Frugal shoppers often wonder if they can give a used item as a gift. The answer is yes, but there are caveats: The gift must be a good value or an heirloom, and the recipient must be OK with it. I have given and received used presents. Several years ago, my husband bought me a secondhand Aeron … [Read more...] about Is it ever OK to give used presents?
Now that taxes are out of the way, it’s time to think about paying yourself. Whether you are saving for retirement, a college education or just some random future item, you may well be using mutual funds. Mutual funds are investments that pool money from many individuals. A professional portfolio … [Read more...] about Don’t let mutual fund fees eat up your savings
Retirement plans are supposed to be simple, but they are more complex than we'd like. That sometimes makes them seem so impossibly complicated that the best thing is just to do nothing. Doing nothing is precisely the wrong thing to do; the complexity isn't nearly as complicated as it is sometimes … [Read more...] about Managing retirement plan rollovers
An estate sale, sometimes known as a tag sale, and sometimes operated as an estate auction, is the sale of everything inside a house. The sales are often held to clean out the house of someone who has died, but many sellers are simply looking to downsize from a big house or start over with new … [Read more...] about How to find deals at estate sales
An estate sale, estate auction or tag sale is an efficient way to break up a household. An estate liquidation company runs the sale in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds. Depending on the area of the country and the number of items in the house, the commission may range from 25% to 45% of … [Read more...] about How to organize an estate sale
Chicago is the best-kept secret in the country. The miserable winters — and they can be miserable — tend to scare people away. That just leaves more fun for the rest of us. Chicago has a lot of great, free things to do, whether you live here or you visit. Among them? The Cultural Center. … [Read more...] about Top 10 free things to do in Chicago
A new job usually comes with a big cost: a new wardrobe. Your first office job will call for a whole new wardrobe. Your second, third or fourth job may involve a different culture and style than your past job did. How do you dress for the job without breaking the bank? The first step is to take … [Read more...] about How to build a new job wardrobe on the cheap
I love to travel, and I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to do a lot of it. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of things about how to handle money abroad. If your summer plans include travel to another country or two, these tips may help your trip be a little smoother – and a little less … [Read more...] about How to handle money when traveling the world
For a lot of historic and cultural reasons, men on average make more money than women. But averages are just that, and in many families, the wife earns more money than the husband. This shakes up traditional relationships, and not always for the better. How should people deal with that? Farnoosh … [Read more...] about What happens when she makes more? An interview with Farnoosh Torabi
Long-term care insurance is a complicated topic. If your assets are low, you may not need it because you will qualify for Medicaid with little fuss and you probably need the money you would spend on premiums to live. If you are wealthy, you're probably better off spending your own money on long-term … [Read more...] about Who needs long-term care insurance?
Whether permanently or temporarily, by choice or by circumstance, many of us are self-employed these days. We're in this gig economy, where so many of us are making our own livings with our own small businesses. That's great. Except for one thing: People who are self-employed have to provide their … [Read more...] about How to create a retirement plan when you’re self-employed
Whether it's to save money, reduce environmental impact, or be safe, a lot of families find themselves living with one car – or none at all. The number is likely to increase as the population ages, too. Cars are useful but costly: along with the purchase price and monthly payments, you have gas, … [Read more...] about How to live without a car