Holiday Season Budgeting Tricks

Although the approaching winter holidays are a wonderful time of year for most people, too many people abandon their budgets (and diets!) around this time. You don't have to break the bank -- instead, just follow these holiday season budgeting tricks. Host a Potluck If you typically host a meal for Thanksgiving or one of the winter holidays, ask guests to bring a dish with them. This not only saves you money but also reduces the amount of time you have to spend preparing the meal. It can also Read more [...]

Should You Make Your Own Cat Food?

Carefully weigh the pros and cons before attempting to make your own cat food. There are actually serious health considerations that you might want to prioritize over cost issues. Dry commercial cat food is actually less beneficial than what you can get in a can or make yourself. Cats have a tendency to drink less water than other other types of animals, so the dehydration of kibble makes them susceptible to kidney failure and other digestive problems in their older years. Should You Make Read more [...]

IRS Announces 2018 Tax Rates

Few people look forward to paying their taxes, but nonetheless the Internal Revenue Service has announced its 2018 tax rates, along with associated deductions, credits and exemptions. Highlights of the 2018 Tax Rates Highlights include adding another $500 to the maximum annual contribution to most of the numbered retirement plans, along with the government's Thrift Savings Plan. Numbered Plans The maximum contribution for 401(k) plans is rising to $18,500 in 2018, up from $18,000 in 2017 -- this Read more [...]

Lower Your Rent With the Power of Negotiation

While it might seem like rents are sky high and never coming down, real estate experts have been saying that housing markets are beginning to soften. If you moved into your current digs during the peak of the rental market, you're probably paying more than most of the landlord's other tenants and thus might stand a decent chance to lower your rent. While this type of negotiation isn't easy, you can increase your chances of succeeding if you prepare ahead of time. Keeping you as a tenant saves Read more [...]

How Much Halloween Candy Should You Buy This Year?

You just might end up spending more money on Halloween candy this year that you did last year. Americans are likely to drop $2.7 bilion on candy this year up from $2.5 billion in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation. You're not alone if you're feeling like buying more candy this year than you did last year: Spending on everything having to do with the holiday is expected to set a record. Actually, 95% of shoppers surveyed by the National Retail Federation said they intend to Read more [...]

7 Renewable Energy Investments Worth Considering

Interest in renewable energy continues to grow, and demand for investments in this sector is also on the rise. That is contributing to the upside growth potential for stocks in this category. One way to capture some of this upside potential: Exchange traded funds comprised entirely of alternative energy stocks. The strategy provides a bit of diversification over just buying individual stocks, but be aware that any kind of single-sector fund has more risk than broader focused funds. Alternative Read more [...]

New Food Delivery App Focuses on Pizzerias

As if there weren't already plenty of restaurant delivery apps to choose from, one more has come out focusing just on pizza. Aptly called Slice, this free app for mobile devices is trying to entice new customers with $5 off their first order. However, in order to get that $5 off, you have to spend at least another $10 -- depending on where you live, participating pizzerias require a minimum order of $15, and some also charge delivery fees. Additionally, the promotion only populates in Read more [...]

How To Cut Overhead Expenses on Your Business

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart: Supposedly only one in 10 new businesses survives more than five years. One of the key differences between those that succeed and those that don't is whether they embrace the lean starup ideal -- meaning they keep spending to a minimum. With that in mind, here are five tips on how to rein in your overhead expenses. Right Size Your Promotions Although online advertising is presented as a cheaper alternative to offline promotions, things can work out Read more [...]

13 Good Reasons to Get Rid of Your Car

Apparently, the latest automotive trend is to... get rid of your car. Car ownership is declining, due to the proliferation of alternate transportion options along with the continued popularity of urban living environments over suburban and rural environments. About 20% of millennials don't own cars and even older generations are increasingly going this route, according to research by the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania. If you own a car, it's still a good time Read more [...]

Should Your Child Pay for Her Own Cell Phone?

With most cell phone carriers offering family pricing plans, it's all too easy for parents to pick up the tab for their kids' phones. It certainly makes sense if you can make it contingent upon their following your rules, but enforcing that can be challenging. Shouldn't a Child Pay for Her Own Cell Phone? Communicate that the phone is a privilege and not an entitlement, and you should have an easier time getting a child to follow your rules. If he or she persists in not picking up when you Read more [...]