3
votes
1answer
121 views

When is the best time to buy airline tickets?

How long before a flight is the best time to get the lowest fares? Do prices on fare-finding sites change depending on the time of day or day of week? When is best?
7
votes
5answers
336 views

How can I check my credit score?

I've seen the commercials for freecreditreport.com, but commercials with singing pirates make me uneasy; maybe they'll steal all my booty (personal information). What are the different ways to check ...
22
votes
4answers
6k views

Is a high credit limit on a credit card bad?

I've had a credit card for a long time, and every so often they've sent letters telling me they're increasing my available credit. Does it negatively affect my credit score to have a high limit, one ...
10
votes
4answers
345 views

How to value employee benefits?

How should I value benefits such as health insurance and employee stock purchase plans when I'm comparing jobs? I'd like a conversion to dollars so I can fairly compare them to jobs with only direct ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Ways to improve my stagnant credit score

My credit score has been stuck at 695 for about four months. That's a vast improvement from the 500 or so it was four years ago, so I've come a long way. I have two credit cards with balances on ...
12
votes
5answers
643 views

How many credit cards do I need? Should I open another just for the cash back feature?

I just got a mailer from Discover offering a new card, with 5% back on some items and 1% back on everything else. However, I already have a Visa which I have had for a few years. Does it make any ...
17
votes
4answers
779 views

Why is everyone saying how desperately we need to save money “in this economy”?

Everywhere you turn today, you hear people talk about how much they need to save or how important it is to find a good deal on things "in this economy". They use phrases like "now more than ever" and "...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What types of receipts do I need to keep for itemized tax deductions?

Do I need to keep all of my receipts or only receipts of a certain type or amount for itemized deductions? I've also only taken the standard deduction, but this year I plan to itemize. I keep almost ...
17
votes
2answers
386 views

What should I reserve “emergency savings” for?

Should I reserve my "emergency savings" solely for times of unexpected unemployment, or keep these savings flexible enough to cover other unforeseen critical needs?
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Should I pay off my student loan before buying a house?

Should I pay off my student loan before buying a house?
8
votes
4answers
537 views

Can I take advantage of lower interest rates while I'm stuck in a fixed-rate mortgage?

Interest rates across Canada are gradually creeping up, but they're still incredibly low compared to when I started my 5.79% fixed rate mortgage a few years ago. Several lenders still seem to be ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

How do people/companies buy/sell very large amounts of stock?

I use Sharebuilder for buying and selling stock. Since I'm still only starting out, I don't have a lot in there (no more than a couple thousand), and my purchases have never been for more than a ...
6
votes
4answers
299 views

What should I invest in to hedge against a serious crash or calamity?

There are a number of risks to the world and its economy out there over the next several decades, e.g. Peak oil Global warming Instability (e.g. a major war or uptick in terrorism) An "unknown ...
10
votes
5answers
450 views

How do you value your home when calculating your net worth?

I'm interested in tracking my net worth as a way of measuring progress and I'd like to include home equity in my net worth. How are you tracking home equity? Are you using purchase price? Average ...
9
votes
4answers
500 views

How can I protect my savings against inflation? [UK]

How can I ensure that my savings keep up with inflation, even after any tax due is taken off the returns?
9
votes
3answers
666 views

Is taking a lump sum from a lottery or other prize always preferable to taking the payment plan?

Every time a big money contest or lottery is advertised, their big "jackpot" prize is always really a payment plan - something like $50,000 a year for the next twenty years. Is it ever preferable to ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

When are new versions of Quicken released? Should I wait a certain period of time before upgrading?

I'm running Quicken 2009. Quicken 2010 is currently available. When does Quicken 2011 typically come out? Do you all upgrade right away? Or do you wait until a couple of minor upgrades are ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a typical investment portfolio made up of?

I understand the idea behind an investment portfolio (investing one's money in diverse ways), but I'm not sure where to begin. I have a 401k with my current employer and a savings account at a bank, ...
14
votes
5answers
38k views

How do “allowances” work on the W-4?

When you start a job, you give your employer the W-4 form which figures out your allowances (or deductions). It's just a number. How does that translate into how much they withhold from your ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Can you recommend some good websites/brokers for buying/selling stocks in India? [closed]

Could you please recommend some good websites/online share trading portals/brokers for buying/selling stocks in India? Some desired qualities... Low brokerage Ease of use (all transactions should be ...
5
votes
2answers
89 views

Putting debt out long when interest rates are low?

This is something I heard once from a caller on a financial radio program. What does it mean and what is the logic behind this statement?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What percentage of my stock portfolio should be international (non-US) stocks?

I recently read that, based on capitalization, US stocks no longer make up the majority and that to be diversified would mean to hold 50% or more in non-US stocks. Is this good advice?
5
votes
4answers
207 views

Should I save in a CD or in an online savings account?

What are the differences and/or trade-offs?
13
votes
4answers
395 views

Does the US produce a gold coin?

And if so, are there reputable places to obtain the coins (i.e. a local bank, US mint website, etc.)?
19
votes
10answers
2k views

Can paying down a mortgage be considered an “investment”?

I've read a few articles online about investments, and other articles about paying down home mortgages. One thing that I've noticed is that people who advocate paying down mortgages seem to emphasize ...
6
votes
2answers
502 views

Does closing a normal bank account affect my credit like closing a credit line?

I have a checking account that I once opened to divide money into different piles. I have since stopped doing that and want to close the checking account. I still have other checking accounts with ...
6
votes
1answer
466 views

Why should I avoid mutual funds as an investment?

I've heard in passing when discussing investments, "oh, you're crazy to invest in mutual funds". I didn't want to seem like I didn't understand at the time. What are the downsides of investing in ...
10
votes
1answer
165 views

Investment fund for your child's education?

I have two young children that I am hoping will follow in my footsteps and choose to go to college some day. How do I go about setting up some type of an investment fund for them? I've heard there are ...
7
votes
2answers
123 views

Do tax-exempt bond fund earnings need to be reported on taxes?

I'm deathly afraid of having to report bond/stock earnings to Uncle Sam. I feel like my tax returns are complex enough and I don't want to deal with any additional complexity. I'm looking for a way to ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I pay off HELOC or save?

I've heard the principle of "Pay yourself first", implying that saving some money each month should be a priority. However, I've also heard that being debt free is important, and it would be good not ...
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Home loan refinancing woes about costs and paybacks

My wife and I bought our house about 4 and half years ago, just a little before the housing market crashed. We didn't have a lot of money, so we played it safe and got into a house that most would ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

Is Bogleheadism (index fund investing) dead?

I've always been a believer in index funds, and lately have been reading books such as The Coffee House Investor and The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing. It all makes sense to me except that the S&...
5
votes
2answers
478 views

Where should I be investing my money?

I ask this question in earnest, because I've been worrying about it for at least a year now. Here is my situation... I'm sitting on about $30k in my savings, but I'm unsure where I should be ...
7
votes
3answers
400 views

Freelancers in the US: pay estimated quarterly taxes or pay when you file?

My wife is currently freelancing, and the IRS would want us to file and pay estimated taxes every quarter, which is a pain. I could take extra deductions out of my paycheck, but figuring out the ...
10
votes
14answers
382 views

What websites do you use for saving money (coupons, etc.)? [closed]

Which sites do you use to save money when shopping? For example, coupon codes, printable coupons, or even Firefox, Chrome or Safari extensions such as the Invisible Hand.
10
votes
3answers
196 views

What is a bond fund?

This answer suggested to invest in a Bond Fund and stated that it has been working well for that person. What is a bond fund? What are it's pros and cons?
4
votes
2answers
369 views

How do insurance funds work?

On my wife's 403(b) (like a 401(k)), she has an option to invest in a couple insurance funds. How do these work? Some seem to be low-risk, while others are moderate-risk. I'm just not quite sure how ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I pay off my student loan before putting money into Roth IRA?

I have about $7K in student loans remaining at 6.25% I also haven't made a contribution to my Roth IRA for 2010. I'm thinking off paying off my loan at the end of the year, but that'll not really ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Are factory outlet stores really cheaper these days?

I am not much of a comparison shopper without being on the Internet, and recently the family was near one of those new outlet malls. The stuff they bought didn't seem (to me) to be any cheaper than ...
6
votes
2answers
320 views

Disadvantages of Getting a Mortgage from a Mortgage Broker

Are there any disadvantages to getting a mortgage from a mortgage broker? It seems like they would be in your best interest because they save time by shopping around for you. Does it typically cost ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

What threshold to move from SEP to Solo401k?

I'm self employed. Currently planning to fund a SEP for 2010. At what threshold do I need to switch to a Solo401k? (I'm in the SEP because (a) it's easy and (b) it's cheap -- no fees. Solo401k looked ...
8
votes
2answers
281 views

What are points on a mortgage?

What are points on a mortgage?
16
votes
4answers
13k views

What headaches will I have switching from Quicken to GnuCash?

I'm interested in switching to an open source checkbook program. I currently use Quicken and I'm interested in switching to GnuCash but I have usability concerns. Does GnuCash have all the features ...
16
votes
3answers
420 views

Are peer-to-peer loans viable options for savings/investing?

Now that peer-to-peer sites like Lending Club and Prosper have matured are they viable options to add to my savings/investment portfolio or should I only use them with extra cash?
3
votes
2answers
248 views

Is there a limit on how many times I can transfer my Individual Savings Account (ISA) in a given year? [UK]

The United Kingdom Individual Savings Account (ISA) provides a tax-efficient saving mechanism. It is possible to transfer your ISA from one bank to another, but is there any limit on how many times ...
17
votes
9answers
23k views

How much is a typical food budget per person?

In planning out a budget, what is a realistic amount to budget per person for food expenses per month? EDIT: Thanks to Ether's answer, here's a clarification: What guidelines or warning signs are ...
11
votes
3answers
331 views

Should I pay points on my mortgage?

We're looking into refinancing from a 30 year mortgage at 5.5% (currently 23 years left) to a 20 year mortgage at 4.5%. Paying points will reduce the rate somewhat, but since we don't have extra ...
0
votes
2answers
196 views

What is the difference in payments and ratios between High-ratio and Conventional mortgages?

On bank's site it says: Conventional mortgage: means your downpayment is at least 20% of the purchase price. High-ratio mortgage: means your downpayment is less than 20% of the purchase price....
10
votes
3answers
426 views

How much should I contribute to my 401(k)?

My employer allows me to contribute a certain percentage of my salary to my 401(k). My employer will also match a certain portion of my percentage. How much should I invest in my 401(k)? Should I ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

What impact does overpaying credit card bill have on credit score?

Lets say I got monthly credit card bill for $100 but when I go to bank account online to pay I see that my current credit card spendings are already $150. Should I pay $100 or $150?

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