Homebuying Programs for Low-Income Families

In most areas of the country, owning a home is a significantly better investment than renting an apartment. If you have a bit of money in savings and can consistently pay your rent on time, you may be ready for homeownership. For many, however, there is one big hurdle–the down payment. What if there’s no […]


How Long Does It Take to Improve Your Credit

Photo: 401 (K) 2013 How long does it take to improve your credit? That’s a great question. Unfortunately, the answer is, “It depends.” It depends on what your credit score is now, and why. And it depends on how much you want to improve your credit score. Serious credit problems — foreclosures, collections records, etc. […]


60 Second Guide to Making IRA Contributions

The other day I received an email from the IRS about IRA contributions. Believe it or not, the IRS has done a lot over the last few years to provide really helpful information about everything tax related. So I signed up for the emails, and they have been extremely helpful. So today I thought I’d […]


PowerShares S&P 500® High Quality Portfolio (SPHQ) Review

When I first started investing, I had the hardest time figuring out which mutual funds to select. Over the years, I’ve learned that the key selection criteria are costs and asset class (e.g., large cap U.S. vs. small cap). Still, with 1,000s of mutual funds and ETFs, picking the right investments can seem overwhelming. To […]


How Not to Spend $235,000+ to Raise a Child

Photo: xopherlance Every year since 1960, the USDA has released a report called “Expenditures on Children by Families.” Popularly, it’s known as something like “The Cost of Raising Children Report.” The report details how much families of different income levels spend on their kids in different areas. And it usually creates quite a stir, reminding […]


How to Refinance a Mortgage That’s Underwater

Photo: 401(K) 2013 If you’re underwater on your home – meaning you owe more than your home is worth – you’re certainly not alone. Many American families are in the same situation because of the real estate market crash. Even though property prices are starting to rise in some areas of the country, many families […]