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That’s So Money: Spring Cleaning Edition

Nicole Ouellette and Alice Kaiserian will be a monthly contributors to the Wealth Gathering blog with a column we like to call ‘That’s So Money.’ Think of this blog as combining personal finance and social media in a fun cleanfrenzy of usefulness and entertainment.

If you’ve ever seen my house, you’ll know I’m not much of a cleaner. Every so often, my fiance vacuums my house or cleans my bathroom. Each time, he says it’s that he ‘likes’ to do it, which I swear he actually says. (By the way, he’s agreed to let me move in at the end of the month despite this obvious flaw.)

In other words, I am the worst at telling when to clean. Which is why I need to be made to clean.

But even people like me have the self discipline (or maybe guilt) to look at my life and finally put some things in order. And since I hate cleaning, this usually means looking at my finances fresh and seeing what I can do better. This happens to fall around tax time since that’s when I’m looking at things anyway.

1) All transactions coming from one place.

Two months ago, I cut up my credit card. (You can read the blog entry about how I didn’t die here.) Doing this forced me to move all my automatic payments (Y membership, internet bill, etc.) that come out to my personal bank account. I get my paycheck automatically deposited here. This is allowing me to see everything in one place. Money in, money out.



How Do I Open an IRA?

strongdollarIt’s a sign of physical fitness to step up your walking or running pace or increase the amount of weight you lift. With a little effort, you master it. In the same way, opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is one of the signs of financial fitness. An IRA brings financial freedom a whole lot closer—and if you’ve gotten a tax refund, now is a great time to begin!

Today’s blog is for all of you who are either ready to open an IRA or simply want information. A related concern about IRAs is whether you should do the investing portion yourself or get assistance. My blog Should I Try Investing on My Own? can help with this decision.

Understanding IRAs

An IRA is a tax-advantaged account for retirement that is opened and managed by an individual and not sponsored by an employer.You can recognize employer-sponsored accounts because they have names like 401(k), 403(b) and 457. Instead of using numbers, the name of your IRA will have “IRA” in it. IRAs are for individuals, so there are no joint accounts.


Blogger Interview: I Heart Budgets

Jacob IHeartBudgetsJacob is the author of, a personal finance blog dedicated to putting the "Fun" back in Fundamentals of Finance. He is a husband, father, and avid budget nerd who actually spent his recent birthday budgeting for FY13 at his home. If you ask anyone who has known him for more than 13 seconds, you would know he truly does Heart budgets. Follow him on Twitter @iHeartBudgets and "like" him on Facebook.

You paid down a lot of debt and saved money while going through some pretty big life changes (getting married and having a child). Was it hard to have huge personal life changes while you were also trying to make huge money changes?

You know, it probably should have been tough, but honestly, the timing was perfect. Life changes are like chapters in a book, and those chapters were perfect check points in my life to evaluate what I WAS doing to change to fit where I wanted to be. I didn't care about budgeting until a month before marriage, and realized  "Holy crap, I don't know where my money is going." That was motivating, and led to learning about money and being able to live on VERY little and save toward our goals. Then when we got pregnant, I was like "Ok, time to cut my budget back to the bare minimum" and we made the change. Honestly, I would say BIG life changes usually have some sort of financial change built in, and those things should be planned for.