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Easy Money: How to Simplify Your Finances and Get What You Want out of Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

Pulliam Weston (Your Credit Score), columnist for MSN Money and author of the nationally syndicated column "Money Talk," provides a practical, easy-to-understand guide to taking control of personal finances and establishing financial security. Like most financial advice books, this collection covers the basics, such as creating a financial toolkit, investing, planning for retirement and saving for college. While Pulliam Weston provides insights into these areas-especially for those without a financial ...

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Easy Money: How to Simplify Your Finances and Get What You Want out of Life

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Overview

Pulliam Weston (Your Credit Score), columnist for MSN Money and author of the nationally syndicated column "Money Talk," provides a practical, easy-to-understand guide to taking control of personal finances and establishing financial security. Like most financial advice books, this collection covers the basics, such as creating a financial toolkit, investing, planning for retirement and saving for college. While Pulliam Weston provides insights into these areas-especially for those without a financial background-she also charts new territory with her "60 Percent Solution" and "50/30/20 Plan," both aimed at spending control, as well as getting the most out of your credit cards and what to do if you've overspent on a car purchase. An advocate of online banking, Pulliam Weston maps out the right way to pay bills and advocates account aggregation and consolidation. She also provides a useful resource guide for finding a financial planner, a tax professional and an estate planning attorney. Checklists are included in each chapter, as well as helpful charts and tables that aid in getting and staying organized. This book will be a valuable guide on the path to financial control and security.

--Publishers Weekly

“If you want to simplify your life and make solid decisions—fast—this book is your answer. It’s one more reason Liz remains one of America’s most trusted financial columnists. Quick, easy, and empowering!”

—Jennifer Openshaw, Author of The Millionaire Zone and CEO, WinningAdvice.com

“As usual, Liz cuts to the chase to provide readers with practical, easy to implement tips for living a rich life. If you follow only half of her on-the-money recommendations you’ll be exponentially better off tomorrow than you are today.”

—Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., Author of Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich and

Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

Simplify your financial life…

now and forever!

• By the Internet’s #1 personal finance expert, MSN’s Liz Pulliam Weston

• Stop feeling overwhelmed by your finances: take control, the easy way!

• Save time, avoid mistakes, and help secure your future

Common sense. Easy solutions. Plain English. Best selling author,

Liz Pulliam Weston, takes on the problem everyone has, and nobody talks about: the sheer hassle of managing your money! Weston offers practical guidance and easy checklists for every decision: investments, credit cards, insurance, mortgages, retirement, college savings, and more! Discover how to consolidate, delegate, and automate your finances…save time and money…and live a more rewarding, secure life!

lizweston.com

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Pulliam Weston (Your Credit Score), columnist for MSN Money and author of the nationally syndicated column "Money Talk," provides a practical, easy-to-understand guide to taking control of personal finances and establishing financial security. Like most financial advice books, this collection covers the basics, such as creating a financial toolkit, investing, planning for retirement and saving for college. While Pulliam Weston provides insights into these areas-especially for those without a financial background-she also charts new territory with her "60 Percent Solution" and "50/30/20 Plan," both aimed at spending control, as well as getting the most out of your credit cards and what to do if you've overspent on a car purchase. An advocate of online banking, Pulliam Weston maps out the right way to pay bills and advocates account aggregation and consolidation. She also provides a useful resource guide for finding a financial planner, a tax professional and an estate planning attorney. Checklists are included in each chapter, as well as helpful charts and tables that aid in getting and staying organized. This book will be a valuable guide on the path to financial control and security. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132703390
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 11/23/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 770,744
  • File size: 878 KB

Meet the Author

Liz Pulliam Weston is the most-read personal finance columnist on the Internet, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. She’s also an award-winning, nationally syndicated personal finance columnist who can make the most complex money topics understandable to the average reader. She is the author of the national best-seller Your Credit Score: How to Fix, Improve and Protect the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future and of Deal with Your Debt: The Right Way to Manage Your Bills and Pay Off What You Owe. She also was a contributor to The Experts’ Guide to the Baby Years.

Liz’s columns run twice a week on MSN Money, which reaches more than 12 million readers each month. Millions more read her question-and-answer column “Money Talk,” which appears in newspapers throughout the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Palm Beach Post, the Portland Oregonian, the Newark Star-Ledger, Stars & Stripes, and others.

Liz appears regularly on numerous television and radio programs, including American Public Media’s “Marketplace Money” and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and “All Things Considered.” She was for several years a weekly commentator on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” and has been quoted in numerous publications, including Consumer Reports, Real Simple, Family Circle, Men’s Health, Woman’s Day, Parents, Christian Science Monitor, the Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, Forbes.com, and others.

Weston is a graduate of the certified financial planner training program at University of California, Irvine. She can be reached via the “contact Liz” form on her Web site, asklizweston.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Setting Up Your Financial Life 3

Your Financial Toolkit 3

Consider Two Checking Accounts 8

The Right Ways to Pay Your Bills 8

Build Your Control Panel 16

Set Up Your Command Center 20

Staying Up-to-Date 22

Your Checklist 25

Chapter 2 Take Charge of Your Spending 27

The 60 Percent Solution 28

The 50/30/20 Plan 31

How Do I Prioritize My Goals? 39

Couples and Money 41

Your Checklist 45

Chapter 3 Get the Most Out of Your Credit Cards 47

If You Carry a Balance 47

How to Find the Best Card(s) 57

Your Checklist 60

Chapter 4 The No-Sweat Guide to Retirement (and other) Investing 61

How to Manage Risk 62

Why Beating the Market Is So Tough 65

The Three Keys to Successful Investing 66

Why Life-Cycle and Target Maturity Funds May Be the Answer 70

Which Account Do I Use? 73

Coordinating Your Approach 75

Getting Help 76

How Much Should I Save for Retirement? 77

Ballpark E$timate® 78

As You Approach Retirement 83

Your Checklist 85

Chapter 5 The Easy Way to Save for College 87

Why 529 College Savings Plans Rock 90

Picking the Right College Savings Plan 92

Prepaid Tuition Plans 93

Your High School Game Plan 95

What to Do If You’re Starting Late 95

Your Checklist 97

Chapter 6 Insurance: Protecting What You Have--And Will Have 99

Auto Insurance 99

Renters Insurance 103

Condo Owners Insurance 104

Homeowners Insurance 104

Umbrella Liability Policies 107

Health Insurance 107

Disability Insurance 109

Life Insurance 110

Your Checklist 115

Chapter 7 Buying Homes and Cars 117

When You’re Ready to Buy a Home 117

The Home-Buying Timeline 119

Picking the Right Mortgage 121

The Smart Way to Buy Cars 128

Why We Overspend on Cars 129

What to Do if You’ve Already Overspent 132

Your Checklist 134

Chapter 8 When You Need Help 135

How to Find a Financial Planner 135

When You Need a Tax Pro 138

Working with an Estate Planning Attorney 141

Your Checklist 144

Chapter 9 Be a Savvy Shopper 145

Sites Worth Paying For 145

Price Comparison Sites 146

Internet Shopping 101 146

Sites to Bookmark 148

Check for Coupons 149

When You’re in the Market for Real Bargains 149

A Word about Price Guarantees 150

How to Be a Savvy Traveler 151

When Things Go Wrong 152

Your Checklist 156

Chapter 10 Changing Your Uneasy Mind 157

“The One Who Dies with the Most Toys Wins” 158

“We’d Be Fine If Our Income Was Just a Little Higher” 159

“I’ll Never Have Enough” 159

“I’m Such a Loser; I’d Be So Much Farther Ahead If I Hadn’t Made So Many Mistakes with Money” 160

“I’ll Never Understand This Money Stuff” 162

“It’s Not My Fault” 162

Money and Your Brain 164

Your Checklist 166

Chapter 11 Setting Goals, Or What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? 167

Visualizing Your Ideal Life 170

Setting the Timer 170

The End Game 171

What It’s All About 171

Resources and Recommendations 175

The Basics 175

College 175

Couples & Money 176

Credit & Debt 176

Estate Planning 177

Investing 177

Real Estate 178

Retirement 178

Savings Tips 179

Index 181


© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Preface

Introduction

Have you paid a late fee on a credit card or bounced a check in the past year? Did you misplace a bill, a statement, or some other financial record that you desperately needed to find? Are you confused about how much insurance you should buy, which health plan you should choose, the right way to save for college or retirement?

Do you ever wish you could spend less time worrying about money?

If so, you're in good company.

People today have to make a lot more financial decisions and keep track of far more details than they did even a generation ago. Instead of one health care plan, you may have to choose from half a dozen—or you may have no insurance at all. Instead of a traditional pension plan provided by an employer, you probably have to save for retirement on your own—and figure out how much to contribute, where to invest the contributions, and eventually how to take your money out. Instead of a credit card or two, you have access to literally tens of thousands of options, all with different rates, terms, and due dates. Even mortgages, which used to come in one basic flavor—fixed rate, for 30 years—have multiplied into a bewildering array of alternatives.

At the same time, the penalties for making mistakes seem to be escalating every day. It's not just that late fees, bounced-check charges, and over-limit penalties are skyrocketing. There are bigger issues. Choose the wrong health coverage, for example, and you could become one of the hundreds of thousands of people each year who have to file bankruptcy, in part because of medical reasons. Messup on your retirement, and you could be working well past the age when your peers are on the golf course.

If you're like most people, all of this is simply overwhelming. Even if you do have time to research and understand all your options, you probably feel like you don't have time to properly manage every aspect of your finances the way you'd like while still holding down a job, caring for a family, and enjoying a minute or two of leisure time every once in a while.

The good news is that there is hope. You can winnow down your choices, streamline your financial systems, and take control of your money. A few hours spent with this book and a little time invested in today's personal finance technology can put you on track for your goals and alleviate your anxiety about the details that could otherwise trip you up.

Let's get started.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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