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spend more, not less

Wait, what? It’s the holiday season, and I’m a personal finance guy — shouldn’t I be harping on The Reason For The Season, and It’s Not How Much You Spend That Matters, and all that? Is it time to chuck all that stuff and go back to good ol’ fashioned consumerism, and forget this whole frugality business? Not exactly. But every now and then, it’s good to take a step back and remind ourselves what being fiscally responsible is all about. The end goal of personal finance isn’t to spend as little as humanly possible. Heck, that’s not even the beginning. But frugality has made a comeback, and so we’re constantly being deluged with “10 ways to save on clothes” and “5 ways to save on travel expens

mommy, tell me about my 529

You asked for it, and I’m happy to give it to you — the lowdown on 529’s, especially if you’re in Texas. What the heck they are, why you’d want one, and the better ones out there — it’s all here. What the heck is a 529? Actually, there are two kinds: a 529 prepaid tuition plan, and a 529 college savings plan. I’m going to spend this post talking about college savings plans, but if you’d like to hear about a prepaid tuition, sound off in the comments section. In a nutshell: a 529 college savings plan is a tax-advantaged investment account, similar to an IRA or a 401(k); you contribute money to specific mutual funds in the plan, and you get a tax break on the investment returns if you only wit

what will you wish you had saved for?

As you’ve probably begun to notice, here at I’m big on questions. Today’s question: what will you wish you had saved for? The wonderful thing about money is that it’s so very fluid; it can — quite efficiently — be turned into almost anything! But that’s not all; it’s also fluid in time. You can borrow money from the future to pay for the present, or you can save money in the present to pay for the future. (If you’ve figured out a way to move money to or from the past, let me know in the comments section.) Of course, rare is the person who figures this out when it can most benefit them. When I was a “freshout”, having just graduated college and making more money than I co

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