How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage?

You know you need enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs when buying a home. But did you also know that most lenders want to see even more dollars stowed away in your checking or saving accounts before approving you for a mortgage? It’s true: Lenders want to know that you have… Continue reading How Much Money Do You Need in Savings When Applying for a Mortgage?

Investing Is Great, But Saving Is Even Better

When people talk about investing, they often emphasize getting the most return for their money. If they are getting a 7 percent return on their stock portfolio, they’ll strive to get 8 percent. If they are already at 8 percent, they’ll push for 9 percent or more. Shooting for a high return is laudable, but… Continue reading Investing Is Great, But Saving Is Even Better

How to Prepare for Unpaid Maternity Leave

Back in 2008, when my husband and I were newlyweds just starting to think about having children, I was still working as a high school English teacher. Another teacher in my department had a baby that year, and I was horrified to discover that our school district did not offer paid maternity leave. Instead, my… Continue reading How to Prepare for Unpaid Maternity Leave

5 Affordable and Unforgettable Experiences to Have in National Parks This Summer

If you’re looking for cheap things to do over the summer season, consider a visit to one of our amazing national parks. There are dozens to choose from, each with its own charms and individual natural wonders to explore, and over the summer you can take part in exciting activities that won’t cost an arm… Continue reading 5 Affordable and Unforgettable Experiences to Have in National Parks This Summer

28 Free Ways to Entertain Your Kids This Summer

Making memories with your kids this summer doesn’t have to drain your bank account. Your children just want to enjoy time together, and there are plenty of ways to do that on a budget. Here are 28 free ways you can have a blast with them. 1. Head to the library The library is a… Continue reading 28 Free Ways to Entertain Your Kids This Summer

10 Pointless Fees That Are Sabotaging Your Budget

When I read the word “fee,” what I see is, “something you should have avoided paying.” No one likes to pay fees, fines, service charges, or anything that sounds remotely like a penalty. While some fees are unavoidable — try taking a flight without paying the Passenger Civil Aviation Security Service Fee — there are… Continue reading 10 Pointless Fees That Are Sabotaging Your Budget