Why You Should Buy Yourself a Car for Christmas

If you’re in the market for a screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-11-29-52-amnew vehicle, get serious about shopping now. December tends to deliver the deepest discounts of the year, with buyers receiving an average 7.7% off MSRP, TrueCar.com finds—vs. 6.8% in January, for instance. For an average buyer, that’s more than $300 in savings.

Why December? “Dealers and manufacturers are looking to meet their annual sales goals, so many offer rich incentives,” says TrueCar senior analyst Cari Crane. Meanwhile, prices are slashed on 2016 vehicles as next year’s models move onto the lot, says Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader.com. Follow these steps to drive down the price of your new vehicle.

Click here to read the full story.

How a Father of 3 Built a Million-Dollar Business Around Craft Supplies

Brett Haugen’s million-dollar screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-2-47-52-pmbusiness idea hatched eight years ago when his wife, Mary, asked for a favor. She wanted him to use his design and woodworking skills to build storage units that could hold all of her crafting materials—ink pads, markers, paper punches—in one place.

Mary loved the custom cabinets he made for her, and her friends did too. Haugen, a mechanical engineer and manager at a computer-parts manufacturing company, sensed a business opportunity. “The only thing being sold in stores were generic storage units,” he says.

To test the market, Haugen built a few dozen products in his garage and posted them on eBay in early 2009. It was a good proving ground. Units that hold 48 ink pads, for instance, took 15 minutes to assemble, cost $5 in materials, and quickly sold out at $35 apiece, he says. But a display shelf was a dud. “It was generic,” he says in hindsight.

Click here to read the full story.

Picturing the Way to a New Career

James Oliver can thank HGTVjames-oliver for his business idea. In June 2011 his wife, Ayana, called him upstairs to watch a couple decorating their living room. “They were hanging wallpaper that had a collage of their family photos,” recalls Oliver, a father of twins. “They said anyone could do it, but I couldn’t find how to do it anywhere.”

Oliver, a self-employed small-business strategist, saw an opportunity. Without giving up his consulting work, Oliver found printing and distribution companies and created WeMontage’s sample product: a photo collage printed on removable wallpaper.

Click here to read the full story.

How to Reach $1 Million

When you think of millionaires, 160815_MIL_Investwords like “privilege” and “opulence” often come to mind. What about “comfort”? That’s a term more commonly associated with the middle class. But while most American families enjoy creature comforts, they yearn for a more enduring variant—the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have the financial freedom to pursue whatever life you want.

That sense of comfort is more attainable than you might think. The truth is, becoming a millionaire isn’t about living like the 1%. It’s about doing all the little things at work or in your portfolio or in your budget that can move the dial 1% here and 1% there to achieve your financial goals.

Click here to read the full story.

How Two Friends Teamed Up to Sell Robots to Kids

When Marina Bers and Mitch Rosenberg Kinderlabmet at a 9-year-old’s birthday party in May 2011, they discussed a business idea, fittingly, for children. They arrived with their kids, who went to school together, and Bers buttonholed Rosenberg—who had a background in engineering and marketing—to discuss a prototype she was developing: A robotic toy that teaches problem-solving skills to 4- to 7-year-olds using computer science principles.

Bers, a child study and human development professor at Tufts University, wanted a startup veteran to help build her toy into a viable business. Rosenberg liked the product but wasn’t ready to leave his $190,000 paycheck. The following year, however, Amazon acquired Rosenberg’s company—a robotics manufacturer—and the payout on his equity stake was enough to let him forgo a salary, for a while at least, and take a risk.

Click here to read the full story.

7 Smart Ways to Cut Your Moving Costs

paar mit sparschwein auf der baustelle

June to August is peak moving season, since most families want to relocate when their children are out of school. And for many families, a relocation can be expensive. The average professional move costs a whopping $12,230, according Worldwide ERC, an association that tracks mobility costs. (Moving can also be stressful: One study in Europe of 2,000 adults found that moving triggers more anxiety than even bankruptcy or divorce.)

If you’re relocating for a job, you can ask your employer to foot the bill. But if you need to pay your own way, follow these tips to make moving less painful.

Click here to read the full story.

Hate Networking? Try This

Does the thought of working Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 3.18.23 PMa room give you the jitters? Networking functions can turn even successful professionals into tongue-tied teens. Some people have such a visceral reaction that they actually feel physically dirty, a University of Toronto study found.

Yet industry events can also be a great place to rub shoulders with influencers, meet recruiters, pick up new skills, and raise your professional profile. So even if you hate schmoozing and small talk, these tricks can help you thrive at your next networking event.

Click here to read the full story.

Trim Your Car Costs

If your household is like most,160329_PLA you probably have two or three vehicles in your driveway: one for yourself, one for a spouse, maybe one for a teen. Indeed, 57% of U.S. families own two or more cars, KPMG found. Between gas, maintenance, fees, and insurance, the average cost to owners was $4,375 per vehicle in 2015, AAA found—even while fuel prices plunged. That’s money that you could be using for family trips or retirement planning. (The cash you’ll get by selling won’t hurt either.)

Abandoning car ownership altogether might not be practical. But eliminating even one vehicle could pay off for many families. Follow these steps to calculate whether you would benefit by cutting back.

Click here to read the full story.

Career Guide 2016

What are the best career moves to makepower-career-moves-help-get-noticed1 in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond? Check out my series for Money.com’s 2016 career guide, starting with job advice for millennials.

Then see what your resume should look like in today’s job market. (Hint: you’ll need to add some modern touches, like bolding your achievements throughout your work experience.)

Money.com has also designed a great resume template, courtesy of Wendy Enelow, co-author of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired. Click here to download it.

Why It Pays to List Your Home in Winter

Spring may still be peak home-shopping
season,151030_PLA_WinterSale since most families want to move when the kids are out of school. Yet it actually pays to list in the winter, when buyers tend to have more urgency: A study by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago. And homes listed in winter sold faster than those posted in spring.

Click here
to read the full story.