personal finance

Free Financial Bootcamp

by Sara Clemence on August 2, 2010 in Money

Since 2009, LearnVest has been providing sharp and seriously useful money advice for women. Now, the site has launched a series of email bootcamps to get readers ramped up financially. The investing unit costs $7.99, but the Cut Your Costs and Personal Finance Basics …

And you thought credit card companies held all the…well, cards.

Now they’re getting battered by the recession, as some consumers get smart about credit, and others get so broke they can’t pay at all. Then there are the new rules coming down from Washington.

So credit card companies are changing the way they play (a little). Lenders are actually getting friendlier…

There are no excuses left for not getting a good, firm grip on your money.

I’ll just earn more? Last year, even the richie-richest learned that cash doesn’t always keep rolling in.

I don’t know where to start? There are countless resources on the internet.

I don’t have time? There are great tools that will break it all down into steps that can take as little as a few minutes.

Learn your lesson from the recession, already, and get your financial ducks in a row. Start your year with these simple steps:

Get organized

Don’t know where to start? Our friends at LearnVest (one of Recessionwire’s content partners–hey Caroline Waxler!), are running a financial bootcamp this month…

Balance in our personal finances is important; when place too much emphasis on any one aspect of our financial plan, we often harm our financial (and emotional) wellbeing. Strive for equilibrium in these seven key areas:

Spending And Saving.

Saving for a rainy day is extremely important; however, it must be balanced with enjoyment of the journey. If you are afraid of what your financial future might bring, focus instead on what you want your future to bring. This doesn’t mean you should spend crazily…we’re talking about balance.

Taking Risks.

On one hand, being too conservative might inhibit your ability to reach your long-term goals. This is especially true when your investment decisions (or, more typically, inaction) are fear-based. On the other hand, while investors who take too many risks may reap bigger returns, they are also setting themselves up for very big losses…

ronald-mcdonald 200McDonald’s is adding more dollar items to its breakfast menu, in an effort to jump-start sales that have been hit by the high jobless rate. (Reuters)

The Obama administration is proposing creating a new TARP program that gives banks access to government money without restrictions—as long as they use it to make loans to small businesses. (Washington Post)

Some businesses have been forced to close in Lake Oswego, Ore., but there has also been a small boom in new businesses thanks to the downturn. (The Oregonian)…

cutting credit cardsIn case you haven’t heard, Americans are plunking down their gold (and blue and red and green) cards a lot less. And it looks like some of us are swearing off them altogether.

Almost a quarter of people said they had permanently changed their attitude towards credit cards and would not be using them anymore…

red houses in circle -150Sure, he jacks up your rent, ignores your calls about vermin and takes two days to get the toilet fixed. But your landlord (or lady) is really nice.

In fact, two-thirds of small, independent landlords say that they would reduce rents to help tenants stay in their homes, according to a new survey by the National Association of Independent Landlords. And a third say they already have…

house-for-saleOn June 30, 2009, we handed over the keys to our dream home, a beautiful house on a ridge in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. We had lost the 10-month battle to save it and were headed into the unknown with nothing but the solace that we had at least avoided foreclosure — and more importantly, that we had each other. We finally got it. It took losing our dream home to profoundly ground us in what really matters and teach us that it’s possible to be happy in the face of any circumstance… even foreclosure.

Here’s what we learned along the way.

1. Love wins. In the battle between love and money, love definitely wins. I know this for fact. I had the chance to prove it…

question-mark-bulletin-board-150We’ve all gotten schooled in some way by the recession. Maybe it was a shock to learn that she loved your money more than she loved you. Perhaps the interest-only mortgage wasn’t as great a deal as it seemed. Or it might have been a good idea to have some money in the bank, in case your job evaporated.

It’s been a hard education for some of us. But once we have new homes or new jobs, and our financial situations are back on track, will we remember what welearned? Here are five lessons we hope will outlast the recession, the recovery and beyond:

1. Bad things can happen to good careers. A lot of talented, experienced, hard-working people lost jobs in this recession. (And some of them, we hope, are getting hired again.) The question is not why you, but what’s next?

2. You can live on less than you think…

marriage-love-money-relationships-200We’ve all heard (and perhaps lived by) the motto: opposites attract. Maybe we’ve only leaned on this old cliche in order to quiet naysayers and excuse an illogical attraction to somebody so obviously wrong. Opposites Attract When It Comes To Spending Money

A recent study by the University of Michigan proves (once again) that when it comes to spending and saving, those with a strong inclination to either financial style end up attracted to their opposite. Out of a pool of 1,000 married and unmarried adults, the researcher found this attraction has roots in the individual’s discomfort in his/her own ways. In other words, spendthrifts who feel extreme guilt for their extravagant ways tend to be attracted penny pinchers. A wild shopper who beats herself up for collecting racks of pricey shoes may find solace in the coupon-cutting mate who rationalizes holes in his sneakers in lieu of a heftier savings account…