Laura's Articles

These articles were written by Laura Martinez, who helps families achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt and building freelance income over at Couple Money.

Adjusting Our Life Insurance Coverage

Written by Laura Martinez - 6 Comments

About a year and a half ago, I wrote about how we decided on our life insurance needs. Recently, Neal mentioned that he has re-evaluated his own life insurance needs, and now we’re thinking about modifying our coverage as our circumstances have changed.
The fact that we’re expecting a baby this summer has encouraged us to [...]

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Published on March 29th, 2011 - 6 Comments
Filed under: Insurance
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Living in a Small Space Can Pay Big Dividends

Written by Laura Martinez - 15 Comments

When we got married, our first apartment was a very tight fit. It was a small, one-bedroom apartment with an awkward layout. Our living room had to be creatively arranged to accommodate a small couch, a television, and a chair for any guests that might drop by. There were also no locks on any of [...]

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Can You Eat Healthier and Save Money at the Same Time?

Written by Laura Martinez - 8 Comments

We recently signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) produce delivery program. We paid our annual membership fee and the deliveries are set to run from next month through the end of October. I’ve heard from others that CSAs can be expensive to join, but that there can be valuable health benefits. Today, I [...]

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Published on March 15th, 2011 - 8 Comments
Filed under: Frugality
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Putting Your Spare Change to Good Use

Written by Laura Martinez - 24 Comments

My husband and I each have our own jars that we deposit our loose change into. I keep my loose change in my car until the little coin compartment can’t fit anymore and then dump most of it into my jar at home. My husband is more systematic, and empties his pockets each day to [...]

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Published on March 8th, 2011
Modified on September 27th, 2013 - 24 Comments
Filed under: Miscellany
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Adjusting to an Increase in Income

Written by Laura Martinez - 9 Comments

We recently received some good news from my husband’s employer. Starting this month, he’ll be getting a raise of a few hundred dollars per month. Of course, whenever we experience a change in income or expenses, we sit down and create plan for the change. We have clear financial goals that we both want to [...]

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Published on March 3rd, 2011
Modified on March 5th, 2011 - 9 Comments
Filed under: Planning, Saving & Investing, Working
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Save for Retirement Before You Save for College

Written by Laura Martinez - 18 Comments

Many parents would do just about anything to give their kids the best opportunities in life. In some cases, they’ll even go so far as working extra hours to make sure their children have access to activities, tutors, etc. that can put them ahead.
Given this, one are that worries many parents is the high (and [...]

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Published on February 22nd, 2011
Modified on February 27th, 2011 - 18 Comments
Filed under: Uncategorized
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Alternatives to Lending Money to Family or Friends

Written by Laura Martinez - 15 Comments

Lending money to family or friends can be an awkward decision. On the one hand, you want to help out a loved one in need, but will you ever get your money back? If you want to help, but think that helping them out with a loan will only make things worse, then here are [...]

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Published on February 15th, 2011
Modified on February 19th, 2011 - 15 Comments
Filed under: Banking, Debt Reduction
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Saving Money When Buying a Washer and Dryer

Written by Laura Martinez - 12 Comments

My husband and I bought a washer and dryer a little over a week ago. We knew that we’d eventually have to make the purchase, as we’ve been making do with a set that we bought awhile ago on Craigslist for $150. This time around, we followed our own advice on making big purchases and [...]

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Published on February 8th, 2011
Modified on December 13th, 2011 - 12 Comments
Filed under: House & Home
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How Much Does Your Credit Score Matter?

Written by Laura Martinez - 42 Comments

Certain personal finance gurus such as Dave Ramsey argue that you can (and should) ignore your FICO credit score. Others, like Suze Orman, advocate taking control of your score. So who is right?
Given how often credit scores are talked about in various books and on TV, I wanted to dig deeper and see how much [...]

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Published on February 1st, 2011
Modified on July 21st, 2014 - 42 Comments
Filed under: Credit Cards, Debt Reduction
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Looking Into 529 Plans for College Savings

Written by Laura Martinez - 10 Comments

Last week, I announced that we’re having our first child, and I talked about some of the financial impacts and decisions that we’ll face. We received an incredible amount of valuable feedback and advice, for which my husband and I are both thankful. In a followup comment, Investor Junkie got us thinking about saving for [...]

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Published on January 25th, 2011
Modified on January 31st, 2011 - 10 Comments
Filed under: Education, Saving & Investing
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