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Popular Honeymoon Spots on the Cheap

Big spending has dropped in popularity since the 2008 financial crisis.  The era of glamorous weddings and honeymoons appears to be over.  Engaged couples and newlyweds are downsizing to more affordable scenarios.  More couples are choosing to emphasize the emotional and conjugal aspects of marriage instead of focusing on “bling.”

Honeymoons have shifted from exotic, romantic locations to places that, while still beautiful and romantic, do not cost so much to travel to them.  Affordable honeymoon locations are more popular than ever.  Many of them serve their patrons well.  Couples can start a life together just as well if they stick to a budget when planning the trip.  Here are the top five most popular,cheap honeymoon locations. Continue Reading

Transportation Alternatives for One Car Families

Many of us grew up in two car families, and more recently, even three car families.  A car for each adult (and sometimes teenaged) member of the family seems to be a necessity, but is it?  Are there transportation alternatives for one car families?

We live on the outskirts of a major urban area and have lived happily with one car our entire married life.  By not having a second car we have saved thousands of dollars.  Consider the following:
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Homeowners Insurance Coverage: Are You Truly Covered?

One of the biggest purchases you make is your home. It is an expensive item to own, and its protection is quite important if you want to maintain financial freedom.  After all, if something happens to your home, it can be quite expensive to fix.  Insurance is purchased to help you afford unexpected problems, and this includes homeowners insurance.  However, it is important to realize that not every situation is always covered by homeowners insurance.

Before you consider that your entire home, and everything in it is covered, it is important to double check what is actually covered by your policy.  You may need to purchase additional insurance coverage if your homeowners policy is lacking.  Here are some of the more common items not covered by some homeowners insurance policies:
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Alternative College Housing Options to Save Money

college student dorm pizza break

If a student decides to go to a college one or more hours away from home, a large part of their living expense is room and board.  Of course, there are the traditional dorm rooms and meal plans or off campus apartments.  But both of these options are rather expensive.  At my Alma mater, the University of Michigan, a dorm room and a meal plan can run a student anywhere from $8,370 for a triple to $12,530 for a single with a private bath.  A studio off campus can run $650 per month and a 3 bedroom apartment $1,500 a month.  Neither of the apartment options includes heat, electricity or food.

However, if a student is willing to take the non-traditional route, there are a few options available that will cost the student less out of pocket and ultimately reduce the amount of student loan debt they may have to acquire. Continue Reading

Should You Start Your Own Business?

Employee career shift

Do you ever find yourself dreaming of having your own business? I think most people do at one time or another (that is, those who aren’t already self-employed).  Striking out on your own to blaze an independent career path is an integral part of the American Dream.  But is being your own boss something for everyone to pursue?  Should you start your own business?

You probably should be self-employed if…

Being self-employed requires, as much as anything else, a different mindset.  What makes up that mindset?
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What You CAN’T Hold in an IRA

antique cameo

We hear a lot about what we CAN hold within our individual IRA accounts, but never anything about what we CAN’T hold within them.  A Roth IRA or Traditional IRA is an appealing financial vehicle since you have a wide range of choices versus something like a 401(k) plan where you are limited to a number of mutual funds to pick from.  We all know that investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, index funds, ETF’s, and annuities can be held within an IRA.  The list goes on and on but you should be aware of the types of investments that are barred from these accounts.  Watch out for the following investments, since they’re not allowed in a tax deferred retirement account!

What you can’t hold in an IRA:

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Investing: Why Boring is Good

In many ways, we are conditioned to believe that anything boring is undesirable. However, in some cases, “boring” can be a good thing.  I like to think that investing is one of those things that can be better when it’s boring, rather than exciting.  I consider myself a rather boring investor, focusing mainly on index funds and dividend aristocrats.  Here’s why when it comes to investing, why boring is good: Continue Reading

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