Amy has been researching and writing about smarter ways to save and spend money since 2013. She is always on the lookout for practical tips and information she can share to help people get organized, save money and reach their financial goals.

Turned Down for a Mortgage? Prepare to Apply Again.

More prospective homebuyers are eager to enter the market as the economy improves. Many borrowers find it difficult to navigate stricter lending requirements and successfully reapply for a loan after being turned down for a mortgage. If you’ve been turned down for a mortgage and want to know how to prepare to apply again, start with these tips...


Neatly arranged canisters of pantry staples

Stock Your Pantry to Save Money on Food

March is National Nutrition Month, which makes it the perfect time to talk about eating well on a budget. There’s a persistent myth that healthful eating is too expensive or time-consuming. Many assume a quick stop at the drive-thru for selections from the “dollar menu” is an easy to way to save money on food. It’s not. Preparing your own f...


1040 U.S. Tax form and assorted American currency

5 Smart Things to do with Your Tax Refund

It’s always tempting to see a tax refund as a windfall to be used for something fun and frivolous, like a shopping spree or throwing a big party. But remember, the government isn’t giving you anything that wasn’t yours all along. It’s not really ‘free’ money, so why treat it that way? Make the most of your tax refund by using it one (...


Miniature shopping car featuring $20 and $50 dollar bills

How to Shop Smart at Warehouse Clubs

Shopping at warehouse clubs such as Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s can be a great way to save money. Maintaining a well-stocked pantry and keeping household basics on hand can help reduce those in-between shopping trips that end up costing more than you planned. But you have to shop warehouse clubs wisely. If you don’t, you can end up wasting mo...


hospital emergency room entrance sign

Emergency Savings and Peace of Mind

Next week is America Saves Week, sponsored by our friends at America Saves. Their goal is to get people to take the Savings Pledge and start saving a little bit at a time with their eye on a bigger goal. It’s an idea we support whole-heartedly.                                                                     ...


heart shaped clouds hanging from a clothesline

Valentine’s Day DIYs from the Heart

Valentine's Day is just a few days away, but it's not too late to get started on some heartfelt DIY projects for the ones you love. There's no need to overspend for flowers, chocolate, jewelry or other store-bought gifts when you can make such cute things yourself. Plus, a homemade gift or treat is always more meaningful than any retailer can offer...


tips for getting organized on a budget

Easy Tips for Getting Organized on a Budget

If you find yourself spending too much time looking for car keys, the right sweater, your cell phone or other necessities, it’s time to get organized. A disorganized home doesn’t just cost you time and stress, it also costs money. Think of the times you couldn’t find something and bought it new, only to discover you already had it.  Have fun...


A sign with two options showing rent or buy

4 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Rent

Most of us have rented cars or hotel rooms, but what about renting textbooks, fitness equipment or even a wedding dress? There are many things available to rent that you’ve probably never considered, but renting rather than buying can be a real money saver; especially for things you only use occasionally. You should also consider renting as a way...


Monthly budget worksheet with a sharpened pencil

Your 2015 Financial Goals

Whether or not you make New Year’s Resolutions, the New Year is a good time to take stock of important milestones, including your personal financial situation. Did you run up some holiday debt you’d like to pay off quickly? Are you falling short of having $3,000 in your emergency fund? Or maybe you’re thinking it’s time to quit relying o...