emergency fund

Readers' Tips for Financial Revival, Part 1: Smart Saving

A few weeks ago, we asked DailyFinance readers for their best tips for putting your financial house in order. Many were quick to note that the foundation of financial security lies in being ready when disaster hits. Here are some of their best suggestions for planning for those rainy days.

4 'Must Do' Money Moves to Achieve Fiscal Fitness

There are many roads to financial security, but whatever path you follow, there are some mandatory steps everyone ought to take along the way. Alexa von Tobel, founder of LearnVest.com, cuts through the thicket of advice to give us her essential keys to sound money management.

7 Financial New Year's Resolutions to Keep

Every January, we plan to make changes, and we often don't succeed. Let's make this New Year's different: Here are seven fairly simple resolutions recommended by the financial experts for getting you on a firmer fiscal footing in 2012.

Help Your Kids Save While They're Still in School

So your resident college student is knee-deep in student loans, tuition, fees and rent payments. But infusing her bank account will sap the funds you have earmarked for your retirement. What's a concerned parent to do? Help her start building up some savings of her own. Here's how:

When Does It Make Sense to Pay Off a Mortgage?

Paul, 62, is like a lot of people near retirement: He wants a safe place to invest his money. But the interest rates on savings accounts barely keep up with inflation. Would it make sense to pay off a mortgage instead? DailyFinance's Laura Rowley reports.

Out of Work Man Asks: Should I Pay Off My Mortgage?

Nicholas, 60, is a paralegal who has been jobless for more than a year, and is worried about the possibility of losing his home in rural Pennsylvania. If he depletes his savings and cashes out of a life insurance policy, he can pay off his mortgage. But is that the smartest move?

What to Do First: Save or Pay Down Your Debts?

For many households, it's a personal fiance dilemma: Should they try to pay down debt first, or build up savings? In the aftermath of the Great Recession, opinions have clearly tipped toward the ditch-your-debt side. But that's not always the right answer.

Retirement Savings, Part 3: Alternatives to Employer Plans

First, we covered how to manage employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s. Next, we explored what to do if you've lost your job, and with it your access to a plan. In part three, we explore options for the unemployed, self-employed and those who are otherwise locked out of employer-offered retirement plans.

It's Time for a Mid-Year Financial Checkup

On New Year's Day, you had plans -- promises to get your finances in order in 2011. Today, check your financial pulse: Where do all those good intentions stand? Ask yourself tough questions then take action. The experts tell you where to begin.

Borrowing From Retirement Plans Hits New Highs

Like a tree laden with ripe summer fruit, plump 401(k) accounts can appear as tempting sources for an easy loan, especially when other financial resources have dried up. And more people than ever have been plucking from that tree. It's not always the wrong move, but here's why it should be a last resort.