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Your First Investment Account: In Search of the Friendliest Brokers for New Investors

Here are two questions I get all the time: “Okay, I know I need to open an IRA. But where? E*Trade? Fidelity? My local bank?”“How can I start investing with just $500?” Today, I’m going to quickly tackle both. If you’ve been holding out on star … [Read more...]

Pros and Cons of Using 0% APR Credit Cards for Purchases

I was chatting with a friend the other week who mentioned he was thinking about getting a new credit card – one with a 0 percent APR on purchases for over a year – to finance a couple of home improvement projects he had coming up. Pros of making pu … [Read more...]

How to Buy Your Own Health Insurance Online

Oh, health insurance in America. Don’t get me started. My wife, Lauren, and I have a family policy through her employer that costs us $10,000 a year in premiums and yet we still have a $2,500 deductible, plus co-insurance up to a $10,000 annual o … [Read more...]

Health Insurance: Understanding Your Deductible, Co-pay, & Out-of-Pocket Maximum

Is anybody else totally confused by health insurance benefits? Even when insurers break down plan benefits in neat grids, you need to know the difference between deductibles, premiums, out-of-pocket maximums, co-pays, and co-insurance to know what … [Read more...]

Beware Credit Cards That Do Not Report Credit Limits to Credit Bureaus

Most credit cards report three pieces of information to the three credit bureaus: Your payment history Last month's balance Your credit limit Your payment history shows that you pay on time -- or not! Last month's credit card balance … [Read more...]

Scottrade Review: A Friendly Online Broker for New Investors

One of the most common questions I get here on Money Under 30 is: "I want to start investing but I don't know where. How do I go about opening a brokerage account or IRA account?" Fortunately, the answer is fairly easy. Just invest! I point … [Read more...]

How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring?

Thinking of popping the question? You've probably asked yourself: "How much should you spend on an engagement ring?" I’m sure you have heard the old tradition that you need to spend two month’s salary on a diamond engagement ring. I've even heard s … [Read more...]

With Amex Bluebird, You Don’t Need a Checking Account Anymore

I’m always surprised when I see new construction along busy commercial corridors and later learn that it will become a new branch of XYZ Savings Bank. Presumably, the rise of ATMs dramatically reduced the number of banking transactions handled by a … [Read more...]

At What Age Should You Have Kids?

The average age American mothers have their first child was 25 in 2006, up from 21.4 in 1970 according to the CDC. Among college-educated women, the average age of first-childbirth is 30, according to a report by The Atlantic. The Atlantic article … [Read more...]

How to Merge Bank Accounts After Marriage

A subject of perennial debate among our audience, I recommend couples merge bank accounts after marriage. If desired, you can then have separate accounts and/or credit cards that you use for small discretionary purchases or gifts for your … [Read more...]