• Single Income Household
    Blog

    A Single Income Household: Why and How We Do It

    Last year my wife and I had our first child, our son Carter. The months building up until the day he was born were hectic – buying all the baby gear that we needed, setting up the nursery and just thinking about how life would be once we started living on one income, my wife planning on staying home with our son. I’ve always read that living on one income before you need to is a good way to get a feel for what it’s like, so we decided to do just that a few months before our son was born. We started living on my income alone, banking my wife’s income…

  • How to Use Your Credit Card Wisely
    Credits

    Spend Responsibly: How to Use Your Credit Card Wisely

    Editor’s Note: The following is the opinion of Jason Price, not necessarily the opinion of PerkStreet Financial. PerkStreet maintains that a responsible budgeter can live an outstanding financial life without the need for credit cards. Indeed, our debit cards help thousands of people fight credit card debt and find financial peace every single day. Do you own a credit card? The chances are pretty good you do. If so, do you manage your credit card wisely each month, or does your credit card manage you? If you’re paying off your balance each month and have established some spending control, then you’re managing your credit card wisely. You use your credit card…

  • 401k Loan Interest: Everything You Need to Know
    Loans

    401k Loan Interest: Everything You Need to Know

    If you’re considering taking out a 401k loan — borrowing from your 401k — then you’ve probably already heard that there’s interest involved in this loan. So what’s the deal with this 401k loan interest? Let’s take a look. First of all, don’t take borrowing against your 401k lightly. Yes, it’s your money and you’ve already earned it, but you should not think of your 401k the same way that you think of your savings account. First of all, this is the retirement income you’re talking about. If you mess it up, nobody’s going to fix it for you, and you won’t have enough time to refill it through more hard…

  • Is Mortgage Life Insurance a Good Idea
    Mortgage

    Is Mortgage Life Insurance a Good Idea? Discussion

    Editor’s Note: As part of a special project on The PerkStreet Blog, we’re offering a free question and answer columns on Saturdays with Customer Columnists Clint and Katy Davis of Davis Coaching. If you have a question you’d like to submit to get advice from these financial coaches, email it to editors@perkstreet.com.   Dear Clint and Katy, My wife and I both work, and we just bought our first house for $160,000. I make $55,000 a year and she makes around $35,000. We’ve been receiving a lot of mortgage life insurance offers in the mail since buying the house. They claim they will pay off the mortgage if either of…

  • Blog

    What if My Emergency Fund is Not Enough? Discussion

    Editor’s Note: As part of a special project on The PerkStreet Blog, we’re offering a free question and answer columns on Saturdays with Customer Columnists Clint and Katy Davis of Davis Coaching. If you have a question you’d like to submit to get advice from these financial coaches, email it to editors@perkstreet.com. I’ve been working to get out of debt for the last 2 years and I’m in the home-stretch. I have an emergency fund of $1000 and have never had to use it. But what if I had an emergency that cost $3000? I understand it is a starter fund, but what if a $3000 expense fell in my lap tomorrow?…

  • Loans,  Personal Finance

    Should I Fund an IRA or Finish Paying Off Loans?

    Editor’s Note: As part of a special project on The PerkStreet Blog, we’re offering free question and answer columns on Saturdays with Customer Columnists Clint and Katy Davis of Davis Coaching. If you have a question you’d like to submit to get advice from these financial coaches, email it to editors@perkstreet.com. Question 1: Fund an IRA or Pay off Debt? Dear Clint and Katy, My husband and I have been working hard and we’ve paid off all our credit card debt. We still have one student loan left at about $56,000, and our total combined income is about $144,000. We’re considering funding our IRAs while we finish paying off the college…

  • Blog

    How to Build the Most Basic Budget Possible

    Let’s face it. Budgeting just isn’t easy for some people. They try to budget unsuccessfully time and time again. We’ve written all kinds of things about building budgets, from how to do it with a pencil and paper to how to use technology to make it easier. We’ve written about how to optimize your budget and how to get back on the horse if you fail at budgeting. I figured it was high time we delivered an article about how to boil budgeting down to the bare essentials. Here’s how to budget as simply as possible: The Wants vs. Needs Budget This is a budgeting technique my father taught me when I was about 7 years old, and…

  • Blog

    2 Simple Ways To Know Exactly How To Fix Your Finances

    The Two Big Financial Questions To take control of your money, fix your finances, get debt free and achieve financial freedom, you have to do the impossible: You have to completely think outside of yourself. You have to disconnect from your own emotions, habits, perspective and rationale. As you sit in front of your budget, bank statements or stacks of bills, you have to determine two things: 1. Exactly how did I get where I am today? 2. How exactly do I move forward and fix my financial situation? When you can determine exactly how you got ‘here’ and exactly how to get ‘there,’ magical things can happen. Your confidence increases. Self-control becomes easier. You make…

  • Blog

    How to Build a Monthly Budget With a Pencil and Paper

    I’ll admit, I’ve tried all the high tech budgeting software programs out there and failed. Miserably. [Looking for a budget you can stick to? Build it with our free, email-based budgeting course!] I’ve tried to be good and keep my records up to date, stack my receipts and enter them like a good girl to get caught up each week. But it just doesn’t work for me. I’d get behind and then try to catch back up only to realize I was even further behind. It was just one more thing on my to-do list that never ended up getting done. The best and most reliable method I have found…

  • Blog

    Cyber Monday Statistics: What to Expect this Year

    Cyber Monday statistics from the last few years have been good for retailers as well as consumers. This means the upcoming Cyber Monday deals will likely be better than ever, and it also means more consumers will be competing to buy up the limited supplies of goods available on the Monday after Thanksgiving. What is Cyber Monday? The name “Cyber Monday” was created by Shop.org in 2005 to connote the Monday after Black Friday and highlight the various sales available online on the first business day after the big brick-and-mortar consumer rush begins. Since then, Cyber Monday has become a household holiday. As more people discover the deep discounts available on…