Have you ever started writing or preparing an argument with a clear vision of where you were going only to be sidetracked by something as surprising as cold hard facts that fly in the face of your preconceived notion? Welcome to my world. I was preparing my thoughts for this post on back-to-school shopping when that's exactly what happened.
You see, my initial thought was that back-to-school shopping was like the minor leagues of shopping compared with the holidays, which, to me, represented the big time. I was going to write about fine-tuning your skills in the minors before arriving to the real show, where big money would be on the line. But then a little research revealed that Americans spend almost as much on back-to-school shopping expenditures as they do on the holidays (roughly 85%-90%). Oops!
We're not talking about practice at all; instead, it's a full-blown dress rehearsal for the holidays. With that in mind, consider these steps as you focus on getting it right -- now and through the end of the year.
Who would have thought a little back-to-school shopping required a full-blown financial plan? In retrospect, I think the ease in which I minimized the importance of back-to-school shopping probably had something to do with my lack of involvement in the process -- sorry, honey. So, since it's clearly the big leagues this year, I'm in the game.
One popular strategy for earning higher-than-savings-account interest is a certificate of deposit (CD) ladder. A CD ladder (or laddered CDs) is a way of purchasing multiple smaller CDs rather than one larger CD, staggering the maturation dates. There are two main benefits to laddering your CDs: flexibility and higher interest rates. While you can [...]