Whether you’re a recent college graduate or have several years of “real world” experience, The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Personal Finance in Your 20s and 30s, Fourth Edition, helps you build and manage your money--even during tough economic times. This book provides valuable tips on how to develop the savings habit--even if you’re a die-hard spender, explains the truth about credit cards, gives you a complete look at housing choices from renting to home ownership, and offers a thorough explanation of 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and other investments.
Table of contents
1. The Real World
- 1. Personal Finance: They Didn’t Teach This in College
- 2. You’re Out There on Your Own ... Now What?
- 3. Taking a Look at Your Bank Accounts
4. Credit Cards and Debt
- A Credit Card in Every Pocket
- How Many Cards?
- Keep It (Your Credit Card) in Your Pants
- Debit or Prepaid Credit Card Advantages
- Safety First
- Getting the Best Deal
- Paying Off Your Debt
5. Moving Out
- Figuring Out the Right Time to Go
- Doing the Apartment Thing
- Full House
- Renter’s Insurance
- What Am I Gonna Sleep On?
- I Gotta Pay for That, Too?
6. Getting Around
- What Are You Driving, Man?
- Changing Attitudes Toward Driving
- Owning a Car Costs More Than You Think
- The Great Debate: Buying or Leasing
- New or Used?
- A Look at Hybrid Cars
- Safety Counts
- Best Places—Online and Off—to Shop for a Car
2. On Your Own and Loving It
- 7. What Do You Have?
- 8. What Do You Need?
9. The B Word: Budgets
- Why Budgets Have Such a Bad Rep
- Everybody Needs a Budget
- What Your Budget Should Include
- Trimming the Fat: Analyzing Your Expenses
- One Job, Two Jobs, Three Jobs, Four ...
- Sticking With It
- Budgeting Software and Websites
10. Getting Into the Swing of Savings
- Are You a Saver or a Spender?
- A Penny Saved Is More Than a Penny Earned
- Getting Into a Savings Mind-Set
- Saving Money on Almost Everything
11. Your Credit: Use It, Don’t Abuse It
- Building a Credit History
- Knowing When Enough Is Enough
- Oops! I Think I’m in Trouble
- Identity Theft
- Your Credit Report and Credit Score
- The All-Important FICO Score
3. Coasting Along
12. Movin’ On Up
- In-Case-of-Emergency Funds
- Finding Another Car
- Back to School
- Life Is Better in the Tropics
- Meet My New Hi-Def, LCD TV
- Getting Your Own Place
13. What’s All This Talk About Investments?
- Starting Small
- Understanding Mutual Funds
- Exchange Traded Funds
- Dollar Cost Averaging
- Money-Market Funds
- Certificates of Deposit
- 401(k)s and Pension Plans
- Money Purchase and Cash Balance Plans
- 14. A Taxing Topic
- 15. Looking Out for What You Have
- 12. Movin’ On Up
4. To Everything There Is a Season
16. Working from Home
- Can More Than 20 Million Americans Be Wrong?
- Working at Home for Somebody Else
- Going It Alone from Home
- Setting Up a Home Office
- Challenges and Opportunities for the Self-Employed
17. The Game of Life
- Footloose and Fancy-Free
- Moving In Together
- Will You Marry Me?
- And Baby Makes Three
- Divorce and Financial Issues
18. Retirement Funds for the Twenty-First Century
- Retirement Planning: Make It Your Top Priority
- What’s Out There?
- Doing It on Your Own
- So Where Should My Retirement Money Go?
- Early Withdrawal Penalties
19. Investing Beyond Retirement Accounts
- When Is the Best Time to Start Investing?
- What Are You Investing For?
- What Kind of Investor Do You Want to Be?
- You Can’t Tax That ... Can You?
- Show Me the Way to the Investment Store
- 20. Investment Options
21. Getting Help When You Need It
- Know Thy Finances, Know Thy Adviser
- Do I Need a Financial Adviser?
- Understanding Fiduciary Responsibility
- The Who’s Who of Financial Advisers
- Finding a Reputable Financial Adviser
- Just Say “No”
- Financial Adviser Don’ts
- 16. Working from Home
5. So You’re Thinking of Buying a House
22. There’s No Place Like Home
- It’s the American Dream, but Is It Right for You?
- The Changed Face of the Housing Market
- Gauging Current Market Conditions
- How Much House Can You Afford?
- The All-Important Down Payment
- Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent
- The Great House Hunt Begins
- Time to Shop for Furniture!
23. “I’d Like to Borrow Some Money, Please”
- What Exactly Is a Mortgage?
- The Advantages of Mortgage Preapproval
- Getting the Best Mortgage for You
- Alternative Types of Mortgages
- Where to Get Your Mortgage
- Online Mortgage Lenders
- Getting Approved Faster
- What Happens at Settlement?
- Knowing When to Refinance
- 24. Paying It Off, Little by Little
- 25. How Owning a Home Affects Your Taxes
- 26. Homeowner’s Insurance
- 22. There’s No Place Like Home
- B. Additional Resources
- Title: The Complete Idiot’s Guide® To: Personal Finance in Your 20s & 30s, Fourth Edition
- Release date: February 2009
- Publisher(s): Alpha
- ISBN: 9781592578832
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