Personal Finances

Locking in Natural Gas Rates

It’s that time of the year when offers to lock in natural gas rates show up in my mailbox. The offers usually employ fear driven marketing, preying upon consumers’ fear of paying too much in utilities and of “unexpected” charges. The offers typically refer to the local utility with terms like “unpredictable”, “unexpected”, “gambling” and… Continue reading Locking in Natural Gas Rates

Personal Finances

Should I Pay Off My Student Loan Debt Early?

Like many Americans, I accumulated student loan debt during college. While it’s been years since I was in school and the balance has diminished, it’s still non-zero today. I could have dispatched them years ago but didn’t. However, now I’m giving some serious thought to it in order to simplify my personal finances. Comparing Interest… Continue reading Should I Pay Off My Student Loan Debt Early?

Personal Finances · Travel

Avoid Foreign ATM Fees Using Fidelity’s Cash Management Account

During our family’s study abroad in Spain, one logistic I took on was getting cash for minor purchases that couldn’t be done via credit card. My goal was to avoid paying excessive foreign exchange or ATM fees. P2P Exchange Rates – 0% The first stop on the road to cash was a little unexpected. After… Continue reading Avoid Foreign ATM Fees Using Fidelity’s Cash Management Account

401(k) · Personal Finances · Retirement · Roth IRA

Is my 401(k) balance too high?

You’re following the advice to max out your pre-tax contributions to 401(k) and Traditional IRA accounts. You notice the balances creeping up and you start to wonder, is there a point when you’ve saved too much in those tax advantaged accounts? Or, as Jeremy over at GoCurryCracker poses the question: “Is Your 401k Too Big?”… Continue reading Is my 401(k) balance too high?

Parenting · Personal Finances · Roth IRA

Matching your child’s Roth IRA Contributions

I first heard the phrase “Roth IRA” as a graduate student.  Jim, a fellow graduate student, and I were talking about saving and investing and he told me about his Roth IRA account.  I was 25 years-old at the time, and I remember feeling that I had missed out on some vital financial lesson.  Shortly… Continue reading Matching your child’s Roth IRA Contributions