Welcome to The Simple Nickle!

Clueless about your money? Do you want financial security, but don't know where to start?

The Simple Nickle is a free web-based program to help you easily understand and control your finances in less than 15 minutes a day! We'll guide you step-by-step; it's as easy as checking your email! We'll also give you easy-to-understand financial education starting with the most basic aspects.

Become Your Husband's Hero

This post was featured at Mom Is Teaching.

How can you become like Michael Jordan or James Bond in your husband's eyes? You may not have an amazing vertical leap, but you have what it takes to really 'wow' him. How can you become your husband's hero? Make smart moves with your money. Nothing will impress him more than showing him how you are using your money to make your lives easier and more rewarding. Here are three things you can do that will have your husband saying, 'You're my hero!'

Start saving regularly. It's been said that a woman can spoon more money out of the house than a man can shovel in. Basically, don't fritter away money...try to hang on to it! Women do more than 80% of the discretionary spending in the US, and thus, you have the power to save money by not spending it.

It's true that you must spend some money, but ask yourself (and answer yourself honestly) if you really need to spend all that you do. Your (honest) answer will be 'no,' and so you will be able to save at least a bit of money each month. To make it even easier to save, set up an automatic deposit into a savings account each month (just call your bank, or check online.) You won't even notice that the money is gone if you never see it.

Even if you can only save $50 a month, by this time next year that will be $600! $600 that you didn't have saved before! If you can save even more, you will be that much more delighted to report to your hubby that you have a nice chunk of money socked away. And when you tell him, he will probably look pleasantly surprised, dumbfounded, or just haul off and kiss you.

Create a retirement plan. A goal is just a wish until it's written down, and your retirement is just a dream until you have a plan. Take the time today to ponder what you want when you retire. Each time you are waiting at a stop light today, ask yourself, 'What is going to happen when I retire?' Later, write down the things that matter most to you, and what it will take to get them(example: I want to take one trip per year, so I will need $6000 set aside per year for travel.)

Next, look at the total needed for your retirement. Then decide how you will get to that total. Will you save up the entire amount? Will you save some and invest for the rest? Will you accumulate a part of it and work part time in your retirement? The options are as diverse as the retirees. Once you have your retirement plan outlined, pursue it!

Create an investment plan. This one will really blow him away. Use the money you are now regularly saving to invest as you see fit. What is more wonderful than earning money without having to actually do any work? That's right; make your money work instead!

If you don't know a thing about investing, don't be scared. You can be a great investor. You just need to learn a few things to do it. A great place to start is a website called The Motley Fool. Click on their 'Investing' tab, then 'Basics,' and start reading away! If you prefer something more hands-on, pick up the book 'Investing For Dummies' by Eric Tyson. Both of these resources will give you a great start.

Do a bit at a time, no need to be rash. Just telling your husband that you plan to begin investing will delight him, and when you have your plan in motion...well, he'll probably be kissing your feet in adoration!

If you don't have a clue where to start, but really want to be a hero to your husband (and yourself!), sign up for our system and get step-by-step guidance for your money. Just like that, you're on your way to being a real Super Woman.

Personal Finance Fun!

One of our posts has recently been featured on the Carnival of Personal Finance, which was held this week at a blog called The Digerati Life. What is a 'carnival,' you ask? Well, my friend, it's pretty great, is what it is! A carnival is like a blog magazine online. There is a subject for the carnival, and then bloggers can submit posts they have written about that subject. It is a great way to find lots of articles about a certain topic in one place. And it's fun! For this carnival, you will find a myriad of posts about personal finance to choose from, so one is certain to strike your fancy. It's also a great way to learn new things about finance, and we're always a big fan of that! Enjoy!

Retirement Savings: What If You Get Divorced?

Plans for retirement don't usually include a divorce. Thus, most couples that go through this unfortunate split often don't have a clue about what happens to the money that has been accumulated over the years. Divorce is a tragedy in any case, and can wreak havoc on a couple's finances. For this article, we'll focus mainly on what to do with what has been saved for retirement. (There are many things relating to divorce and money that should be addressed, but we'll talk about those another time.) Sometimes the retirement savings can be a substantial amount, and make a serious difference in the lives of both spouses. For this reason, it is essential to have a lawyer who is familiar with this type of law.

By law, each spouse is eligible for 50% of retirement savings, regardless of who contributed the most. These savings are considered a marital asset. Divorcing couples will need to agree on the value of the retirement assets to proceed dividing them up. A good lawyer will help with this.

While the dividing of retirement assets is negotiable, women often give up all of the assets in exchange for the home. Each situation is unique, and this may not always be in the best interest of the woman. Sometimes it is more beneficial to procure part of the retirement savings rather than the whole house. Spouses should consider their immediate and long-term needs and assets, and work with their lawyer from there.

Many divorcing couples worry about paying penalty fees to the IRS for moving their retirement savings around. Luckily, there is a court order designed for this situation. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is used to transfer money from one spouse's employee retirement account to the other spouse. It can be used to put the money into the spouse's IRA, or--for those with more immediate needs--transferred directly to the spouse to be spent as needed. The IRS 10% early withdrawal penalty does not apply, but the usual taxes still do.

Retirement savings can have a big impact on a divorce. With a good lawyer and the many policies already in place, the money can be divided in a manner that is best for everyone involved.

Today's Two Cents:

At the end of 2006, 46 percent of consumers said they were still paying off debts from the previous Christmas.
--Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc., 2006 Holiday Survey

Life Insurance Made Simple? Watch This...

Ah, that most exciting and sexy subject...life insurance. Wait! Before your eyes glaze over and we lose you to other parts of the world wide web, take a moment to watch this video from The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE). They are a great non-profit organization dedicated to helping us all understand our insurance needs and options better.

Life insurance is all about protecting your loved ones and your money should something terrible happen to the provider. This video is short, sweet, and a great start to learning about life insurance. Click the link to watch it!