free up more money to save, there is a solution that can work for you:Read more →
Leaving your job, whether willingly or not, can be a harrowing ordeal. Often the last thing you consider (if you ever do) is what to do with your 401k plan. Does it make sense to leave it alone? Or would it be better to roll it over to an IRA or your new company’s 401k? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think:Read more →
Marriage is complicated enough as it is—the merging of two families, two personalities and two people’s finances. Once you add stepchildren and ex-spouses to the equation, it starts to look like you’ll need to dust off your college calculus textbooks to solve this math problem. Time to get some tutoring:Read more →
Since you have your financial paperwork out anyways to do your taxes, now is the perfect time to review your finances to see where you’re at now and where you could be going. You might be able to pay off all your credit cards or go on that dream vacation this year—you won’t know until you see your complete financial picture. Make the time to find out: Receive 10% off appointments booked with The Financial Sort between April 16 and May 15. Need more convincing? Read on:Read more →
Tax rules change every year, but not all of them apply to everyone. Find your situation to see which changes you need to know about:
You have a domestic partner:Read more →
Imagine the feeling of a huge weight being lifted off of you—that’s what it feels like when you make your final debt payment and you know you never have to pay another cent of interest again. Whether you fantasize of retiring the day after you make your last mortgage payment or planning a celebratory vacation after mailing your last student loan payment, the freedom that’s waiting for you at the end will provide more than enough motivation to help you keep this New Year’s resolution:Read more →
You’re not alone if you’re worried about all the things that can go wrong if you retire. The experience of the financial crisis decimating retirement accounts, causing retirees to have to return to work and creating widespread unemployment for adult children who can’t support themselves has influenced many people to reconsider if and when they’ll ever be able to retire. Instead of allowing them to stifle your retirement dreams, the best response to make your worries productive is to use them to motivate yourself to plan and be prepared for whatever may happen:Read more →
When Generation X went to college 10-20 years ago, attending Harvard University cost between $20,000 to $36,000 per year. Today the cost is over $56,000. This is the generation that is now raising young children and has seen the cost of college double since they graduated, facing the prospect that by the time their kids leave high school, the cost may have doubled again. Generation X Harvard alumni who want to send their kids to their alma mater are looking at a possible annual cost of more than $100,000 per year. Hopefully their degrees landed them hefty incomes, but that still won’t do them any good unless they start saving now. And that goes for everyone, no matter what your alma mater—even a public university (at today’s cost of approximately $27,000 per year) is still projected to cost around $65,000 per year (at a 6% inflation rate) in 14 years. Some thoughts on how to get started saving:Read more →
Your personal finances are just a tool to help you achieve what’s important in life, but staying on top of them can be tedious and confusing. The Financial Sort blog explores how to make your personal finances simpler and easier to manage. Austinites: You can also find localized personal finance articles at Examiner.com.