Vanilla or chocolate?
Credit or debit?
House Hunters or Jersey Shore?
Some questions can be answered with relative ease by almost everyone.
When it comes to paying down mortgages early, however, a much more perplexing question for most folks is whether it’s better to make a single large extra principal payment annually or twelve smaller ones each month.
Is one method better than another?
Does one prepayment method save more interest and result in a quicker
Continue reading Question: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Down My Mortgage Early?
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake showed why it's a bad idea to build brick and masonry buildings in an earthquake zone.
Early last month my then-12-year-old daughter Nina had her nerves frayed by three magnitude 4.5 earthquakes that struck Southern California over a two-day period.
Although the three temblors were extremely modest by Southern California standards, the epicenters were roughly five miles from our home — which meant we were among
Continue reading All Shook Up: The Pros and Cons of Earthquake Insurance
As this penny illustrates, even the United States Mint occasionally makes money mistakes.
I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve made more than a few mistakes in my lifetime. After all, everybody screws up occasionally; for us humans, mistakes come with the territory.
For example, I remember the time I decided it would be great fun to play Wii golf for eight consecutive hours. So I did.
Unfortunately for me, my middle-aged left
Continue reading The 50 Biggest Money Mistakes Household CEOs Make
Cosigning for a loan is one of the dumbest financial moves you could ever make. By cosigning, you not only assume liability for the borrowed money, but you also make it tougher on yourself to qualify for large loans — regardless of your payment history — because lenders still include cosigned loans as part of your overall debt load.
The bottom line: If a lender refuses to loan money to somebody
Continue reading 100 Words On: Why You Should Never Cosign A Loan for Anyone
When it comes to the great mortgage debate, I’ve already explained my position regarding 15- and 30-year loans: 30-year loans are better for a multitude of reasons. In fact, I think it’s a no-brainer.
I remember when I bought my first home in 1990, interest rates were in double-digit territory. Today, 30-year loans make more sense than ever with mortgage interest rates continuing to set new all-time lows. In fact, last
Continue reading 15 vs 30 Yr. Loans: The Added Cost to Retire a 30-Year Loan in 15
You know, there are some events that are so momentous, so earth-shaking, that we can remember exactly where we were the moment we first heard the news. For me, last week was one of those times.
First, allow me to set the stage.
Long time readers know I love House Hunters. No; I mean I really love that show.
Maybe too much.
Over the years I’ve made more than a couple passing references on
Continue reading Why Watching ‘House Hunters’ Will Never Be Quite the Same
Last summer my 12-year-old daughter, Nina, was extolling the fashion virtues of her hot pink Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star high-top sneakers, better known to many as simply, “Chucks.”
What I found amusing was while Nina really thought she was on the cutting edge of sartorial style, she was really just riding the latest fashion wave that has seen the popularity of those venerable basketball shoes rise and fall multiple times since
Continue reading What Goes Around Comes Around: Rising Interest Rates Are Inevitable
Most cooking aficionados prefer natural gas cooktops over electric ones because they heat evenly, and provide precision control with instant on/off capability. Typically, all natural gas appliances — not just cooktops — last longer and require less maintenance than their electric counterparts. Natural gas is easier on the pocketbook too; according to the DOE, it was 68 percent cheaper than electricity in 2011. So it’s probably fortunate that 54 percent
Continue reading 100 Words On: The Big Advantages of Natural Gas Appliances
The afterlife; it’s one of mankind’s greatest mysteries.
In the world of personal finance, we “crossover” the moment our last mortgage payment is made, and for many folks, what lies on the other side is no less perplexing.
Last month I received an interesting question in my inbox from a reader named Susie who was on the verge of crossing over with her last mortgage payment.
While many of us dream of the
Continue reading 9 Ways to Use Your Money After the Mortgage is Paid Off
There are people out there who swear that if you’re lucky enough to see the first flower of springtime on a Friday, it’s a sign of impending wealth.
I know. I don’t buy it either.
Still, let’s assume these folks know what they’re talking about; what happens if that first flower is found on Friday the 13th? Is the wealth omen officially null and void?
Can somebody take an action item and get
Continue reading 10 More Old Wives’ Tales Masquerading As Financial Rules of Thumb