Personal Finance Software Solutions: Mint vs. Personal Capital

Mint vs Personal CapitalWe’ve written before about how keeping track of our spending is just the first step in winning the battle of our personal finances. We’ve talked about how living on a budget and controlling our spending is the next important step. Then we’ve also mentioned how our income isn’t what determines our wealth, but rather our net worth. But the excuse question many raise is that it’s so much work to keep track of all these things! Well today, I’d like to share two services that I’ve used that can take away all the headache and excuses for tracking your financial picture. The best part is that they’re both F-R-E-E. [Read more…]

How Should Christians View Retirement?

Christian View of RetirementAs I’ve interacted with readers of this blog, a question that has been popping up more and more is that of retirement. Specifically, the question of how Bible-believing Christians ought to think about saving/investing for retirement. It’s a good one, and I’m impressed particularly that many young people have been asking it, meaning they’re actually thinking about it at all!

As this question was asked from a Christian perspective, I’ll share my answer as best I can using Biblical principles. (And hopefully a healthy dose of common sense!) [Read more…]

7 Ways to Save Even More on Amazon

Amazon HacksLike most people who live in the United States and have access to the Internet, I shop on Amazon. My guess is that many of you readers fall into the same category. So seeing that we’re all in this together, I’d like to share 7 Amazon hacks to get a better deal on our purchases there. Don’t worry, these are all legal and legit so won’t get anyone into trouble.

Here goes: [Read more…]

Does Your Cellphone Service Do This?

Cellphone ServiceThe other day I got a mysterious text message on my phone. Here is what it said:

CRICKET HERE: Smile! On your next bill cycle you will automatically get 2.5GB of high-speed data instead of 1GB each month.

If you’ve read my post on cellphone plans, you already know that I’ve gone the way of prepaid, contract-free cell service and love it. The savings compared to a standard postpaid plan, even after paying full price for a new smartphone, is simply amazing. [Read more…]

How an Emergency Fund Can Save You Money

Emergency Fund Saves MoneyYou’ve probably heard of the “emergency fund”. It goes by many names: Rainy Day Fund, Pennies in the Cookie Jar, Stash in the Mattress, or the good ol’ Piggy Bank. The concept may seem like a throwback to our grandparents’ era, before such sophisticated conveniences like credit cards, but deep down we all know it’s probably a good idea to have an emergency crumb-stash.

The generally accepted rule of thumb for how much to save in an emergency fund is 3-6 months of living expenses, and up to 9-12 months for those with irregular incomes. (Notice we said living expenses and NOT income. The assumption is that your living expenses are lower than your income…if that’s not the case for you, then you’ve got a big problem!) The idea is that this fund can sustain you and your family for a few months if you lose your job, allowing you time to search for a new job without the need to go into debt. This is especially true if you don’t have unemployment benefits. It’s also the stash that you can tap into if sudden, unexpected misfortunes happen to come your way—basement gets flooded and you need to call a plumber, your refrigerator goes up in smoke and you need a new one, your tires blow out and you need to replace them, etc. etc. [Read more…]

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