♥ & $: The Spending Diet: My Month of More Mindful Spending

Lisen Stromberg

December’s credit card bill came in the other day and it was all I could do not to gag. How did all my good intentions and careful planning go so horribly wrong? Yes, we had many unexpected medical expenses (don’t worry, everyone is ok). And yes, two school tuition bills came due. And yes, we […]

Q&A: I Want To Travel Before Starting A Career, But What About My Student Loans?


Should you travel before getting a “real job” and paying off your student loans? It’s a tough question but it might make sense depending on the person and situation. Make sure you have a financial plan you can live with before starting your adventure.

Funny Money: A Quick Way to Cut Medical Costs

Doctors and hospitals are all-to-happy to deal over unpaid medical bill.s

I’m happy to introduce “Funny Money”, a new column offering irreverent but otherwise solid financial advice written by author and newspaperman Phil Villarreal. Weclome, Phil. –DW. You may think you’re doing OK financially, but most people are a medical emergency away from having to turn tricks for coke. What? I was referring to having to […]

Renting: What You Get for $1,500 a Month

What you can rent for $1,500 a month in Boston, MA

If you could live anywhere in the United States, where would you choose? If you’re reading Money Under 30 and you are in fact 20-or 30-something, you probably can’t afford a mansion, and that’s okay! Part of starting off right is living in a place that you can truly afford and saving up money. Let’s […]

Confessions of a New Homeowner: Expenses We Expected and Didn’t Expect


My husband and I closed on our first house on March 9, 2012.  Since then, it has been a whirlwind of new homeowner activities. Painting, fixing, landscaping, neighbor-meeting, decorating … and spending. Lots of spending. We rented for several years, and during that time we lived on a very tight budget. We saved 20 percent of […]

Welcome to 2013, the Year of Crowdfunding for College


When the final draft of 2012 in review gets written, it deserves to go down — in personal finance terms — as the Year of Crowdfunding. All sorts of crowdfunding records were set and shattered, with some remarkable stories as a result. In the indie film world, for example, director Steve Taylor turned to Kickstarter […]

What Your Mortgage Interest Rate Really Means

A free Google Doc loan payoff spreadsheet from MoneyUnder30.com

With mortgage rates so low right now, it seems everybody is talking about what a smoking hot mortgage rate they got on their new house. But mortgage rates are tricky. It’s easy to look at a 3.75 percent APR mortgage rate and say “holy cow” when, 25 years ago, the national average interest rate for a […]

What’s Happening to My Taxes? The Fiscal Cliff Compromise in 60 Seconds


I don’t write about politics until those rare days Washington actually does something that affects our daily lives. And after months of grandstanding and stonewalling over the “fiscal cliff”, today is one of those days. Here’s what the recent fiscal cliff “compromise” means for your taxes: Payroll tax If you are a working American, your […]

When To Refinance: 3 Steps to Deciding Whether to Refinance or Not

What you can rent for $1,500 a month in Riverside, CA

Deciding when to refinance your home loan depends on several factors besides whether you can get a better mortgage rate than you already have. And though there are many reasons people refinance their mortgage, some are smarter financial moves than others. For example: Using refinance savings on your mortgage payment to up retirement contributions or […]

♥ & $: Making Do With Enough, Or Not

Lisen Stromberg

Wrapping paper litters the carpet, little explosions of color and desire. The fire once raging has now mellowed sending the occasional spark past the screen onto the hardwood floor, a threat so minor we pay it little mind. The children have squirreled themselves into corners to assess their bounty. Most are happy, content even, and […]