Reader’s Story | So Excited to be Getting Out of Debt!

I'm so excited for my reader, J! She's been emailing me for a while about their getting out of debt plans - and now they are really on a roll with their debt snowball. Dear Mara, We just paid off our SECOND DEBT! Turned out car needed minor … [Read more...]

Mint.com Tutorial, Part 3 | How to Split Expenses

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While there is no right or wrong way to track expenses, I have found that the best way for my family is with Mint.com. Instead of having to check through all my credit cards and bank cards, or remember to save every single receipt (only to inevitably … [Read more...]

Monthly Deficit in the Thousands – What do you do?

I just responded to a question from a new reader on my About Me page, but it was such a pull-at-my-heart question, that I wanted to share it as a post, too. I'm sure Jeff can't be the only one going through this - and maybe this discussion will help … [Read more...]

Mint.com Tutorial, Part 2 – How to Categorize Expenses

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While there is no right or wrong way to track expenses, I have found that the best way for my family is with Mint.com. Instead of having to check through all my credit cards and bank cards, or remember to save every single receipt (only to inevitably … [Read more...]

Mint.com Tutorial, Part 1 – How to Add Your Accounts

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I've talked before about how much I love Mint.com for tracking our spending and keeping us on budget. But a number of you have asked me just how that works - and what exactly I do with Mint. It's a good question - because Mint can be pretty … [Read more...]

No More Harvard Debt – How One Man Cleared $91,000 in Student Loan Debt in Just 7 Months

His story has been all over the Internet, but in case you missed it - here's one for your inspiration files! Joe Mihalic earned his MBA from Harvard in 2009, along with $101,000 in student loans. He was one of the lucky ones - despite the … [Read more...]

The Truth About Being Financially Responsible

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Five and a half years ago, my husband and I were on an adrenaline rush. In January of 2008, we had committed to getting out of debt. To having an actual emergency fund (not a $10,000 credit limit on a Visa card, but actual bonafide cash in the … [Read more...]

How Having an Emergency Fund Creates a Buffer

How Having An Emergency Fund Creates a Buffer

Yesterday was a crazy day. Major rain storms. Tornado warnings. Our friends' basement flooded. Our two year old got into a safety-locked container of oil-based paint and "painted" herself and the interior of our silver Camry green. (Don't ask how … [Read more...]

Budgeting Basics | How Much Do You Spend? Is Your Spending Normal?

How much should I spend on food? Housing? Clothing? These types of questions seem to keep popping up.  And I understand why - because I, too, have looked for the same kind of answers - especially when I was new to realistic … [Read more...]

Let’s Discuss | How Much Money Do You Need To Live Comfortably?

I just read this article in the USA Today, which concludes that you need to earn at least $150,000 a year to pay for the basics, save and cover a few extras. I was floored! My husband and I don't earn anywhere near $150,000 per year, and we are … [Read more...]