Get a Better Mortgage Rate Without Refinancing

For several years before 2017, mortgage interest rates just kept falling. Just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower, they did. But with the Fed’s recent announcement of an increased benchmark rate, banks are bumping up their prime lending rates. Even still, rates are quite low. Freddie Mac puts the average mortgage rate for 30-year […]


How to Request an IRS Income Tax Extension

It’s that time of year again… taxes are due in two weeks! So if you haven’t finished your returns yet, it’s time to get cracking. But what if you realize that you’re not going to make it in time? Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that you […]


Building an Emergency Fund

I’m sure that you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: when you’re getting your financial house in order, your first step should be to build up an emergency fund. An emergency fund helps you get through financial rough patches in your life — broken washing machines, unexpected medical bills, and the like — without […]


You Can Only Spend Each Dollar Once

Over the weekend, I sat down to talk a bit about money with our oldest son. He receives a decent monthly allowance; he got some gift money for his birthday back in October, and he also makes money from random jobs like pet sitting, etc. Yet, he was broke… and more importantly, he wasn’t sure how […]


How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

No one wants to think about death — but ignoring the possibility doesn’t change the fact that you still need to prepare for the worst. A big part of this planning process is buying a life insurance policy. In writing about how to save money on life insurance, I mentioned that you shouldn’t buy too […]


Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early or Invest?

Should you pay off your mortgage early? Or should you focus on investing with your spare cash? This is one of the most hotly debated topics in personal finance, with vocal proponents on both sides. Today, I thought I’d take a look at this issue from both angles and then share our approach with you. […]


Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps

While I’ve been somewhat critical of Dave Ramsey and his “Debt Snowball” in the past, he’s definitely helped an awful lot of people get their finances in order. Thus, I thought that it might be worth spending a bit of time talking about Dave’s “Baby Steps” for getting out of debt and improving your finances. […]


How to Save Money on Life Insurance

Life insurance is an incredibly important financial product. Unfortunately, it’s also relatively costly. With that in mind, I thought I’d put together some tips for saving money when you’re in the market for a life insurance policy. Get healthy Any insurer worth their salt will require a physical as part of the underwriting process. The […]


Current High-Yield Online Savings Account Rates

I frequently receive e-mails asking my opinion as to which online bank has the best high-yield savings account. I’ve used several online banks over the years for my emergency fund and look to a few factors in selecting a savings account: The interest rate (of course) Minimum deposit requirements Monthly maintenance fees The website and […]


Contribute to Your Roth IRA, Even if it Stretches Your Budget

Your 2016 taxes are due in just over three months. That also means that you have just over three months left to make any 2016 IRA contributions that you might have been putting off. But what if you’ve neglected to contribute to an IRA because you’re not sure you can afford it? Maybe the only […]