Financial Goals for 2010

Now is the time to outline your financial goals for 2010. In case you haven’t already done this, I’ve put together some ideas to get you started. While I’ve loosely prioritized the main themes, you’ll want to tailor things according to your individual situation. Reduce your debt Debt reduction should, in my opinion, always be […]


What are 2010 Traditional IRA & Roth IRA Contribution Limits?

For those of you planning ahead, here are the IRA contribution limits for 2010. Contribution limits have been indexed to inflation since 2008, and can increase in $500 increments (as necessary). Because inflation has been so low, however, there’s not much new under the sun. The IRA contribution limits will be staying the same in […]


Effect of FICO Credit Scores on Loan Interest Rates

The other night, I was poking around over on MyFICO. They have a 30 day free trial that provides you with access to both your credit report and your FICO credit score. The free credit report isn’t a big deal, as you can get that free no matter what. The credit score, on the other […]


Reactive vs. Proactive Finances

This is a guest post from Darwin of Darwin’s Finance. If you like what you see here, please consider subscribing to his RSS Feed. In life, we’re routinely faced with situations that require an immediate reaction. Consider the need to pay monthly bills and keep your head above water. Beyond these short-term reactions lie proactive […]


401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) Contribution Limits for 2010

Back in August, I suggested that 401(k) limits might be decreasing in 2010. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Rather, the limit on elective deferrals will be holding steady at $16, 500/year. This limit not only applies to 401(k) accounts, but to 403(b) and 457(b) accounts, as well. If you are 50 or older, you qualify […]


The Economics of Gift Giving

With Christmas now in the rearview mirror, I thought it would be interesting to talk about gift giving strategies. According to a recent blurb in Money Magazine, Joel Waldfogel (Wharton School economist) has argued the following about gift-giving: “The problem with buying presents is that it’s economically inefficient. When I spend $100 on myself, there’s […]


Paying for Quality Saves Time and Money

As long as you are not smack dab in the middle of aggressive debt reduction (and perhaps eve if you are), paying extra for quality is rarely a bad idea. Sure, as with anything there are exceptions to the rule, but rather than focus on those exceptions, let’s focus on the rule itself. Quality is […]


Lending Club: The Cost of Inactive Money

I updated our account in Quicken over this past weekend. In doing so, I was able to get a better look at the “real world” performance of my Lending Club portfolio. According to Lending Club, my net annualized projected returns by Grade A-C of 5.11% – 9.29% (be sure to check the Lending Club website […]


When Should You Use Your Emergency Savings Fund?

Emergency funds are a hot topic amongst financial writers. How much do you need? How should you go about building one? Where should you keep it? It seems like every time you turn around, people are writing about the importance of emergency funds. Despite all of the attention paid to emergency funds, relatively little attention […]


Get Focused on Your Finances

It’s easy to complain when you don’t reach your goals, but it takes real commitment to figure out what you can do to improve your situation – and then to act on it. If you don’t, you’ll never get ahead, financially or otherwise. Create a financial blueprint When it comes to your finances, it’s hard […]