Over pancakes on Sunday morning, I read my husband a portion of a story in the New York Times called “But Will It Make You Happy?” The piece begins with the tale of Tammy Strobel, an unhappy California project manager earning $40,000 a year, who felt stuck on the “work-spend treadmill.” She and her husband, both 31, began giving away what they own, and moved to Portland, Oregon. They shed their cars and $30,000 in debt, and now live in a 400-square-foot apartment; he is finishing his Ph.D., and she is able to pay all their bills on $24,000 a year. My husband immediately said the four little words I was thinking: “They have no kids.”
more about: money
If you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month, one of the simplest ways to boost your financial picture is to negotiate a lower interest rate with the card issuer. But only about one-third of consumers try, according to the Web site DebtGoal. They might be encouraged to give it a try if they knew what to say — and that others have successfully cut their rates. If you fall into this category, check out a new free online tool from DebtGoal called NegotiateMyRate.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the essentials for raising one child through age 17 will cost parents $369,360—anything but pocket change. In our 2010 issue of Real Simple Family, available on newsstands this month, financial expert Farnoosh Torabi helps three families at different stages tackle their finances.
And because she’s such a good sport, Farnoosh will also be taking your questions about how to better manage your family’s finances, and posting answers to selected questions here on Simply Stated.
So, if you need help saving for a college fund, or just budgeting for day care and piano lessons, submit your question in the comments below, and Farnoosh will answer selected questions starting September 1st.
I recently interviewed a number of people about unique job search tactics they used that resulted in an offer — everything from attention-getting mailers to extreme networking techniques. But one area that can trip up the creative job seeker is a poor credit history.
I’ve always been fascinated by the psychology of money: what it means for people; how it shape-shifts into power, security, love or status; how that complicates relationships and can translate into wildly irrational (and mostly secretive) financial behavior. That’s why I couldn’t put down “The Secret Currency of Love: The Unabashed Truth About Women, Money and Relationships,” an anthology edited by Hilary Black and just issued in paperback.